International students introduce their culture, language, cuisine in self-organized events
(Provided by International Graduate program of Education and Human Development, Institute of Education, and Center for Teacher Education) The number of international students on campus is gradually increasing. To create an international-friendly environment, the International Graduate Program of Education and Human Development (IGPEHD), the Institute of Education, and the Center for Teacher Education jointly organized a series of International Corner events planned by international students who introduced their countries’ culture and customs. The events broadened participants’ horizons and revealed the international atmosphere of the campus.
The first event of the series was the Trivia Game about Taiwan, during which international students broadened their knowledge of Taiwanese culture in a Q&A game and build a closer personal connection to Taiwan. Many international students said that they didn’t realize that they already knew that much about Taiwan.
The next event – Fresh Spring Roll Making, took place in November and let the participants learn about Vietnam through its cuisine – the famous spring rolls. Vietnamese students – Nguyen Duc Nhan, Nguyen Hoai Than, Nguyen Pham Ngoc Thien, and Le Thi Nguyen led the participants through all the steps to prepare fresh spring rolls and shared the music and culture of Vietnam. In the Vietnamese Culture and Tradition event, the international students put on the national robes of Vietnam experienced Vietnamese culture and tasted French bread – one of the representative snacks of the Vietnamese cuisine.
December was the month of Indonesia! During the Indonesian Language and Food, Indonesian students of IGPEHD Syariful Muttaqin, Iis Nur Rodliyah, Yuyun Riani, Aryati Hamzy, and Jepri Ali Saiful put on traditional Indonesian outfits and let the participating students and teachers experience Indonesian culture, learn a few expressions of the Indonesian language, and try turmeric rice – a delicacy from their country. During the Movie Showing event, the students could learn about the life of ordinary people in Indonesia. A pre-service teacher from the Institute of Political Science Ying-Hao Wu, who joined the event, said that both Indonesia and Taiwan belong to the Asian sphere of cultural influence and that he feels that both countries bear some cultural similarities, such as the popularity of scooters, narrow lanes, the architecture, and traditional hairdressing salons seen in the movie, that let the viewers experience the Indonesian language and culture.
Director of the Institute of Education Professor Hsueh-Hua Chuang said that to reach the goal of turning Taiwan into a bilingual nation by 2030, approved by the Executive Yuan, and cultivating talents necessary for the country’s future, the University needs to enhance students’ English language abilities and thus it organizes formal courses that are a co-learning opportunity for Taiwanese and international students, as well as informal courses that let them exchange and practice English. Director of the IGPEHD Associate Professor Wen Cheng mentioned that self-directed learning demonstrates a student’s autonomy and that the University provides opportunities for the students to actively explore and study so that they can take control of their learning process. The International Corner events are an opportunity for international students to design classes in their free time and practice their communication and self-directed learning abilities.
The series of events by International Corner gathered a little “international village” of students from Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Iran, Hong Kong, Colombia, and the United States. In the future, the international and Taiwanese students will collaborate in groups to plan courses and participate in them to enhance their learning abilities, broaden their horizons and improve foreign language abilities.