Study Nursing Abroad

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A Guide to Studying Nursing Abroad

Global health care issues are on the rise, and there is a greater need for health care workers from around the world to openly communicate industry needs, ideas, and solutions. Many study abroad programs for nursing cater specifically to students pursuing nursing degrees, since international experience is so valuable for future nurses. Nursing study abroad programs provide insight into the field of international health care, while allowing nursing students to examine the cultural, political, and economic forces influencing health care systems around the world. Furthermore, studying nursing abroad will give students much needed confidence in working with diverse populations.

Why Study Nursing Abroad

Future nurses can and should study nursing abroad during their undergraduate or graduate studies. Learning health care issues in the countries that are affected by those issues most greatly will offer a more comprehensive understanding than any classroom can. Being culturally sensitive helps nurses connect with a wide range of patients, since nurses are typically the first point of for patients at almost any healthcare facility.

In addition to gaining a greater understanding of the health care challenges faced worldwide, studying nursing abroad may even give students the edge they need to secure a job after graduation; in the increasingly competitive field of nursing, international nursing experience will most definitely help you stand out.


Students have the option to study nursing abroad in many locations. Serving as a volunteer in tandem with study abroad courses is also an option, especially in developing countries where healthcare is affected by limited education, poverty, and the spread of AIDS and other diseases. For those interested in working in hospitals, some popular locations for nursing study abroad programs are in Australia, Singapore, Germany, Scotland, and Asia.

Australia has a fantastic healthcare system, and Australian hospitals offer nurses plenty of opportunities to work in world class facilities with state-of-the-art medical equipment and technology. Due to Australia’s laidback and friendly lifestyle, jobs are low stress and satisfaction is ranked highly. The Prince of Wales is a top hospital located in Sydney.

Singapore has a stable economy and thriving health care system. The Parkway Hospital Group is the dominant health care provider, known for its state-of-the-art facilities, quality care, expertise, and modern technology. Students deciding to study nursing in Singapore will leave with solid expertise in medical technology.

Germany is home to The Asklepios Group. Located in Hamburg, it is the biggest private operator of hospitals in all of Europe. With over 100 facilities, the company is known for its excellent service in medicine, nursing, and rehabilitation, as well as their state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge medical equipment. The opportunity to study nursing abroad and work in one of the Asklepios Group hospital is nearly incomparable.

Scotland is home to two of the best nursing programs in the UK. The University of Edinburgh is consistently ranked as the United Kingdom’s number one Nursing Studies degree and has over 50 years of experience. The University of Glasgow is a research intensive institution and is also ranked highly. Both schools offer clinicals and research programs for a variety of interests.

Asia’s advancing health care systems have made nursing an increasingly popular area of study, and nursing schools can be found all over. Bangkok, Thailand offers courses in English and Pune, India is one of the fastest growing cities making it a wise place to study nursing in Asia, especially if you plan on working in international communities with large populations of individuals of Asian descent or within Asia itself.

Courses & Programs

Students will need to work with their home university to see what nursing courses abroad will count for credit at home. Often colleges allow core classes outside of the nursing major, such as English, philosophy, and art history, to be taken abroad. These are nice classes to take abroad as they offer more flexibility. Foreign language classes are also a wise choice during study abroad for nursing students, because the knowledge may help with job placement after graduation.

For those interested in taking nursing-specific classes, most degrees will require classes involving clinicals and healthcare systems. Nursing schools abroad offer a variety of classes, and if those classes are similar enough, students can oftentimes opt-out of mandatory nursing classes at their home campuses in exchange for taking equivalent classes abroad. Examples of courses that may be taken abroad include: Communication for Nursing, Primary Health Care, Law and Ethics for Nursing, Grief and Crisis Management, Health Practice and Policy, Nursing for Chronic Illness and Palliative Care, and more. It is important that students check with their academic advisers before applying for any study abroad program for nursing.

When researching nursing study abroad programs, students should consider whether or not the program will allow them to complete their major requirements and be beneficial in their progress toward degree completion. Summer nursing study abroad programs may be a good option for students who cannot commit to a full semester abroad. Locations and type of program may sometimes be determined by home university program requirements, host university requirements, and personal preference. Some nursing schools abroad offer courses that can be taken in conjunction with medical Spanish or language specific classes focused on medical and health terminology to mutually benefit nursing students.


Although nursing students typically have demanding schedules and course loads, students can (and should) find time in their school career to study nursing abroad. With ever-increasing global health issues, it is an essential time to study nursing abroad. International courses offer a fresh perspective on the international health care industry.

Whether it is aid work in developing countries or working in world-class hospitals around the globe, nursing study abroad programs develop better, more understanding nurses of the future. Interacting with different types of people on a day-to-day basis is part of being a nurse, and studying abroad will give nursing students the advantage in the job market after graduation.

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A Guide To
Studying Nursing Abroad


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