Study Abroad Reflection: Beijing, China by Elizabeth Martin

Elizabeth Martin                                            Study Abroad Reflection: Beijing, China in Spring 2015

My study abroad trip to Beijing, China is journey I will remember for the rest of my life. I was interested in this particular program for several reasons; one being that it was a two-week intensive program versus a whole semester long and another being how unique it was with a major focus being on Traditional Chinese Medicine. Once I got off the 13-hour flight to this country, I did not know what to expect but I was excited to see all it had to offer and how I could apply my nursing knowledge.

I was fortunate enough to collaborate with two excellent universities during my stay with the rest of my classmates: Peking University and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. All the students and faculty were very welcoming which made the experience that much more rewarding. My classmates and I were given the opportunity to attend several lectures given to us by the faculty members of these two universities as well as getting some hands on experiences in various clinical settings. There were some differences that I found between the Chinese and American health care systems but I found ways that each system could learn from each other. It was great to share my knowledge and experiences and vice versa.

In terms of Chinese culture, my group and I delved right into as soon as we arrived. We feasted everyday eating the most delicious traditional Chinese cuisines and explored the most beautiful sights in Beijing including the breath taking Great Wall of China, Lama Temple, The Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven, Beijing Olympic Park and 798 art district. There were some times when culture shock was present but I think that is what traveling abroad is all about; learning about different cultures and taking the time out to understand certain customs and beliefs. I learned a great deal during my stay in Beijing and I am so grateful I was given this amazing opportunity.