Mentors without borders: mentoring international healthcare students

This project is funded by EEA Funds 2014-2021, through which Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to reducing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and strengthening cooperation with 15 European countries.

Project No.: EHP-CZ-ICP-2-020

Program: Education

Project type: Institutional cooperation projects

Program Provider: House of Foreign Cooperation (

Implementation period: 1. 8. 2020 – 31. 7. 2022

Partner institution: Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bergen, Norway

Chief researcher: Mgr. Jana Heřmanová, Ph.D., spoluřešitel PhDr. Hana Svobodová, Ph.D.


Clinical practice presents an integral part of education of healthcare workers. Part of the practice can be fulfilled in healthcare facilities abroad where students work under supervision of foreign mentors for 2 – 4 months during one semester. A nurse mentors becomes a key person as she/he guides the student through „foreign/different“ environment, supervises the student and evaluates the proces of clinical learning. The foreign clinical mentor thus plays an important role in professional development of the students as well as nursing practice within the wider geographical and cultural concept.

The goal of the project is to identify the needs of the international students as well as their clinical mentors. Current courses for clinical mentors do not pay special attention to the needs of students and mentors who are from different countries and might be evaluated by different cultural and professional practice backgrounds. Therefore, we aim to develop a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) focused on development of cultural knowledge and skills of European mentors.

Our project partner is Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bergen, Norway. We have been cooperating with this institution for more than 10 years within the Erasmus + programme involving the baccalaureate nursing students. As Third Faculty of Medicine is currently offering a new master’s degree programme in Intensive nursing care we plan to offer the chance of clinical studies abroad to those students as well.

Working meeting at Western Norway University

We visited our partner institution Western Norway University of Applied Sciences from 18. to 21. October, 2021. The Institution has schools in Haugesund and Bergen and it was our intent to see the environment and meet the colleagues in both cities. The goal of the visit was to work on the form and content of the intellectual outcome of the project, which is a MOOC for international mentors in healthcare.

Together with Ingrid Gilje Heiberg and Kristin Adnoy Eriksen we worked on the chapters of the course, defined the best suitable platform for our purpose – Canvas, and visited MediaLab Studio in Bergen which will have an important role in development of the MOOC. Since the experience and the needs of mentors in nursing are an integral part of the MOOC, they were also involved in the meetings within their peer learning activities. Bc. Kateřina Kohoutová from Clinic of Surgery of FNKV and Mgr. Jaroslava Saxlová from Department of Neonatology of FNB have been cooperating with our Department of Nursing for a long time. Their goal was to meet the teachers and mentors of the partner institution, share experiences and discuss the needs of the international students. Kateřina and Jaroslava very much appreciated being able to see the simulation labs and clinical environment, where the nursing education takes place.

Working meeting at Third Faculty of Medicine

16th to 18th February 2022 was the period of other planned activities within the project. We welcomed in our colleagues Ingrid Gilje Heiberg, Kristin Adnoy Eriksen and Lotte Pannenkoeke from Western Norway University. We also were happy to be able to host Liv Marie Aursland and Kamilla Gronlin, the mentors from the partner hospital in Haugesund. The aim of the visit was to define the structure of the chapters of MOOC, and working with the Canvas using the support of IT technologies.

Mentors from Haugesund as well as Prague were involved in the discussion and concrete planning of the chapters of the course and we value their input. The main goal for Liv Marie and Kamilla was to get acquainted with the content of the nursing programme and the school and clinical environment where our students prepare for the profession of general nurse. We all visited simulation labs in the buildings of the 3rd FM and hospital departments. Our nurse mentor Bc. Katerina Kohoutova showed us Surgical ICU of FNKV where she works and mentors international nursing students. The we moved on to the Hospital Bulovka to visit Mgr. Jaroslava Saxlova who is also very active colleague and mentor cooperating with us on the project. Jaroslava has good experience with mentoring international students at the Department of Neonatology. All colleagues from Haugesund were pleased with the positive attitude of the nurses and nurse managers who support our mentors and international students. They also highly value the fact that the international students are involved in direct care of the patients and gain many new knoeldge and skills.

