Looking at Acupuncture Schools? Consider Minnesota
Looking at Acupuncture Schools? Make Sure Minnesota is on Your List
Why the Twin Cities are an Ideal Place to Move for Grad School in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
When you’re deciding where to go to acupuncture school, you’ll weigh many factors. One of them—a big one—is the location of the school.
You’ll spend 3-4 years at school, and it’s a huge investment in your future. We’ve written in the past about what to look for in an acupuncture program. Here, we’ll dive into the location specifically—what to look for, and why it matters.
You want to think about the basics, of course: what’s the housing market like? Are there fun things to do? You’ll also want to consider the state of the field: are practitioners successful? Are health systems embracing acupuncture? Are there opportunities to network?
At NWHSU, we think the Twin Cities (and our program) check all the boxes! We invite you to consider the questions and see for yourself.
1. What is the Acupuncture Field Like?
It’s important to attend a school with a lively acupuncture community, whether you plan to stay after graduation or not. Why? Most importantly, it means the school can offer more diverse clinical internship opportunities.
For example, acupuncture is integrated into every major health system in the Twin Cities, where NWHSU is located. We have good connections with health systems, so as a student, you can work in many different clinical settings.
In fact, NWHSU has the most robust internship offerings of any school in the country.
The close-knit community allows you to learn from licensed acupuncturists. It also allows you to connect with licensed acupuncturists. These licensed acupuncturists serve as clinic supervisors and guest speakers.
2. How Affordable is it to Live Near Campus?
Living somewhere comfortable, affordable, and convenient will make your grad school experience a lot better. That’s more possible at some schools than others.
When trying to determine what housing options are like at a school, we encourage you to look for examples. Searching a city’s range gives an idea, but finding specific options gives a clearer picture. You can learn about the cost, proximity, and quality of living options available to you.
At Northwestern Health Sciences University we regularly publish a housing update and apartment guide. Many of our students who move here from out of state live right in Bloomington, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis (we call Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the suburbs the “Twin Cities”). Rent is affordable, neighborhoods are green and safe, and many housing options are so close that you can walk to class!
3. Can I be Happy Living There for 3+ Years?
This one is subjective, but it’s important. Grad school is challenging and time-consuming. You’ll want to live somewhere with opportunities to unwind. Think about what you enjoy, and what will be important to you during school.
Do you need easy access to nature? A cool food scene? Live music? The Twin Cities offers all of the above and more.
Twin Cities Arts and Culture
In Bloomington, you get the perks of being tucked away in a quiet, safe suburb, with quick access to all that Minneapolis (and don’t forget St. Paul!) has to offer.
Minneapolis is a “top ten city for live music” and home to the #1 arts district in the country. Our arts, music, and philanthropic communities are strong, and if you don’t believe us, you should visit. Use this guide to live music venues, or this “art lover’s guide” as a place to start.
Twin Cities Food
Our food scene is all over the place, in the best possible way (and it gets talked about). Our chefs are famous and run fancy restaurants where you can book a table for when your parents visit. However, what’s cool is that those chefs also run food stalls and basement bars.
The Twin Cities have a variety of communities that influence the food scene. You can enjoy delicious Ethiopian, Native American, Hmong, and Mexican cuisine, among others. We like this guide as a starting point.
Twin Cities Active, Outdoor Culture
One thing you might be thinking about is the weather. It’s true, the weather and the seasons can have a big effect on you (which you’ll learn more about in school).
Minnesota gets a bad rap for weather, specifically for its cold, snowy winters. However, people who live here take full advantage of the snow and cold. You’ll find your classmates cross-country skiing (sometimes behind their dogs), sauna-ing (with snow plunges to cool off!), snowshoeing, ice fishing, ice skating, and fat tire biking.
Of course, some people prefer to enjoy winter in a different way. What could be better than curling up in a cozy coffee shop with some homework and a hot beverage on a cold day?
4. Is the School the Right Fit?
When choosing an acupuncture school, the program is the most important factor to consider. You want a curriculum that will push you and help you be successful. You want to join a community that feels supportive. And you want clinical opportunities that give you diverse experience.
At NWHSU we’re proud of our program, and the faculty who teach in it. Our curriculum balances classical theory with biomedical training—preparing you to work in the current healthcare environment. More than half of our faculty members were educated in China and hold advanced degrees from Chinese universities.
Our student community is engaged, participating in university-wide clubs and leading ACM-specific clubs (like Herb Club, an active chapter of the Student American Society of Acupuncturists (SASA), and even a new 内经俱乐部 NeiJing Club). And again, our clinical internship program is unrivaled nationally.