Lauren Lebo

About Lauren Lebo

I am a junior at Nyack College studying Nursing with a minor in Spanish. I am originally from Connecticut but am now living on the Rockland Campus. I also play lacrosse for Nyack and am very excited for the upcoming season. I love to run, play sports, cook, travel, and make everything in life an adventure!

Great Internships for Nyack College Students

As you get to your junior and senior year, internships are something that should be on your mind. Even if your department doesn’t require it, internships can be a great opportunity for you to get hands on experience in the field you want to go into, apply what you learn in the classroom to the real world, and figure out where you might want to end up after college. In addition, internships are great ways to get you foot in the door somewhere you might want to get a job in the future. You can get internships in all different fields and through many different organizations. This week I was able to talk with a few different students who took part in many diverse and interesting internships, and thought I would share those experiences with you.

Sarah Scheidt- Social Work, Undergraduate

Intern at Soup Angels

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“I think that in today’s world, we can be quick to say that something has “changed our life” even if we are still pretty much the same person. However, I think my internship is actually changing my life because my conceptualization of the world is different than before. I am interning at a really cool soup kitchen called Soup Angels and I have gotten to know a lot of the guests while eating dinner with them. If you are familiar with Humans of New York, I feel like I live out my own version of that personally every time I go to my internship as I get to talk with people and hear some of their stories. Every person that I have talked to has helped save me from my own stereotypes and prejudices, as I have been given to chance to see each person as a real human being and unlearn the categorization of “other” that society so subliminally teaches us. I have talked with guests on so many topics I would have not expected to talk about, like philosophy, economics, poetry, cheesecake, good coffee, cancer, and tough jobs. It reminded me of what Shakespeare wrote: “For stony limits cannot hold love out,/ And what love can do, that dares love attempt.”

In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo told this to Juliet so she could know that even a big stone wall could not stop him from loving her. In my life, I like to think that we can learn from Romeo and decide that nothing can stop us from seeking to love and understand others. It may feel like there are big stone walls to stop this from happening because people are just so “different.” However, I have come to find that it really is possible to seek to understand someone with a very different life than you, if you dare to attempt.”

Rebekah Williams- Childhood Education, Undergraduate

Student Teacher at Elementary School and Elementary School, Guatemala

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I basically teach certain subjects but my teacher is always there too and we plan together and that sort of thing. It really prepares me for after college because it’s exactly what I’ll be doing and it’s a great chance to gradually take on all those responsibilities with the help and support of a mentor teacher and without the pressure of it being completely on me at this point. I haven’t student taught overseas yet but what’s great about this placement has been the community of the school I’m at and the wisdom and poise of the teacher I’m working with. She is truly a master teacher and it’s inspiring to get to see her teach.”

Brianna Campos- Family and Marriage Counseling, ATS

Intern in the Nyack College Counseling Department

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“I am an intern counselor at the Nyack Counseling Center.  My internship is different then most internship sites as I work along 9 other intern counselors and work under two professional staff, whom supervise us. At other locations, you will have a large mix of both professionals and interns.  While it makes the responsibility seem even greater, it also gives the interns freedom to learn our own style.  The emotional climate of our team makes our site a warm, friendly environment to work and be serviced in.  Counseling at the college as been an incredible experience for me; it is the greatest honor to pair up alongside these young men and women and hear their stories.   What makes counseling so unique is that I am taught more in the counseling room than I have ever been taught in the classroom. However, I only feel prepared to be counseling others because of the dedicated professors and professionals who imparted their knowledge and wisdom on to me.  I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.”

Percy Danosh- Nursing BSN, Undergraduate

Senior Practicum at Good Samaritan Hospital

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Preparing for clinicals is like preparing for  your first date. The night before you pick out your clothes and iron them,  “You want to look Gud!” You try your best to review all the information you have, “You don’t want to not know what you’re talking about.” Lastly, by the end of your shift, you are happy for a wonderful day and are looking forward to the next clinical/date. The only difference is that in the end, you would have made a difference in somebody’s life,  and show them the the kind of love and compassion that all Nyack students possess.”

