“By learning about nursing in South Africa, we gain a perspective that improves our experience as nursing students at U.Va.”
For Kristin Garrett, a recent graduate of the School of Nursing, the key to learning is experience. After completing her fourth year at U.Va., Ms. Garrett returned to the Limpopo Province in rural South Africa, where she had spent the previous summer learning about health care as a participant in Nursing Students Without Borders (NSWB).
Ms. Garrett and the other NSWB members collaborate closely with students from the University of Venda in the Limpopo Province. “NSWB is completely student-run and organized,” she said. “We make our own plans and raise our own funds. Similarly, when we get to South Africa, the students are the ones who help plan our activities. It’s this kind of collaboration that empowers us to learn more about each other’s cultures and motivates us to help one another in our endeavors to become effective nurses in our own communities.”
In addition to her educational experiences in South Africa, Ms. Garrett has studied Spanish in Peru and art history in Italy. After living on the Lawn her fourth year, she has experienced the best U.Va. has to offer, both on the Grounds and abroad. “I consider myself so lucky to have learned from the students in South Africa and built lifelong friendships with them,” said Ms. Garrett. “And living on the Lawn allowed me to meet some amazing people and find out what they were doing to make the University a better place.”