Nicole Ducray

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Arcadia University

Nicole Ducray is a sophomore Public Health major at Arcadia University with a minor in Biology. Nicole has lived in the Philadelphia area for all of her life, but she has always had a desire to broaden her global perspective through travel. At Arcadia, she serves as a large group coordinator for Arcadia Christian Fellowship, swims on Arcadia's Swim Team, and is an active member of the Honors Program. In her free time, she enjoys participating in any activities outdoors such as hiking, skiing, kayaking, and camping. Nicole also has a passion for the arts and volunteered for a theater program this past summer. Additionally, she volunteers at her local church by helping with food pantry efforts and childcare needs. During the summer months and past semesters, she has worked at several restaurants and foodservice facilities as a team member. These job experiences have strengthened her leadership skills, customer service, and ability to work within a team. After undergraduate, she is interested in pursuing a master's degree in Public Health Nutrition because of her passion for cooking and helping others. She dreams of starting her own public health non-profit organization to further serve communities in need  
International Experience Summary:

Nicole Ducray had the opportunity this past summer to study the Dutch public health system and the Dutch language in Amsterdam, Netherlands through a program offered by CIEE. In the classroom, she learned about some policies and regulations that are specific to the Netherlands, such as the decriminalization of drugs, euthanasia, sex work, and abortion rights. In addition, she learned about the structure of the health system and how it is compared to the U.S. She learned that even a system like the Dutch which is ranked #2 in the 2021 World Index of Healthcare Innovation has its flaws. One of the major drawbacks of the Dutch public health system is that there are long waiting times for care because there are restricted budgets and price controls that limit the amount of care they can provide. Lastly, she learned about the major issues affecting the Dutch like the prevalence of Dementia and the housing crisis. 

In her Dutch language class, she learned simple phrases and keywords in Dutch from a teacher who actually lives in the Netherlands. Nicole was able to use what she learned in the classroom at food markets, cafes, and shopping malls through field experiences. For example, the class took an excursion to ZaanseSchans where they learned about the history of the windmills and were able to use their Dutch phrases to order in the cafe.

Outside of the classroom, Nicole discovered a new sense of independence for participating in activities alone. This does not mean she did not invite others to experience events with her. But when everyone already had prior commitments, she decided to do it herself. Through this mentality, she was able to experience the culture by visiting a museum, two parks, and a local swimming pool. She is excited to bring this mentality home to experience every opportunity that is presented to her. However, most of the time she spent her days making connections and lifelong friendships with her peers. During her stay, they were there supporting her every step of the way. This gave her a community of individuals that she cannot wait to reconnect with after the program concluded.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: “Healthcare from Different Perspectives”

Nicole Ducray (Arcadia University ‘24) and Emily Bolton (Carlow University ‘23) presented their Community Engagement Experience (CEE) titled Healthcare from Different Perspectives on Wednesday, November 30th. They conducted a virtual event to allow for easy access for attendees from both of their respective institutions. Their presentation lasted about an hour and consisted of three parts. First, Nicole presented on what she learned in her Public Health in the Netherlands course she took this past summer. She made sure to present on the makeup of the Dutch healthcare system, their insurance policies, and how they utilize the person-centered care approach. Next, Emily presented her experiences while working at an organization called Rehab Group in Ireland. Specifically, she highlighted her daily interactions with the service users, cultural humility, and the utilization of person-centered care. Nicole and Emily both agree that it was great to make the connection that both cultures utilize the approach of person-centered care in their healthcare practices. Last, they opened up the floor to questions from the audience members. After the completion of their CEE both were pleased with the work that they did over the course of the semester. It was great that they were able to combine all that they have learned into a single project so they both can have something to look back upon. The CEE was recorded and then the recording was sent out to the attendees.