Penn Nursing '19

Katherine Putnam

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SA: University of Queensland

Program Abroad:

  • Semester Abroad (SA): University of Queensland, Nursing, Australia

Ask me about...

  • Going abroad for the first time

  • Making the transition from Penn to a university abroad

  • The ups and downs of going to a completely unfamiliar place and making it more like home

My Experience Abroad:

My time abroad helped me become more confident in applying coursework and knowledge gained from my studies into nursing practice. When I return to Penn, and the USA in general, I know that I am going to be more equipped having had the need to adapt to a new environment all the way across the world. With knowing the new information I know now, I now have a new perspective on healthcare on various levels, including international vs domestic and system-wide vs nursing care.

Other Highlights:

  • In my nursing exchange program, my clinical experience was definitely a highlight. I was put onto a general surgery floor and cared for with pre/post-operative patients, and this experience, although very challenging at first due to my lack of knowledge regarding my role as a nursing student, made me better equipped for my future as a nurse and healthcare professional.

  • I joined a group called QUEST (Queensland University Exchange Student Society), and through this group, I was able to explore the city of Brisbane (where I stayed during my semester abroad), meet new people, and actually, experience the place that I was to call home for almost 6 months. Being abroad isn't just about traveling with the people you came with, it's about integrating yourself into a new life because that is the one opportunity you will ever have.

  • Although traveling isn't the most important part of being abroad, it's a big perk of doing so, and I highly encourage all people who are thinking about or going to study abroad to consider traveling. I traveled to many places throughout the country of Australia and I even got to New Zealand as well. I mostly traveled, however, to the coast about an hour outside of Brisbane, and there I was able to see the life of an authentic Australian (for lack of a better phrase).

On the Penn Abroad Blog:

Make It Happen and Let It Happen

Return to Penn Abroad Ambassadors