29 New Taipei City high school students conclude exchange program visit to Cincinnati, Ohio
This was the third group from New Taipei City to visit Greater Cincinnati, an outer suburban division of Taipei, the capital of the Republic of China (Taiwan) capital, since 2013 as part of an exchange program made possible by the signing of a Student Exchange Memorandum of Understanding by the mayors of Cincinnati and New Taipei City in Taiwan on December 1, 2012. The exchange program provides selected U.S. students visiting New Taipei and Taiwan students visiting Cincinnati an opportunity to experience a different culture, environment, and lifestyle in the host city. The exchange students learn to overcome differences in language and culture, form new friendships, increase their global understanding, and recognize the similarities between people of different countries, and, hence, learn to appreciate diversity and gain international insight and perspective.
Since the educational and cultural exchange program visits began in 2013, Cincinnati has sent one student group to New Taipei City, in June 2014, and New Taipei City has sent a group of students each year for the last three years. Feedback from former participant students, teachers and chaperones has been very positive.
This year’s group of 29 students from New Taipei City arrived on October 30, 2015, just in time to spend Halloween with their host families and schoolmates. They were welcomed at Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky International Airport by the Taiwanese Association of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati-New Taipei Sister City Committee and 23 host families who had come to pick them up. The 29 exchange students attended nine high schools in five different school districts in Greater Cincinnati.
Staff members from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Chicago went to Cincinnati and attended the Opening and Orientation Ceremony on November 1, 2015 on behalf of Director General Calvin Ho. TECO Director Steven Lin, Culture Center Director Wang Wei-Zan, and Education Division Senior Officer David Dong welcomed the 29 students and expressed appreciation to the host families, associations, and organizations. They also expressed their wishes that each student would make their visit more colorful and memorable by sharing ideas and activities with their American counterparts, as they attended classes, and experienced daily life in Cincinnati.
The exchange visit concluded with a Farewell Reception and Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by the Taiwanese Association of Cincinnati on November 20 at which the students shared anecdotes of their visit and expressed their appreciation and warm feelings to the host families and the Cincinnati community.