Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Nurse Education Today






School of Nursing and Midwifery




Edith Cowan University


This is an author's accepted manuscript of: Buchanan, K., Velandia, M., Weckend, M., & Bayes, S. (2021). Learning objectives of cultural immersion programs: A scoping review. Nurse Education Today, 100, article 104832.


Background: Cultural immersion as a learning activity provides students with the opportunity to experience diversity and develop cultural safety. Both, ‘Study Abroad Programs’ and ‘Internationalisation at Home’ (IaH) aim to provide a cultural immersion experience for students. However, explicit learning objectives are essential for quality pedagogy and for students to develop cultural safety from their learning experience. Objective: To identify the learning objectives of study abroad and Internationalisation at Home (IaH) programs in higher education health profession programs. Design: A scoping review was undertaken according to recommendations by the Joanna Briggs Institute (Peters et al., 2020) and PRISMA guidelines. Data sources: The electronic databases CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsychINFO and PubMed and were searched in November 2019 and updated September 2020. The search was limited to qualitative studies, text and opinion pieces, English language, published between 2015 and 2019. Review methods: Inclusion criteria using the participants, concept, and context (PCC framework) was utilised and search terms such as study abroad and Internationalisation at Home were combined with learning objectives to identify articles. The articles were screened for eligibility by title, abstract, and full text review by two independent reviewers. A data extraction tool was utilised to extract and synthesise data into categories that represent the core learning objectives of cultural immersion programs reviewed. Results: Fourteen of the 66 initially identified studies were included in this scoping review. Qualitative synthesis yielded five broad categories of learning objectives used in cultural immersion programs: cultural competence, internationalisation, pedagogy, collegiality, and personal growth. Conclusion: A minimum set of essential learning outcomes was derived from this review that will be of interest to developers and implementers of cultural immersion programs.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Research Themes


Priority Areas

Safety and quality in health care

Included in

Nursing Commons