Hailing from far-flung places around the globe, Villanova College of Nursing’s international students – as well as a former student turned faculty member - told an audience of hundreds of people at the College’s 60th anniversary conference that their studies in the U.S. are sowing the seeds of change in everywhere from Oman to China and Saudi Arabia.
“Villanova prepared me well with the ability and knowledge to make changes,” said Assistant Professor Bing Bing Qi ’94 MSN, PhD, RN, who, after receiving her master’s in nursing from Villanova, returned to China and helped to alter the country’s academic landscape by introducing and revising nursing curricula there.
Part of a panel of international students, Dr. Qi spoke alongside Jokha Alharthy ’07 BSN, who is from the Sultanate of Oman and is pursuing her MSN in Health Care Administration; new PhD graduate and fellow Omani Hilal Alrahbi ’02 BSN, ’06 MSN, '13 PhD; Faith Atte, MSN student in Nursing Education from Kenya; and PhD student Raja Jadelhak, ’02 MSN, of Saudi Arabia. Professor Nancy Sharts-Hopko, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of the PhD in Nursing Program, moderated the event.
A number of the panelists, including Atte, Alharthy, and Qi, said studying at Villanova has boosted their confidence and has inspired them to want to make changes in their home countries when they return.
“People acquire a shyness, especially girls, in Kenya,” Atte said. “I want to help girls to unlearn the behavior of shyness and replace it with confidence.
Alharthy said “the message of veritas, unitas, caritas will go with me everywhere.”
Jadelhak said she was particularly taken aback by the education system in the United States – and noted that she would like to see aspects of it adapted in Saudi Arabia.
“There are no class discussions, no relations between teachers and students,” Jadelhak said of her home country. “Whatever the teacher says is right. What happens here, at Villanova, this is something that needs to be considered in Saudi Arabia.”