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Community and Public Health Nursing Practicum Abroad

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Spring, Fall






Nursing students in their last semester

Academic Program

This 2 week intensive practicum provides learning opportunities for students to apply the principles of public health combined with nursing knowledge and skills to address health promotion, disease and injury prevention, and nursing management of infectious disease and chronic health conditions. Nursing activities will focus on the improvement of health outcomes at the individual, family, community and global level within the context of population-focused practice.

Students will actively engage in community assessment, community planning and community action processes in partnership with faith community and public health nurses in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Students will gain an understanding of the similarities and differences in a country and region very different from Johnson County, Iowa, and have the potential to discover the many community assets and population strengths that exist despite poverty, low literacy, and chronic health conditions such as HIV/AIDS/TB and the health consequences of hunger and water shortages. These health conditions, and the available resources to manage them, vary substantially in comparison with those experienced by populations in Iowa, where priority health problems focus on obesity, prevention and treatment of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, for example. Students will witness how the health of the Swazi people is affected by the political climate, socioeconomic conditions, and cultural factors of their geographic region.

Although this course section will be taught in the Kingdom of Eswatini, there are community/public health nursing principles held in common with all communities in all parts of the world. Students will learn processes of community assessment, trust building and community partnerships, effective community communications, dissemination of culturally informed social marketing of public health messages and methods, mechanisms of building a coalition, methods to sustain public health efforts, and measurement of health outcomes. Students will use a Culturally Informed Community Nursing Practice Process that can be applied in the Kingdom of Eswatini, as well as across other geographic settings and cultures.

This course counts as NURS:3655 Community and Public Health Nursing Practicum

Course Objectives

During the program students will be able to:

  • Use community assessment process to identify health strengths and needs of diverse populations and communities.
  • Analyze impact of socioeconomic, ethical, legal, cultural, financial and political factors related to the clinical population.
  • Collaborate with providers and community members in building community capacity to address health needs.
  • Develop skills and strategies to plan and/or implement culturally congruent interventions that address the health needs of diverse populations and communities.
  • Develop skills and strategies to evaluate the process and outcomes of interventions.

Cultural Activities

In addition to the practicum, students will visit two game reserves: Mkhaya Game Reserve and Hlane Royal National Park. These excursions are included in the cost of the program.

Program Dates

This course will not be offered in 2022.
It is tentatively planned to run again in 2023.

For More Information

For more details about academic content, contact Faculty Director Anita

The Kingdom of Eswatini

Despite being the smallest country in the Southern hemisphere, the Kingdom of Eswatini more than makes up for its lack of size with a hugely diverse range of attractions and activities.

As one of the few remaining Executive Monarchies in Africa, culture and heritage are deeply ingrained in all aspects of Swazi life, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all who visit. As well as the rich culture, the overwhelming friendliness of the people makes all visitors feel truly welcome and very safe. Add to that a stunning landscapes of mountains and valleys, forests and plains; plus wildlife reserves across the country that are home to The Big Five, and you have all that’s best about Africa in one small but perfectly formed and welcoming country.

Learn more about the Kingdom of Eswatini:

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

Students will stay in three different areas of the Kingdom of Eswatini: Mbabane, Siteki, and Big Bend. Housing will be safe, dormitory style housing with chlorinated water, and food will be from grocery stores and restaurants. Internet access is available in town, but connections can be unreliable at times.


If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.

Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

Non-US Citizens

Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.

Travel Arrangements

Students will receive instructions on making travel arrangements after the application deadline passes.


Participants must be Nursing students in their final semester of the program.
All participants must also be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa.


Included in program fees (billed to participants' u-bills after registration):

  • Academic instruction
  • Accommodation
  • All meals in country
  • Transportation within Africa
  • Game reserve excursions
  • Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI travel insurance
  • UI Study Abroad administrative fee
  • 24/7 staff support
  • 2 semester hours of credit

Information about the mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Insurance information included in the program fee is here.

Not included in program fees (additional out-of-pocket expenses):

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Passport or visa fees
  • Pre-departure medical checks

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Students are encouraged to apply for Need-based, Merit, and Diversity Ambassador scholarships awarded by Study Abroad. More information is available on the Study Abroad website.

Financial aid received to attend the University of Iowa (scholarships, grants, and loans) may be applied toward the program cost. Students are encouraged to speak with someone in Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

How to Apply

The online application will be added here when the program runs again.

The application process requires:
• Completing the online application demographic information and short answer questions
• Completing the statement of purpose questions (found in the application) and uploading them to the application
• Uploading a copy of the information page of your passport (if you are applying for a passport, please indicate this on the application and you can bypass this requirement temporarily)

Students who submit an application will be U-billed a $50 application fee.

Confirmation Materials


Flight information for the faculty directors will be provided to all participants. Please keep an eye on your email for those details.

Health & Safety Planning

All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.


To prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have questions, you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

A mandatory, in-person orientation will be facilitated by the Faculty Leader and Study Abroad Coordinator before departure and will cover content specific to your program and host country.