【NEWS】NCHU Launches 2024 ILTEXAS Mandarin Learning Program: Cultivating Cultural Exchange


National Chung Hsing University hosted the opening ceremony for the 2024 International Leadership of Texas (ILTEXAS) Mandarin Learning Program on July 1. The program, jointly organized by the Office of International Affairs and the Chinese Language Center of the College of Liberal Arts, aims to provide outstanding American high school students with the opportunity to learn Mandarin in Taiwan, broaden their international perspectives, and gain a deeper understanding of Taiwanese culture.

Headquartered in Richardson, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, ILTEXAS is a public-school system with 25 schools spread across various areas of Texas. The educational philosophy of ILTEXAS is centered on nurturing global leadership among students, with a strong emphasis on developing multilingual proficiency, fostering international perspectives, and promoting social responsibility. Students are expected to attain proficiency in English, Spanish, and Mandarin to meet these objectives. The educational tour group comprises 60 students and 10 chaperone teachers, all meticulously chosen by the school for their participation.

To create an optimal Mandarin learning environment, ILTEXAS began scouting several universities in Taiwan six months ago upon the recommendation of Director Yang Shuya at the Education Division of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston. Ultimately, National Chung Hsing University was selected as the summer study base, with teachers sent to Taiwan to personally experience and design the curriculum. After months of intensive preparation by both parties, the program officially commenced this summer. This marks the program's first student cohort to Taiwan since the onset of the pandemic, garnering significant attention from the Ministry of Education and local educational authorities.

The opening ceremony was highlighted by a welcome speech from President Jan Fuh-Jyh of National Chung Hsing University, accompanied by speeches from several distinguished guests: Secretary Liao Yi-Xuan from the Ministry of Education's Department of International and Cross-strait Education, ILTEXAS Superintendent Eddie Conger, Major General Craig Timberlake, ILTEXAS Chief of Student Leadership Development, Director Yang Shuya from the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston, Secretary-General Guo Mingzhou from the Taichung City Education Bureau, Deputy Director Wu Meiling from the Nantou County Education Department, Principal Liu Linghui of National Nantou Commercial High School, and Teacher Shi Meimei from the Affiliated Senior High School of National Chung Hsing University. They delivered words of encouragement to ILTEXAS students and conveyed their wholehearted support and best wishes for the exchange program.

After the ceremony, guests and all members of the study group gathered for a group photo to commemorate this significant moment. The Office of International Affairs at National Chung Hsing University expressed that this event would foster mutual understanding and forge strong friendships between the younger generations of Taiwan and the United States.

Over the next four weeks, students will participate in a series of Mandarin language classes and immersive cultural experiences. For example, The Affiliated Senior High School of National Chung Hsing University has designed interactive scenarios where students undertake group city exploration tasks in Chinese. Additionally, National Nantou Commercial High School offers a diverse range of activities such as tea art workshops, collaborative tie-dyeing sessions, and canoe rafting, all aimed at providing students with a comprehensive immersion into Taiwan's rich cultural tapestry.

Students will also have opportunities to visit historical landmarks, participate in traditional cultural activities, savor local delicacies, and engage in meaningful exchanges with Taiwanese peers. This study tour promises to be an unforgettable educational journey for all participants.

↑Liao Yi-Xuan, Chief Secretary of the International and Cross-Strait Education Division at the Ministry of Education, delivered a speech during the opening ceremony.


↑President Jan Fuh-Jyh of National Chung Hsing University presents a flag to Major General Craig Timberlake, Chief of Student Leadership Development at ILTEXAS


↑The esteemed guests and ILTEXAS students took a group photo together.