A new student exchange program between two Chinese dental schools and an American dental school is building closer ties among students and faculty members, and increasing knowledge of dental education best practices among all schools involved.
Six students from University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry recently spent a portion of their summer break in late June participating in an exchange program established by Peking University School of Stomatology, Wenzhou Medical College School of Stomatology and the Dugoni School of Dentistry.
According to organizers, the exchange program is designed to give the American students and their counterparts in China an opportunity to learn about dental education abroad. The program aims to expand students’ understanding of the dental profession and oral health through interaction with and observation of dental students and faculty in other countries.
The students spent approximately one week at both Peking University School of Stomatology and Wenzhou Medical College School of Stomatology. During their visit, students interacted with Chinese students and faculty; attended lectures; and observed a variety of dental procedures and case presentations. The students were also able to participate in tourist and social activities including a visit to the Great Wall of China and celebratory meals with school leaders and students.
"The exchange program broadened my knowledge of the dental profession and helped me realize the significant impact of oral health worldwide," said C.T. Do, exchange trip leader and student at the Dugoni School of Dentistry. "Interacting and building rapport with dental students in China was a cultural and professional experience in one."
Later in 2012 or early 2013, a group of Chinese dental students will visit University of the Pacific and participate in similar activities at the school and around the San Francisco Bay Area.
IFDEA encourages cross-cultural experiences for dental educators and students as a way to build bridges across borders, share best practices in dental education, and raise the standards of dental education around the world.
As a resource to the global dental education community, IFDEA has established an online directory of dental schools, located at http://sfdental.pacific.edu/ifdea/schoolifdeamap.aspx. IFDEA members interested in learning more about other schools or contacting schools to inquire about cross-cultural opportunities are invited to utilize the global school directory.