TCM draws more students from US

Updated: 2008-04-11 14:43

A growing number of American students are enrolling in courses on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as it is becoming increasing recognized in their home country, according to an official with the Claremont University Consortium in the United States.

“We believe TCM has great value and lots of people are trying it back in the US. That’s why we decided to launch the TCM course in our program in China. Our students can see how it works through comparing it with Western medicine,” said Laura Skandera Trombley, president of Claremont's Pitzer College during a recent trip to Beijing.

She joined other college presidents in the consortium on an Asian trip, seeking development opportunities to work with local partners.

"We have to prepare our students for the global economy. Asia, especially China, plays an important role in the global economy, and students really need to have more exposure to the region," Trombley said.

In the fall of 2001, Pitzer launched its China program with Peking University, offering courses in Chinese, Tai Chi, calligraphy, contemporary Chinese history and TCM for American undergraduate students.

“Among the many other American institutions with China programs on our campus, Pitzer is the only one which teaches an elective course in TCM for liberal arts and pre-medicine students. This course often attracts applicants from other programs such as the Yale/PKU joint program and Stanford at PKU,” explained Lin Jianhua, vice-president of Peking University.

TCM has created enormous interest from students coming to China to study.

Francine Mireles, a student major in East Asian culture, mind and body, told, “The most excited part about the program is that I can now do those ‘magic’ therapies myself that I could not before and I can experience China a lot with immersion teaching with the local people and community.”

Pitzer College currently has 75 percent of its undergraduate students studying outside of the US, and aims to increase the proportion to 90 percent over the next five years, with around 12-13 percent coming to China. Currently only five percent of them are in China, said President Trombley.

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