A Valedictorian’s 10 Tips for a 4.0 GPA

Maintaining a 4.0 for four years of college is a very impressive feat. It takes lots of hard work, dedication, and talent. Although it seems near impossible, our co-valedictorian, Rachel Kunker, a double major in ICS and English, was able to do it. Here are some tips from Rachel about how to have success in college.

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  1. Be prepared. Rachel says it is important to be prepared by doing your reading, completing assignments, and making study guides for tests. This allows you to really know the material and be able to perform well on tests.

  2. Be proactive. This means thinking ahead of time and taking initiative. Rachel talks about how if you are proactive, you can go to teachers ahead of time and they will be willing to help you succeed. It also means that you are a self-starter.

  3. Show you care. According to Rachel, one of the biggest ways that you can make a good impression in class is to show that you care about what is being taught. Make an effort to be involved in class discussions, participate in activities, and express interest in the class material.

  4. Get to know your professors. This was one of the points Rachel stressed the most. She said she had excellent relationships with all of her professors in both departments- ICS and English. Her professors helped her to succeed and taught her things both in and out of the classroom. The way she established rapport with her professors was by constant communication, by participating in activities outside of class, and by showing she cared about what they were teaching.

  5. Take advantage of the opportunities offered to you. Out of the classroom experiences like broadway shows and retreats with the honors program, volunteering to clean up the community, hiking with ICS, and weekly “hangouts” at professors’ houses were great opportunities for Rachel to get to know professors, expand her knowledge outside of the classroom, and be involved in the community.

  6. Do things outside of your major. Participating in events with other majors and being involved in activities that were not specific to ICS and English helped Rachel to develop into a more well-rounded person and expanded her worldview.

  7. Become friends with many different types of people. Being friends with people who were interested in different things than her, who studied different majors, and who had different backgrounds and worldviews helped Rachel hold things in perspective and learn from people who were different from her. They also helped to hold her accountable and to value herself.

  8. Get an internship. Internships and jobs helped Rachel to connect her studies to the real world. She was able to work at the writing center for three years and says that this job helped to make her writing stronger because as she corrected other people’s papers she was able to see why writing works the way it does and what it means to be a good writer. In the writing center she was also surrounded by a community of people who prioritized academics and worked for excellence. She was able to participate in two internships during her time her as well. During her internships in Ecuador and Taiwan, she was able to have lots of first-hand, real-life experience, and these experiences helped her to put her life in perspective.

  9. Take care of yourself. In order to succeed, Rachel says it is important to take care of yourself first. This includes things like sleeping, exercising, and taking breaks. If the valedictorian can find a way to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night and get all her work done, then you can too! Rachel says it is also important to take time to be alone and reflect on what is important.

  10.  Put God first. Most importantly, Rachel says putting God first is the priority. As hard as it is to take time out of her busy schedule to spend with God, whenever she does, it allows her to feel at peace. One thing she likes to do to spend time with God is read the devotional “Jesus Calling” each day. Each devotional is short but it allows her to focus and realign her day. She also says that taking a Sabbath is really beneficial and somehow, whenever she takes a Sabbath, the work that’s piling up always ends up getting done.

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When asked what her biggest piece of advice would be for incoming freshman, she said, “Don’t take advantage of professors but build relationships with them. Relationships with professors become tributaries for everything else. Also, build relationships with peers across all disciplines. It gives you perspective and a support system to help in the areas where you struggle.”

Rachel with Co-Valedictorian, Tehilla Eskelund, and Provost, Dr. Turk

Rachel with Co-Valedictorian, Tehillah Eskelund, and Provost, Dr. Turk

Rachel has done many amazing things during her time here at Nyack and has made an impact on the community. She is respected by professors and students alike. She has worked hard for her accomplishments and her diligence has allowed her to have success. Congratulations Rachel! 

5 Things Only a Team can Teach

Being a part of sports teams my whole life, and being a part of the lacrosse team for four years at Nyack has taught me many lessons I don’t know that I would have learned otherwise. There is something about pouring all of your blood, sweat, and tears into something bigger than yourself with a group of people all dedicated to a common purpose. It’s scary, it’s difficult, it’s rewarding, and it’s worth it. You can’t be a part of a team and not grow. Dedicating all of your energy- both physically and mentally- to a team, is something that will teach you more than you would ever expect. Throughout my years on teams, these are some challenging, yet important lessons I have learned.

