International Collaboration and Exchange Program

A program directed by: Dr. Anette Wu

To donate or support please contact: aw2342@cumc.columbia.edu

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Student Testimonials

"Through the ICE program, I found a structure that allowed me to feel comfortable dispossessing these important topics with students who were complete strangers only six months ago."


“It's helpful to see how other countries experience medical school to see how our own education can be improved.”


“I liked doing my research experiences abroad in Germany and Japan because I obtained a wider perspective on how science research is conducted in other countries and how international cooperation can lead to research breakthroughs. I also, of course, learned valuable research skills and techniques. Lastly, I obtained a wider world-view on medical school and healthcare systems in other countries, as well as knowledge on different cultures and viewpoints. I feel more prepared to work with an increasingly diverse field of researchers and healthcare providers, as well as patients.”


“It was great in terms of cultural exchange and in terms of developing my professional skills.”


“In both Germany and Japan, I met up with students involved in the Skype project, including the ones I directly Skyped in Germany. Meeting up with them was extremely valuable. I was shown the best places to eat, how to navigate public transportation, and so much more. I was also able to hang out and learn about their medical school experiences and their experiences in healthcare within their respective countries. It was wonderful!”


“I think Dr. Wu and Dr. Sakurai did an excellent job helping find mentors in Germany and Japan. Finding an adequate lab is crucial and their help was important and greatly appreciated.”


- “My Skype partner was not from Japan, but I met with other participants to the Skype projects and we built strong friendships.”
“It was an absolutely amazing experience and I miss the people and the country a lot!”


“I learned to thrive in a completely new setting and to adapt to some difficult and critical situations on my own (e.g. I had to flee a typhoon in Kyoto to catch my flight in Tokyo.”


“I learned what it meant to feel extremely vulnerable (new country, language, and customs), which will tremendously help me when I need to care for patients from other cultures. I learned a tremendous amount about the German healthcare system.”


- “This was an absolutely incredible experience that completely changed my view of my own life as well as the world around me. I would love to continue to be exposed to different cultures throughout my time in medical school, so it would be great if we could somehow incorporate more of these visits during our clinical years. My time in Halle was absolutely amazing and I miss it a lot!”


“This was indeed an incredible experience, where I met medical students from all around the world. I am hoping to keep in touch with them during the rest of our training and perhaps even beyond! Of course, this would never have been possible without all your precious efforts!”


“Experiencing healthcare through the lens of other medical systems helps students think critically about their own approach to treating and interacting with patients and would be an unforgettable experience that would further solidify the relationships we formed with our international colleagues during our pre-clinical years through research. Overall, I think ICE is a unique program and am happy to have received the chance to participate in the Skype portion and form the connections that I did and look forward to seeing the program grow in the future!”


“...this has been a great opportunity that I feel very lucky to be part of, and I don't know of any other US medical school that has a comparable program...”


“I loved the skype portion of the ICE program because the open discussions with students from around the world allowed me to realize the importance of embracing our cultural differences in order to share knowledge and collaborate. Learning about the differences in our healthcare education, public health concerns, and healthcare delivery systems was very eye-opening. By broadening my scope of knowledge regarding existing paradigms of healthcare, I was able to attain a more nuanced understanding of the mechanisms of healthcare delivery and education."


“For me, this project represents one way to make the medical school system and the medical practice better by discussing different ways of its realization with others. I loved the idea of having more internships during the first semesters, for example, and could imagine it as a possibility to improve German medical schools. I also think that projects like this help understanding other cultures, which is an essential ability for a doctor.”


“Thanks again for the wonderful opportunity you gave me!  I can really tell that my German friendships will last a lifetime!”


"This interaction allowed me to expand my horizons beyond medical education at Columbia, beyond the system of healthcare delivery in the United States, and to explore a radically different professional structure and societal attitudes. In an ever more closely interconnected world, exposure to alternate practices and perspectives will be an invaluable asset to our professional development, and such dialogue will hopefully help inspire mutual understanding and policy activism on both sides of the globe.”


"This experience of exchanging between Columbia and NTU has been a life-changer for me. I could not have imagined to have an experience to work on an academic article with a professor from Columbia University a year ago."
 
"And for this reason, I have my highest gratitudes toward you both for your enormous effort on coordinating such a life-changing exchange experience for future medical doctors."
 
"I wish you all the best in your life, and I would like to thank you both again for inspiring me to look farther into the world and expand my whole perspective in terms of my career path."

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"This interaction allowed me to expand my horizons beyond medical education at Columbia, beyond the system of healthcare delivery in the United States, and to explore a radically different professional structure and societal attitudes. In an ever more closely interconnected world, exposure to alternate practices and perspectives will be an invaluable asset to our professional development, and such dialogue will hopefully help inspire mutual understanding and policy activism on both sides of the globe.”


“It expands our worldview as medical students and makes us think about the ways healthcare and medicine can be taught as well as provided to people. I think it will prepare me to be a more successful physician as a result.”


“...this is in line with the universal mission of medical professionals - to help people no matter who they are or where they are from. Learning more about the world can expand one's worldview, and to see how different countries approach a similar challenge with interesting methods is very refreshing. This will help lead to the exchange of ideas that will allow future doctors to be more innovative, and can only help us to better accomplish this mission...”


 “Because to be able to expand one's world view and see how different countries approach a similar challenge with interesting methods is very refreshing. This will help lead to the exchange of ideas that will allow future doctors to be more innovative.”


“I realized that exposure to foreign concepts and transnational comparison with other healthcare cultures can help us to identify areas of improvement within our own healthcare system.“