Project meeting in Bergen, 18. – 20.5.2022

The meeting in May 2022 took place in Bergen. We met to continue working on the MOOC Mentors without borders. The HVL campus Bergen was chosen because of the possibility to use the MedieLab which provides professional and technical support to teachers who would like to make modern educational materials. We had agreed that the studio will be used to make video-lectures and motivational videos about the multicultural aspects of being an international student and mentor. For most of us filming was a new experience. There was a little apprehension at the beginning, but with the calm support of the professional Jennifer D’Amore everything wen well. Jana Hermanova and Hana Svobodova of 3FM and  za HVL Ingrid Gilje Heiberg, Kristin Adnoy Eriksen, Lotte Pannekoeke, Trude Bukve a Michael Mortensen of HVL participated on making the videos.

Besides working in the MedieLab we were discussing further development of the MOOC, the structure and design, interactive tasks and assignments for students, as well as the criteria of fulfilling the course. Johan Bruland, the IT specialist and administrator of HVL CANVAS joined these discussions online.

First dissemination conference, Haugesund 21.3.2023

We have attended the first dissemination conference which took place in Haugesund on 21.3.2023. The conference was preceded by a working day with our partners, analysing the pilot phase of MOOC and finalizing the details of the conference. We have also discussed the tasks for the final stage of MOOC preparation.

We appreciate that the conference was opened by Mrs. Astrid Fjell, the head of the nursing section at Faculty of Healthcare Sciences. She stressed the importance of internalization for students and educational, as well as health care institutions. Jana Hermanova and Hana Svobodova introduced the project and the process of developing the MOOC. Their presentation was then based on the experience of Czech mentors who tested the pilot stage of the course.  Kristin Ådnøy Eriksen presented the results of the activities from the beginning of the project which would become the baseline for the content of MOOC. Multicultural competence was another topic, presented by Ingrid Gilje Heiberg. Important impulses came from the presentation of Erasmus + students, currently having clinical placements in healthcare facilities in Haugesund. Kristin Ådnøy Eriksen led a successful workshop with the nurses of the Haugesund hospital and social care facilities. As a result of the workshop the nurses were strongly considering participating in the MOOC.

Second dissemination conference, Prague 10. 5. 2023

The second international conference presenting the results of the project Mentor without borders was held on May 10, 2023 at the Third Faculty of Medicine. The conference had been prepared by the team of our faculty. Besides the colleagues from the project partner team of HVL Ingrid Gilje Heiberg a Lotte Pannekoeke, the conference was attended by other international guests, Ann-Cathrin Melbye, dr. Michael Mortensen of Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, campus Bergen and Erasmus students from Belgium and Portugal. Among other guests were our Nursing department colleagues as well as nurses and nurse managers from affiliated health care institutions where our students have their clinical practice – University Hospital Bulovka, University Hospital Kralovske Vinohrady, Central Military Hospital, and Social care facility Hagibor.

The aim of the conference was to share the experience with developing and implementing the intellectual output of the project, MOOC. This topic was presented by Jana Hermanova and Hana Svobodova. Two Czech mentors, who have had experience with mentoring international students, Katerina Kohoutova and Jaroslava Saxlova, shared their experience with taking the course, both from practical and the content aspects. They also talked about the positives and challenges of the course. It was a pleasure to follow the presentations sharing their experience in Czech social and health care institutions. The presentations provoked a rich discussion and positive emotions. Lotte Pannekoeke of HVL described the processes of receiving international students in Haugesund, organizing their practice and helping students to adapt to the culture of the school, hospital and the country. Ingrid Gilje Heiberg shared her experience with the workshop for nurses that was a part of the dissemination conference in Haugesund on 21. 3. 2023. Camilla Groenlin, one of the cooperating clinical mentors from Haugesund hospital greeted the auditorium online and shared her experience with the MOOC.

Several colleagues attending the conference as guests showed active interest in the course, which is taken by the project team as a proof that such form of education of clinical mentors is meaningful and worth of the effort!

Last change: September 27, 2023 16:11 
Share on: Facebook Share on: Twitter
Share on:  

Third Faculty of Medicine

Charles University

Ruská 87, 100 00 Prague 10

Czech Republic

Phone.: +420 267 102 111

Data Box ID: piyj9b4

ID No.: 00216208, VAT No.: CZ00216208

How to reach us

Your opinion