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  1. You can’t succeed alone. You are only as strong as your weakest link. If one part of the team falls apart, the whole team falls apart. On a team, you have to learn how to not only accomplish goals alone, but how to lead others to help them accomplish their goals, and help the whole team work together towards a common vision. Only then will the team succeed.IMG_6465
  2. Sometimes you have to put yourself aside for the bigger picture. When you do things independently, you determine the pace, you determine what you want to do each day, and you make your own decisions. When you are part of a team, however, you have to learn to not always do what is best for you, but to do what is best for the team.IMG_6201_2
  3. Leadership. Every person on a team has to play their role in order for the team to succeed. This allows each person to be a leader in their role. Whether you are a leader in defense, in athleticism, in team building, or in the mental aspects of the game, you have a role to take ownership of and lead in.
  4. What it means to truly give everything you’ve got.You don’t truly know what it means to give your all and hold nothing back until you are part of a team. When you are part of a great team, you will do anything for your teammates and everything for the game. You have no excuses and nothing to hold back when you are competing because it is worth it to give everything you have.IMG_7347
  5. That team is the closest thing you will ever find to family. When you pour so much time, energy, and passion into a team, there’s no way that the people on your team can just remain teammates. Teammates become your best friends and then your family. You might not always get along, you might have one teammate that annoys you more than others, and you might want to kill each other sometimes. But, in the end, you know that there is nothing you wouldn’t do for the people on your team, and you know that you will always have at least 15 other people who will stick by your side no matter what life brings your way.1948140_235465163326409_1576429817_n

11 Nyack College Warriors Explain Why They Compete

College athletics are difficult to get into and even more difficult to master. Not only does being a college athlete require you to be incredibly skilled at your sport, it also requires a massive amount of dedication, hard work, and passion. You don’t play on a college sports team just “for fun” or because you want a new activity to do. Being on a sports team means that you are dedicating hours and hours of your week to practicing, pushing your body beyond it’s normal limits, and investing yourself in a team and vision. Getting up at 6 am to run suicides, staying up late to finish homework because you were away all day for a game, being sore all the time because you are striving to excel at your sport, and having to constantly defer what you want for the good of the whole team, are just parts of what it takes to be an athlete. It takes sacrifice and commitment to be an athlete. And although it is difficult, we willingly choose to play our sport and be a part of our teams. So why do we do it? Here’s the reasons our athletes give for choosing to compete:

Photo credit: Thomas Trott

Photo credit: Thomas Trott

I’ve spent most of my life comparing myself to other people and always trying to be better than the girl next to me. But through these last few years of playing lacrosse I’ve realized that God giving me the ability to compete in the first place is enough of a blessing in it of itself. He’s given me teammates who have become my sisters that get up every morning and practice to become better players so we can be a better team. So instead of comparing myself to them I’ve made the decision to compete for them.”

-Victoria Lopez-Nash, Women’s Lacrosse

I compete to represent myself in the best possible way. There’s no better feeling than setting a goal and working harder than everybody else to achieve it.”

-Frank Martin, Men’s Basketball

“I compete in track & field and cross country because running offers one of the most honest competition. What I mean by that is, when it comes to running most of the action happens behind the curtains. You train 3-4 months for just one particular race. And when it comes to race day the only determinant in winning or losing is not about how the team performs but how much hard work was invested by the individuals themselves. That in itself teaches a runner a lot about accountability and about life through goal setting. A lot of people wonder, what is the logic of punishing yourself each day, of striving to become better by running miles after miles and putting your body through so much pain. The value in it is what you learn about yourself. In these sort of situation all kinds of qualities come out – things that you may not have seen in yourself before.”

-Ian Mirtile, Cross Country

“I compete because I know that sports can be a limitless way to create a lasting legacy for Jesus if we live, compete, and play with His purposes”

-Madeline Barbarino, Women’s Lacrosse

Photo credit: Thomas Trott

Photo credit: Thomas Trott

“I compete because it is my way of giving back to the Lord what is rightfully His. When I was struggling to find a school as a high school graduate, God showed me Nyack. He brought everything together so perfectly and then made sure I understood that it was indeed a humongous blessing to be able to go to Nyack, but that it also meant I would be giving back. So I obeyed Him, and I compete for two reasons: 1. Soccer is a platform to show my teammates and competitors Jesus and glorify God 2. I would be wasting the gifts, talents, and abilities that God has blessed me with if I didn’t play. Competing is so much more than what happens on the field; I get to be a Warrior for Christ everyday.”

