June 2014 – Three final year Nutrition and Dietetics (now known as Dietetics with Nutrition) students, Ong Jing Yi, Wong Peh Ying and Gan Shea Yin from the International Medical University (IMU) had the opportunity to visit Taiwan International Healthcare Hospital and Chinese Taipei Veteran Hospital for 4 weeks via the University’s Student Mobility Programme. The students shares with us their experience in Taiwan. “A month of semester break was very well spent in Taiwan participating in the Student Mobility Programme. We figured there was no better way to make full use of our holidays than to engage in more learning and gain experience in the dietetic world. We came across IMU’s Mobility Programme on the website and decided to take the leap knowing that we will have the opportunity to learn beyond the classroom. We hoped that this experience, will not only benefit ourselves, but also benefit others by the sharing of our story. This experience was no doubt, a major highlight of our university life. The three of us left for Taiwan in June 2015 for a month and came back with not only experience and wonderful stories but a stronger bond of our friendship. The trip was very successful and we could not have done it without the acceptance of our application by Taipei Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare. The activities were conducted in Mandarin which made the learning both fun and challenging at the same time as we have always been taught in English. The hospital dietitians played a major role in guiding us patiently throughout the training period. They were very kind and helpful, whilst ensuring we have all achieved our learning objectives. Throughout the training period, we had the opportunity to observe dietitians working in different settings such as food service and clinical. Besides that, we had opportunity to do assignments and presentations throughout the training session. We learnt a lot from the dietitians as they guided us throughout the attachment. We learnt about communication to patients and planning of nutrition intervention for the patient. Therefore, we certainly think that we have gained much knowledge to improve our critical thinking from this Mobility Programme. We also had the honour to be invited to visit the Taipei Veteran General Hospital where we were given a tour on their food service department and attended IBFAN East Asia Strategic Meeting on improving maternal, infant and young child feeding and nutrition. It was truly an amazing session where we met experts from a different country sharing their thoughts and knowledge regarding breastfeeding. We also tried our best to engage in participating in the discussion and shared our opinions regarding breastfeeding. Over the span of four weeks, we spent most of the weekends discovering the museums, historical monuments and little cafes and revel in the exciting experiences of exploring the city. The places visited include Taipei 101, Tamsui, National Museum, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ximending, Yehliu and night markets. We even hopped onto a bullet train to Taichung. Taiwan is well known for its night markets and street food and as future dietitians, we were were fortunate to experience the diversity in food and appreciate the culture that affects a person’s eating habits. In general, it was truly memorable experience to be exposed to a hospital setting prior to embarking upon our final year clinical training. The experience indeed prepared us mentally and physically for the for the upcoming clinical attachments. This experience gave us so much more insight of the dietetic world and motivated us to become competent dietitians whom will be able to empower individuals to lead a healthy lifestyle. The experience would not have materialized without the support from IMU management. We would like to also thank IMU for giving us this amazing opportunity, our supervising lecturer, Ms Kanimolli Arasu for helping us along the way, friends and family for the endless support. We also had the opportunity to represent IMU in the 6th Asian Congress of Dietetics 2014 for the presentation of our Student Mobility Programme experiences in Taiwan. We won the Recipient of Fellowship Award at the Congress for our presentation on our experiences and knowledge we have gained during our attachment in Taipei Hospital, Taiwan. It was a great experience to attend the dietetics congress as we met many experienced dietitians who shared their experiences and research works from different countries. Our batch mates and few of our lecturers from IMU also attended this congress. Some of our lecturers also presented on various topics in dietetics. Experiences we have gained from this congress has enriched our knowledge and interest in dietetics field. We are looking forward to the next Asian Congress of Dietetics in 4 years’ time which will be held in Hong Kong.” Read about the IMU Staff and Students’ Achievements at 6th Asian Congress of Dietetics in Taipei, Taiwan by clicking here.