Nursing students spend 26 days in Manipal; trip is return to South Asia after pandemic interruption.

International experiences in India made a triumphant return as a contingent of MGH Institute nursing students and faculty spent nearly a month in Manipal as part of an immersion experience at Kasturba Hospital and the surrounding community where they shadowed students from the Manipal College of Nursing.

The group left New Year’s Eve and returned in late January; the trip came on the tenth anniversary of the Institute’s first nursing trip to India. 

Making the 8,000-mile trek were Master of Science in Nursing students Leah Rothchild, Kyle Fletcher, Disha Patel, Sonal Bhatt, Nikita Desai, and Ilan Millstrom, who were accompanied by Professor Elissa Ladd and Assistant Professor Kaveri Roy. 

“It was such a privilege,” said second year student Desai. “We had so much access.”

“The experience was great,” said second-year student Bhatt. “I would definitely recommend it to students. It was a really wonderful way to learn about a different healthcare system.”

“They were so welcoming to us, from the top of the nursing school administration to the students and staff that we worked with,” said Fletcher, a third-year student who’s in the acute care nurse practitioner track. “I had an open invitation whenever I had time to participate in rounds and to ask questions. I never felt stifled and felt very nourished from a learning standpoint.”

“I had a really amazing experience in India and I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to go on this trip,” said Millstrom, a second-year student. 

Ladd spearheaded the first trip in 2014 after returning from a six-month placement as a Fulbright Scholar at Manipal University. 

“When I was there, I remember thinking, ‘Wow! This is this is such a wonderful, rich place to bring students,’” remembered Dr. Ladd. “You have the setting in South India, a wealth of cultural activities as well as healthcare services that are being provided in the context of a low-middle income country.”

The global immersion program was suspended during the pandemic and returned this year.