International Visiting Scholars and Visitors Program


The Office of Global Health welcomes international visitors (university faculty, students, nursing and health professionals, scholars and leaders) to observe, interact and learn more about the University of Maryland's (UM) nursing facilities, programs, and opportunities. International visitors bring new cultural and professional perspectives to the School of Nursing community and help expand the School’s understanding of the roles and challenges of the global health nurse. 

International Visiting Scholars Program (by application, for individuals)

The International Visiting Scholars Program (IVSP) provides motivated nursing scholars with opportunities to develop specific learning objectives and conduct related activities in collaboration with an appropriate UMSON faculty mentor. Length and complexity of a scholars program is determined by a planning and proposal process. Applicants do not need to speak directly with the faculty mentor prior to applying; however, they should review the UMSON Office of Research Web pages to learn about the strengths of the School. IVSP strives to expand the individual’s global health nursing capacity as a leader, educator, and researcher with a focus on building new partnerships and initiatives.

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International Visitors Program (by request, for individuals and small groups)

The Office of Global Health welcomes short-term visitors with advance notice. A visitor’s fee may apply depending on requestor’s timeline, goals, and objectives.

Anne Brenner, Office of Global Health, asks Rayan Al Dabbah from American University in Beirut to introduce herself and then share what she's most looking forward to taking back to her home institution from her time at the University of Maryland Medical Center and UMSON.

Visiting Scholars


Mohamad Haidar (September 2015 – October 2015)

Mohamad Haidar, BSN, MSN candidate, spent eight weeks in Baltimore at the University of Maryland Medical Center's R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Unit under the mentorship of Carla Aresco, MSN, CRNP. Haidar came to us in pursuit of his master's degree in nursing at American University in Beirut while both teaching clinically and managing his own critical care unit at Lebanese American University Medical Center. Haidar took advantage of his time in the shock trauma unit to attend rounds and gain certification in a variety of areas, including sutures and blood transfusions. Upon graduation, Haidar is considering moving to the United States to prepare for the NCLEX exam and work in a trauma unit. A former professional pugilist, Haidar continues to enjoy weight training and exercise. While visiting, Haidar provided several presentations to UMSON students interested in global health.

Joyce Abi Kharma (September 2015 – October 2015)

Joyce Abi Kharma, BSN, MSN candidate, spent six weeks in Baltimore at the University of Maryland Medical Center's Oncology Unit. Abi Kharma is specifically interested in breast cancer, with a particular focus on breast cancer in pregnant women. Abi Kharma studied under the mentorship of Renee Chang, BSN, RN, OCN, to complete the residency requirement of her master's nursing program at American University in Beirut. Abi Kharma was born in Kuwait and emigrated to Lebanon as a young child. She is an avid traveler who enjoyed baseball and hot dogs while in Baltimore. Abi Kharma anticipates pursuing her PhD in the United States at some point in the future.

Past Scholars

Belal Alrajoub (September 2014 – November 2014)

Belal Alrajoub, BSN, MSN candidate, spent eight weeks in Baltimore at the University of Maryland Medical Center to fulfill his nursing residency program at American University in Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon. Belal was mentored by NeuroCare Clinical Educator Mary Ann Bautista, MS, RN, CNRN, CCRN, SCRN. He observed neurocritical care in the hospital setting and designed and implemented a survey on quality of sleep in the NeuroCritical Care Unit. Belal is a native of Birzeit-Ramallah, Palestine, and attends AUB on full scholarship from Birzeit University. He is ACLS certified with Physicians for Peace and has trained in the ICU at Ibn Al Haitham Hospital in Amman, Jordan. Belal provided multiple presentations on his experiences in intensive care in both Palestine and Lebanon to our faculty, staff, and students. Belal is an avid weightlifter and was pleased to join the gym in the Southern Management Corporation Campus Center.

Ingrid Corbani (September 2014 – November 2014)

Ingrid Corbani, BSN, RN, MSN candidate, spent eight weeks in Baltimore at the University of Maryland Medical Center to fulfill her nursing residency program at American University in Beirut in Lebanon. Ingrid was mentored by NeuroCare Clinical Nurse Specialist Christine Provance, MS, RN, CCNS. She observed neurocritical care in the hospital setting. Ingrid received her BSN from Universite Saint Josef de Beirut and is currently an RN at Hotel Dieu de France Hospital in Beirut. Her specialty interests are in neuro intensive care, stroke rehabilitation, and epilepsy monitoring and management. Ingrid provided a detailed presentation to our faculty and staff on the health care system in Lebanon. She was born in Boston and lived there until the age of 5, when her family moved to Lebanon.

