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Learning Beyond Textbooks: An Enriching Field Trip for IMU Chinese Medicine Students

04 Oct 2019

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

Visiting Herb Packaging Factories
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. We were then given a guided tour to various departments to see how the workers and machines deal with the herbs. An enriching field trip for 33 IMU Chinese Medicine students and 5 lecturers.An enriching field trip for 33 IMU Chinese Medicine students and 5 lecturers. 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, we continued our journey to Klang where the Hai-O Factory is located. 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.

Adventure at Taman Rimba Eco Komanwel
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 student 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 who 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. An enriching field trip for 33 IMU Chinese Medicine students and 5 lecturers.An enriching field trip for 33 IMU Chinese Medicine students and 5 lecturers. 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.

“The trekking was quite tiring and challenging for me, however, it was this challenge that brought us closer and bond together. This was my first-time joining a Chinese Medicine field trip and it was really a memorable experience. We got to know each other better and had lots of fun”, said Marina Yasmin, a student from CM1/17.

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.

Written by Khor Chin See and reviewed by Chep Lee.

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