La Trobe students enriched by India trip

Medicinal-Herbs-standardAlysha Bosch, Leng Tiet and Ekram Boktor said they had a ‘delightful time’ at the JSS College of Pharmacy at JSS University at Ooty, India. They said a visit to the herbal garden and organic farm was a highlight.

‘In Australia, we are taught to trust modern medicine and that herbal products only have a complementary benefit to patient. Our visit to Ooty taught us that there is a value in herbal medicine and using natural products as leads for future medications,’ said Ms Bosch.

‘We greatly enjoyed our time in the herbal departments and observing the recent research into various compounds. We had a wonderful time, learning about the various plants with medicinal uses and how they benefit the wider community.’

Ms Bosch said there are differences in focus between Australian pharmacy courses and those at JSS College of Pharmacy.

‘Our university course in Australia is centred on clinical pharmacy and patient care, with only a small focus on drug manufacturing and development. As such it was fascinating to witness the dedication that JSS College of Pharmacy has to the industrial side of pharmacy,’ Ms Bosch said.

‘We learnt an incredible amount simply by visiting the various departments and interacting with the people there. Being informed of the various research that was being conducted was extremely interesting and an invaluable experience.’

Pharmacy students Ms Alysha Bosch, Mr Ekram Boktor and Ms Leng Tiet were delighted to have been selected for the study trip to India.

Head of La Trobe University’s School of Pharmacy, Dr Michael Angove said the students’ visit to India has made a valuable contribution to their education.

‘The idea is that having the students experience placements in some of the Indian hospitals would give them an idea of the health care system in India and afford them the opportunity to learn about India’s age old values and beliefs in herbal medicine, something that they would not experience in Australia.

‘Judging  by the feedback I’ve had from Alysha, Leng and Ekram, that experience has provided them with a valuable insight into a culture so different from our own. We are hoping that some of the students form JSS University will visit Bendigo next year so that both countries can benefit from this cultural and educational exchange.’

Professor Suresh Bhojraj, Vice-Chancellor, JSS University, Mysore said of the visit of Australian Students ‘Exchange programs always bring with them huge possibilities of learning, both for the host country’s students and for the visiting students.

‘Through this cross cultural exchange La Trobe has taken a positive step towards an exchange of educational values and better cultural understanding between our two countries and we hope this will continue for many years.’


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