Bachir Itani (September 2014 – November 2014)

Bachir Itani, BSN, RN, MSN candidate, spent eight weeks in Baltimore at both Sinai Hospital and the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology to fulfill his nursing residency program at American University in Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon. Bachir was mentored by former UMSON faculty member Dr. Jane Kapustin, a leading researcher and teacher in the field of diabetes and related chronic conditions. Bachir observed patient diabetes care in the hospital setting as well as visited UMSON's Wellmobile with faculty member Dr. Veronica Gutchell. Bachir displayed his skills as an experienced clinical mentor by leading multiple presentations on the health care system in Lebanon for UMSON faculty, staff, and students. He has expressed an interest in teaching upon completion of his MSN at AUB. A big fan of the Under Armour brand, Bachir was pleased to discover the company calls Baltimore home.

Rayan Al-Dabbah (August 2013 - October 2013)

Rayan A-Dabbah, BSN, MSN candidate (January 2014), spent two months at the University of Maryland Medical Center under the mentorship of clinical faculty Dr. Karen Kaiser, RN, PhD, AOCN. Rayan earned her BSN with distinction at American University in Beirut (AUB) before pursuing her master's in adult care with a focus on pain and palliative care at AUB. Rayan worked as an RN on the oncology unit at AUB Medical Center while pursuing her studies. Under Dr. Kaiser's mentorship, she gained exposure to the latest evidence-based practice in pain management and was able to tailor her program to meet her specific learning objectives. On working with Rayan, Dr. Kaiser noted, "Rayan’s knowledge base was exceptional. She was easy to work with to achieve mutual goals and enhance her repertoire." Upon graduation Rayan aspires to continue her nursing studies in the West.

Koukab Al-Gharibi (September 2013)

Koukab Al-Gharibi, BSN, spent two weeks in the Clinical Simulation Labs at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Koukab visited us from Muscat, Oman, where she has been a nursing skills lab technician at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) College of Nursing since 2011. Koukab studied under the mentorship of CSL Director Mary Fey, PhD, RN, CSNE. She focused in part on the use of standardized patients, a concept she expected to bring back to her lab at SQU.

Anna Liza Bantilan (September 2012 - October 2012)

Anna Liza Bantilan, BSN, RN, spent four weeks at the University of Maryland School of Nursing under the mentorship of faculty member Dr. Barbara Reznick. Anna Liza earned her BSN in the Philippines at Saint Paul University of Dumaguete before emigrating to Singapore. She has been working in the Geriatric Department at Changi General Hospital since 2007. Anna Liza is particularly interested in sub-acute gerontology, improving the health outcomes of elderly patients, and supporting their families. Anna Liza visited several clinical settings in the Baltimore area, including Carroll County Hospital Center, Abington Memorial Hospital in Pennsylvania, and the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute in Baltimore.

Maya Abdul-Rahman (September 2011 - November 2011)

Maya Abdul Rahman BSN, RN, MSN candidate, spent eight weeks in Baltimore at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) as partial fulfillment of her nursing residency program at American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon. Her residency was facilitated by a collaborative initiative between AUB School of Nursing and UMSON. The clinical component of her program was mentored by Karen Kaiser, PhD, RN, clinical practice coordinator of oncology, pain, & palliative care at UMMC. Maya participated in clinical rounds on three different pain service teams: pain management (trauma, adult, and pediatrics), palliative care, and integrative medicine. She was exposed to current trends in pain assessment and management and identification of pain management medications and treatment plans. Faculty members Dr. Deborah Witt-Sherman and Dr. Deb McGuire also provided scholarly mentorship, focusing on palliative care research.

Jaehee Kim (June 2008 – December 2009)

Jaehee Kim earned a PhD at Yonsei University, Korea, in 2004. Her dissertation topic was The Relative Efficiency of the Primary Health Care Post and Its Related Factors. Dr. Kim’s experience includes work as a researcher at an non-profit organization for health care consumers and a university lecturer on community health nursing and health education. Her research focus areas are community health nursing and health behaviors, especially for adolescents. Currently, Dr. Kim is studying the utilization of nurses and the process of community participation for reorganizing primary health care in Korea.

Jean-François Desbiens (August 2009 – November 2009)

Jean-François Desbiens is a nurse from Canada who has been working in oncology and palliative care for several years. He is also a PhD candidate in nursing at Lavale University, Quebec City. During his IVS program, Deborah Witt-Sherman, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, served as his faculty mentor. Jean-François completed pre-doctoral learning objectives related to research training in palliative care and completed a survey, translating and adapting an instrument measuring self-perceived palliative care nursing competencies from French to English. His research background involves palliative care nurses’ psychosocial adjustment to stress and palliative care nurses’ competencies. He is also interested in cancer survivorship, the experience of chronic illness, and measurement issues in nursing.

Erick Landeros Olvera (May 2009)

Erick Landeros Olvera of Mexico City, Mexico, received his MSN in community health from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, where he is currently a PhD candidate. During his IVS program, Barbara Smith, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, served as his faculty mentor. Erick's program goals and objectives included pre-doctoral learning experiences to broaden his nursing research training in exercise physiology, international collaboration with exercise physiology researchers and scholars, and assistance in refining research protocol and intervention feasibility for his proposed dissertation study, Physical Exercise in Women with Obesity: Physiological and Self-Concept Adaptation.

