International Immersion: The Center for International Studies Abroad
Meredith Murphy ’16 and Kendall Kulper ’16 both came to Wagner College with a strong desire to spend part of their college years exploring other countries. “I’ve always wanted to study abroad because I loved traveling and being immersed in new cultures,” says Murphy.
Yet they are also nursing majors, completing a curriculum that is not normally compatible with study abroad programs. In fact, in recent years, no nursing majors have studied abroad for a semester. But Murphy and Kulper were determined to find a way — and they did. This semester, the two students are in Florence, Italy, with the Center for International Studies (CIS) Abroad, an organization with which Wagner has a consortium agreement.
Yes, Firenze — the capital of Tuscany, the birthplace of the Renaissance, home of the Medicis and Machiavelli, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Murphy and Kulper are living there for three months, taking Italian, history, intercultural communication, and nutrition — the last course the key component of keeping them on track with the Wagner nursing program. Learning from Italian professors, Kulper says, gives her a new perspective on each topic and helps her to feel immersed in the culture.
Kulper and Murphy expect to come home better able to serve patients from diverse backgrounds, whether in the United States or abroad.
“I have met so many amazing people and have started to just touch the surface of what it’s like to be from their cultures and societies,” says Murphy, who has a goal of someday working with Doctors Without Borders. “After traveling and studying abroad I will have the communication skills to be a global citizen and be mindful of others.”
READ MORE IN 'BACK TO CLASS'
During the fall semester of 2013, we set out to see what's happening on the Wagner campus to prepare students for the future. We found a lot of evidence that Wagner students are getting the most out of the college experience, whether they are in class, in labs, in the city, or abroad.
- Emerging Global Health Concerns — First-Year Learning Community
- Exploring the Cosmos — Intermediate Learning Community
- Starting a Career Path — Internship at the Clinton Foundation, New York City
- Developing a Voice — Senior Learning Community in Philosophy
- Liberally Educated, Professionally Prepared — What Employers Want