Community health immersion in India (Photo essay)

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UM students with M flag in India

Each summer, the University of Michigan School of Nursing leads a community health immersion experience in India. This year, 10 nursing students were joined by seven students from U-M‘s College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA).


U-M group at India historical site

The two and a half week trip traditionally begins with a tour of India’s Golden Triangle. The students visited three of India’s most popular destinations- Delhi, Agra and Jaipur- to explore India’s culture and history. The U-M group also visited well-known sites such as the Taj Mahal, as well as palaces, markets, and other historical destinations.


Indian boys with books at Rotary school

Community health is the primary focus of the experience so the U-M students visited a variety of community organizations, including a Rotary School near Agra.


U-M students dancing with Rotary school students

The Indian students welcomed the U-M students with a musical performance, then encouraged them to join.


Plating trees at the Rotary school

Planting trees has become a tradition during the visit to the Rotary School.


Salokaya students welcome U-M students

The U-M group partners with Salokaya College of Nursing for a significant portion of the experience. The U-M students work with Salokaya students to compare health care delivery systems and nursing education in the U.S. and India.


U-M students touring an Indian hospital

The U-M and Salokaya students are together for tours of a variety of health care facilities including rural and regional clinics, primary care facilities and large public hospitals.


U-M students touring an Indian newspaper office

The students also visit community organizations such as CanSupport, a free, home-based palliative care program for patients with cancer. Other stops included a national newspaper, the Hindustan Times, where students met with a health editor and the editor in chief.


U-M students made home visits to Indian communities

The U-M students join Salokaya students for home visits where they see a variety of patients including elderly residents, pregnant mothers and families with young children.


U-M and Salokaya students

The students also worked together on projects such as workshops on topics including social determinants of health and the global sustainable development goals.


U-M student at mehndi party

Near the conclusion of the trip, the Salokaya students held a mehndi party for the UMSN students as an opportunity to celebrate the new connections and share more of their culture.


U-M students show off their mehndi art

The Indian students decorated the skin of UMSN students with a stain commonly known as henna. The female UMSN students were also encouraged to dress in brightly-colored saris.


Norma Sarkar and Mary Beljan

The trip was led by UMSN faculty Norma Sarkar and Mary Beljan. This annual experience is organized in partnership between UMSN and U-M’s Center for Global and Intercultural Study. Current UMSN juniors interested in participating in the August 2018 trip are encouraged to enroll in N456 Spring 2018. Nursing sophomores and LSA students may enroll in N421 - Winter 2018.  Contact Mary Beljan or Norma Sarkar with questions.

Read more about the 2016 trip.