Seyda Ozbicakci, PhD, RN (January 2009 – April 2009)

Dr. Seyda Ozbicakci, an assistant professor at Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir, Turkey, spent three months with UMSON’s Nursing Informatics program as a post-doctoral fellow, funded by Sigma Theta Tau International and the International Network for Doctoral Education in Nursing. Judy Ozbolt, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and then-director of UMSON’s Nursing Informatics master’s specialty, served as her faculty mentor. Dr. Ozbicakci took graduate courses in nursing informatics, systems analysis and design, and project management. She also met with informatics nurse specialists and leaders in health care organizations to explore effective methods and approaches to designing and implementing applications. Upon her return to Turkey, Dr. Ozbicakci plans to provide leadership in developing the nursing care planning and documentation components of her university hospital’s health record system.

International Visitors


Taishan Medical University, China

Universitat de Barcelona Escola Universitaria D'Infermeria, Barcelona, Spain


University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong

Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Centro Escolar University, Mendiola, Manila, Philippines

Swan Medical Center, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Kyung Hee University, College of Nursing Science, Seoul, Korea


Kathmandu, Nepal

Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria

Swan Medical Center, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

St. Vincent Hospital, Paramaribo, Suriname

University of Southampton, Southampton, England


Shandong Province, China

University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

Greenwich Community College, London, England

Chung Shan Medical University, Taiwan

Bunda Hospital, Tanzania


National Hospital and National University of Singapore

Fatima Ramos-Marcuse, UMSON Adjunct Assistant Professor, living in Geneva, Switzerland

Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland

United Kingdom


New Zealand


Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, Seoul, Korea

Mary Opare, Head of Nursing, Central University College, Accra, Ghana

Freda DeKeyser Ganz, Head of Master’s Program, SON, Hassadah-Hebrew University, Israel

Sue Porter, Dean, W.J. Harley School of Nursing, United Methodist University, Liberia

Association of Indonesian Nurse Education Center (AINEC), Indonesia

Fatima Ramos-Marcuse, UMSON Adjunct Asst. Professor, living in Geneva, Switzerland

Mme. Emilienne Leonidas, Vice Director, Nursing School, University of Notre Dame d’Haiti

Section of Nursing Sciences, Orebro University, Sweden

Ministry of Health, Sultanate of Oman

Undergraduate nursing students, Seoul National University, Korea

Korean Accreditation Board of Nursing (KABON), Seoul, Korea

Exchange Program

The International Nurse Exchange Program (INEP) is designed for key nursing professionals and offers opportunities to witness standard and high quality nursing practice and education and to develop professional strategies for what is feasible and possible within visitors’ home country. Participants are invited to interact with UMSON faculty, students and preceptors for approximately 1-2 weeks. This program strives to enhance participants’ global health nursing capacity as leaders, educators and practitioners with a focus on expanding existing partnerships.

Past Exchange Programs and Participants

In collaboration with the Institute of Human Virology in the School of Medicine, UMSON has been able to host three groups of INEP visitors. Since 2009, a total of 16 participants from five different countries in Africa and the Caribbean have acquired valuable lessons and ideas that add value to the nursing education, training projects, and patient services in their respective countries.  Invited nurses are able to participate with written approval by and support from their home institutions. INEP activities strive to strengthen on-going partnerships between the University of Maryland and international nurses in the field, plus cultivate a collaborative network of global nurses among past participants. Institutional partners include CRS Guyana, IHV-Nigeria, the TRAC Clinic in Rwanda, IHV-AIDSRelief Guyana, Nigeria and Tanzania, IHV-Nigeria and IHV-AIDSRelief Nigeria.

INEP Clinical Sites Descriptions
Evelyn Jordan Clinic

Ambulatory HIV care for UMSON IHV population

Veterans Affairs Medical Center Health care network that offers veterans a comprehensive array of programs and services
JACQUES Initiative Intensive one-on-one support for HIV patients who readily admit they would like help taking their medication
Penn St. Clinic: OB-GYN Midwifery Clinic for pregnant women who are HIV positive
Pediatric Immunology Clinic Clinic for HIV exposed and HIV positive children through the University of Maryland Hospital for Children's Pediatric AIDS Program
11 East 28-bed general medical inpatient unit home to the hospital Infectious Diseases Service
Health Care for the Homeless Provides health-related services, education and advocacy to reduce the incidence and burdens of homelessness.

Past INEP Participants

  • Ruby Burgess
  • Ollin George
  • Charity Maina
  • Marie Josie Maina
  • Silas Gurumdi
  • Marcqueline Zulu
  • Sharon Moses
  • Ifeoma Gift Uche
  • Joyce Mwendwa
  • Beatrice Kakiiza
  • Dorcas Phiri
  • Linah Mwango
  • Asabe Gomwalk
  • Halima Ibrahim
  • Edwina Mang
  • Emily Umaru