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SXU students and faculty visit Croatia

Explore educational and health care systems in Croatia

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(above) SXU faculty and students spend the day at the University of Split where they learned about Croatia's educational and health care systems.


Chicago (June 23, 2008) Twenty St. Xavier School of Nursing students and faculty members recently returned from a 10-day trip to Croatia that included a stop in Bosnia. The students studied the countries’ educational and health care systems.

The group toured Zagreb, Trogir, Split, and Dubrovnik in Croatia and Medugorje in Bosnia. While in Croatia, they toured various nursing schools, an orphanage, and historical and religious sites. 

While in Zagreb, students and faculty took a technical visit to the High School and College of Nursing at Zagreb as well as the regional hospital.

“Croatian students start their nursing education in high school. They then become licensed nurses and earn advanced degrees from one of five nursing schools in the country,” said trip organizer and SXU nursing professor Charlene Bermele, MSN, RN. 

SXU students presented lectures on the United States health care and educational systems while at the high school. English-speaking Croatian students then discussed the Croatian systems. 

“After touring the hospitals in Croatia, students appreciate what they have in the United States,” said Bermele. “Croatian nurses are very task-oriented which allows for less individualized care, and there are usually four patients to a single room in Croatian hospitals.”

There was also a service element to the trip. SXU students were asked to create an art project to bring to the orphanage Maestral in Split. The children could not speak English, so the students communicated with them with a limited Croatian vocabulary coupled with non-verbal cues.