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U.S. Students Study Mandarin at National Taipei University of Education on a Short-term Visit to Taiwan

The students and teachers from Yinghua Academy

With the support of the Ministry of Education and assistance from the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago, a group of 101 students and 11 teachers from Yinghua Academy visited Taiwan during the summer to do a short-term Mandarin program at National Taipei University of Education from June 24 to July 6. The program, jointly conducted by the Center for Chinese Language Teaching at the university, the university’s Department of Language and Creative Writing, and Yinghua Academy, included Chinese language courses and cultural learning activities.
Yinghua Academy, located in Minnesota, was the first public charter school in the United States to offer a Chinese immersion program. Under the dedicated leadership of Dr. Luyi Lien, the principal, Yinghua Academy has developed a distinctive teaching model for the school’s immersion program, and promoting international education exchanges is an important aim of the program. Prof. Chen Ching-Ho, the president of National Taipei University of Education, said that the university has established a close partnership with Yinghua Academy, through activities such as teaching internships, short-term study programs, faculty and student exchanges, and collaborations between teachers. This partnership has facilitated educational exchanges between Taiwan and the United States.
There were so many students in the visiting group because Dr. Lien, the principal had promised the students at Yinghua Academy that they would have an opportunity to visit Taiwan, but then the Covid pandemic struck and made this impossible until this summer. A few of the secondary students had already graduated but Dr. Lien kept her promise to them and they happily joined the group. In addition to Mandarin language classes and site visits, the university arranged cultural excursions for the Yinghua Academy students. They visited different parts of Taipei, such as Tamsui, Wanhua, Dadaocheng, Taipei East district, Maokong, Taipei Zoo, the internationally renowned National Palace Museum, and the Presidential Office – a place which many locals haven’t had a chance to visit. And before departing on July 6, they explored the hidden escape tunnels of the Grand Hotel at Yuan Shan.
The students also enjoyed an island-wide trip, visiting some well-known places in Taiwan: the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company – TSMC; Tainan, the cultural ancient capital; Kenting National Park; and the East Rift Valley National Scenic Area. It was a wonderful opportunity to experience Taiwan's technology, cultural charm, and geographical diversity, and deeply appreciate the beauty of Taiwan's people and nature.