Students – practicing nurses from United States University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, whose field of study is Community nursing visited Slovakia as part of their studies. During the Slovakia summer 2018 faculty travel course, they visited community centers for people from marginalized Roma communities, hospitals, senior houses, nurseries, Roma settlements and other places.
For over 10 years, the Association for Culture, Education and Communication (ACEC), in partnership with the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, has been organizing this unique educational program. Students are trained in vocational education and practice, while having the opportunity to learn about our diverse culture and landscape.
This unique service-learning study abroad program, Slovakia summer 2018 faculty travel course, was carried out by ACEC in cooperation with Wisconsin Green Bay University for students of the community nursing study department. It focused on disadvantaged groups of the population, the homeless and primarily the marginalized Roma community. Students took part in presentations and discussions with professionals from different areas and community members themselves in order to better understand the cultural, social and health challenges they face.
Day 1, Vienna. The study tour was launched by the evening guided tour to the city of Vienna.
Day 2, Bratislava. “Roma in Slovakia” Conference. Opening sessions and topics covered welcoming note to Slovakia and Central Europe held by Magdaléna Rothová, Director of ACEC and Michal Vašečka, a sociologist with focus on issues of ethnicity, race and migration studies.
Day 3, Bratislava. The Conference continued with Roma related topics: “Slovakia: a sociologist’s view” by Michal Vašečka, “The everyday life of segregated Roma” and “Slovak Roma and their health: An anthropologists´ overview” by Andrej Belák and “Introduction to the Public Health System in Slovakia” by Mr. Tomáš Szalay.
In the afternoon, a visit to Homeless shelter Domov Sv. Jána z Boha, first in the terrain meeting with socially disadvantaged community. At the same address a hospital for people in need is placed. Students also visited and gave needed help to people living in the nearby homeless getto Zátišie.
Day 4, Skalica. Visit of High School of Nursing Stredná zdravotnícka škola in Skalica. Students had an opportunity to compare the differences in school systems of their two countries and to exchange their studying experiences and knowledge. Important part of the practical studies of UWGB students was teaching Health Promotion Disease and Health Prevention topics to the high school students.
In the afternoon, visit to daily center Senior House to meet with 40 elderly people, learn about their stories and provide Health interventions – blood pressure and sugar measurement.
Day 5, Košice. Visit of Luník IX, well known town part of Košice with the highest density of the Roma population in Slovakia. Part of the visit was also Mašličkovo, a nearby Roma settlement. Students gave lectures here on healthy food while drawing vegetables and fruits with chalk on a pavement and explaining the importance of vitamins.
Day 6, Chminianske Jakubovany / Kežmarok. Visiting Roma settlement in Chminianske Jakubovany gave another important insight into the life style and habits of Roma citizens living in Slovakia. Roma Health Mediators prepared a number of activities with children covering health.
Divided into two groups, the students visited and realized interventions in the elementary school Základná škola Chminianske Jakubovany and special elementary school Špeciálna základná škola Chminianske Jakubovany. The intervention given by the students and education activities at the elementary school were mainly focused on teeth hygiene. At the special elementary school the students gave education to the students on contraception.
Afternoon program continued with the visit of Dr. Vojtech Alexander Hospital in Kežmarok.
The day was ended with tasting the traditional food in the restaurant Zbojnícka Koliba.
Day 7, June 15, Lomnička. The particular experience with the clients, visiting locals at their homes was the Roma settlement in Lomnička. Another part of the activities took place in the local Community center that is used in the day-to-day work of measuring blood pressure, searching for contacts on specialist and doctors for the Roma community, weighing newborns.
Day 8, Huncovce. Locality with no drinking water for settlement inhabitants. After the initial distance on the side of the local inhabitants was overcome, the students could give the health interventions to those who needed it.
In the afternoon, group moved to Pieniny for the exciting rafting down the river. ACEC staff ended their mission here and American students continued their trip to Krakow, Poland.
Day 9, June 17, Krakow. A tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau, a sobering and important reminder of the horrors of the Nazi regime, and one of the most iconic human memorials of the modern age.
ACEC team has been very pleased to invite the UWGB group visiting Slovakia again. We very much appreciate, that students have chosen Slovakia for their study visit, and that they are interested in exploring Slovak culture and meet with those in need in our country.
more info: UWGB SLOVAKIA SUMMER STUDY TOUR