Rebecca Lawler, Women’s Soccer

I choose to compete because the nature of competition drives me. I enjoy the personal fire it lights for me not to be better than the girl next to me or the girl on the opposing team, but to be better than the me who stepped on to the field the day before. I choose to compete for the glory of God, because I have been blessed with the ability to play the game I love and share it with 14 other girls I call sisters and teammates. I compete to be better day in day out, to push myself past not only the limits of others but my own limits.”

-Kat Padilla, Softball

I compete because building relationships through sports is unlike anything else. Competition turns individuals into a family.”

-Annah Aguilar, Women’s Volleyball

“The opportunity doesn’t present itself back in England and it’s that special feeling that you get when playing at a challenging but comfortable level for yourself, division 2 suits me and still challenges me.”

-Jack Henley, Men’s Soccer

The reason I compete is because I have a deep passion for sport. Competing at the highest level of sport pushes me to be stronger individual throughout each tournament I play in both mentally and physically. It also helps me to strive to reach goals outside of sport.”

-Elliot Wakefield, Golf

Photo credit: Thomas Trott

Photo credit: Thomas Trott

I compete because I feel like I owe it to everyone to be my best and I feel like competing isn’t something you just do on a field but it’s something you do throughout your life. You compete to be the best you can be. There are a lot of athletes who would love to be able to play on a team at the college level but I was blessed to have the opportunity that they don’t have. So I owe it to them to show that I deserve to be here and I owe it to myself not to waste the opportunity I was given.”

-Phil Erwin, Baseball

“I compete to create a platform on campus, in the conference and hopefully nationwide that Brings Glory to God. I believe competing on a team is an atmosphere God uses to mold us into the people he created us to be.”

Coach Anne Reis, Women’s Lacrosse

Photo credit: Thomas Trott

Photo credit: Thomas Trott

5 Springtime Things to do in Rockland County

With spring coming soon, that means nice weather is coming too and it is time to get outside. Rockland County, New York is a beautiful place to be in the spring, with lots of things to do outdoors. So while you are here over the next few months, take a break from studying and try one of these things here in Rockland County.

  1. Go to sports games. 1948140_235465163326409_1576429817_nDuring the spring, Nyack has four different teams playing: baseball, softball, women’s lacrosse, and track and field. Whether the games are on campus, or at nearby sports complexes, it is always fun to cheer on the Warriors. We athletes also appreciate it and it always motivates us to play harder and represent our school well.
  2. Attend a street fair. Downtown Nyack has a street fair each month, in which local vendors set up tents to sell items or support causes. You can buy food, clothing, handmade items, and support local businesses. The dates of the street fair this spring are April 12th and May 17th.
  3. Take a hike. IMG_1551Rockland County is filled with nature and there are tons of different hiking trails to explore. If you want to go for an easy walk with great views you can go to places like Nyack Beach, the trail in downtown Nyack, or Rockland Lake. If you are looking for a real hike, try Hook Mountain, Buttermilk Falls, or Tackamack Town Park. These hikes have great views, many overlooking the Hudson. If you want a longer and more challenging hike, you can always travel a little further north to Bear Mountain. It is a little bit of a drive, but definitely worth it!
  4. Go to the Nyack Farmer’s Market. The Farmers Market is held downtown every Thursday morning from 8am-2pm. You can find locally grown fruits and vegetables, milk, cheese, bread, and even some pies and cookies. There’s nothing quite like fresh fruits and vegetables when you are away from home cooked meals.
  5. Explore towns along the Hudson. IMG_1737There are so many different old and quaint river towns like Nyack, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Tappan, and Piermont . These towns are not only full of history, they also have interesting shops to explore, sights to see and places to just hang out. Most are within a 10-15 minute drive or are right across the Tappan Zee Bridge. If you want to get off campus and see what is in the area, these are the towns to visit.

