The College of Nursing’s Guatemala study abroad program has been identified by former participants as a transformative experience. The objective is to provide health professionals with a language and cultural opportunity that will positively influence nursing care for the Latino population in eastern North Carolina. It’s a broaden-your-horizons and impact-the-lives-of-others kind of course. You will learn about the archeology and anthropology of Mesoamerica, as well provide care in the regions where people have limited access to health services.

Program details

  • Junior and senior nursing students in good academic standing are eligible to go. Other health disciplines are encouraged to participate with the approval of the instructor.
  • The program is scheduled for Summer Session I, beginning with two daylong on-campus seminars, followed by three weeks in Guatemala, and ending with a final post-experience day-long seminar with oral presentations by students. Dates are typically mid-May-June.
  • Students earn three credits for the elective course NURS 4220, International Perspectives in Community Health Nursing.
  • Spanish language knowledge is highly recommended but not required.

What you’ll do and learn

  • Students live with Guatemalan families in rural villages and participate in family and community activities, such as religious events, birthday celebrations, and national holidays.
  • Each day, students travel by local camioneta (public bus) into the beautiful city of Antigua where they take Spanish language lessons.
  • In the afternoons, students conduct community health education programs around hand-washing, nutrition, and oral hygiene with indigenous Maya children.
  • We hold a primary care outreach clinic with a Guatemalan physician in a remote Maya village in collaboration with local community leaders.
  • We initiated a clean water project in 2013, which included the distribution and follow-up of water filters to community members in a remote Maya village.
  • Students have the chance to take part in opportunities provided by the local culture and geography such as kayaking, visiting a coffee plantation, and practicing tortilla-making.

For more information and to apply

Dr. Kim Larson and the College of Nursing make a difference in Central America

  • To apply, go to the PiratesAbroad website and look for NURS 4220 International Perspectives in Community Health Nursing, click on Apply Now.
  • For details, attend the information session at 5 pm on Reading Day in December, room TBA.
  • Applications are typically due in January.
  • Questions? Contact program director Terri Joyner, Claudia Kitchin, and Liz Mizelle