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Frances Allan

BSc (hons) Nursing Studies/Registered Nurse (Adult)

What made you decide to go abroad to study as part of your programme?

I chose to study abroad with Erasmus in order to experience working in a different cultural environment, to improve my communication skills, to enrich and broaden my wider views and perspectives and to meet other international students.

Where did you go?

I went to Malmö, Sweden. I was a second year student nurse in a medical/surgical vascular diseases ward.

How do you feel the experience has affected your learning, has it been beneficial in terms of employment opportunities and gaining new skills?

Due to this experience, my communication skills improved. I am more confident in meeting new people and settling quickly into changing environments as well as increasing my passion for promoting health needs. In terms of employment opportunities, I believe that this experience will demonstrate that I am independent, confident and self-motivated which are desirable nursing characteristics.

Did you come across any unforeseen challenges during your time abroad?

The language barrier was admittedly a challenge at times. There were many Polish and Danish older patients on my ward which was initially rather challenging, but I had to utilise my non-verbal skills frequently which turned out to be a great learning curve. Swedish nurses had more medicalised roles and our work ethics varied which I found interesting.

How did you cope with the language barrier and meeting new friends?

I lived with international students, where the common language spoken was English. Therefore, there was no problem making friends. I would recommend learning the basics as it can be useful for the first few days getting about and it’s a lot of fun to learn a new language. The highly sociable environment, where activities were organised daily made this the best time of my life and I have made some of my closest friends thanks to this experience.

In three words can you sum up your experience?

Exciting, Challenging, Rewarding.

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