Tunghai University has been actively involved in the promotion of international cultural and academic exchanges. Tunghai has sister schools in all of the 5 major continents. For example, Tunghai has sister schools in 23 countries, such as USA, Australia, Germany, France, England, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Japan, Korea, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and etc. Tunghai has signed academic collaborations with these schools. Teachers have the opportunity to conduct international academic exchanges with these institutions. Also, students are encouraged to study overseas to develop an international perspective.
To promote internationalization of higher education, the Office of International Education and Programs (OIEP) was established in 1986. To accommodate the increasing need, the OIEP expanded and added “international cooperation section” and “international student affairs section”. With the new expansion, the OIEP now handles cooperation with foreign universities and provide advising and counseling service for international students.
Each year, Tunghai receives exchange and foreign students from the United States, Japan, Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, Mainland China and Europe. With this community of international and foreign students, Tunghai students benefit by learning from the diversity of culture and culture differences provided by these students. And, as a result, Tunghai students get to enrich their perspective. To help build a bridge of friendship between the international students and students in Tunghai, the International Buddy Program was founded. The Buddy Program was founded by student volunteers, and the aim of the Program is for local student volunteers to introduce Taiwan’s culture and help international quickly adapt to their study in Taiwan and in Tunghai. By hosting social events and visits of various culture and tourist locations in Taiwan, both local and international students get to exchange and appreciate the culture differences among them. At the same time, help students to develop a broader international perspective.
Recently, to encourage students to develop an international perspective, the OIEP has provided diverse programs ranging from exchange programs, dual degree system, overseas teaching and study, overseas workshop to overseas internships. By providing such a wide range of overseas opportunities, the OIEP serves as a platform for international academic exchanges.
Internationalization of the campus
Each year, the number of students that have taken the overseas opportunities provided in Tunghai has increased steadily. In 2006, 316 students have participated in overseas study, and in 2009 the number has increased to 399. However, this is only 2.35% of the whole student body. The challenge at hand is to provide an international learning environment on campus so that students, who are not capable of participate in overseas study may still benefit from studying in a campus that internationalized. So that, the students may be stay in sync with the latest developments in the world, and be able to interact with the foreign and international community on campus to further develop an international perspective.
GSL: Global Student Lounge
The GSL (Global Student Lounge) was established in Nov of 2010. At the lounge, the OIEP plans to host events that will encourage exchanges that are related to latest international culture and affairs. To provide an international learning environment, World News such as CNN, BBC and NHK are broadcasted at the lounge. Also, an advisory desk is provided to offer overseas study advisory, serve as a forum for students to share their overseas study experiences. Also, the GSL lounge has been used to host Theme & Culture workshops and provide as locale for the members of the Buddy’s program to conduct exchanges with the international students.
Tunghai Visiting Tutor
To take advantage of Tunghai’s international campus environment and to help foster the language and culture exchanges among international and students from Taiwan, the TVT (Tunghai Visitng Tutor) program was established.
The TVT program has appointed foreign students from America, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Thailand to serve as language tutors. These TVT tutors provide language exchanges with a small group of students. One of the tasks of these TVT tutors is to provide extracurricular language learning opportunities to Tunghai’s students. As for the other task, TVT tutors also serve as facilitators at the Global Corner to provide an English only environment for students in Tunghai. TVT tutors has regular weekly hours to help students in improving their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Each week, a different topic is chosen for the students to discuss with the tutors. The tutors are in charge of answering students questions in the target language that they are learning. Also, tutors practice conversations with students and offer assistance in students’ assignments. Also, tutors provide individualized answers to each student’s question or problem that they have in class. Each semester, about 150 students had signed up to utilize the English tutor service of the TVT program. And, about 50 students have signed up to benefit from the tutors of other languages such as Japanese, Korean, German and Thai.
Hosting international conferences and hosting workshops with international keynote speakers
Tunghai encourages each department to host all types of academic conferences and cultural events. In 2008, the OIEP has hosted the 2nd UK-Taiwan Higher Education Conference. And, in 2010, the OIEP hosted the 2nd Taiwan-Florida Higher Education Conference and helped made the cooperation between Taiwan and Florida’s Higher Education system possible. Besides hosting international conferences, the OIEP also has devoted itself in inviting international scholars to provide speeches or workshops in Tunghai. The OIEP had the honor to invite Alvaro Siza, the Portuguese architecture master to serve as a keynote speaker in Tunghai. Tunghai has also established an international masters’ lecture series and have the great honor to invite presidents and vice presents from our sister schools from Japan, Mainland China, Korea, South East Asia and Europe to serve as speakers of the series.