Students from the Biomedical Science diploma course spent more than 10 days during the June 2017 vacation observing and learning about the healthcare industry landscape in Japan. The trip heightened the students’ appreciation of the complexities of the healthcare industry, and the wide range of career opportunities for Biomedical Science graduates.
They visited rehabilitation hospitals, nursing homes and hospices to observe the healthcare practice in a clinical setting and interacted with the volunteers there. They also visited a medical university, Kyoto Tachibana University, where they had the opportunity to meet Professor Watanabe and attended one of his learning sessions on the use of food as alternative medicine for diabetes.
“The lectures presented by Dr Watanabe centred on how changes in diet – such as reducing meat consumption and increasing the intake of whole grains and tofu – can help prevent many different types of cancers or at least reduce the risk of such cancers. We also learnt that diet styles (both what you eat and how you eat – with family, alone, etc) can also influence the occurrence of mental problems such as depression, and various other health complications such as type 2 diabetes and the cascade of secondary diseases that follow its advancement.” ~ Zubaidah Binte Dadlani
“Another highlight of the trip was our visit to Kyoto Tachibana University’s nursing department. It was such an eye-opening experience to learn how detailed they are in equipping students with essential knowledge and skills in this industry. It was fascinating to see how they prepare themselves to serve and support the healthcare industry, from babies to the elderly, integrating food science to provide healthy diets for different age groups with different health problems.” ~ Chau Anh Quan
“The healthcare system in Japan is very different from Singapore’s. The younger volunteers seem more compassionate and they even instil the volunteering spirit in primary school children by establishing a two-way connection between children and the elderly.” ~ Merrilyn Eng
The cultural visits to places of interest, Gion night tour and home-stay allowed the students to have an insight into living in Japan. Their host organised cooking lessons where the students had to learn how to cook their Japanese meals and make sakura mochi with Japanese tea. They also had the opportunity to replace the paper of Shojis (sliding paper door) and to interact with the host’s neighbours during a kimono session.
“One thing I’ll definitely not forget is the food. All that glorious food! I gained weight on the trip but it was all worth it. Japanese cuisine is healthy. It shows in the people. They aren’t obese and they all look relatively healthy. Maybe that’s why they all look so happy. Good food makes the world go round, makes people happy, and brings them together. But they eat in moderation. Control is key - something I did not have when I was there… This trip is something I will not forget.” ~ Sri Nandhika Prakash
“It was truly amazing to be able to gain new perspectives of the healthcare sector, and discover so much of Japanese culture.” ~ Juvenia Neo
“Throughout the trip, Yoko-san and Osamu-san were very hospitable. They always ensured that we were safe, happy and contented during our stay. I am grateful that they treated us like their children and took care of us wholeheartedly.” ~ Chau Anh Quan