The Traditional Chinese Medicine and Public Health study group of the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona (CIUA), more than 10 college students, led by the Director of CIUA, Dr. Zhao Chen, arrived in Beijing on June 19. They were so excited that the next day they climbed the Great Wall, visited the Imperial Palace, the Tiananmen Square, as well as the Hanban Headquarters almost forgetting about their jet lag. It was the first time in China for most of these young college students.They visited the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and the Medical Museum on June 21, then took the train to Henan in full stride.
From the strong support of the Department of Education of Henan Province and the International Education School of Henan University of Chinese Medicine, the TCM & Public Health study group conducted a two-week visit and exchange of Chinese traditional medicine and culture at Henan University of Chinese Medicine. At the exchange event, the American and Chinese students took turns talking about their culture. Via the carefullyprepared and illustrated PPT, the four Chinese postgraduate student representatives explained the difference between traditional China and modern China, as well as Chinese civilization and campus life to their American friends. When the Chinese students were finished, Samuel Kraus and Shawna Follis introduced the American style of studying at the University and life on campus to the Chinese students. The American students gave humorous insight towards different questions like: "Harvard library until 4:30 am", "the parents refusing to finance their children to go to the university", "Professors were stern and unreasonable", etc. The students from two countries said that through this exchange they had enhanced their understanding of medical education on both sides and established a friendship with each other.
In addition, the TCM & Public Health study group learned acupuncture and massage and experienced the Chinese painting and calligraphy, martial arts, tea ceremony and other cultural lessons. In their spare time, they visited the local hospital and the health and epidemic prevention center. They took a wonderful cultural tour to Kaifeng, the ancient capital of Luoyang, Shaolin and Jiaozuo on the weekends. They found it hard to leave all the beautiful scenery. William, doctoral student of Public Health School at the University of Arizona, was attracted to the Chinese medicine and Chinese culture. He was explaining that, "Chinese martial arts and Chinese medicine makes him crazy, he will come back again." Catherine had been longing to go to China for a while. This trip was very important to her, she mentioned that "[she] cherished this visit to China as a valuable opportunity, and [she] finally personally experienced the Chinese culture, tasted the Chinese cuisine and experienced the charm of traditional Chinese medicine, massage and acupuncture.”
Before returning back to the United States, the TCM & Public Health study group went the partner university of CIUA, Shaanxi Normal University. They happily visited the beautiful Shaanxi Normal University campus, experienced wonderful martial arts classes, visited the National Key Laboratory of Chinese medicine, and took an impressive tour of the ancient city of Xi'an and magnificent terracotta. Because of the three-week TCM and public health learning and cultural experience, the participants expressed that they learned a lot. Not only did they improve their Chinese language level, but also they enriched their Chinese cultural knowledge, especially their understanding of Chinese medicine and public health. Meanwhile, they had a new understanding towards China's politics, economy, environment and other aspects.