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Since 1995 an annual exchange of students nurses from the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and Houston Baptist University has been arranged by the Grampian-Houston Association and the Houston/Grampian Association.

The students selected spend two weeks in their Sister City studying healthcare provision and nursing education and submit up a report comparing provision in Scotland and Texas. .

The student nurses selected to take part in the 2017 exchange were Amelia Holt and Celeste Ross from Houston Baptist University and Chloe Sangster and Kimberley Tosh, from the Robert Gordon University School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Celesta and Amelia spent two weeks in Aberdeen in May and Kimberley and Chloe pay a study visit to Houston in September.

Pictured (left to right) are Kimberley, Chloe, Amelia and Celeste

The Evening Express newspaper in Aberdeen published the following article on 26 May about the 2017 exchange . Click on the link below.


Student Nursing Exchange 2017

Chloe and Kimberley’s visit to Houston in September was put in jeopardy by Hurricane Harvey which caused drastic flooding in the city, swamping thousands of homes and closing many roads.

However, at the last minute the decision was taken to proceed with the visit as planned although the programme of clinical visits arranged had to be slightly curtailed because of the flooding.

The weather did nothing to dampen the warmth of the welcome the students received in Houston where they were greeted by Houston/Grampian Association members and presented with gift baskets at a dinner at the home of HGA Board member Ross Davidson and his wife Anne.

Kimberley and Chloe sat in at classes at Houston Baptist University and visited several hospitals including a tour of Baylor St Luke’s Medical Centre Hospital - always a highlight of the exchange students’ programme.

Another highlight was an invitation to City Hall to meet Mayor Sylvester Turner who presented them with a proclamation commemorating their visit.

At a dinner in their honour at Houston Baptist University the four students gave a slide presentation on their study visits and outlined their impressions  of healthcare provision and practice in their Sister Cities.  Speakers at the dinner included Houston City Council member Mike Laster and Karen Bell, H.M. Consul General in Houston.

Houston Baptist University took the opportunity to recognise the contribution Houston/Grampian Association Chairman Mary Metz M.B.E. had made to the student exchange scheme and links between HBU and Robert Gordon University. Assistant Professor of Nursing Sue Schneider presented Mary with an extract from a pre-1650 King James Bible which is among exhibits at a Dunham Bible Museum housed at the university.  The extract came from the story of Ruth, a person of noble character and Sue said Mary showed some of Ruth’s attributes such as generosity and kindness to others, compassion and being welcoming to foreigners.  

In their leisure time during their two weeks in Texas, Kimberley and Chloe enjoyed visiting Austin and New Braunfels and attending Pasadena Rodeo and a Houston Astros baseball game.

To conclude the 2017 exchange Chloe and Kimberley gave a presentation to the Grampian-Houston Association Board on their study visit to Houston which they described as “an amazing experience.” They expressed their thanks to the Association for making it possible, paid tribute to staff and students at Houston Baptist University for the excellent programme arranged for them and thanked the Houston/Grampian Association for the welcome extended to them.


They were honoured to be received at City Hall by Mayor Sylvester Turner who presented them with proclamations commemorating their visit They also referred to the devastation they had witnessed in parts of Houston following Hurricane Harvey which caused extensive flooding the week prior to their visit.


Grampian-Houston Association Chairman Jim Shiach thanked the students for their presentation and wished them well in their nursing career. Jim and Board members are pictured with Kimberley and Chloe after the presentation.

The four students, accompanied by RGU lecturers Jackie Leith and Leanna Will and Kristin Jackson Brown, Grampian-Houston Association’s Nursing Exchange Co-ordinator, were the guests of Lord Provost Barney Crockett for coffee at Aberdeen Town House.

They were also the guests of the Grampian-Houston Association at a dinner at Norwood Hall Hotel, Aberdeen. They were welcomed by GHA Chairman Brett Jackson, who thanked the RGU staff for their contribution to the success of the exchange. Kristin Jackson Brown presented Celeste and Amelia with inscribed quaichs (Scottish loving cups) as a memento of their visit to Grampian.

Professor Ian Murray, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at RGU, said the Grampian-Houston exchange had been the model for other international exchanges involving RGU students    and the University now had a well developed international programme.

Guests who attended the GHA dinner are pictured here and Prof. Murray, Kristin, Leanna and Jackie are pictured with Kimberley, Celeste, Chloe and Amelia.

Celeste and Amelia were due to fly home on Saturday, 27 May but their departure was delayed when British Airways cancelled all flights because of a computer failure. They flew from Aberdeen to London Heathrow Airport on Sunday, 28 May but were obliged to stay overnight in London before flights to Houston resumed on Monday, 28 May.  However, they made good use of their unscheduled day in London to take in some of the sights including Buckingham Palace.