East meets west

Mount students complete integrated medicine course in China
May 10, 2017

About 20 Mount Saint Mary College students recently completed an integrated medicine course in Shanghai, China called “When East Meets West: Exploring the Health Benefits of Integrated Medicine.” 


About 20 Mount Saint Mary College students recently traveled to Shanghai, China for a three-week course in integrated medicine.

Shanghai is located more than 7,000 miles – a 16-hour flight – from New York.

The students earned three credits in biology or sociology through the Mount faculty-led course, called “When East Meets West: Exploring the Health Benefits of Integrated Medicine.” The program was spearheaded by Suparna Bhalla, associate professor of biology at the Mount, and Elizabeth Harper, assistant professor of biology.

The Mount students lived and learned on the campus of East China Normal University in Shanghai with both Chinese and international students. In their classes, they explored new approaches in integrated medicine, which healthcare providers are implementing in the United States to combat high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and more.

“The future of healthcare will be in integrative medicine,” explained Harper. “Many of our students will be professionals in the healthcare field someday. We hope this course planted a seed of curiosity and appreciation for forms of healing and medicine outside the Western medical paradigm.”

The students also took cultural excursions to traditional water towns like Whuzhen and Hangzhou, with a final destination of Beijing. Stops included the Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum, the Shanghai Chinese Tea City, and meetings with practitioners in the fields of reflexology and Eastern medicine. They also explored health practices like Tai Chi and Chi Gong and learned Chinese language and calligraphy.

“I’m really honored to have had such an amazing experience in a city like Shanghai,” said freshman Christina Green of Uniondale, N.Y.

Trip was offered by the Mount’s Office for International Programs. In addition to China, the Office for International Programs gives students study abroad options in Italy, London, New Zealand, Spain, and more.