Last January, Tzu Chi University International College (TCUIC) visited Thailand Naresuan University International College (NUIC) to explore the possibility of academic collaborations. Preliminary consensus was achieved regarding students exchange and a formal invitation was extended to NUIC to visit Tzu Chi University (TCU) in Hualien, Taiwan.
Dr. Supichaya Meesad, director of NUIC, and Dr. Eugenia Boa, Deputy Director for Research and International Relations of NUIC gracefully accepted the invitation and visited TCU on 4 July 2018. Both arrived at Taoyuan International Airport a day earlier and were welcomed by student Supot Saeper, the TCU International Ambassador of Thai origin. Well versed in Thai, English and Mandarin, Supot Saeper accompanied Dr. Supichaya and Dr. Eugenia during the train journey to Hualien and shared the various cultural and social differences between Thailand and Taiwan. Both professors were impressed and amazed that TCU has designed this unique learning opportunity for students.
At TCU, Dr. Supichaya and Dr. Eugenia were warmly welcomed by Associate Professor Je-Wen Liou, Dean of TCUIC and Assistant Professor Alex Tan, Associate Dean of TCUIC. Details regarding faculties and students exchange was finalized and currently awaited formal approval by the respectively universities while overseas student internships and research collaborations among faculties were also explored.
The greatest highlight of the visit was the agreement to start the discussion of exploring an undergraduate dual degree program between NUIC Bachelor of Business Administration Program in Tourism Business Management and TCUIC Bachelor Program in International Hospitality Industries Management (currently awaiting approval by the Ministry of Education). Upon preliminary discussions, the curriculums of both programs are found to be highly mutually inclusive, laying a solid foundation for further discussions.
During the tour of TCUIC, Dr. Supichaya was impressed by the International Students Lounge, a cozy corner for international students to interact and discuss projects. Ms. Yvonne Lee, director of TCU Chinese Language Center, gave an introduction of the center’s facilities and shared that the center teaches Mandarin as well as arranges opportunity for students to serve at different local communities.
Tzu Chi University and Naresuan University inked the status of partner universities in 2014 and current collaborations predominately concentrate in the areas of biomedical sciences and nursing. With the establishment of mutual collaborations between the respective international colleges, the understanding between both universities deepens and stronger relationships can be expected in the near future.
After achieving mutual consensus among various researches, faculties and students collaborations, a tour of TCU was arranged. After understanding the history of Tzu Chi Education Mission and the establishment of TCU, both professors are touched by Master Cheng Yen’s belief in nurturing students to excel not only intellectually, but also in the areas of self-discipline and morality.
Naresuan University International College Website
Tzu Chi University International College Website
Tzu chi University Chinese Language center News Report