Vanier nursing exchange program builds academic and cultural bridges

Vanier College is hosting some very special guests.

Fifteen nursing students from China arrived a week ago for a three week exchange program.

The intensive nursing courses include a focus on geriatric care as well as lab sessions and hospital visits - an opportunity for students from Shanghai where it's mostly a traditional classroom experience.

"They can experience what is a more interactive style of teaching," said Rowena Selby, International Manager for Continuing Education.

This is the second year of the program.

Li Yunyun and Gan Xiao, both 20, attend the Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

"I want to be a nurse to take care of my parents," said Li.

"My mother is a doctor and wanted me to become a nurse," Gan told CJAD 800.

Li said the program is a great opportunity.

"I'm interested in Canada's culture and I want to improve my English," she said.

It's not all work and no play - the visit includes trips to Quebec City, Toronto and Ottawa as well as restaurant outings.

"I ordered a lasagna and it's very, very delicious," said Li, laughing.

Selby said it's the students' first time away from their city or their country and it'll be a learning experience, both academically and culturally.

"And that the learning will not just be one-sided," said Selby.

"That it will not only be the students who learn but us and the homestay families who are able to learn a lot from them too."