My 5 Favorite Blogposts

Nyack’s blog, “Life @ Nyack,” has been around for over five years, and the articles published have varied from tips about surviving college, to ways that God is working at Nyack, to practical advice about how to excel in your career. So many great posts have been written, that it was hard to choose my favorite. But if you get a chance, I think you should go back and reread these five.

1. How to Write a Resume and Nail and Interview

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This blogpost talks about one of the most important things on a college student’s mind… getting a job when you graduate. After all of the money, time, and work we invest in college, we all want to make sure it will pay off and we will be able to get a job. This article will help show you how to make that job a reality!

 

 

 

 

2. Why Choose Nursing

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This is an article I am passionate about because I love nursing and want others to see why it is such a great career. Even if it is not your major, this article tells you why I think nursing is one of the greatest jobs you could have.

 

3. Building a Legacy that Lasts in College

10151797_536469603140863_299040183548319946_nI love this blog because for me, college is more than just what you learn in classes, it is about how you grow as an individual. It’s about how you impact those around you and what you leave with the people you love. College isn’t just about the degree, it’s about the legacy.

 

 

4. Jump in the Boat or Go Home.

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This blog sticks out to me because Jenn talks about commitment, following God, and being 100% in with whatever you do. I think this is such an important message for college students as we are dedicating ourselves to our careers, our passions, and following Jesus more closely.

 

5. How to Travel Between Nyack and New York City

This blog is one of the most read blogs from Life @ Nyack. The commute between the city and Nyack is short, but there are many different ways to take it. Whether you have a class at the Nyack NYC campus, you have to come out to Nyack for Nyack Heritage, or you just want to go explore the city for the day, everyone needs to know the best way to get in and out of the city.

10 Things to Do When it Snows in Nyack

The winter has been pretty mild up until this point, but now the snow is hitting hard. When you live at Nyack College, the snow can be your worst nightmare or the greatest day ever. If you want to get somewhere, chances are, you can’t. Because of all the hills, it is nearly impossible to get your car out when it snows. So next snow day, scrap digging your car out and instead enjoy the day off. Here’s some fun things I like to do at Nyack when it snows:

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  1. Catch up on some sleep. You have the whole day off, you can sleep in and not feel bad about it.
  2. Watch a whole season of your favorite show on Netflix. The one time when it’s acceptable to stay in your Pjs, lay in bed, and do nothing for the whole day.
  3. Go sledding. Although lots of hills makes it impossible to leave campus, lots of hills also means great sledding. If you’re brave enough to venture out into the cold, try taking a run down Simpson hill.
  4. Catch up on your homework. If you want to be more practical and start of the semester strong, then it never hurts to start writing that paper you’ve been putting off or working on that project due soon.
  5. Build a snowman. Sometimes being grown-up is overrated and it’s more fun to just be a kid for a day.
  6. Read a book.  Taking time to read something other than required for school can be relaxing.
  7. Clean your room. Sometimes a whole day sitting around your mess is what it takes to motivate you to finally clean.
  8. Have a movie day with the people on your floor. One of the benefits of living in a dorm is that there are always people around, even when you’re snowed in.
  9. Bake something. You’re gonna get hungry at some point, and sometimes it’s just not worth it to venture out to the caf. So why not use the kitchen and bake a homemade meal instead.
  10. Help B&G shovel. Even though we get to stay inside all day, B&G is always busy shoveling to get our campus open for the next day and they are always looking for volunteers to help.11071031_738749986246156_4100266889830236129_n

Working in the ICU in India

With three weeks in India, we have had just a little time in many different departments in the hospital. One of the most rewarding, yet most challenging placements has been in the Intensive Care Unit. In this unit we have seen many different critically ill patients with diseases ranging from Acute Renal Failure to Heart Attacks to Poisonings to Brain bleeds and comas. We have been able to work with staff nurses, care for these patients, talk with their families, and interact with other medical professionals to help give our patients the most complete care possible.

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Some of the biggest challenges have been a lack of hospital resources, patients’ lack of money, and challenging diseases and conditions to manage. As a charitable hospital, Choithram works to give low-cost care and minimize the use of resources. This can make it difficult for complex procedures to be performed and supplies can be scarce. In addition, many patients cannot afford to pay for all of the procedures, medications, and medical care that they need to recover. This is especially true for patients in the ICU, as the interventions they need are often more complex, and therefore, more costly. Because most people don’t have insurance, families will sell off their possessions, property, and anything else they can to pay for the hospital bill.

