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'I hope my gift signals the confidence I have in our students, our faculty and our university and inspires others in nursing to give' 

Nursing exchange student from University of Calgary Qatar reflects on Calgary experience

Nicola D'Souza, fourth year student on exchange in Calgary from the University of Calgary Qatar. Below, UCalgary nursing students take D'Souza out to Banff for an adventure on her last week in Calgary.

Top photo by Lynda Sea, bottom photos courtesy of Wai Yin Mak.

Another successful student exchange from University of Calgary Qatar came to an end last week when Nicola D’Souza returned home to Doha. 

“I have experienced some amazing things here and see a true difference in the way we do things in Qatar,” says the 4th-year student, who landed in Calgary on Halloween. 

“Patients I have seen in Calgary really want to participate in their own care and so do their families: they are very hands-on and it is encouraged by the RNs.  In Qatar, the patient is more reliant on the nurse and the doctor to do what is necessary.”

D’Souza fell into nursing naturally.  “My mother is a nurse so all my life, I have been hearing about nursing,” she laughs.  While she spent her practicum at Foothills orthopedics, her interest lies in mental health.

“I am not worried about whether I will end up in mental health right away,” she says. “Concern about good mental health is everywhere; I will always ask my patients ‘how are you coping?’”

D’Souza has also worked in research as a student, including two projects with former UCQ dean Kim Critchley, and one that took her to Italy and Monaco to present. As for travelling halfway around the world on her own, D’Souza says the experience has helped her grow.

“This has taught me to be independent and on my own.”