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Finland & Russia 2013

Student Nurses in Finland/Russia Clinic


Helsinki and Savonlinna, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia                   
Time Frame
As soon as Spring semester starts; 3.5 - 4 weeks
Clinical Experiences
Finland: Public and Community Health nursing in Savonlinna and outlying communities, community hospital and clinic tours as well as interchange with Nursing Students in Savonlinna
Russia: The Harbor (orphans), St. Petersburg Nursing School #1, Hospital tours
Other Experiences
Day trip to Tallin, Estonia, and Stockholm, Sweden, seeing the sites in Helsinki and St. Petersburg
Outside Trips/Weekend Culture Experiences
Staying with in the historic 100 year old, Sinnetalo "The Blue House" with Finnish physician, Leena Kosmo; Ovalinna Castle, forest walks, Karelian dancing, cooking, Easter traditions, local plays, swimming, sauna, opera dress-up, and Ladies of the Castle Walk/Run
Price (approximately $5000 high end - Cost in 2012 was $4300 including tuition) includes ALL expenses: Russian visas, air flight, trains, local transportation, hostels, admission fees, Russian ballet, ferries, translators, all food and even bathroom money.

     This cultural learning adventure has students traveling between two very different countries who share a common border and interesting history. Finland has been ranked very high for healthcare in the European Union countries, especially in the public health arena; and St. Petersburg, Russia where they have unique challenges. There is a large focus on the political and social determinants of health with corresponding activities. There are schedule activities for each day. You can expect that the schedule will change as we go through the day (much like life). Flexibility is absolutely essential. You have to be prepared to have your walking shoes on, prepared to work and fun, and have your eyes and minds open to keep up on this high pace experience. 

Finland Clinical Experiences: Community hospital and clinic tours, simulation demonstration for Finnish Nursing Students and faculty at Mikkeli University of Applied Science, and clinical days: Public Health Nurse, School nurse (elementary and high school), Home care nurse, community nurse, and rehabilitation home for alcohol and drug abuse.

Russian Clinical Experiences: Students spent a day at the Saint Petersburg Nursing School #1. BYU students presented on the role of the nurse and the Russian students gave a similar presentation. We toured the school, learned how to wrap babies, give basic nursing care Russian style, and had time to interact with nursing students who are learning English. Planning is in place to match up BYU students via Skype with Russian nursing students to have an interchange prior to our visit next year. We were able to tour a newly built high risk and newborn hospital as well.


“I realized that it is important to not only teach people about health care, but to learn from people as well. I learned that all people have something to offer, no matter their country, status, or circumstance. From the Finnish people I learned and saw in practice that health is much more than physical health. In the U.S., there seems to be a strong focus on physical health. In Finland, people were equally as concerned about emotional, mental, and spiritual health. While in Russia, I observed and learned about the things that they struggle with in that country. I realized that after the fall of Communism, the country greatly struggled. It occurred to me how important it is to help and also learn from people, no matter what state they may be in.   After visiting each country, I saw both the good and bad in the different health care systems.    It caused me to re-analyze the U.S. healthcare system and things that can be better.   I believe that it is important for people to learn and grow.   Through this course, I learned and experienced first-hand that as all people are children of God, it is important to learn and grow together and help improve the lives and health of everyone” 

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