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One of the most difficult cases I came across was with a man who had a heart attack with a complete heart block. He needed three different interventions immediately in order to have the best chance of survival, but his family could only afford for one procedure to be done. A day after the first procedure was done, the family was able to find some more money to pay for the second procedure. The third day, as the patient continued to decline, the family finally came up with more money for the third procedure to be done. The patient lived for a few more days, but because of the extensive damage to the heart and the delay in performing all three procedures, the patient ended up dying. If all three procedures had been done on the first day, there would have been a very high chance he would have survived. But because of a lack of money, it was simply not possible. Situations like these are very difficult to handle. Finally, so many patients have very complex conditions that are not easy to treat. Treatment is not straightforward, and often, despite the doctors and nurses best efforts, the patients end up dying.

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Although there are many challenges working in the ICU, there is also so much value in the time we have spent there and it has been very rewarding. The doctors and nurses in the ICU are some of the most talented healthcare professionals in the hospital because they handle the most complex cases. I have learned so much from them, more than I would have learned in any other department. In addition, because the patients always have very complex cases, it has given me a chance to see more complicated nursing care and has helped me to learn how to manage many different conditions at one time. I have been with nurses who have taught me what to monitor, how to administer different medications, and how to manage care for critically ill patients. Even though it is hard to see patients so sick, it is also rewarding to know that you can make a difference in their life. Sometimes when people are at their worst point is when you can make the biggest difference. I have experienced this here and am so thankful for the opportunity I have had to have a clinical rotation here in the ICU.

10 Must Have Experiences in India

During my stay in India this winter, I have spent lots of time in the hospitals. But while I am not in the hospitals I take every chance I can to explore India and see as much as I can of the culture and people. I am enjoying trying new things, learning about the Indian way of life, and meeting many great friends. There are always new places to explore, new things to do, and more things to learn. When you get a chance to visit India, no matter what the reason, here are a few things you have to make sure you get a chance to do.

  1. Ride in a tuk tuk. You haven’t truly experienced India unless you take this classic mode of transportation.IMG_5856
  2. Wear a Saree. As the traditional dress of India, a Saree is essential for any formal event or if you just want to feel like you are a true Indian.IMG_5848
  3. Visit a palace. In the past, India was ruled by Rajas (kings), who had elaborate palaces with ornate decorations and designs. No matter where you are, you are guaranteed to find a palace nearby.IMG_5360
  4. Go on a safari. On a safari you can find bears, lions, elephants, tigers, and so many more animals native to India. There’s nothing quite like staring down a lion.IMG_5504
  5. Visit a park. All across India there are beautiful parks filled with gardens, ponds, and beautiful architecture. Make sure you visit a park at night too, because usually they will all be lit up.IMG_5371
  6. Eat some street food. Samosas, dal, and butter nan are all classic Indian dishes.IMG_5599
  7. Shop at a street market. You will never call a mall crowded again once you have taken the time to shop in an Indian street market. Everything you could ever want will be there, but you will also have to push through a crowd of hundreds of people to get to the store you want to shop at.IMG_5685
  8. Learn a few Hindi phrases. As the national language of India, it is helpful to know how to say a few different phrases like “Kaise ho?” (how are you?), “Dhanyavaad” (thank you), and “Aap ka naam kya hai?” (what is your name?)

    My little Hindi teacher.

    My little Hindi teacher.

  9. Learn how to cross a street. There are no crosswalks and there are no stoplights. You just have to dodge around all the cars, tuk tuks, motorcycles, cows, and children and hope you make it to the other side. 4cf1a4f0-81c9-4872-9b17-ec695e267064
  10. Meet new people and make great friends. The people make the place. If you really want to get a feel for what India is like, talk to the people there. You will find kind, hardworking, and loving people with hospitality and generosity you will never forget.IMG_5701

Nursing in India

Over this winter break, I have been able to spend three weeks in India, studying with the Nursing program. I have been given the opportunity to complete clinical hours for my nursing internship in two different hospitals here in Bangalore and Indore. It has been an incredible trip so far, and I am learning and growing in more ways than I can count.

