In Dr. Creed's own words, our Global Nursing Education Coordinator shares her most recent experience with nursing students in the Netherlands.
This year was my third taking College of Nursing students to the Netherlands. For everyone else on the trip, it was their first time. And, for many, their first time out of the U.S.
Other firsts on the trip:
- first MEPN student
- first non-nursing student
- first male
- first USC-Lancaster student
We had a great group! There were two leaders and one participant faculty in addition to the nine students.
All but one arrived in Amsterdam on Saturday, March 4. The final student arrived Sunday morning. We had free time Saturday afternoon and Sunday, so we explored different parts of the city and got acclimated to our surroundings. We stayed at Skotel, a hotel run and managed by hotel management students who come from all over the world. They were great and so helpful with any requests we had.
The hotel provided a delicious breakfast of fresh baked breads and croissants, meats, cheeses, fruit, juices, and cappuccino. They also served multi-course meals during the week, so we made reservations for Thursday evening. It was very good! Our rooms were on the second floor on a hall where we met every evening for reflection time. It was very clean and inviting with all the rooms decorated by different hotel chains. Some were Ramada, Aloft, Sheraton, Novotel, and more. Each room was unique so it was fun to see them all.
During the week, we visited InHolland University of Applied Sciences twice where our host, Hans Springer, works. We attended lectures and tours and learned a lot about health education and health care in the Netherlands. One day some of us walked a couple of blocks to see a pharmacy as they are very different from ours here. They are small and contain a small amount of medications, typically three to four shelves.
We visited hospitals throughout the week, participated in case studies, tours and classes. The hospitals we visited included UMC Amsterdam, Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek Nederlands Cancer Instituut, and Spaarne Gasthuis Academie (in Haarlem). Everyone was very welcoming and seemed excited to have us. More connections made! We ate different foods and enjoyed trying some of the restaurants and food halls in the city. Some shopping done too.
We visited some tourist sites: Anne Frank house, Rijks Museum, Body World Museum, Albert Cuyp street market. We rode buses, trams, metro, and train. We walked daily…through rain, hail, snow, and some sunshine. We lost a couple of students on the tram on day one. We lost one student on Friday but found him at the hotel and he, along with two faculty, did get to Hans’ house for the evening. We all made it back in one piece without injuries or illnesses.
Our final evening, we went to Hans & Louise’s house in Almere, a 20-30 minute train ride from Amsterdam. It was snowing and very cold. We had a 10-minute walk to their house once we arrived. We were able to shop in the little square before heading over. A delicious meal, lots of fun, and time to spend with one another. As one of the students said, I was finally able to “let my hair down” as it had been a busy week with lots of responsibility on my part. I danced and sang and enjoyed myself along with everyone else.
I enjoyed the opportunity to open eyes, minds, and hearts of students.