Rome, Italy – The students traveled during spring break, March 9-17, 2019 and stayed at the Generalate of the Christian Brothers in Rome under the direction of Dr. Frances Kinder and Dr. Jeannine Uribe. The eleven junior and senior nursing students set out to complete learning objectives for pediatric and leadership classes. The sites for the experiences were the Bambino Gesu Vatican hospital and PIO IX Lasallian school in Rome.

The students taught the children health promotion lessons in English and presented on the risks and dangers of the internet to the teachers and high school students followed by a reception of delicious Italian food. Our visit is recorded on their Facebook page. Our students learned about the lives of the children of the school and the children and teachers at the PIO IX school learned about nursing, our La Salle University, and Philadelphia. Everyone enjoyed the interactions.

The students observed and took care of sick children at the Bambino Gesu hospital. The students also enjoyed listening to lectures on evidence-based practice projects, quality improvement and nursing education. They visited the nursing simulation lab and the students had a chance to interact with the Italian nursing students. The exchange in ideas and knowledge was important and the students recognized the differences in health care between the two countries.

The students gained competence and confidence in living in another culture and in another urban city. They learned to use the metro and bus systems independently, change money, and purchase food and items in the stores. By visiting the ruins of Ancient Rome and the Vatican, they recalled learning from their gen-ed courses and were amazed by the grandeur of the places and the history of the world. They also learned to live in community as Lasallians, traveling as a team and helping each other to meet team goals during the stress of travel and being away from home.

While staying at the Generalate, Brothers Diego and Schaefer gave the students a tour of the St. John Baptiste de La Salle museum and the church. As a result of the trip the students were very inspired to learn about our founder and to be a part of a large Lasallian network. We look forward to continued collaboration with our Lasallian schools and the hospital in Rome.