At the end of August, when the international students who took part in this year's Summer Plus programs were busy putting the finishing touches on their final presentations, NTU Plus Academy's student advisors and personnel of the Office of International Affairs (OIA) were also busy making preparations for what they knew would be the largest and grandest farewell banquet in NTU Plus Academy's history.
When the night of August 29 rolled around, 68 international students from five Summer Plus programs and nearly 50 instructors and personnel came together for a night of food, fun, and festivities. While the banquet allowed the students to reminisce about the experiences they shared during theirtwo-month stay in Taiwan, it also gave the OIA an opportunity to express its gratitude to the programs' instructors.
Among the banquet's honored guests were former Interim President Ching-Ray Chang and Vice President for International Affairs Luisa Shu-Ying Chang, as well as former President Pan-Chyr Yang.
The short-term programs offered by NTU Plus Academy provide students from around the globe with a variety of exciting opportunities to expand their international outlooks while living and learning in Taiwan. On top of this, the programs also enable local students to broaden their own horizons by working as Plus Academy student advisors.
The student advisors work and play with students from countries around the world, and it is these interactions that comprise the soul of NTU Plus Academy.
This summer, Zoe Lee served as a student advisor for the Chinese Language and Culture Program. Lee says that, as the students came from all corners of the globe with the common goal of improving their Mandarin proficiency, they not only worked hard in class, butalso took advantage of the Tutor Station run by the student advisors, where they did their homework, sought advice, and honed their speaking skills.
Lindsy Lei was impressed that the international students in her Chinese Translation and Culture Program not only were dedicated to their studies, but also took every opportunity to explore Taiwan's cuisine and culture. The students would share their adventures and observations with the student advisors at the Tutor Station, which Lei says helped her view Taiwan's strengths and weaknesses through their eyes.
Hank Liu was surprised to find out that so many international students were interested in the Chinese classics when he started working as a student advisor for the Chinese Classics and Culture Program. He further discovered that the students possessed good Mandarin skills and had already studied some of the classics, which allowed them to take on such classroom topics as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and the I Ching.