Dean Brown, Dr. Kirkpatrick, and Dr. Koldjeski had a vision to promote transcultural nursing education at ECU. So, in 1997 they began with the internationalization of the curriculum, by having students communicate with nursing students from other countries via e-mail (Journal of Nursing Education, 1999; Nurse Educator, 1998). The same year, Dr. Kirkpatrick offered the first international study abroad program to ECU nursing students. Nursing and physical therapy students traveled to Finland, visiting clinical sites at Oulu Polytechnic and the University of Oulu. The following are some of the student’s reactions to the first study abroad:
Sandra Bennet (nurse practitioner at Craven County Health Department)
"Great architecture! Honest people! Fantastic paintings! What a freedom and renewal to go to graduate studies!"
Debra Whaley (oncology case coordinator at the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center)
"It was wonderful! I learned so much about other health care systems and how their cultural values impact on their health care delivery system. And, the collaborative efforts in learning from each other are so remarkable
Theresa McDonald (Staff nurse in CICU at Pitt County Memorial Hospital)
"It was mind expanding to hear how other health care systems work. And, the Finns are so physically fit! Being overseas was truly an experience in itself, as I had never flown."