“The Canada Study Tour to McMaster was an incredible learning experience,” says third year undergraduate student Akane Funazaki from Japan.
On March 15, a delegation of seven health sciences students – six undergraduate and one graduate – arrived from Niigata University to spend a week at McMaster for their Canada Study Tour. The GHO has hosted delegations from Niigata each year since 2006.
Funded by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), the Tour provides an opportunity for students to learn about health sciences at McMaster and – at a more macro level – to explore similarities and differences between Canadian and Japanese approaches to teaching and learning in this field.
The Niigata students’ packed itinerary from Monday to Friday involved several presentations from Health Sciences faculty, along with tours of the campus, health sciences labs, HSc library, and Simulation Centre.
Presentations covered a range of topics and included an interactive demonstration of Problem Based Learning (PBL), delivered by Dr. Yvonne Lawler, as well as an overview of the nursing curriculum at McMaster from Dr. Olive Wahoush, and a tour of the Anatomy Laboratory by Dr. Bruce Wainman.
As the week came to a close, Niigata students participated in a Question and Answer session with Sahar Haji, a BScN program graduate, and Daniela Graziano and Aru Sharma, graduate students in the MSc in Global Health program, before delivering presentations highlighting their impressions and reflections from the experience.
Student Yuri Kodera commented on the “autonomy” of Canadian students, explaining that her perceptions of the differences in learning and teaching styles were confirmed by the visit to McMaster. Colleague Riko Ito echoed these sentiments, expressing that the experience had allowed her to see “how active students are in the classroom.”
For student Hikaro Meguro, the highlight of the Tour was “seeing Problem Based Learning in action. We have learned about it and read about it, but to see it demonstrated was very exciting.”
The busy Tour ended on the weekend with some sightseeing and a visit to Niagara Falls.