Learning From the World

Learning From the World

Elisabeth Kinsella ’23 and Emma Shaw ’23 during the immersion experience. Photos contributed by Elisabeth Kinsella ’23 and Michelle Saglimbene DNP’23

Elisabeth Kinsella ’23 and Emma Shaw ’23 during the immersion experience. Photos contributed by Elisabeth Kinsella ’23 and Michelle Saglimbene DNP’23

Students are not just taking classes abroad, they are taking part in highly tailored academic experiences designed to elevate all aspects of their learning.

Over the past few years, Global Fairfield has launched an array of international study tracks — both semester-long and short-term — for nursing, social work, and public health in Galway, Ireland; Townsville, Australia; London, England; Barcelona, Spain; Florence, Italy; Athens, Greece; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Fairfield’s portfolio of programs is designed specifically to challenge in the classroom and beyond, with learning opportunities that optimize the international setting and bring an elevated, global understanding to students’ experiences. Students are not just taking classes abroad, they are taking part in highly tailored academic experiences designed to elevate all aspects of their learning.

One such experience is the faculty-led course in palliative care communication, taught in Galway, Ireland. This summer, 13 undergraduate and graduate nursing and communication students spent a weeklong immersion at the National University of Ireland in Galway to learn about palliative care communication.

Led by faculty members Michael Pagano, PhD, professor of communication, and Eileen O’Shea, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BC, CHPPN, professor of nursing and director of the Kanarek Center for Palliative Care, the interdisciplinary, intercultural course allowed students to develop an understanding of palliative care and the critical role communication plays in achieving the interdependent goals of providers, patients, and families, in the United States and in Ireland. Over the course of the week, students attended lectures on palliative care at National University of Ireland in Galway.

students explored the city and its environs,during a weeklong immersion at the National University of Ireland in Galway

During a weeklong immersion at the National University of Ireland in Galway, students explored the city and its environment

Elisabeth Kinsella ’23, a nursing major, chose this facultyled study abroad experience to gain insight into end-of-life communication, a field she describes as vastly important.

“Through discussions with members of the Irish healthcare community, we captured a glimpse into the system of care in Ireland as we explored a wide range of topics,” Kinsella shared. “From compassionate pediatric care, to the vulnerability of dementia patients, to maintaining a loved one’s dignity, to self-care and compassion fatigue, we were able to gather information and empathize with important healthcare communication topics.”

Recognizing that this opportunity to learn about palliative care experience abroad was exceptional, Michelle Saglimbene DNP’23 and clinical faculty member, jumped at the chance to participate in the course.

“This experience truly changed my life,” said Saglimbene. “I learned the importance of active, mindful listening and communication. I will always look back on this experience as something that has shaped who I am as a nurse, a mother, and a leader.”

What have the participants learned that they could not have taken in from a class on the Fairfield campus? “The opportunity to explore a new culture,” Kinsella said. “While it’s one thing to read about and listen to lectures on Irish culture and healthcare, students gain an entirely new outlook when we are encouraged and able to explore such topics with real people.”

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Last modified: 09-19-22 2:16 PM

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