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Nurse Educ Today. 2008 Jul;28(5):530-8. Epub 2007 Oct 10.

Uncovering study abroad: foreignness and its relevance to nurse education and cultural competence.

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University of Nottingham, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Nursing, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2HA, United Kingdom.


This paper reports some of the findings from a hermeneutic phenomenological research project designed to uncover the nature of the phenomenon 'study abroad' in the context of Nursing Higher Education in the United Kingdom. The research question asked was 'How is study abroad manifest in the experience of nursing students?' Informed by the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, the analysis of 26 study abroad students' diary accounts uncovered six general structures, or ways for study abroad to be, namely; leaving behind, escape, foreigner, self-discovery, learning and risk. The focus here is on the general structure 'foreigner' and the far-reaching implications this can have in terms of understanding how study abroad comes to be. The relationship between study abroad, positive disturbance and the development of students who are able to recognise diversity across different cultures is discussed. It is suggested that if one of the major aims of nurse higher education is the development of culturally competent practitioners, study abroad is deserving of far greater attention than is currently the case.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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