Introduction to Me and My Study Abroad Program in Switzerland

Guten tag! Bonjour! Ciao! 

My name is Michelle, and I studied abroad in Switzerland in the Healthcare Delivery in Switzerland program from May 1st to May 14th. I am a nursing major (BSN ’25) who is pursuing a global health certificate.

Studying abroad allows me to maintain a global perspective on healthcare and attain more cultural awareness. Having these skills allows me to treat a diversity of patients to the best of my ability. Exploring different systems of healthcare also allows me to be inspired by new methods and find ways America can improve its own healthcare.

Healthcare Delivery in Switzerland is a two-week study abroad experience focusing on Switzerland’s culture, healthcare delivery, and nursing education. As a class of about 20 students, we visited educational, healthcare, governmental, and private organizations to learn about these topics. Some visits include the Janus Heroin Treatment Clinic, the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the International Organization of Nurses, the Red Cross Museum, the Basel Mental Health Facility, Basel’s Children’s Hospital, and the University of Basel. The program included stays in Zurich, Basel, Bern, Geneva, and a day in Interlaken.

My experiences as a Korean American have allowed me to experience both Korean and American healthcare and see their differences, which inspired me to explore more forms of healthcare in other countries. In this program, students are brought to tour hospitals and clinics to learn about healthcare insurance laws and unique treatment options. I wanted to witness Switzerland’s heroin treatment facilities, nursing education system, and universal healthcare system in real life to compare them to treatments in America. I knew that these in-person experiences would give me insight into a different world of healthcare that classroom lectures in Victoria could not.

I also applied to this program due to its focus on healthcare delivery and policy. Nearing my retirement as a critical care nurse, I plan on becoming a legal nurse consultant, implementing my knowledge of medicine and healthcare law to carry out justice in court. I also want to work with policymakers on healthcare law amendments. My experience in Switzerland studying their treatments and healthcare laws will allow me to gain a new perspective that I could implement in my future work in American healthcare.

Studying abroad will also teach me about global health, a topic that I am interested in and will help me in my career as a nurse. Having knowledge of different cultures and international methods of healthcare is a strength that allows someone to administer the best patient-centered care. A patient may feel more comfortable with someone who is more aware of their culture and the treatments that they are used to, which will impact the quality of their stay. To attain this level of care, I plan to learn about different healthcare systems around the world by studying or visiting them. 

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