WCU Students Prepare for Oxford Honors 2017 Journey

As their trip to Oxford University approaches, honors program students from several West Coast University locations took time to share their thoughts about the group’s upcoming program in England.

The students shared their feelings and their preparation for the trip, along with what they’re most looking forward to during the visit.

The Oxford Honors Program will spend two weeks on the venerable campus, learning about health care. As part of the program, students will also attend guest lectures at Oxford, participate in cultural excursions in England and visit local hospitals to observe a hospital setting with National Health Services medical care.


Brittany Martinez


What started out as a distant dream is finally tangible. As I view my itinerary, I am filled with utter happiness at the fact that I, little ol’ me, have made it into the program of my dreams. Europe, here I come!

Excited, or according to Google’s physics definition of excited, “of or in an energy state higher than the normal or ground state,” is a perfect, literal description of how I am feeling two months prior to my departure. Although I am sure this feeling will escalate — while I’m not sure if that is possible or not — I am eager to fly across the Atlantic Ocean to study my absolute passion: nursing. As I text my fellow colleagues on this trip, I imagine a cool afternoon in Oxford, a cup of tea in hand and the blissful feeling of good company. The most special part of this trip however, aside from the hard work and amazing destination, is that we are synthesizing a family, composed of determined, unique, type-A personality, patient-loving people that are anxious to learn about global healthcare. When you combine such a lovely group of people, in such a lovely place, magic happens.


Natalie Coutts

WCU-Los Angeles

As we get closer to the start of the program my fellow Oxford classmates and myself are starting to get very excited! As I have talked to my new classmates, the consensus seems that everyone is excited to be learning from healthcare professionals with varying cultural differences. One topic I found quite interesting is that in Oxford, healthcare is more heavily based upon prevention. This differs from the United States, we’re more often than not helping patients with disease management, or dealing with the aftermath of injury and illness. My personal goal is to be able to learn how British healtcare workers partake in preventative care and portray importance of compliance to their patients.


Sarah Linsangan


Hard work and dedication goes such a long way. It is the utmost privilege to represent my school for the WCU Oxford Honors Program.

I am feeling all sorts of emotions, but mainly it’s a mixture of excitement and anxiety. I am excited because this is going to be a chapter of my life I will be able to smile upon and enjoy recounting. From the new friendships to encountering a new country and culture, I am not going to take for granted any moment! I am experiencing anxiety because of the amount of planning I have to do when going on a trip abroad and because I know I have to prepare myself for long nights of preparation for presentations when the program finally begins. I have to continue to discipline myself and be hard working. Though some may take that anxiety as a negative, I believe that I can be able to use that anxiety to fuel my motivation to succeed in this program. Nothing great goes without a little difficulty, therefore a little anxiety will not get in the way of success.

I am most excited for the learning experience I am going to be sharing with my professors and my peers. I have heard countless stories from past honorees and know that the learning experience, although tasking, will be unique and individualized.

I hope to gain nothing but positive experiences. I hope that I can be able to gain, not only a wealth of knowledge regarding public health, but also a wealth of knowledge about myself as a nursing student and a future RN. I want to become more well rounded, understand my strengths and weaknesses, and choose to improve in all aspects of nursing whether it be knowledge, skills, or attitude.


Courtney Rae Pattugalan

WCU-Orange County

To say that I am excited for the opportunity to study Global Health nursing at one of the oldest, most prestigious universities in the world would be a gross understatement. From the time that I learned of the Oxford Honors Program at WCU orientation, I pushed myself to attain the kind of academic excellence, campus involvement, and clinical performance that I thought would make me an ideal candidate for the program.

To be able to learn from nurses and health care professionals who identify with a different cultural identity and background is something that I feel will both help me gain a better understanding of how health care shapeshifts internationally while also enabling me to better appreciate and hopefully identify with the potential to advocate for global health directives as a nurse in the future.

