The College of Staten Island (CSI) has received a 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Award from a Santander Bank-sponsored competition to fund Transcultural Learning and Global Health Sciences Study Abroad in San José, Costa Rica and New York City. The award will help to fund CSI Nursing students studying abroad as well as bring international students to the College.
“Nursing students at CSI are going to be working in an environment where they have a broad demographic and multicultural setting. They will enhance their transcultural skills, which is super important to them for work anywhere, particularly in the New York area,” commented Stephen Ferst, EdD, Executive Director of the CSI Center for Global Engagement.
“CSI is committed to internationalization, and this award will move that commitment forward,” noted Dr. Maureen Becker, Dean of the School of Health Sciences.
The goal of 100,000 Strong in the Americas is to increase the number of U.S. students studying annually in the Western Hemisphere to 100,000, and the number of Western Hemisphere students studying in the United States to 100,000 annually by the year 2020. The Innovation Fund is a public-private collaboration of the White House, U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
“The initiative really encapsulates joint research, community involvement in the U.S. and Costa Rica, undergraduate research, faculty involvement, global and cultural engagement, all rolled into one,” said Dr. Ferst.
CSI and the Universidad de IberoAmérica in San Jose, Costa Rica have created a unique study abroad program in Transcultural Learning and Global Health Sciences that aims to familiarize students with the theoretical framework underpinning transcultural healthcare provision, as well to contextualize comparisons among healthcare systems in the Americas; provide students with hands-on experiences through direct field observations, with the aim of deepening their understanding of cross-cultural issues in healthcare provision; increase students’ language skills in comprehension, reading, writing, and speaking; broaden and deepen students’ understanding of Latin American and U.S. cultures; and strengthen ties and enhance connections between the home and host university communities.
Led by Professor Regina Lama, a bilingual specialist in transcultural nursing, CSI has successfully run a study abroad program in Costa Rica with UNIBE for nursing students for four consecutive years. For the 2015 and 2016 sessions, this opportunity was expanded to include students from the Physical Therapy
Doctorate program at CSI. This Award allows CSI and UNIBE to build upon the already successful collaboration to increase the participation rates and to expand the partnership to include two-way exchange, joint research projects conducted by Costa Rican and U.S. students, presentations at conferences in both the U.S. and Costa Rica, and new collaborative linkages among faculty at both institutions.