Sara Nakagawa and Chiaki Narisawa (4th year students, Division of Radiological Science and Technology) joined short-term overseas study programs in Kaohsiung Medical University supported by the “Hokkaido Universal Campus Initiative (HUCI)”
I would like to give you a brief report of short-term study abroad in Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU), Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on the schedule from August 5th to 10th, 2019 as a part of International Exchange Program partially supported by Hokkaido University Campus Initiative (HUCI). Agreement for International Academic Exchanges and Notation for Student Exchanges was already concluded with College of Health Sciences at KMU on June 10th, 2015. Four students (4th year undergraduates from Division of Radiological Science and Technology, School of Medicine, HU) and 1 faculty member from Faculty of Health Sciences, HU attended this program.
The schedule was shown in Table.1; visiting Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital adjacent to KMU on the first day, visiting laboratory of College of Health Sciences, KMU on the second day, and research introduction from HU on the last day. On the first day of the hospital tour, we visited the department of nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, general radiography, computed tomography, and angiography. We received explanations from Dr. Chou, Dr. Ku, hospital staffs, and graduate students not only on the history of KMU but also the features of student clinical training in KMU. Since students from HU were in clinical training, they were actively answering questions such as differences in clinical training between Taiwan and Japan. On the second day, Dr. Chou introduced the research contents of each academician and practical training for undergraduate students in KMU. In the research introduction on the last day, Yoshimura presented about “Introduction of Hokkaido University and Division of Radiological Science and Technology, School of Medicine, HU” and “Clinical Research using Real-time-image Gated-spot-scanning Proton-beam Therapy (RGPT) system in HU”. Successively, students from HU presented about their laboratory and their present state of graduation research. A lively discussion took place. Because their gradation research was not fully produced at that time, the results are expected to be presented at the symposium scheduled to be held at KMU next year.
As a preparatory task for students, we requested to create an “Overseas Training Bookmark” that summarized overview of Taiwan’s medical, KMU, and HU, and question items during their visit to hospital and laboratory. When visiting a hospital and laboratory, students actively asked many questions not only on the prepared question lists but also on the spot. Students experienced the similarities and differences of radiological technologists between Taiwan and Japan.
Description of impressions from students
Here, we introduced some comments from students who participated in this short-term study abroad program.
(Nakagawa) In the hospital, we were able to hear about the history since the establishment of the hospital and the process of technological progress in medical care in Taiwan. In the presentation of the graduation research and the question and answer session, I realized the difficulty of communicating accurately in English, and the importance of communication in other ways than words. Throughout the stay, I realized that it was difficult to communicate in languages other than my native language, and I was able to deepen interaction with teachers and students at Kaohsiung Medical University. At the same time, it was a very valuable experience that touched Taiwan’s culture and society.
(Narisawa) By presenting in a language different from the native language, I was able to think more deeply about my research. While I feel that I was able to participate actively in the discussion, I also regret that I could answer questions better at that time. I felt strongly that in order to convey things in English to the other party, I had to understand it well until I could explain it in Japanese. In graduate school, I would like to use this experience to do my best to research activities with a broader perspective and deeper understanding.
(Hongo) During my first visit to overseas universities and hospitals, there were many surprises and discoveries because there were many parts that differed from Japan due to cultural differences. Inspired by this overseas training, I would like to learn and experience a lot of culture that do not know henceforth. In addition, since this was the first time for me to visit overseas, I am very grateful to have given me this opportunity.
(Mori) It was very meaningful time for me to hear the research associated with my research. At the hospital, they explained each department and the history of hospital. I felt the difference of medical care between in Japan and Taiwan because of the clinical training period. On the last day, we had presentation about our own research, but at the time, I was still in process of formulating my research policy, so I was able to tell the research results and consideration. A symposium will be held at KMU next year, so I would like to participate and announce the results of my research.
Although the return flight was canceled and the return schedule was delayed due to the typhoon, this short-term study abroad program was completed without any major trouble during the visiting KMU. This was the first time for students to present their research and discuss their research topics in English. I believe that this shot-term study abroad of visiting KMU will serve as a source of their research activities after moving on to graduate school. Through this program, we were able to exchange information closely with KMU researchers and radiological technologists. By continuing exchanges with KMU, it is expected that an environment that facilitates joint research will be formed. Finally, we would like to thank Dr. Huang, Dr. Chou, and Dr. Ku for valuable discussion and their hospitality during our visit in KMU. Also, we would like to thank everyone who cooperated in this program, including the member of Committee on International Affairs, Faculty of Health Sciences, HU.