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Traditional Chinese Medicine: a Magnetic to Foreign Students

Traditional Chinese medical science has attracted an increasing number of foreign students to China for advanced course studies in recent years. Luzhou Medical College in Sichuan Province, situated on the bank of Yangtze River, is famous for its traditional acupuncture treatment.

Yin Jielin, secretary of the Party Committee of Luzhou Medical College, stated that the college has received nearly one hundred foreign students from European and American countries for short-term training since 1998. In November 2004 they enrolled over one hundred long-term foreign students from India and Nepal, who started their study of traditional medicine here in China. At the beginning of this year, another group of foreign students for short-term studies from Germany also came to the college for advanced studies of traditional Chinese medicine.

The charm of acupuncture

Udo, a tall and sturdy young man, was a graduate from the University of Koeln, Germany, and is visiting China for the first time. "Everything in China is strange to me, especially the special acupuncture treatment performed by the teachers working with the hospital attached to Luzhou Medical College. It is fascinating to see. Although I am also a doctor, the work in Germany only made me tired. But I feel more satisfied and fulfilled with my work in China."

A blonde-haired German girl named Marika excitedly recalled the story of teachers and medical staff in the department of acupuncture treatment of the hospital attached to Luzhou Medical College, who offered her help when she came down with an illness. "My acupuncture learning at Luzhou has proven to be fruitful. What I have learned here is life, fortune, friendship, practical experience as well as the pursuit of faith," said Marika.

"I am an emeritus professor with Luzhou Medical College and have been to China 21 times. In 1998, after an on-the-spot investigation of the hospital attached to Luzhou Medical College, I decided to set up a practice base here for my students because doctors with Luzhou Medical College could impart the clinical experiences and acupuncture technique to the students and effectively combine the profound theory with clinical practice in a simple way. Therefore, students could fully utilize what they have learned in their clinical practice when they return to Germany. Along with my students, I will also take my son here to learn Chinese acupuncture treatment next year," noted 45-year-old Franz, who led the team of German medical foreign students.

A good place for overseas students

At the flat for Indian and Nepalese students, when being asked why he came to China from afar, Nepalese student Arunkvmar noted, "We got to know Sichuan and Luzhou through TV and the Internet. When we first came to Luzhou, we found it is really a beautiful city with clean streets and a comfortable campus. College provides us with the best studying and living conditions, and we are very grateful for all of this."

Kathakali, an Indian girl wearing a beautiful Sari, said happily, "Like some of my Chinese classmates, I am the only daughter of my family and my parents love me dearly. When I first came to China, I missed my parents very much. But now I am used to the Chinese lifestyle. My teachers and my classmates are quite friendly to me and I enjoy the lectures by my Chinese professors. I am also a good student, and have been awarded a second place scholarship this semester."

Tangled love for China

A Nepalese girl named Yamuna cheerfully lights up when she talks about her life in China. "Most people say I look Chinese and I am very happy to hear that. I like China very much, especially the Chinese teachers, my classmates and the Chinese cuisine. All of the people here are very friendly, so I don't get homesick," said Yamuna.

Kathakali still remembers how she celebrated her first birthday in college since she left home. "On my birthday teachers and classmates held a party for me. They brought me a birthday cake, various pastries and fruits. They also lit red candles to celebrate my birthday. I was really happy that day."

Arunkvmar said, "When I first came to the college, I knew nothing about Chinese and could not adapt to the lifestyle here. Although the dormitory, classrooms and dining halls on campus are marked with English, my Chinese classmates still often accompany me to go to the dining hall and tell me the names of dishes. I still remember that my teacher and classmates came to visit me and took care of me when I was sick, which really made me feel at home."

(People's Daily May 25, 2005)

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