My Rotation Experiences in Brock University

Date: November 26, 2010

School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Student, Yu-Shan Lin
Editor, General Education Center, Chiara Benham

This was not only my first time to go to Canada, but also my very first time to study abroad and to stay with a local homestay family. I learned a lot in the Applied Health Science (AHS) Program and I learned how to open my mouth and speak in English, which was one of the obstacles I had before I attended this program. There are too many things to write in just a few paragraphs, so I divided my feelings into three parts: Brock University and the curriculum of AHS, my homestay experience, and my impression on Canada.

Brock University and the Curriculum of AHS
It was no doubt that Brock University had a large campus. There were beautiful lawns around the main buildings with several birds on the grass. There were also many parking lots, which made me think that students did not have to wake up early just to find a parking space! Although the campus was broad, it was easy to find a place to sit and take a break, especially in the building where I took my classes. The most important thing I noticed was that every washroom was clean and did not have a bad smell. In addition, the bus system was convenient for each exchange student whether or not their homestay family lived near the school. It was a pity that students studying at Brock University were on their summer vacation. This made it impossible to be in contact with them during the time the CMU Students were in Canada.

I majored in medicine and glad to have had an opportunity to be in contact with other medical professions in the field of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and pharmacology. According to the diverse curriculums offered through this program, I thought that I would learn a lot, which I also stated in my letter of intent to study abroad before I went to Canada. I am very gracious to find that each teacher or speaker which I was in contact with did not disappoint me.

In my own opinion, the most interesting class I attended was the teaching and training course using the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). AED is a small machine that students at Brock University could find on the wall throughout campus. It is only used when there is a person who had lost his/her consciousness, was apnea, or did not have any palpable pulse. Without having an AED present we could still operate CPR on the same type of patient just described. To restore normal heart rhythm, the heart needs pumping and nerve impulse. AED is a machine that can offer the heart some electricity to induce the pulse. The efficiency of first aid is increased if the operator uses CPR and the AED machine together, especially when the patient cannot be sent to the hospital immediately.

When visiting the Welland Hospital, I found that patients in Taiwan were all in a better health care. Compared to the gorgeous buildings and the well-trained physicians of CMU Hospital, the Welland Hospital seemed to be a little bit old-fashioned. Even though the basic medical devices, such as CT, MRI, etc., were available, the environment was not as good as CMU, especially the spatial planning which made me feel constricted throughout the hospital tour.

Frankly speaking, we did not face anything that we could not overcome by ourselves. Every time I had a question, I would just ask the teacher or the person in charge, and then I would receive an acceptable answer.

My Homestay Experience
There were totally six people in the Buiza family: A father, mother, two sisters and two brothers. They were all so patient with me and they would try their best to understand what I wanted to express. Especially my homestay mother, she was always trying to make me feel at home and encourage me to speak as much English as I could. She often said that the more English I spoke, the more English I would learn. I was lucky that my homestay father was a physician doctor from the Philippines. I had many discussions with him about the different medical trainings a medical student have and comparing the health care systems in Canada, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

After three weeks of living with the Buiza family, I felt that speaking in English was not as difficult as before. In addition to my speaking ability improving, I also found that my listening had greatly improved at the same time. Although there are still a lot of things for me to learn, this was the first time I felt that I could use a different language whenever I wanted.

My Impression of Canada
The most impressive part of my three weeks in Canada was the natural environment and people living in St. Catharine, a lovely town in the southern part of Ontario Province.

It was obvious that from the national flag, on which there was a big red maple leaf, every Canadian is proud of their country and the beautiful wild environment. Canada is one of the most northern countries in the world. The local climate is comfortable and good enough for people, animals, and plants to survive. For example, except for maple trees, I saw conifer trees along the side walk, which is impossible to grow in Taiwan. I was so surprised to discover that there were squirrels and a variety of birds in my homestay family’s yard.

As for the people living in this small town, I found that some people were always willing to help others and this was really good news for me as a foreign student. Through staying in St. Catharines, I was able to understand how Canadians lived. I was very fond of Canadian culture. This special experience of visiting Canada through an exchange program not only opened my mind but also gave me a totally different viewpoint on life.

(Chinese Version.)


Group photo-the first day of rotation
Group photo with chiropractors
Group photo with Erna (left) and Shannan (right )--the last day of the rotation