Penn Student Learns About Intercultural Communications Through Study Abroad

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Media Contact:Jeanne Leong | jleong@upenn.edu | 215-573-8151June 23, 2014

For Ingred Prince, a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania, some of her most enriching experiences have occurred through opportunities to study and explore abroad.

This summer, Prince, a nursing major with a minor in global health, is participating in the Penn in Seoul program working at Dae Woong Pharmaceuticals as a researcher. Prince chose to intern at the company to learn about the roles nurses can play outside of hospital settings.   

“It’s an academic area I aspire to pursue during my time at Penn and later in my career as a nurse,” says Prince, “so it’s beneficial to see a tangible application of it in the workforce.”

She is also taking two courses at Seoul National University: East Asia Past and Present and Intro to Chinese Civilization. 

Outside of work and classes, Prince meets up with friends and other Penn Abroad students to tour the city. She has already visited the National Folk Museum of Korea and Gyeongbok Palace and shopped at many of the bustling city’s street markets. 

She says she has “danced til my feet were numb” at popular Seoul night clubs and “eaten my weight in kimchi and other Korean delicacies.”

While Prince is enjoying all that Seoul has to offer, she’s very aware of how local residents are viewing her. 

After arriving in the South Korean capital in late May, it took a little while for her to get used to the attention she was getting in public places in Seoul. There were a lot of stares.

“Not too many African-Americans live in Korea, especially a tall woman with cropped natural hair,” says Prince. “At first the attention made me super self-conscious, but I’ve learned to use it to my advantage. If I catch someone staring, I usually smile and wave. Then, if they smile back, I might be inclined to start a conversation.”

Prince has learned a few phrases in Korean and says she enjoys giving the locals a chance to practice speaking English with her.

Before arriving in Seoul, she attended a two-week Nursing School program in Hong Kong, which compared the health-care systems there with those in the United States. In addition to touring health-care facilities, her group visited attractions including the Tian Tan Buddah, Causeway Bay’s Times and Victoria’s Peak. 

Originally from Port Au Prince, Haiti, Prince’s family moved to Fort Lauderdale when she was 5.

She is now a veteran of study abroad at Penn. After her freshman year, she studied Spanish language and culture in Alicante, Spain.

And, in the fall of her senior year in 2015, she plans to travel to Jerusalem to do her community health nursing rotation at Hebrew University. It will be Prince’s second time in Israel. This year, she spent spring break doing a clinical rotation with Israeli nursing students working at health-care facilities and kibbutzim.

Prince hopes her education at Penn will lead to a career as a nurse practitioner or certified registered nurse anesthetist. 

“My experiences abroad have definitely fueled my desire to gain my Ph.D. in public health and global health by examining how different societies perceive and receive health care,” she says. 

Through these opportunities and her experiences across the globe and through learning about different cultures, Prince is bringing Penn to the world and the world to Penn, realizing the Penn Compact 2020 goal of engaging globally.

Prince hopes to one day teach other health-care professionals effective ways to apply cultural sensibility to their care of patients. 

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