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Beyond the confines of the classroom

Biomedical Science students in San Francisco, USA

Our learning journey started with our Diploma in Biomedical Science (DBS) classmates and lecturers reaching Changi Airport at 5 am one September morning! Eighteen hours later, we got our first glimpse of gorgeous San Francisco in a beautiful weather. Our first day in San Francisco was spent recovering from the jetlag, which was pretty overwhelming since most of us have not experienced it in our lives.

A study trip would not be called one without visits to the two renowned universities in the state! At the University of California Berkeley, we were given the opportunity to observe Problem Based Learning (PBL) in action for their Joint Medical Program. It was an interesting experience as we had experienced Case Based Learning (CBL) in our second year modules. At the post-observational dialogue with faculty, we participated in a discussion of the merits of both pedagogies. We feel that by integrating the two systems, we will have a more rigorous CBL system for our future DBS research students!

At Stanford University, we attended a SPARK program discussion. SPARK is Stanford's bioscience incubator, founded to nurture "crazy ideas" that pharmaceutical companies won't touch. SPARK helps to initialise and fund novel ideas and solutions to neglected diseases around the world. It also creates a culture of information-sharing between different research organisations. My classmates and I felt that our internship foundation made it easier for us to understand the experimental workflow and the researchers’ explanations, thus enhancing our entire learning experience at the discussion.

We visited the popular California Academy of Sciences as well as the Exploratorium. The Exploratorium was super interactive! It truly depicted “learning outside the classroom” with their hands-on exhibits about biology, physics, and psychology. It ignited our senses, and challenged our perceptions. Nerdish as it sounds, this place just made us fall more deeply in love with science than we already did!

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” Of course we had our fair share of recreation and fun, so let the pictures do the talking!

Bertrand Ong Yen Chong, Victor Chua Kai Chuan, Su Wen Jin, Gretel Wong Jianlin
Diploma in Biomedical Science
Current Year 3 students



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