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NSYSU and Fulbright Taiwan Tree Planting Initiative for Talent Exchange



National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) and Fulbright Taiwan held a tree-planting ceremony on March 19, symbolizing the collaborative efforts and close connections in bilingual education. President Ying-Yao Cheng of National Sun Yat-sen University and Executive Director Randall Nadeau of Fulbright Taiwan jointly planted two osmanthus trees, symbolizing nobility and elegance, near the 360 University House on the NSYSU campus. This initiative aims to promote more international talent exchanges, with both sides fostering deep roots in cooperation and long-lasting friendship. The tree-planting ceremony is a testament to Senator Fulbright's vision: "A world with a little more knowledge and a little less conflict."


President Ying-Yao Cheng stated that in September 2021, the Ministry of Education established the first national bilingual education regional resource center at NSYSU and set up an office for Fulbright Taiwan to jointly work towards building a bilingual learning environment. Subsequently, through the Open Professional English Network Program, English Language Fellow, English Language Specialist, and Fulbright Specialist Programs, customized teaching consultation resources have been provided to assist campuses in promoting EMI teacher training, enhancing students' English proficiency, and creating a bilingual campus environment. President Ying-Yao Cheng emphasized that the tree planting initiative symbolizes the close cooperation, akin to the growth of trees, of our two parties working together towards social responsibility and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It also symbolizes international talent cultivation, like the renowned fragrant and elegant osmanthus worldwide.


Executive Director Randall Nadeau pointed out the honor he felt that National Sun Yat-sen University chose the historic site of the "360 University House" to plant the trees. The building, constructed in 1935 during the Japanese colonial period, later served as the residence of President Chiang Kai-shek. Recently renovated, it is a building full of history and beauty. The choice of planting fragrant osmanthus trees by NSYSU is highly praised, as osmanthus trees are both aromatic and visually appealing, representing the attractiveness of the Fulbright Program. He emphasized that although the roots of osmanthus trees are not visible from the outside, they symbolize friendship, cooperation, and sustainable roots for future generations. "We are all educators; we teach students and nurture talents, and we hope our talents are influential as the roots of these trees are deeply planted in the soil, and passed down from generation to generation." This initiative is the 32nd event co-organized by Fulbright Taiwan, and it is the southernmost tree planted in a Taiwanese university so far.


Senior Vice President Chih-Wen Kuo, Vice President for International Affairs Mitch Chou, Vice President for Academic Affairs Po-Chiao Lin, Vice President for General Affairs Yuan-Chung Lin, and Chief of Art Center Mei-Wen Lee attended the tree planting ceremony. Also, Public Diplomacy Section Chief Nelson Wen represented the American Institute in Taiwan Kaohsiung Branch Office. From Fulbright Taiwan, English Language Teaching Programs (ELTP) Project Manager Ariel Peng, Regional Manager Fonda Mao, EMI Advisor at NSYSU David Kim, and EMI ETP-NSYSU Rebecca Park. The 14 U.S. university representatives of the Fulbright International Education Administrator Delegation were also present at this memorable event.


The Fulbright Taiwan is mainly funded by the government of the Republic of China and the U.S. Department of State and is one of 49 Fulbright Foundations worldwide, specializing in the operation of Fulbright exchange scholarships. The Fulbright Program is one of the most iconic international exchange programs in the United States, operating for over 70 years, and aims to promote continuous understanding and trust between people. Through cross-cultural learning, it brings a more positive outlook to the world.


The Fulbright Program sponsors students, scholars, artists, and experts from diverse backgrounds and fields, with talent and passion, to participate. The participants not only enhanced their personal teaching and professional skills but also gave back to local communities. In commemorating Senator Fulbright, the White House held a tree-planting ceremony on April 21, 2016, and subsequently launched worldwide tree-planting initiatives. The Fulbright Taiwan initiated this project in 2017 to celebrate a century of educational exchanges between Taiwan and the United States, with over 30 trees planted in the past seven years.

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