With the program dates getting closer and closer, I have booked my plane tickets, began making a checklist of items to pack (including a suitcase large enough to fit my indecisive outfit choices), and started researching things to see and do while at Oxford — which needless to say, has made the internal fan girl screaming even louder and the excitement for the upcoming trip all the more real. Before departure, however, lies the two-week-long road to end of the term, paved with proctored exams, presentations, papers, and clinical days. I’ll have to admit that in my spare time when I’m not studying, taking hibernation naps, stress eating more In-N-Out and Tonkatsu ramen than I really should, or driving down the street to Disneyland for a “study break,” I’m feverishly daydreaming about Oxford and how on some days, I am still in utter disbelief that it’s all really happening. To be able to stand alongside such tenacious and intelligent individuals who have all worked so hard to be a part of the program is an honor and a blessing, and I hope to not only learn from them throughout this experience, but also create lasting friendships and memories that we will all remember for a lifetime.


Chandra Hamilton


I am so excited for the Oxford Honors Program!! As this current term dwindles down, I become more and more anxious and excited for this amazing opportunity. I have never been outside of the United States, and from the moment I learned I was accepted into this program I have been overwhelmed with joy. Everything was so surreal, and I kept saying, “Am I actually going to be going to Oxford, England?”

I am most excited about expanding my horizons, and being able to experience a whole new culture, all while gaining a whole new perspective of the world, and I hope to become more socially aware, and open minded. To actually live in a country that I will be learning about, brings on, what I feel like to be, a whole new learning experience for me.

I have always been fascinated with other cultures, and how each country lives, and does things. So, for this trip I have been looking up everything, for example, I have looked up how they dress, what they eat, what time they eat, how their English differs from American English, different phrases they use so I am not completely lost, and I can go on and on. I know that doing all of this still might not prepare me enough for when I get there, but I feel like it will, at least, give me a little insight and comfort knowing that I am not going into another country completely blind.

Another thing I have done to prepare, is kind of nerdy, but who cares! I am huge Harry Potter fan, and I have literally been looking up Harry Potter stuff, and have made a complete list of places to go, and things to see!


Ashley Desamours


When I started the BSN program at West Coast University I knew I wanted to be a part of the Oxford Honors Program. I waited almost two years for the exclusive invitation, and worked hard at maintaining my GPA. As a full-time employee, I forfeited two years of vacation time anticipating this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When I finally received the invitation, I took a huge sigh of relief. It was confirmation. All my hard work and sleepless nights paid off. I was good enough. I made it.

Fast forward to present day: In about one month I’ll be boarding a plane, making my way to Europe. Am I nervous? No way! I’m ecstatic. I’m going to be in London with other amazing West Coast University students. Not only will we experience another culture together, most importantly, we are going to learn and grow together. This isn’t about a trip. This is about an experience that will cultivate academic and professional growth. This experience will give us a bird’s-eye view of healthcare. As a bonus, I’m going to meet new people and form relationships that will carry on beyond the program.

I know exactly what I want out of this program. I want to broaden my understanding of healthcare delivery systems on a global scale. I want to learn how health care costs and access affect the health of different populations. I would also like to understand how the different approaches to nursing care impact patient outcomes. I am confident that this program will not only fine-tune my skills as a future nurse, but will improve my cultural competence.


Kimberly Salcines


The first time for everything is always the most exciting one. First dog, first date, first apartment, first love… whatever it is, we always remember the “first” time.

Oxford, England. HOLY SMOKES!

I first heard about the Oxford Honors Program when I visited WCU in California three years ago. At the time, I was visiting different universities in search for an LPN to BSN program. During my orientation at WCU, I was given a tour and was fascinated by their student success programs. Besides their top-notch Simulation Center, they also offer Peer-to-Peer Tutoring (PAL Program), Global Public Health Program, Oxford Honors Program and many other programs that promote hands-on training for their students. I’ve had my eyes on the Oxford Honors Program since I left orientation that day.

So, this is what it feels like to have the world at your fingertips! Happy. Excited. Independent. Scared. This program has got me feeling all sorts of emotions. Not only is there excitement in this event, but also some fear. This trip will be my first time in the United Kingdom and my very first time outside the United States. Needless to say, I have this irrational “fear of the unknown.” But hey, that’s perfectly OK!

One of my passions is connecting with different people and making lasting memories that will help shape my thoughts and strengthen my career. To me, nursing involves being able to find balance in the midst of uncertainties. I hope to have a deep learning experience about the culture abroad, learn the differences between Filipino, American and British culture. Lastly, I would like to learn how to incorporate all three cultures in my own values.

Everything we do is one step towards our purpose and potential. Some of us already know where they are going, while others are just starting. Where you are in your life… Let excitement drive you!

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WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.