Whole-student Nourishment: A Deep Dive into ZJU-ISM’s Practices in Student Support

Editor’s Note:

As we wrap up another semester, our students at ZJU-ISM have navigated it with resilience and success. In this edition, we sit down with Dean for Student Affairs, Prof. Chen Weiying, Dean for Student Affairs, to explore the comprehensive practices at ZJU-ISM in holistically nurturing students. From creating conducive learning environments to integrating character development and embracing cultural diversity, this interview sheds light on ZJU-ISM’s commitment to providing an enriching and holistic educational experience.

Q1: Prof. Chen, could you please share with us how ZJU-ISM constructs a conducive learning environment in practice?

A: In our efforts to create a conducive learning environment, we established the International Student Office (I-Center) as a one-stop hub for academic and daily support, serving as a vital communication bridge. The I-Center ensures international students receive ample support, liaising with both students and various school departments to address their needs and enhance the overall quality of education.

Focusing on three key dimensions—goal trajectory, relationships, and support services—we strive to create an environment where students thrive. In terms of goal trajectory, we’ve introduced various activities like the Language Corner, lead lecture series, and cultural events to enhance language proficiency, academic competency, and intercultural competence. In fostering relationships, diverse events like sports matches and Fireside Chats connect students with peers, faculty, and staff. Our supporting services include career support through lectures on FMGE, PLAB and USMLE(Medical Licensing Examinations), as well as psychological support through mental health lectures.

Q2: In light of the emphasis on whole-person education at Zhejiang University, how does ZJU-ISM integrate the development of students’ character, skills, and global perspectives into its medical education program?

A: ZJU-ISM stands as the sole provider of dual longitudinal mentorship for international students in China. Notably, our program places a strong emphasis on early clinical exposure, fostering interest in problem-solving and collaboration. Students engage with real patients from the beginning, learning by both observing and doing, bypassing the traditional progression from mannequin to cadaver. This unique approach aligns with our commitment to practical, hands-on learning.

A series of Fireside Chats that we held brought together esteemed medical professionals and scientists with our MBBS students, creating a platform for insightful discussions and valuable mentorship to provide students with advice on their academic journey, career paths, campus life and personal development. Also, the culinary events, like the winter solstice dumpling-making activity, enrich our students’ understanding beyond traditional academic boundaries. All of our faculty and staff contribute to a well-rounded educational experience.

Q3: Prof. Chen, how does ZJU-ISM promote cultural diversity?

A: ZJU-ISM embraces cultural diversity with students from 25 different countries, forming a vibrant multicultural community. One dedicated course, “Intercultural Competence”, delves into global health systems, preparing students for smooth integration into local healthcare systems upon graduation.

This cultural exchange extends beyond the classroom, allowing students to interact with their Chinese peers, fostering understanding of Chinese culture and the local Yiwu culture. Some of our students express a desire to stay in China, serving as doctors and contributing to scientific advancement. It’s heartening to witness this exchange of knowledge and perspectives, making our campus a vibrant and truly global community.

Written by: Han Qiqi