Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

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Master of Science




Caxaj, Susana

2nd Supervisor

Babenko-Mould, Yolanda

3rd Supervisor

Petrucka, Pammla


University of Saskatchewan


Background: The relationships between sending and host partners in nursing study-abroad programs are crucial to the success and sustainability of these programs. Yet, there has been a paucity of research focused on the global partnerships between sending and host organizations. Most research about study-abroad programs has primarily focused on Global North sending organizations’ perspectives on the educational, social, and career benefits to Global North students with few studies highlighting the perspectives of host organizations from the Global South.

Aim: To explore Global South host organizations’ perspectives about global partnered nursing study-abroad programs.

Research Design: This research study was guided by a critical social theory (CST) paradigm, the six Global Health Research (GHR) principles, and Situational Analysis (SA) research methods. Data was collected by conducting interviews with five participants from multiple host organizations in Tanzania, Uganda, and Malawi and the analysis of two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs).

Findings: The study identified four themes: (1) Navigating Prejudice, Pride, and Planting a Seed: Global North Students as Intermediaries; (2) Fostering Qualities of Partnership through Longevity and Sustainability; (3) Meeting Needs vs. Creating Needs: Contradictory Costs/Benefits of Global Partnerships; and (4) Working towards Reciprocal Relationships: Practices and Aspirations.

Conclusion: These findings speak to the importance of fostering long-term partnerships between sending and host partners that anticipate and proactively address resource drain and power differentials that occur at the partner, institutional, and international levels. Strategies at the institutional level, such as critical pre-departure training, inclusive and comprehensive evaluation of the partnership, and inclusion of Global South partners through research activities, as well as policy changes at the international level, can help all partners work towards more reciprocal partnerships.

Summary for Lay Audience

The success and sustainability of nursing study-abroad programs depend on the relationships between faculty/staff from sending organizations and those from host organizations. Sending organizations, often universities, send students primarily from Global North high-income countries (HICs) like Canada and the United States on study-abroad programs to Global South low-to-middle income countries (LMICs) in Africa and Asia where they work with host organizations, also often universities. Most research on study-abroad programs focuses on the perspectives of students and/or faculty from sending organizations with respect to how such programs benefit nursing students, with few studies focusing on host organizations’ perspectives. The purpose of this study was to bring attention to the perspectives of faculty/staff at host organizations about their relationships with faculty/staff from sending organizations. This study considered how power differentials and economic factors have impacted these relationships and uncovered four major themes: (1) the role that nursing students from Global North HICs play in the relationship; (2) qualities in the relationship that allow it to last; (3) costs/benefits of the relationship that simultaneously meet host organizations’ needs while also creating further needs; (4) working towards relationships that are mutually collaborative and beneficial for all partners involved. These themes highlight the importance of encouraging long-term relationships between sending and host partners that actively consider challenges related to resources and power distribution. All partners can work towards more reciprocal and equitable partnerships by better preparing nursing students, formally evaluating their relationships, and encouraging changes in policy and research activities to include staff from host organizations.