The exchange program between the University of Nairobi, Department of Nursing Sciences and
Columbia University was a highly anticipated and successful initiative that aimed to foster cross-
cultural learning and collaboration between nursing students from both institutions. The program
spanned six weeks and concluded on May 12th, leaving a lasting impact on all participants.
One of the highlights of the exchange program was the clinical experience provided to the Columbia
Nursing students at Kenyatta National Hospital, one of the leading healthcare institutions in Kenya.
This opportunity allowed the visiting students to observe and actively engage in nursing practices
within a different healthcare system. The students were exposed to a diverse range of medical
conditions and witnessed the unique challenges and strategies employed by Kenyan healthcare
professionals. This experience enriched their knowledge and skills, broadening their perspectives on
Beyond the clinical aspect, the exchange program provided the Columbia Nursing students with an
immersive cultural experience. They had the opportunity to explore and engage with the vibrant
Kenyan culture, enabling them to gain a deeper understanding of the local customs, traditions, and
way of life. This exposure not only fostered cultural appreciation but also enhanced their ability to
provide culturally sensitive care to patients from diverse backgrounds.
The exchange program facilitated collaborative learning and networking between the students from
both universities. Through case discussions, the participants shared their knowledge, experiences,
and best practices in nursing care. This cross-pollination of ideas and perspectives resulted in a
mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and fostered lasting professional relationships.
The exchange program left a profound impact on all participants. The Columbia Nursing students
returned to their home institution with a renewed sense of cultural competence, having witnessed
firsthand the unique challenges faced by nurses in a resource-constrained setting. They gained a new
perspective on healthcare disparities and the importance of adapting care practices to different
contexts. On the other hand, the students from the University of Nairobi were inspired by the
Columbia students expertise, innovative approaches, and technological advancements in nursing
The exchange program between the University of Nairobi Department of Nursing Sciences and
Columbia University proved to be an enriching and transformative experience for all involved. It not
only provided invaluable clinical exposure but also fostered cultural understanding and promoted
collaboration between nursing students from different backgrounds. Such programs are
instrumental in shaping the future of nursing by equipping students with the necessary skills, global
perspective, and empathy needed to address the healthcare challenges of our diverse world.