The International Taiwan Studies Center (ITSC) was established in December 2009 as one of the initiatives taken by the College of Liberal Arts at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) to promote the internationalization of Taiwan Studies within the university. The activities of the Center, as the name suggest, mainly focus on internationalization, either in attracting international scholars to Taiwan or providing opportunities for our students to gain an international experience abroad.

The research directions of the Center focus on popular culture, Taiwan history and heritage, missionary linguistics, Taiwanese literature. We try to see that the invited scholars and applications for our students to go abroad fit these research directions.

What we have achieved in this respect is the collaboration with George Mason University (GMU); the Center acts as host for the recipients of the Taiwan Studies Program selected by the Center for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation at GMU from 2011. The students are selected based on their research proposal related to a Taiwan topic, which can range from history, social work, popular culture, religion and economics, etc. The rationale behind this exchange is to make the students at an early stage in their higher education interested in Taiwan´s culture and society. To date some of the students have integrated their Taiwan experience in their master thesis or applied for scholarships to take Chinese language classes. We feel this collaboration is one of the productive investments and applications of Ministry of Education (MOE) support for Taiwan Studies abroad.

Another venture that the Center fulfils as service to the International Taiwan Studies community regards the Taiwan Fellowship program initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Since 2011, the Center has been host to a number of researcher recipients of the Taiwan Fellowship. During their stay the Center can provide office space and assist with academic support. This scheme not only offers visibility to Taiwan Studies internationally but also creates opportunities for future exchanges and collaboration with researchers in Taiwan.

The Center also benefits from the research projects programs initiated by the Ministry of Education to promote Taiwan Studies at foreign universities, either through short research stays, international conference organization or workshops, such as the International Symposium on "Taiwan literature off the mainstream: Between languages, ethnicities and medias" in collaboration with the Taiwan Research Unit at Ruhr University Bochum (5-6 November 2010), the Inaugural East Asian Popular Culture Association Conference (EAPCA) (1-4 September 2011), and the student workshop with the theme "Topics in Tawan bentuhua", which were part of a larger MOE sponsored project (Auguest 2013-July 2014) promoting Taiwan studies abroad combined with interactive learning through an e-learning pilot project making use of the edited volume Becoming Taiwan: from colonialism to democracy.

The domain of linguistics makes up another focus of the research directions. To date, the emphasis has been on encouraging doctoral students to spend short research stays and internships abroad, such as Leiden University in the Netherlands, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang, Malaysia, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, and Grace Christian College, Quezon, the Philippines.

On a concluding note, the Center welcomes donations to fund new research projects and to advance its research agenda. We encourage research institutions, nonprofit organizations and individuals to become involved in the Center’s future.