Introduction

In the recent decades, one of the most dynamically developing activities of the Faculty of Health Sciences has been the Faculty’s increasingly diverse activities in the field of international scientific and educational cooperation. In the course of this activity, it became possible to establish wide-ranging contacts on three continents, promoting the reputation of the whole university. Based on a wide-ranging analysis of our possibilities and taking into account the special features of each geographical and cultural region, we have developed an enduring network of relations, where in addition to student and teacher exchange programs, international curriculum development and English language training also play a very important role.

Exchange programs, curriculum development, professional and policy activities in international organizations

We have been participating in the Erasmus Life-long Learning program since the beginning of the 2000s, within the framework of which we send and receive students for 3-6 months, primarily for internships and secondly for theoretical training. With about 20 partner universities, we manage mobility programs of approximately 40 students and 15 teachers annually. The list of our Erasmus partners include

  • Medizinische Universitat Graz, FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences (Austria)
  • Thomas More Kempen, Odissee University and College (Belgium)
  • University of Ostrava (Czech Republic)
  • University College of Northern Denmark, Aalborg (Denmark)
  • Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
  • Aalen University (Germany)
  • University School of Physical Education in Poznan, Wyzsza Szkola Rehabilitacji z siedziba w Warszawie, Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego we Wroclawiu (Poland)
  • Instituto Politecnico de Castelo Branco, University of Coimbra, Cruz Vermelha Portugesa, Instituto Politecnico de Lisboa (Portugal)
  • Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania (Romania)
  • Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Universitat de Vic (Spain)
  • Pamukkale University, University of Marmara, Istanbul Medipol University, Abant Izzet Baysal University (Turkey)

 Europe

Our Physiotherapy BSc Training was launched in English language in 2006, and we started an off-campus English-language Physiotherapy BSc program in Lugano in 2009; now it is operating in Italian. As a result of a curriculum development, in addition to our English-language BSc programs (Nurse, Dietitian, Midwife), we have created accredited English-language MSc programs for Nurses and Physiotherapists as well.

 In 2006 the Faculty joined COHEHRE International (Consortium of Institutes of Higher Education in Health and Rehabilitation in Europe), an organization with members from approximately 50 higher education institutions with healthcare profile. In the winter of the same year, we organized the annual conference of the consortium and since 2007 we have been participating in four Erasmus short programs organized by the membership. Within the framework of these, approx. 15 students and 5 lecturers study and teach abroad. The 2015 Congress and General Assembly of COHEHRE was organized by our Faculty in April 2015. Between 2006 and 2009, we participated in a Socrates-funded curriculum development project called CD Master. 13 European higher education institutions worked together to create the MSc mental health program. A year later, in 2007, we started working as a member of a consortium of 13 members, the so-called In the MIGHEALTHNET program, which resulted in the creation of an information network and an international database on health care for migrants and minorities by 2009 – the practical significance of which is ever increasing. Our world-unique Nursing Atlantis program BSc was launched in 2008. Within the framework of the program sponsored by the EU and the USA, selected Hungarian, Finnish and American students obtained a double, European-American “bachelor” degree. Every year 3-5 Hungarian students and 2-4 lecturers took part in the program.

 Since 2013, we have been members of the so-called European Later Life Network, in which we work as members of a European consortium of 26 universities on EU-funded curriculum development. In 2018, the Faculty started to participate in multiyear Erasmus+ consortium project lead by Tallinn Health Care College (other members include Turku University of Applied Sciences, Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra, Istanbul University) entitled  „Care of Pressure and Venous Ulcers in Simulation Environment”.

 Americas

In 2003, we organized the Nazareth Summer Program summer school for the first time for all students at the Faculty and Semmelweis University. The U.S. partner, Nazareth College of Rochester, organized a 3-4-week, intensive English language and culture program for Semmelweis University students and faculty, which was attended by more than 130 people over the past ten years.

 Our world-unique Nursing Atlantis program BSc was launched in 2008. Within the framework of the program sponsored by the EU and the USA, selected Hungarian, Finnish and American students obtained a double, European-American “bachelor” degree. Every year 3-5 Hungarian students and 2-4 lecturers took part in the program.

Since 2009, we have been applying in the Fulbright program for a Hungarian scholarship for teachers from the United States. Under the call, U.S. faculty members can teach at our Faculty, typically in one semester. So far, 4 nurses and 2 physiotherapist instructors from the USA have participated in the program.

We launched a nursing science in-service training program with the University of West Georgia in 2013, which again sent 12 students and 2 faculty members for clinical in-service training this year. Based on the feedback from the participants, our in-service training for nurses typically has a 95% satisfaction rate, from organizational and administrative preparation and implementation to the quality of professional programs to leisure programs. The participants’ satisfaction with the organization and the professional content of the further trainings is measured every time with the help of questionnaires. We also established a partnership with Rutgers University in 2013, in which our relationships are already well utilized at the university level. In 2018, the Faculty signed a Letter of Agreement with George Washington University (School of Nursing and School of Medicine and Health Sciences) that shows the dedication of the institutions to joint research and educational activities. 

Asia

In 2007, we launched an exchange program with the Jiao Tong University of Shanghai partner university, in which approximately 20 students and lecturers participated in a two-week professional and cultural program, thus promoting the intercultural nature of our training. Between 2011 and in 2019, several groups of nursing professionals arrived at our faculty for a three-week professional training organized by the Tianjin Public Health Bureau, and we have managed similar trainings 9 times for Josai University (Japan) and a shorter, orientation program for International University of Health and Welfare (Otawara, Japan).  

In 2010, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine launched its Traditional Chinese Medicine BSc training program at our Faculty. Besides, the Faculty entertains close relationships with Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine as well, and obtained a staff Erasmus scholarship that can pave the way to research and education cooperation that have been subject of various discussions among the universities’ leaders.  

In 2009, we contacted Nguyen Tat Thanh Vietnam University, with whom we started a BSc Nursing curriculum development project in 2010.

Recently have admitted physiotherapist students at Gulf Medical University for three weeks of continuing education. With this partner, Semmelweis University has developed an ever-deepening collaboration in other profiles as well. 

Goals, sustainability 

Our primary goal is to increase the number of foreign students in our domestic and off-site, English and Italian language courses, as well as in short-term continuing education. We attach equal importance to our international professional and research collaborations, which contribute to the maintenance of our courses’ high quality, to the development of our courses by integrating the experience gained from foreign lecturers and students, and to the advancement of our domestic and international scientific activities. Our faculty is determined to promote the international experience of students and lecturers, by which it hopes to develop their professional and intercultural competencies.