Visiting Kyung Hee University

Date: December 24, 2010

School of Post-Baccalaureate Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, Student, Huei-Yu Huang
Editor, General Education Center, Lecturer Chiara Benham

For twenty-one days during the summer of 2010, a group of students from China Medical University successively visited Kyunghee University. This was there first university to establish a school for Korean medicine in South Korea. We also visited Pusan National University, the first national Korean medical university. Both universities are representatives in the field of Korean medicine. During the curriculum arranged by the schools, we visited various hospitals, clinics, related agencies, and accomplished different kinds of clinical observation. I was surprised to find that the Korean government invested so much capital and people in the field of Korean medicine. They showed their strong ambitions to introduce Korean medicine to people throughout the world. Korean medicine has greater resources to develop than in Taiwan. This disadvantage has made me reflect on what I can do for Chinese medicine.

Studying abroad in Korea was challenging, but the benefits are far greater than problems I encountered during these days. I learnt about Korean medicine and their medical environment. Korean medicine is based on the principle of Sasang theory, which divides people into four categories: Tae-Yang, Tae-Eum, So-Yang, and So-Eum. Each type has a unique treatment and medicine prescription. Korean doctors prescribe medicine differently than Chinese doctors, but it seems very effective. This taught me that every medicine could show its curative effect, if the doctor diagnoses correctly and prescribes appropriately.

Acupuncture and moxibustion has also been developed well in Korea. They use it to cure patient’s pain, facial paralysis, and stroke. We also went to East-West Neo Medical Center of Kyunghee University. This hospital exemplifies the new medical science that has been created, a combination of Oriental and Western medical services. I was taught that if we want to introduce Chinese medicine to different countries, we should first understand how other countries develop medicine first. Academic exchange program is a good way to enact this concept. This lesson will remain important to me in the future as I continue to learn about Chinese medicine. In addition, studying abroad has helped me develop clinical observation skills and has given me experiences that a classroom setting could have never provided.

Studying abroad in Korea provided a good Korean language-learning environment and gave me the ability to practice a third language - English. In the 15 years of studying English, I have had only a few chances to communicate with others in English. Living with my Korean home stay family gave me the opportunity to communicate with them in English. While in class some professors gave lectures in English. At first, I was afraid that I might make mistakes when speaking English and I was anxious when I couldn’t understand what others were saying. I became braver after several attempts of speaking English and my hearing ability also improved. It was not as difficult as it seemed once I began trying. I also learned simple Korean phrases and could chat with people who couldn’t speak English. There is no better and more effective way to learn a language than to be immersed in a culture that speaks the language you are learning.

Studying abroad also cultivated my ability to live independently in a foreign country. I had to deal with many problems, learn how to become accustomed to a new environment, and how to get along with foreign teachers and students. Being immersed into an entirely new cultural setting is scary and exciting at first. Living abroad is an opportunity to discover new strengths and abilities, conquer new challenges, and solve new problems. You may encounter situations that are unfamiliar and learn how to adapt and respond in effective ways. For example, I had to take the MRT and bus to Kyunghee University by myself without assistance from foreign friends on the third day after I arrived in Korea. I was so worried about what I would do if I got lost in a foreign country with out being able to communicate. Thanks to the distinct instructions the station provided and my China Medical University classmates, I arrived at the destination successfully.

Studying abroad is an excellent way to learn about the world which I live in. During the weekends and academic breaks I ventured out and explored my immediate and more distant surroundings. Since I am in new country, I am much closer to places I might otherwise not have had the opportunity to visit. I saw the two different types of hospitals in Pusan, Hamsoa Children Clinic and Tsau Le Tang Hamsoa Children Clinic. They are modern hospitals with advanced medical equipment and a relaxed atmosphere that is decorated by cartoon images. This allows the children to not be afraid when seeing the doctor. Tsau Le Tang is a tradition hospital that focuses on simplicity and being close to nature. They use both the original and natural way to treat patients. The rural-like atmosphere helps patients relax, rest, and feel good for the treatment. Although the way the two hospitals behave is different, the spirit is the same. After returning to Taiwan I have new ideas and perspectives about my future. The experience abroad challenged me to embrace new concepts, perceptions, and examine my own beliefs and values.

Studying abroad in Korea was a life-changing experience and one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I acquired more knowledge within the academic field of traditional Korean medicine and experienced the true culture and life style through my homestay family. This study abroad experience broadened my horizons. This is the first time I have traveled abroad and it was a wonderful experience. I hope to have more experiences like this in my future.

(Chinese Version.)


Getting a certificate in Kyung Hee University
Getting a certificate in Pusan National University