From January 29th to February 5th, a team of reporters from the Dongguk Media Center went to Taiwan and Thailand to visit and report about international universities and landmarks as an overseas special project. Through this report, the team were looking to gather information about these countries and their universities in order to provide possible options for exchange programs.
The first report is from Taiwan. The team visited Shih Chien University, located in Taipei. This school has the best Fashion Design programs in Taiwan, and was selected as one of the world’s top 13 courses. However, currently there are only seven Korean students, including one master’s degree student and none from Dongguk University. At Shih Chien University, the team was welcomed and had a chance to meet the president, the director of the Office of International Affairs, and also students who studied at Dongguk on exchange last year.
/Photograph by the Dongguk Media Center
Q. Hi, it is such a pleasure to meet you. Please introduce yourself briefly.
A. Hello, my name is Michael J.K. Chen and I am the 7th president of Shih Chien University.
Q. What special traits does Shih Chien University have?
A. Shih Chien University was established in 1958 by the former vice president of the Republic of China, Taiwan, Hsieh Tung-min. At that time, he built the spirit of this university which is “One belief and three virtues.” The One belief is “diligence makes happiness” and the three virtues are “Be courteous, be neat and tidy, and be orderly” in order to train students as a healthy person and to be a good citizen for society.
Q. We heard that Shih Chien University was originally a small women’s college, how did it become bigger?
A. At that time, I was the dean of active affairs. Before the change, this school was a women’s junior college. Yet in 1985, the chairman of board of trusties had the vision for the future that this school needs to be comprehensive by including both male and female students. That is how we started to recruit male students.
Q. We also heard there is no dormitory for male students yet. Does school have any future plans for this issue?
A. Actually, the board of trusties just approved the plan to build the third dormitory on campus for male students and international students.
Q. Lastly, do you have anything to say for Donggukians who might be interested in studying abroad in Taiwan?
A. There are about 1,430 international students, yet unfortunately, there are only seven from Korea and none from Dongguk University. I hope in the near future, more students from Korea and also Dongguk can come to Shih Chien University to study.
“How Is Student Life in Shih Chien?”
Listening from students and director of the Office of International Affairs
/Photograph by the Dongguk Media Center
»Interview of the Director
Q. Thank you for such pleasant greetings. Could you introduce yourself?
A. Hi, my name is Johnny Wu Chi-ju, the director of the Office of International Affairs. It is my honor to meet reporters from Dongguk University.
Q. We have many questions about Shih Chien University. As a starter, what are the special traits the university has?
A. Every department is related to humans’ life. It means that liberal arts are very important to the students. In four years of study, in all the bachelor’s degree programs, students have to choose a lot of liberal art courses, for example, arts of life, knowing the body, as well as some life education. These are very special courses which are different from other universities.
Q. Is there any special teaching method in this university?
A. If you visit our university, you will see, students are mostly not in class rooms. They are outside. The professors prefer to give lectures outside of the classroom, even some courses that are from the college of management. Professors prefer to sit on the grass and talk, so students can think from broader perspectives.
Q. Do international students have any required courses?
A. It depends whether they are international regular students or international exchange students. For exchange students, the required courses are Chinese language and Chinese culture. For regular students, they are required to take Chinese as well as English classes and finally, Physical Education, which is required for two years.
Q. Is there any courses for international students in order to help them to stay more comfortable?
A. Apart from the language courses, we also provide area studies and Taiwanese culture studies, which are compulsory classes for international exchange students. Students can know more about the aspects of Taiwanese culture, not only about food.
Q. Are there any distinctive festivals that this university has?
A. As I mentioned, we have Fashion Design Department. Every year, a very big fashion show is held. This is the most famous fashion show among all the universities in Taiwan. All the superstars and celebrities come for this show. Thus, this is a special event compared to other universities in Taiwan.
Q. Is it mandatory for international students to live there?
A. We have an international dormitory, which is one station away from the campus. There is no curfew, and no gender separation. On the other hand, one advantage for students who live in the on-campus dormitory is that it is lower in price than the international one.
Q. How much is the tuition fee per semester for international students?
A. For both international students and local students, tuition fee is the same. We do not charge differently. Normally, the fee would be about 1,300 U.S. dollars and 1,500 U.S. dollars. It depends on which department of a particular college the student is in.
»Interview of the Students
Q. Hi, it is nice to meet you. Would you introduce yourself?
Lee Hsin-hua (Lee): Hi, my name is Lee Hsin-hua and I am a senior of Shih Chien University majoring in International Business Administration.
Wang I-ting (Wang): Hello, my name is Wang I-ting, also a senior, majoring in Applied Foreign Language. We both were exchange students in Dongguk University last year.
Q. We saw many people on campus. Are they all students?
Wang: No, I believe they are all citizens. My school is very open to people who live near the campus. They all come to exercise.
Q. Tell us about which aspect of your campus you consider the proudest?
Lee: My school is very famous for its buildings.A famous designer from Germany designed the Library, and designer from Japan did the gym.
Q. We heard that the school is very famous for Fashion Design Department. Can students from other majors take design classes?
Lee: I believe you cannot take the classes, but you can participate in “Design Week.” It is a pretty big festival we have. For two weeks, sophomores to senior students perform what they created. It is very fun to watch.
Q. Do students in Shih Chien do double majors a lot?
Wang: I do not think so. It is different from Korea. Students here can take specific classes if they want, but it is not common to see double majoring students.
Q. Since you all studied in Dongguk, what brought you to Korea?
Lee: My sister’s friend who now works in Korea was a huge fan of HOT when I was young. She used to come over to my house a lot and listen to HOT’s music. I think that was how I started to build my interest in K-pop and Korea.
Wang: Well, my case is different. I actually never thought about Korea. I originally wanted to go to Europe, but my parents were against it because it is too far. Instead, I got a chance to go to Korea. To be honest, I never expected Korea to be that great to stay and study. But I am planning to go back to Korea in September.
Q. Was there any differences from your school that you noticed when you studied at Dongguk?
Lee: Students in Korea usually do something like going out with friends after class. Yet in Taiwan, students do not. Maybe it is because of the rainy weather that we have. If you see, there are no pubs around Shih Chien University, while Dongguk has many.
Q. This would be the last question. Do you remember any classes from Dongguk that you really enjoyed?
Wang: I remember English Conversation Class. The atmosphere was very energetic, and everyone was nice and active. I got to meet friends through activities and had a chance to share stories with fellow students. I really loved it.
Lee: Me too. I took the same class with I-ting, and we had a lot of fun. We could make many friends and talked to them. I miss Dongguk a lot. I also want to go back to Dongguk to study in language school. I cannot wait.
Lee Seo-yeon firstname.lastname@example.org
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