Norwegian nursing students’ experiences of theoretical and clinical studies in Tanzania: A descriptive qualitative study

Sigrid Wangensteen, Solveig Granseth, Marycelina Msuya, Kristin Haugen
Publication year: 

Internationalization has been a priority in higher education for several decades. No studies reporting nursing students’ learning experiences from both theoretical and clinical studies in Africa were identified. The study aimed to describe learning experiences of Norwegian nursing students after participating in a study-abroad program that includes theoretical and clinical studies in Tanzania. A qualitative descriptive design was chosen. Five group interviews were carried out from 2013–2016. The students entered new ground; they were in a challenging learning process but most of all they experienced personal and professional growth. The students increased their cultural competence, enabling them to meet patients and relatives from foreign cultures more open-mindedly. Being part of a student group, sharing experiences and reflecting on these are crucial for personal and professional growth. Returning home and experiencing a kind of ‘reverse culture shock’ underlines the importance of debriefing shortly after return to their home university.