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From left: Cynthia Wang, Dr John Phillips, Joanne Huang, Kyle Kratochvila

In August two students from the Optometry Department at Asia University spent four weeks in New Zealand as part of an exchange programme developed with Dr Samuel Chiang.

Hsiu-Wen Wang (a.k.a Cynthia) and Ching-En Huang (a.k.a Joanne) spent their first week in SOVS’ on-campus clinic and other attending local activities. During their second week they visited Auckland practices in the community. Their third and fourth weeks were spent with Central Otago Optical and Central Vision Optometry in Wanaka, and Matthews practices in Nelson.

Cynthia and Joanne stated “It was an amazing opportunity to observe how things work here. We were amazed to observe how the patients completely trusted the undergraduate students and valued their advice. We also learned a lot from talking to John Phillips and the supervisors. Some other clinics we visited allowed us to practise an eye exam which was an amazing experience and we saw many interesting cases.

“During our visit to the South Island, we did our first bungy jump and went skydiving.  We enjoyed the nature and the extreme sports.

“Despite optometry not being a well-known career in Taiwan, we are passionate and believe that people will start to value our profession. We are both interested in studying abroad to enhance our knowledge and improve our English.”

Our grateful thanks go to all our community optometrist partners who kindly hosted Cynthia and Joanne during their time in New Zealand.