German FlagStudy Abroad
International Nursing

The University of Akron offers a three credit hour international nursing course.  This two-week intensive course involves travel to Freiburg, Germany. The course title is International Nursing: Health Care in Germany.

The 2-week course is set to explore and compare patterns of health care and nursing roles in the German health care delivery system. Faculty from The University of Akron will facilitate comparisons with the U.S. system.

Freiburg is a culturally rich historical area nestled between the gentle hills and vineyards of Kaiserstuhl and the Black Forest.  Freiburg is described as the Ecology Capital where bicycles abound. It is a university city where about a tenth of the total population is students. Day trips to destinations such as Munich, Stuttgart, Switzerland, Basel, France and Bavaria are common, as are opportunities for hiking and exploring the natural beauty of the area. 

Germany has a good standard of living and it is known for its leadership in the European Community. It has a strong economy. 

The health care system is decentralized and a mixture of private and public institutions. There is a strong emphasis on health promotion and alternative care as ways to maintain or improve health. In general, contributions towards statutory health care insurance is shared equally by employees and employers with some specifications for different levels  of income. Employees who make below a designated annual salary must purchase the insurance but it is voluntary for those who make more than this designated amount. The non-insured rate in Germany is currently 0.1%.
Nursing in Germany is undergoing many changes. Currently nursing is not licensed in Germany and there is not an official record of the number of nurses in the country. There is active discussion about moving nursing programs out of hospitals and into university settings, which at the present time has begun. Students will have the opportunity to meet practicing German registered nurses who are returning for advanced leadership education and will be on campus at the same time.
We welcome your participation and encourage you to consider this study abroad opportunity.

Course Description

The course explores and compares the influence of culture, government, financing, society, and geography on the patterns and delivery of health care. Nursing roles in the health care system, quality management, current nursing issues, research, and education are the primary foci. Globalization of health and the participation of nurses in this process are also discussed. 

The course will be conducted and supervised by faculty from The University of Akron School of Nursing and the Catholic University of Applied Sciences.  The course is 2 weeks with lecture, seminar and field observations.

Students will:

  • Make valid comparisons of U.S. and Germany's health care systems in terms of organization, influence of government, culture, financing, cost, and access to care.
  • Describe education and professional standards for nursing in Germany.
  • Explore treatment methods and modalities commonly used in Europe and not common in the U.S.
  • Develop insight into the life and culture of citizens through exploration of values, attitudes, art, literature, daily living practices and so forth.
  • To identify the direction of health care delivery, methods and needs of the population for the future. 

Field Visits

Students tour and observe nursing in acute and community settings serving needs of all age groups. Observation sites include local health care facilities such as acute care facilities, clinics, nursing home, and rehabilitation and possibly complementary care settings.  The health care staff at all these centers graciously welcome students and their questions.

Students in previous courses have expressed amazement about what they learned from their international experience and remarked that their studies were influenced positively because they had a much broader perspective about what health care systems can provide.


Information on registering for the International Nursing Program contact Mary Agnes Kendra ( or 330-972-7559).


Passports are required to participate in the program. Allow AT LEAST 6-8 weeks for processing or renewal of a passport.  No Visa is required.  No additional immunizations are required.


Students make own transportation arrangements (flight and train).   Further information is available upon request.


Information on accommodations for the International Nursing Program will be available upon request.

Financial Aid

Check immediately with your financial aid officer so your aid package is in place in sufficient time for departure. Financial aid packages are usually reconfigured to accommodate for the expense of studying abroad.