Blue Zone of Ikaria, Greece: An education abroad program for nursing and health-related disciplines

Jessica L. Naber, Grace Phelps


International education is growing among American students. In the past two decades, the number of students studying abroad has more than tripled. Research has provided evidence that students who participate in study abroad are more likely to have a variety of career prospects and are more aware socially and culturally. In a world where nurses will be providing care for an increasingly diverse population, cultural awareness and improved interaction with people of different cultures is invaluable. A faculty member with education abroad experience at a mid-size university in the southern United States developed a study abroad program for the summer of 2019 to Ikaria, Greece. This program centered around the concept of Blue Zones, areas of the world identified as having the largest population of centenarians, or people that have lived for longer than 100 years. This article outlines the process of development of the program and the course associated with the program. There is information about course description, course objectives, grading procedures, course activities, and a schedule of activities that students participated in while abroad. Student response to this education abroad experience was very positive. Students have reported that they attempt to implement the nine concepts into their everyday lives since returning, and the impact that this program and other education abroad programs has had, is profound.

Full Text:



Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.