Nursing is a profession that can be found worldwide. No matter where you are, there will always be sick people, and they will always need someone to care for their needs and help to bring them back to health. Nurses are an indispensable part of the healthcare team, and your skills as a nurse can be utilized no matter what state, country, or continent you are in. Although nursing is a profession found worldwide, it is interesting to see the differences between nursing practice in different countries. As I am spending time in the hospitals here in India, it is very interesting to learn about how nursing is practiced here.

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The biggest thing that I have learned about nursing here is that it is more than just a profession, it is a calling. Whenever you ask someone here why they wanted to become a nurse, 9 times out of 10, they will say that it is because they want to help people. The majority of the nurses in the country are from Karola, a place known to have the most caring people in India. The job of a nurse is very hard here, making it imperative for nurses to feel called to nursing. Hours are long, many nurses often working six 12 hour shifts a week. Pay is low, with most nurses making around $2000 a year. Work is strenuous, performing total care for many patients at one time. Therefore, everyone who is a nurse is a nurse for a reason greater than just for themselves.

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Another incredible aspect about nursing in India is the community created among healthcare workers. The doctors, nurses, nutritionists, PTs, and aides all get along well and share a special bond. They are not just coworkers, they are friends too. The bond is especially strong among nurses, as most of them not only work together, but also live in the same hostel together. They are known as “the sisters” and on and off the ward treat each other like family. The medical community is truly a community, and not just a group of separate individuals working together.

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Finally, nursing in India is a responsibility. Nurses are responsible to give their patients the best care possible, to represent their family well, and to maintain the honor of the nursing profession. Nurses in India have to advocate for their patients, perform all essential care for their patients, and help meet their patients’ emotional and psychological needs as well as their physical needs. There is a lot resting on a nurse’s shoulders and they are trusted with many complex tasks.

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Experiencing nursing in India has given me a broader view of the nursing profession as a whole and a different perspective on nursing in a different context. This trip has already expanded my knowledge of nursing incredibly and opened my eyes to so many new experiences. I am learning a new appreciation for all different types of nursing practices and have already grown so much during my time here.

Study Abroad Travel Tip: Use the Layover

For those of you who are college students (aka bankrupt), but still love traveling, this article is for you. International travel is not cheap. Mainly, because of the cost of airfare. So, once you’ve saved up for that big trip, you want to make the most of your time there. If you really love traveling, you probably want to see as many places as possible and get the greatest variety of experiences possible. One way you can do that, is by using your layover.

This winter break, I have the great opportunity to spend some time studying in India. I have been able to travel here with the Nyack Nursing program and am having some awesome experiences in the hospital. Being a poor college student who loves to travel, I want to see as much of the world as possible for the cheapest price I can. Luckily, on my way to India, I had an opportunity to have a layover in London. When most people think of a layover, they think of the dread of sitting in the airport for hours on end. But, this time, instead of just sitting in the airport for hours, I decided to choose a long layover, and then take the time to explore London. In that way, I didn’t have to pay anything extra for a flight there, I didn’t have to pay for somewhere to stay overnight, and I still got to explore another new country. I was able to tour around the city for a day, then go back and take an overnight flight to India. Some of the other nursing students and I were able to go to the center of London and see Big Ben, Westminister Abby, Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard, the London Bridge, the Winter Wonderland festival, and a few other famous landmarks. We were even able to take a boat tour of the Thames River and stop at a cafe for lunch. It was definitely worth having a long layover to go out and explore.

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If you are thinking about doing this, you can go to this travel site to find out all the different countries that you can visit without a visa if you have an American Passport. Some of the cities you are allowed to visit with common airports for layovers include London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Seoul, Prague, Lisbon, and Madrid. Other countries you can visit on layover without a visa ahead of time include any of the Carribean islands, Egypt, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Belize, Costa Rica, Greece, Italy, and many others. Make sure that you check online to see if there is an exit or entry fee to visit the country, because sometimes they are required.

Using your layover to explore a new country is one of the best ways to get to as many places as possible for less money. Overnight flights and flights with multiple layovers often cost less, so that makes these trips even more affordable. If you are thinking about taking a trip overseas some time soon, this is definitely something you should look into!

