Nursing students have always been left off the Study Abroad train due to their rigorous course schedule and demanding clinical hours. Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) decided to do something about it. Barcelona SAE worked with IWU to design a program specifically for their Nursing majors. Through this Customized Program, Nursing majors have the opportunity to spend a full semester abroad for the first time!

An article on the first semester of this program was written in The Argus, the student newspaper at IWU see here to read the full article: Barcelona Program Allows Nurses to Finally Venture Abroad.

Barcelona SAE has the ability to design customized programs for faculty-led trips, this is perfect for majors who don’t typically get to study abroad, like those who are pre-med. The program is designed for Sophomore Nursing students, they take a general education course taught by an IWU faculty member on-site and a required nursing course through a live on-line streaming tool called Polycom (taught on their home campus!). They fill the rest of their schedule through classes at Barcelona International College. They also do clinic hours in Barcelona to keep up with their program requirements and gain experience in a Spanish clinic.

“I am sure it is the only program in Illinois—and possibly the entire U.S.—that allows nursing students to continue their major classes while living abroad” – Carolyn Nadeau, Byron S. Tucci professor of Hispanic studies.

These students have the unique opportunity to be immersed in another culture, solidify their Spanish skills and gain exposure to healthcare in another country. The skills they gain in Barcelona will be extremely valuable in their future careers as nurses in the United States. With the growing Spanish-speaking population and the need for bilingual health care professionals, Spain is the perfect place for nursing students to study abroad.

Students on Customized Programs, like the IWU Nursing semester, have the advantage of being part of the Barcelona SAE program which includes excursions and weekly cultural activities. This gives them a great opportunity to be further immersed in the culture and part of a larger support network while studying abroad.