International cultural immersion: en vivo reflections in cultural competence

J Cult Divers. 2010 Summer;17(2):44-50.


A baccalaureate nursing program developed and implemented an international cultural immersion course in Guatemala to explore the impact of cultural immersion on student nurses' cultural competence. This qualitative descriptive study generated data through in-depth interviews and en vivo reflective journals. The three themes: Navigating daily life, Broadening the lens, and Making a difference, revealed an expanded context and worldview of culture. International service learning seemed to pervade all aspects of the students' experience. Exercises in participant-observation and reflective writing could enhance student self-awareness and their ability to benefit from a cultural immersion course.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Awareness
  • Community Health Nursing / education
  • Cultural Competency / education*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / organization & administration*
  • Guatemala / ethnology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • International Educational Exchange*
  • North Carolina
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Program Development
  • Qualitative Research
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thinking
  • Transcultural Nursing / education
  • Writing