Internationality can be achieved from virtual exchange - Results from a questionnaire study
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Department of Health Promotion, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Sanna Mari Manninen   

Department of Health Promotion, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A8
Internationality is an important part of nursing studies, as working in a globalizing working life requires graduates to have communication skills, good language skills and diverse cultural competence. The Covid-19 pandemic prevented student exchange programs, however, the pandemic brought broadly knowledge of using distance teaching in nursing studies. Even before the pandemic, only some of the students were able to go on a student exchange. We aimed to study how virtual exchange promotes midwifery students’ internationality and cultural competence.

Material and Methods:
A one-day course of virtual exchange was carried out among fourth-year midwifery students from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland and Daeyang University, Lilongwe, Malawi. The students’ experiences of the course were collected with a six-question questionnaire.

The students’ experiences were generally positive. The best part was considered to be seeing fellow students and hearing about their midwifery education and midwifery practice. The students reported understanding patients coming from different cultures better after the virtual exchange and also their desire to learn about other cultures increased. Furthermore, the desire to go on a student exchange increased. In addition, the students described virtual exchange to expand the sense of community spirit - “they there and we here studying around the same things”.

Today's technology makes it possible for students from different countries to learn from each other together, without the need to travel. Virtual exchange enables all students to get experiences of internationality.

None of the authors have any conflicts of interest relating to this abstract.
There is no funding for this research.
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