The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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December 29, 2012

Faculty-led trips become more common



HAN also sends Dutch students to study at MSU in the business and sport management programs.

The nursing program at MSU has also been organizing trips to Africa. Recent graduates Heather Forbes and Kim Adams took a three-week life-changing trip to Ghana in spring 2011.

A professor in the department had developed a partnership with Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. As a result, Adams, Forbes and seven other students got to experience life in rural villages and hospitals.

Academically, they were charged with doing a community assessment, looking into what resources are available to the villages and how they’re utilized. The nursing slant came from examining the medical, spiritual and mental health needs of the villagers.

The trip cost about $3,500, and both women said the experience was worth every penny.

“It wasn’t just about nursing. I think with community health it’s more about seeing the broader picture, especially culturally,” Adams said.

For example, the Ghana people don’t cry out in pain or say “ouch,” they show pain by snapping their fingers, Forbes said. Also, in some hospitals, women in labor bring their own tarps to lay on to deliver their babies. Adams said she witnessed a couple such births.

Every night, the students were encouraged to take a step back and reflect on what they had learned.

“We are so electronically driven and so independent, and there they rely on each other so much, and everybody’s friends with everybody,” Adams said. “They sit and talk with each other and help each other out. If you’re from the same village or town, that’s your brother or sister.”

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