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Let's Flip! Global Village ENG the Class

The Office of International Affairs and Foreign Language Education Division of Common Core Education Committee held a meaningful event for international students to join and interact with local students from April 19 to 30. More than 80 international degree students and students from NTNU Mandarin Training Center participated in over 30 classes, talking about various issues including dining cultures, social issues, personal experiences, the history of the NTNU campus, etc.

The students have exchanged ideas on a variety of topics. Some were invited to share in the World Café discussion about their culture shock experiences in Taiwan. Razani Surachmat from Indonesia said that he was impressed by how generous and kind Taiwanese people are, although he thought the sweets in Taiwan are not sweet enough. He also recommended that the students visit Bali and enjoy the sweets and the local food there if they have a chance to visit Indonesia. Jiyeon Jung from Korea even brought the textbook and the notebook she kept while studying in Mandarin Training Center to interact with local students and showed them how she learned Mandarin.

Besides staying in the classroom, some local students even took the international students out on a campus tour and introduced them to some historic buildings on campus, including Wen Hui Building, the Auditorium, and the Administration Building. After the campus tour, they had a meal together.

Sophie Bel from France liked the experience of interacting with Taiwanese students. They have discussed many topics including the Yellow Vest movement in France, quarantine experience, and the difference in dining habits in different parts of Taiwan. Kristan Bryan Simbulan from the Philippines said he was more familiar with the Gongguan Campus. This was his first time knowing more about the history of the buildings on NTNU main campus, and he was especially most attracted to those built in the period under Japanese rule.

In fluent English, Andrea Calderon from Guatemala told the students that they don’t have to be rich to go abroad. She encouraged the students to take chances to learn foreign languages for better working opportunities. She mentioned that she briefly studied English in the USA and then worked as an au pair through the Au Pair program about 9 months in the UK. Now she is here to study Mandarin. She enjoys making friends with people from other countries and managing to communicate with them in Mandarin.

His-Yu Hsueh, a local student from class 2024, said that she learned more about the cultures of different countries. Li-Wei Yang from class 2022 said that he realized cross-cultural communication is a skill needed in every profession. Prof. Hui-Chen Hsiao from the Department of Chinese as a Second Language was thankful for the support from OIA and Foreign Language Education Division of Common Core Education Committee for her students to practice teaching Mandarin. Prof. Hsiao gifted two Chinese books to the international students who shared their thoughts on stage with the class about this event. She also said that her students greatly appreciated the opportunity to participate in this event.