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Taiwanese students visit UTSC

by Karen Ho

Friday, July 22, 2011 was a busy day for six Taiwanese student ambassadors visiting UTSC.


Decked out in bright pink polo shirts and blue jeans, the students from Taiwan’s Overseas Chinese University (OCU) had a packed schedule, including dance performances, a discussion with UTSC student leaders and a gift exchange.

During the discussion with the UTSC students, Chin Ming Chou, Zhong Cao, Ting Ya Huang, Li Ting Chen, Yu Chen Chen and Yi Ying Lai talked about local student life, brainstormed ideas about campus involvement and chatted about the differences between Taiwanese and Canadian culture.

A big highlight of the day was when the group performed two dances, dressed in personalized trucker hats for the modern number and ornate black vests for the more traditional Taiwanese piece.

After handing out handmade wooden rubber band guns and “lucky doll” cell phone charms, the Taiwanese students ended their day at UTSC with a quick tour around campus.

Building international relationships

Kuo-jan Wang, director of the Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Affairs Office here in Toronto, said the program is not only a great travel experience for its students but also a way to introduce Taiwanese culture abroad and build better international relationships through face-to-face interaction.

“I think it’s very important because a relationship between two countries is not just trade or business – it’s also people,” says Wang,. “Let’s sit down and shake hands so we can have a better understanding of each other.”

The group’s 14-day student leadership exchange also included an earlier four-day stop in Vancouver and ends with a few days in Ottawa.

While the Taiwanese Student Ambassadors program officially started last year, this group was the first student delegation sent to Canada by the Taiwanese Foreign Office. This year, there are 37 international delegations in total, with more than 200 Taiwanese student participants from OCU.

The visit was organized by the Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Affairs office in Toronto, led by Wang in connection with Associate Dean Dr. Liang Chen and Jack Martin, UTSC’s director of business development and international programs. The visit to UTSC also received extensive media coverage by the local Chinese press.

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