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“Nursing students who participate in this South Africa abroad course will also have the opportunity to look beyond stigmatism,” Dr. Iris Hobson points out.

DNI explores ‘Identity in Context’ study abroad course and trek to South Africa

Posted on by Blake Pinto

TCS International (TCS) brings together five universities—The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law, Pacific Oaks College, Dallas Nursing Institute, and Saybrook University—for a cross-disciplinary, three-month course and 10-day, study abroad experience in Cape Town and Johannesburg. DNI faculty Dr. Iris Hobson discusses ways to enrich this experience.

iris fnp 225x300 - DNI explores ‘Identity in Context’ study abroad course and trek to South Africa

Dr. Iris Hobson

Dallas Nursing Institute is offering the opportunity for faculty and students to travel to Cape Town and Johannesburg for 10 days as part of a three-month online course called “Identity in Context: Examination of South Africa.” The Fall 2018 interdisciplinary course will offer participants the opportunity to learn more about psychological, social, educational, legal, and health care perspectives from other working professionals and students with the help of TCS Education.

“When I did the research on South Africa to set up a teaching module, I really learned a lot,” says Dr. Iris Hobson, an ADN instructor for Dallas Nursing Institute. “I also have a personal interest in traveling there because I recently completed a DNA test with 23andMe. My paternal ancestors are from Southeast Africa before they migrated to Europe. Not to mention, South and East Africa are known as the birthplace of humankind.”


Although this will not be her first time traveling overseas—she leisurely visits her son who works in Hong Kong and has completed professional work for an investigational drug research project in Paris—this will be her first time traveling with TCS.


“I think the international experience is important for students and faculty,” says Dr. Hobson. “It helps to expand their holism. They’ll be introduced to other cultures and get a better understanding of South Africa’s identity. Traveling overseas also gives participants a first-hand view of what other cultures may struggle with so we can look for possible ways to improve in our own communities. For example, in South Africa, they struggle with healthcare distribution.”

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As a member of the healthcare industry, Dr. Hobson is also looking at South Africa’s alarming HIV rate. Avert reports that 7.1 million people are living with HIV, the biggest HIV epidemic worldwide.

“Nursing students who participate in this course will also have the opportunity to look beyond stigmatism,” Dr. Hobson points out. “I’m looking forward to discussing this project with other students and staff. We’ll all be able to look at traveling overseas and to this region from a wider scope.”  


The online course, which is scheduled to run from October 5, 2018 to December 16, 2018, has a sign-up deadline of August 1, 2018. Topics in the course will include acculturation and impact on families; cultural competency; advocacy; legal aspects; and mental health.


Faculty leads representing each school include Dr. Theopia Jackson, Saybrook University’s department chair for the Clinical Psychology program; Dr. Marcia Bankirer, the dean of Pacific Oaks’ San Jose, California campus; Jason Dominguez, J.D., an adjunct faculty member for The Colleges of Law’s Master of Legal Studies program; Dr. Cynthia Langtiw, an associate professor in The Chicago School’s Clinical Psychology department; and Dr. Hobson.


This will be the second cross-study course for TCS Education System colleges. The first trip that all five universities participated in was a trip to Berlin, Germany for the “Immigration in Context: Examination of Germany” course in 2016.



For more information on the “Identity in Context: Examination of South Africa” course and/or to sign up, click here.


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