TAIYUAN, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Beatrice Barna has little spare time to travel around the city of Taiyuan, north China's Shanxi Province, at the weekend as she is busy studying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Barna, from Romania, is among 32 foreign students from 14 countries who are currently attending a government-sponsored training program in China.
Aged from 23 to 47, they will spend 56 days in a training center in Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi, studying TCM, acupuncture theory and clinical practice.
Barna said she first knew of acupuncture when she suffered from facial neuralgia many years ago. After western medicine failed to ease the severe pain, she tried acupuncture and the pain disappeared.
After studying western medicine for six years as an undergraduate, Barna chose to learn TCM for her postgraduate study. She has been a TCM doctor for more than 10 years and runs a TCM clinic in Romania.
"TCM is an affordable choice, which has very little side effects on the body. So, TCM is becoming very popular in my country," Barna said.
Barna is now studying the Chinese medical classic "Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon," which has been included in the UNESCO Memory of the World.
"It is the first time that I have come to China to receive training. I've learnt a lot. I'm planning to study in China in the future," she said.
Wang Haijun, associate professor with the Shanxi University of Chinese Medicine, said TCM was very difficult for Chinese students, let alone foreign students who cannot speak Chinese.
But the training center provides English courses from basic theories to practices to ensure they help all learners.
"All of them are very studious. They have so many questions that I don't even have time to use the toilet during the break," said Wang, who has been teaching foreign students for more than 10 years.
For Vera Garcia, who comes from Mexico and is already a senior TCM doctor, the short-term training can consolidate his basic TCM knowledge. He shared his experiences with other students.
"Understanding the basic theories, keep practising and learning the philosophy of Chinese people's lives, that's the key to success," he said.
"With growing attention from the world, TCM has an infinite potential for passing on and development," said Yang Youshuai, director of the international communication center of Health and Family Planning Commission of Shanxi Province. "TCM can not only serve the Chinese, but also people across the globe. It also becomes an important carrier of Chinese culture which can strengthen the friendship between China and other countries."
According to Yang, nearly 2,000 students from 121 countries and regions have received TCM training at the center over the past two decades.