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Australian nursing students get education on Canadian health care during exchange

A pair of Australian nursing students are looking back on their time in Grande Prairie and the memories made here. For the past three weeks, second-year nursing students Madison Banfield and Melissa Bell have been living with Grande Prairie Regional College students and taking classes to see what nursing is like in Canada.

“We were in quite a few classes and following them throughout the week to see how they learn which was very interesting. We also got to spend a few shifts in the hospital here which was absolutely incredible, that was a really amazing experience,” says Bell.

The women came here on exchange as part of a partnership GPRC has with the Holmesglen Institute in Melbourne. The partnership between the two schools started in 2017 when two instructors from GPRC went to visit the school. The following year, two teachers from Australia came to Grande Prairie and after this most recent exchange, two local students will get the opportunity to travel there in May of 2020.

Both girls wrote essays and were chosen out of their class to come here. After experiencing it, Bell says they definitely don’t regret their decision to come.

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“Obviously travel experience is amazing and the opportunity to go to another country and see how their health care system works and how their students study here, it’s priceless, it’s amazing, who wouldn’t apply.”

Bell and Banfield weren’t the only ones that learned something during the exchange. While in the city, the women were staying with second-year nursing student Tara Yurychuk and third-year nursing student Kathryn Stickel. Yurychuk says they also learned a bit about how they do things back in Australia.

“Having them go to class all day and then come home and I’ll be like, ‘how’s your day’ and then she’ll just tell us how different it is from her stuff at home.”

Both women will head back to Australia on September 29th in time to take exams.

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