Pretty early on in my exchange I got a contact person at their International Relations office and a mentor at the School of Nursing at UNC and they helped a lot especially my mentor at the School of Nursing, no silly questions existed and as she always said “I´m only an email or a call away, don´t ever forget that”.
One negative thing about my exchange was that when I arrived at the University new things popped up which I didn´t know of like blood draws and drug screening at a separate clinic away from the campus. Like the icing on the cake my classes didn´t match up and it was just too much in the beginning of the exchange that I never got any information about. It was a rough start with moving across the world, new language, new culture and you know no one. It just didn´t go as smooth as I would have thought it would because it was so much preparation in Sweden that you just thought that it would go smooth. However since their exchange programme for nursing students is still pretty new, I was the second student to be there so both JU and UNC have some stuff to work on to make it perfect but my mentor have saved me so many times and she did everything for me, we had weekly meetings about the classes, she had contact with teachers, gave me some travel ideas and we went out to dinner once a month to try different Southern foods and to catch up!
Take the opportunity to travel as well during the exchange. There are different American holidays like Labor Day and Thanksgiving but also a full week of Fall break. I feel that I manage to do basically the whole east coast during my stay in the States. Do the big cities like New York and Washington DC but do not forget all the amazing places in North Carolina like the mountains in Boone or Ashville or the beaches in Wilmington.
Moving on to the classes I took. I took four classes, Interprofessional Teamwork and Communication, Nursing inquiry and Evidence-Based Practice, Public Health Nursing and an Independent study (I did mine within the oncology area). The biggest difference is that you are reading four classes at the same time the whole semester. You have one lesson in each class once a week and it is three ours, part from this you always have reading assignments, group projects, quizzes to study for or clinical. All classes are mandatory to attend you will either sign in on a paper or have your name called in class to get attendance which is a part of the grade. As an international student I could get extra meetings with the professors if there was something I needed explanation or clarification about but apart from that I had exactly the same tasks as the American students had, so no benefits or easier tasks because I was an international student. This was hard sometimes but looking back I´ve learned so much, and I got the same grades as the American students so don´t worry to much, you´ll do great!