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Learning beyond textbooks: An enriching field trip for IMU Chinese Medicine students

28th February, 2020

On 23 August 2019, 33 International Medical University Chinese Medicine students accompanied by 5 lecturers participated in an annual field trip. The two-day field trip saw participants visiting several places: Eu Yan Sang Herb Packaging Factory, Hai-O Factory and Taman Rimba Eco Komanwel.

Participants started their journey to the Eu Yan Sang Herb Packaging Factory in Cheras at around 9am. At the factory, students and lecturers were divided into two groups and were briefed on the processes, starting from the selection of herbs to the packaging of the products. After the briefing, everyone was asked to wear the provided personal protective equipment (PPE), including lab coats, head cover cap, mask, gloves and shoe covers before entering the factory. They were then given a guided tour to various departments to see how the workers and machines deal with the herbs.

During the visit, the students were amazed by the sophisticated machines which are able to perform with high precision and fast speed without any mistakes. The students and lecturers also had the opportunity to explore their microbiology labs, where the testing of all the herbs that will be added into the products are conducted. The lab workers showed them how they measure the percentage of active products extracted from the herbs and also how they make sure that the herbs are safe to be consumed and the contamination level.

After lunch, they continued the journey to Hai-O Factory, Klang. After visiting this factory, students and lecturers were able to compare the different herbs and packaging processes between Hai-O and Eu Yan Sang. Many students reflected that these factory visits have broadened their minds and widen their horizons as this is quite a great exposure for them to learn new things beyond textbooks.

That night, the students and lecturers stayed overnight in the chalets at Taman Rimba Eco Komanwel, somewhere near Rawang. There, they enjoyed themselves playing interactive games and having a simple birthday celebration for the August babies while having a barbecue. All of them had fun and enjoyed mingling with each other – seniors and juniors.

The next day, students were given free time to relax in the morning. They enjoyed having their meals together while taking in the beauty of Mother Nature. In the evening, the students and lecturers went for a three-hour trekking adventure, guided by physician Yang Sok Hoong and physician Pang Wan Koon, who are guest lecturers at IMU and are very knowledgeable in local herbs. The students and lecturers were introduced to different types of local herbs and their medicinal efficacy. During this activity, students were surprised to discover that some flora that is commonly seen in our living environment has medicinal benefits.

It was great to see everyone taking good care of one another during this trekking adventure along slippery paths with leeches seen everywhere, as a result of the rain the night before. This team spirit has resulted in none of the participants being injured during the three hours of exploring and identifying the local herbs.

Most of the students were glad to participate in the field trip. For them, this is a short getaway that enabled them to rejuvenate and set their mind free from the hectic university life while enriching their knowledge in herbs.

IMU offers a 4-year BSc (Hons) in Chinese Medicine. It also has partnerships with several universities of TCM in China (Shanghai University of TCM, Shandong University of TCM, Guangzhou University of TCM) and RMIT University, Australia for students to transfer after 3 years in the IMU Chinese Medicine programme. Students will then be awarded the bachelor degrees in Chinese Medicine of the respective partner universities upon completion of their studies.

The Chinese Medicine programme in IMU is delivered in an integrative manner, where students will acquire knowledge from both Chinese Medicine and western medicine. By delivering our programme in English, the programme is open to everyone who is keen to learn Chinese Medicine. Through such studies, students will equip themselves with evidence-based medical knowledge to deal with future challenges locally or internationally as a healthcare provider.

The commencement for the Chinese Medicine programme is in February and September of each year. IMU welcomes students with pre-university qualifications to join the university as a start to a promising and rewarding yet challenging future with a career in Chinese Medicine. If you have pre-university qualifications, make an online application today.

If you have just completed your SPM and do not have pre-university qualification, consider enrolling in the one-year IMU Foundation in Science (FiS), the direct route for entry into any of the University’s degree programmes.

For more information, please refer to www.imu.edu.my or email: start@imu.edu.my or call IMU at 03 – 2731 7272.

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