Ten Georgia College students ventured to Taipei, Taiwan May 17 and will be there until June 16. This is the university’s first study abroad in that country. The group—led by Dr. Tsu-Ming Chiang, former interim assistant vice president of International Education and professor of psychological science and Dr. Jenq-Foung “J.F.” Yao, professor of computer science—will study there just over four weeks.
The students, who are majoring in computer science and psychology, will take a one-credit-hour of a culture and language course taught by Chiang and Yao, who both are from Taiwan. They will team teach the course along with native speakers from the country. In addition, two courses will be offered in psychology and two in computer science.
Students will visit Taipei 101—a landmark skyscraper, vibrant night markets, the National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Taiwan Presidential Office Building, Computex Taipei (computer expo), Lungshan Temple of Manka, Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf, Beitou Hot Springs, local schools, beaches, mountains and more.
A unique feature of this study abroad is the buddy system where each Georgia College student will pair with a University of Taipei student for study activities and excursions. This presents an optimal learning experience, as the University of Taipei students will help American students explore local culture.
“The buddy system will provide Georgia College students with an opportunity to step outside of the American bubble,” said Chiang. “This should provide them with a deeper understanding of the Taiwanese culture and build strong friendships.”
Taiwan is a democratic country and one of the world’s top producers of computer technology. The country carries the fifth largest economy in Asia and is ranked as the 18th strongest economy in the world by gross domestic product. Taiwan also provides free Wi Fi and full national health care coverage.
Chiang laid the groundwork for this study abroad experience. She aims to increase the interest of Georgia College students studying in Taiwan.
“Since 2013 following an exchange agreement between Georgia College (GC) and the University of Taipei (UT), we have nearly 10 students from UT studying abroad at GC. However, there have been no GC students studying abroad in Taipei, Taiwan,” Chiang said. “Considering it’s a unique country for American students to experience, it would be amiss for Georgia College students to lack exposure and knowledge of Asian culture.”
Check back for regular updates from Taipei, Taiwan.
May 17 - "We have arrived in Seoul safely," said Dr. Tsu-Ming Chiang. "We are waiting for the connecting flight to Taipei. The students are in great spirit after a 15-hour flight."
May 18 - The group arrived safely Friday and had dinner inside a museum, historic site in Taipei.
May 23 - "The buddy system in the Taiwan study abroad program is an incredible and valuable experience because of how it provides students a local’s perspective of Taiwan and a glimpse into the daily lives of Taiwanese college students," said GC senior and psychology and English major Gabriela Faria (not pictured). "Thanks to the buddy system, I’ve tried foods I never had known about previously and strengthened my cultural sensitivity in a way that would not have been as easily achieved by only having tour guides and visiting tourist traps. Of course, you also make a new friend!"
May 31 - "The sky lanterns were amazing," said junior Leah Kaminer. "You walk off the train at Shifen Station and immediately you see sky lanterns floating away in the sky. Getting to do one was also amazing. The worker clips up the lantern so you can start writing your wishes on it."