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Si-Wan International Salon conducted its first Future Global Leaders English Summer Camp at Cishan Elementary School

(Provided by Si-Wan College) National Sun Yat-sen University organized the first of the summer events of Si-Wan International Salon – Future Global Leaders English Summer Camp. This camp recruited Taiwanese and international students from Spain, Russia, and the USA from the University, and took them to the Cishan Elementary School in an attempt to conduct in-depth international cultural exchange with 15 local pupils. International postgraduate students introduced their countries and culture to the elementary school pupils and let them learn more about different parts of the world, while pupils presented their hometown – Cishan in English. In so doing, both international students at NSYSU and pupils at Cishan Elementary School had an opportunity to broaden their horizons.

This summer, Si-Wan College at NSYSU organized an educational initiative – Si-Wan International Salon. Functioning as a platform between local and international students, Si-Wan International Salon aims at promoting the concept of glocalization and global competence. Future Global Leaders English Summer Camp was a collaboration between the Higher Education Sprout Project and the USR Project of the Ministry of Education – Education & Knowledge Localization and Globalization in Practice: Kaohsiung Old Port and New Bay as Starting Point. Designer of the camp curriculum, Assistant Professor Ko-Ching Chao of the Si-Wan College said that the aim of the camp is to strengthen international students’ identification with the Taiwanese culture and their connection with Taiwan, as well as to create a way for them to practice service learning, and also, to expand the collaboration of the Si-Wan College with schools in rural areas.

Future Global Leaders English Summer Camp stresses the importance of the natural process of learning while playing and interacting with other people. At first, the pupils of the Cishan Elementary School were somewhat shy, but thanks to teachers’ step by step guidance, they started asking the visiting international students questions and introducing their new friends to other classmates. The course included many different activities and competitions in English, such as story-telling, filling in the gaps, playing tag, which brought the students and pupils closer. Also, the pupils asked about each other’s’ English names and wrote them on name tags, made DIY posters in English promoting Cishan, practiced their English speaking abilities, and prepared cards to send to their friends and family and invite them to come to the final ceremony of the Camp.

Po-Hsun Chuang, a student of the Department of Electrical Engineering, was the representative of the camp team. Although he often interacts with international students, Chuang admitted that he is glad to have learned a lot about other countries and cultures from the international participants. Matthew, who comes from Florida in the USA and is currently a student of the Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies, said that most foreigners in Taiwan stay in big cities and don’t have many opportunities to see the countryside. This Camp let him gain a deeper understanding of Cishan and interact with children who grew up in rural areas. Cristina from Spain said that the Camp gave her an opportunity for genuine interaction with Taiwanese children, which she found to be a valuable experience. Ilya, who had been a team leader a few times before in his native Russia and China, said that this was his best experience of all.

Assistant Professor Chao, who is in charge of the Si-Wan International Salon project, said that the Salon team plans to host camps in other schools for elementary and secondary school pupils to experience international education. In August, the Salon hosted two other events: The Taste of Taiwan Summer Camp and Social Innovation in Taiwan Program, both in English as the language of communication. Taiwanese students introduce the local culture and development of Kaohsiung, and the international students - the culture and lifestyle in their countries. Dean of the Si-Wan College Dun-Hou Tsai said that this series of events is open to all students regardless of their nationality, lets them learn from each other, experience loglobalization, and brings them together.

(Edited by Public Affairs Division)
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