In 2015, an exchange program was launched between Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) and Anhui Medical University (AMU) (pronounced On-Qway) in Hefei, China. Since then, a group of five to six students majoring in clinical pharmacy, accompanied by one AMU faculty member, has come to NEOMED every year.
This is the first article in a series of reflections by Anhui students who spent the 2018-2019 academic year at NEOMED. Yu Du (Summer) contributed this reflection.
We, the fourth group from AMU – Huarong Li (Alisa); Xueting Wang (Coco); Mengya Chen (Selma); Xiujin Xu (Sheeran); Yu Du (Summer); Yuanqin Su (Sue); and faculty member Jinfang Ge (Professor Grace); arrived at NEOMED on August 26, 2018. We have lived and studied here, and now we want to write down our experiences and feelings. NEOMED has impressed us a lot.
At the first glance, the NEOMED campus is not as large as what we imaged, but the atmosphere is quiet and beautiful. Instead of the imaginary skyscrapers, the tallest building on campus seems to have only five floors. However, the teaching building is well-connected in all directions and the electronic screens in the halls shows the campus environment and the elegant demeanor of the teachers and students.
To our surprise, there are so many magazines, newspapers and sofa seats under the stairs. There are also automatic water dispensers around the corner, which show the people-oriented campus culture.
Moreover, the sign “Welcome Anhui Medical University” hanging at the entrance of our apartment complex makes us feel warm and moved.
It is astonishing that the welcome picnic was held just in the square outside, but not a hall indoor. The students’ association warmly welcomed the new students and provided various small gifts. The volunteers also kindly provided free photography and sketch services. The sunlight shining from the dappled trees, the staff and students standing in couples to chat and exchange ideas and the President’s speech is held just in such a scene. It is really quite different from that in China, but it is in fact a very exciting and wonderful experience.
Opening and multicultural is evident due to the different faces and different races in the crowd. However, it seems there is harmony and that everyone gets along with each other. In fact, we received smile greetings from almost all the people we met. Dr. Kasmer, the dean of the College of Pharmacy, showed great respect and welcome for us. He not only picked us up at the airport, but also invited us to have a sumptuous welcome dinner, which eased our anxiety and maladjustment. Mrs. Jodie Dillner, the operations coordinator of the College of Pharmacy, tried her best to help us by taking us around the campus, dealing with all kinds of admission procedures, getting familiar with the environment and driving us to purchase the necessities.
It is a strange country, different campus. Our professional learning life is ignited and extended just from here.