Aileen Fitzmaurice, Roisin O’Brien and Eoin O’Riordan
In July we travelled to Chengdu, in Southwest China to partake in the two week University Immersion Programme hosted by Sichuan University. We studied International Perspectives of Medical Law for one week of the programme, delivered by Dr Eimear Spain, which drew comparisons between medical law in Ireland and other jurisdictions, including China. The module placed an emphasis on group work which enabled us to interact with the students of Sichuan University. Although there was a language barrier, the enthusiasm for learning displayed by the students of Sichuan University made every lecture more enjoyable.
In addition to attending the lectures, we were invited to attend a number of seminars in the Law School to discuss topics such as the differences between the Irish and Chinese Constitutions. The other students were fascinated to learn about the Irish legal system and we grasped an understanding of how the Chinese legal system operates. The kindness displayed by the Law School of Sichuan University and their students was remarkable.
During the second week we decided to travel around the region, accompanied by students from the Sichuan University. Various culture tours were organised including a trip to the National Panda Breeding Base and the Jinsha Musuem. We were fortunate enough to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha along with other international students and spend time in Leshan city. The enthusiasm of the students of Sichuan University and their willingness to give up their time allowed us to experience real Chinese tourism, an experience many traditional tourists are not afforded. We considered this to be one of the greatest advantages of this programme. Being completely immersed in Chinese culture, we bravely sampled some local cuisine including the infamous Sichuan Hot Pot – it is as hot as it sounds!
This programme was a fantastic experience that enabled us to learn about law from an international perspective along with experiencing Chinese culture. It is a very worthwhile programme and an experience which we would definitely recommend and are very fortunate to have participated in.