Academic Exchange Between the University of Ottawa and National Dong Hua University Begins on May 4, 2015
A welcome ceremony was held at the Center for International Indigenous Affairs at National Dong Hwa University for the students from University of Ottawa on May 4, hosted by Dr. Jolan Hsieh, an Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic Relations and Cultures. The ceremony was conducted in a mixture of indigenous language, English, and French, highlighting the multicultural nature of the exchange, and the Dance Troupe of NDHU gave an aboriginal dancing performance allowing the Canadian students to experience local culture. The visiting students from the University of Ottawa and students from National Dong Hua University were equally excited about the three-week field research course they were about to begin.
The summer course was set up by the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies of the University of Ottawa in partnership with the College of Indigenous Studies at NDHU. Its aim was to give students hands-on experience of anthropological field research methods, particularly participant observation and taking field notes. Three hours of the course was devoted to the language of the Amis or Truku, giving the students a taste of the linguistic challenges anthropologists face in the field. The students undertook field research under close supervision after some intensive preparatory training and had to complete a research paper.
Part of the course was taught by Prof. Scott Simon, and the other part was taught by professors in the College of Indigenous Studies at NDHU so the students had opportunities to meet both indigenous and non-indigenous students and faculty members at NDHU.
The students participating in the field research course in Taiwan were responsible for their traveling and living expenses, but each student received a grant of $750 from the University of Ottawa after completing the course. They said they were looking forward to more international exchange programs in the future.