Jude Charles: Socially Relevant

This week I was given the opportunity to talk with Jude Charles, a former graduate of Nyack College, about what it means to be Socially Relevant. As an Outreach Pastor at Risen King Alliance Church, he has so much to say about this topic, not just how it applies inside the church, but also in the community as a whole. His life and ministry truly exemplify what it means to be socially relevant. Check out these response he gave to some of the questions I asked him.

12470761_10208565144594435_1891413848_o1. What do you think it means to be socially relevant?

To me, being socially relevant means to not have a narrow view of the world around us because of Christianity. In my opinion, being socially relevant means to have a broad perspective on the needs of the world around us. God has specifically crafted us for a specific mission, which is to impact positively this world. When we realize that we are valuable and we can make a difference, then we are available to attain the proper training that we need in order to be efficient at what we do. In this respect, being socially relevant is ministry at its finest; an out of the box ministry concept. God allows us to have a view of ministry that transcends time, culture and traditions. I think that’s what Jesus was preaching about when he first introduced the world he lived in to the concept of the Kingdom of God. Jesus fed those who were hungry. He taught those who were simple. He taught those who thought they knew everything. He healed the sick physically and emotionally. To me, there’s only a difference in form between ministry behind a pulpit and mentoring a kid from the projects to become the first to graduate from high school or college in his family if not his whole block.

2.  How did your time at Nyack prepare you to be socially relevant?

One major piece of knowledge that I have acquired from my time at Nyack College was to realize that there is a lot to do outside of the four walls of the church. I was born and raised inPort-au-Prince, Haiti. All that I’ve always been exposed to was the Haitian culture. I moved to the US when I was 21 years old and I started attending Nyack College a year later. I battled cultural shocks all throughout my freshman year. My lovely wife Joanne, who was my girlfriend at that time, helped me with assimilation.  The vast racial and cultural diversity that I was exposed to abruptly pushed me to be who I am today. My first lesson on being socially relevant started the very first day I started living on campus. No formal classes or professors could teach me what I learned in such a real way. It was organic; it was a real life experience.

Jude and his wife, Joanne.

Jude and his wife, Joanne.

3. What are your responsibilities as Outreach Pastor?

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I currently attend Risen King Alliance Church and the name of the Outreach ministry that I am leading there is called Without Walls Outreach Ministry. As Christ has called for us to live in community, outreach ministry is such a vital component. Without Walls meets people outside the four walls of the physical church. We bring love and the Gospel to many families in our communities throughout Rockland County, New York. My responsibilities include:

• Casting Vision for the Ministry.

• Attend community meetings with other clergy and community leaders.

• Liaison between Risen King Alliance Church and the communities surrounding us.

• Building relationships with local schools, other churches and organizations.

• Attend and support community events.

• Leading Risen King Alliance Church’s members to engage in community service.

• Identify the needs of our community and assist as best as we can.

• Pray for and with individuals in our community who don’t know Christ the savior.

4.  How does being an Outreach Pastor require you to be socially relevant?

As an Outreach Pastor, I know that being socially relevant teaches me not to be judgmental of others who don’t look like me. Whether it is someone’s race, their educational background or their financial status, I learn that in the kingdom of God that none of these matters. On the field, I encounter all groups of people with many different needs. Being socially relevant allows me to understand what the real needs are and how to handle them.

5. What are some ways you suggest others can become socially relevant?

I would suggest to all leaders, not just Christian leaders who are reading this piece, to understand this very first step that leads towards being socially relevant. The first step is to be able to do retrospection within you. You can’t understand others if you don’t understand your own way of thinking. It may take some times but it is ok because the end result is priceless. During that retrospection, you will encounter many notions and ideologies you live by that are not necessarily healthy. They were probably passed on to you by family members, schools, life experiences, religious leaders, etc… It is also in that place where God can speak to you and mold you into his likeness. The world is filled with great people who don’t know how to live out of their greatness. Usually a sincere encounter with Christ gets them there. Those people need you to point to them to the way that leads to Jesus. If you’re captured in your own negative pre-conceived ideas about some of them, you will never get out there and fulfill your mission in life. Be kingdom minded!

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