McAdams Reflects on Study Abroad Trip to China
July 7, 2014
Andrian is a rising senior goalie on the men's soccer team and traveled to China for his study-abroad program this past May. A native of Oberlin, Ohio, Andrian has been studying public health at Ohio State and decided on China because of its enormous population that varies drastically depending on location in the country. Andrian has created a personalized study program as his major, which has allowed him to incorporate classes from exercise science, nutrition and public health. In his study abroad program, Andrian attended lectures, speaking with students who attend the University of Dalian, China where he will spend the majority of his time.
"Studying Public Health at OSU, I really wanted the study abroad program that I got involved in to reflect what I've been learning in classes and would allow me to apply my skills to the real world in an area I haven't seen before. Spending time in China will be a wonderful experience and I hope to gain a better understanding of their culture, how public health is viewed in their society, and how the role of health care in general compares to ours in the United States."
Journal 6: June 22, 2014
I've made new friends both from OSU and in Dalian, China that I hope will become long term relationships that I can continue to learn from and thrive in. The people I met in China were always friendly, outgoing and helpful. While the transition was difficult in getting used to life in China, I feel that by the end I had adjusted to the culture, food, and daily activities that would have made it possible to stay there for a much longer period of time.
Since I've been back, the way I've been able to describe China and what my experience was like, has always been in a positive way. I think that studying abroad is an invaluable experience and one that everyone can benefit from. The experiences I had, people I met, places I went, and perspective I gained all helped me become a well-rounded person. I hope that I have many more similar opportunities in the future as I hope to do public health work around the globe. For now, I look forward to returning to my life at Ohio State and continuing to study public health while getting ready for the fall soccer season.
Journal 5: May 27, 2014
Today we had the opportunity to tour a hospital in downtown Dalian and speak with one of the cardiologists. It was great to hear her opinion on topics such as Western vs. Traditional Chinese medicine, physician-patient relationships and health insurance. Getting to see the cardiology and urology departments as well as the inpatient rooms was great because I could compare it to what I've been able to witness in the States. Overall I have to say that the employees (doctors, RN's, etc.) were very impressive and seemed as though they are very qualified. However, the facilities were very underwhelming compared to hospitals in the United States.
We are heading back to campus now and will hopefully be seeing the area where they train seeing eye dogs to assist the blind. Afterword I hope to get in a quick workout and then join a few of the international students I met a few days ago in a pickup soccer game. I'm sure these last few days will be just as exciting and memorable as the previous couple of weeks.
Journal 4: May 22, 2014
The lectures have been very informative, covering topics like cervical cancer and the burden of disease on mortality rates. During my free time I've been able to spend more time with the local student body and continue to learn more about Chinese culture. We have actually set up a basketball game for later today, which I am really looking forward to (I'll see if I can get a soccer game going at some point).
This weekend we will be participating in the school's athletic games, in track and field events as well as other games that I have yet to be taught. It should be a fun but competitive environment, which soccer typically provides for me. On Sunday we will be taking a trip to the local zoo and I know everyone is looking forward to it.
I also have to start my final paper for the class (due Sunday), which I think will focus on vitamin D deficiency in China and the United States. I will compare the rates between the two countries and then propose reasons as to why we may see these differences. I look forward to researching this topic, provided that the information I need isn't blocked.
Journal 3: May 19, 2014
While it was a fun time and I enjoyed most of it, the weekend also allowed me to witness a few of China's biggest public health problems like air pollution, poverty and general cleanliness. The smog in the city was unbelievable and by the end of the trip I was excited to get back to Dalian if for no other reason than being able to breathe clean air again. Observing the population, I noticed the prominence of unsanitary living conditions and surroundings accompanied and perpetuated by poverty.
Besides getting to see the sites, we also toured silk, jade, and pearl factories, ate at a variety of delicious restaurants, and spent time exploring the city on foot (which included a trip to some of the 2008 Beijing Olympic sites that was both inspiring and exhilarating).
Now that we are headed back to Dalian for the remainder of this study abroad program, I look forward to focusing on public health and becoming more familiar with how it is viewed in China. This has been a rewarding experience so far and I know that I'm gaining valuable practice in being immersed in a foreign culture and adjusting to their way of life. The local people and Dalian University students have helped make this possible in a very pleasant way and I intend to absorb as much as possible.
Journal 2: May 15, 2014
Today we traveled off campus into the city of Dalian, visiting a local health center and then the Dalian Center for Disease Control (CDC). Both experiences were great and it was very interesting to compare what we saw there with what we know in the United States.
So far the food has been good for the most part, though I am not an adventurous eater so I haven't tried some of the more exotic looking dishes. It's definitely a culture shock but I feel as though I've already been here a month. The weather has been perfect and I hope it stays that way as we have planned a trip to Beijing for the weekend. I look forward to continuing to learn about public health in China as well as absorbing the culture.
Journal 1: May 14, 2014
The time change is hard to adjust to (a full 12 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone) but I'm doing my best to get acclimated as quickly as possible. So far the trip has been a great experience and I can't wait for what today will bring (I'm writing this at 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning). I will continue to write journals but our days are fairly busy and we do have actual school work to do so finding the time isn't always easy.