Nine American students from The Citadel Military College of South Carolina (established 1842) have come to the Chinese Learning Center at Soochow University in Taiwan, to learn Chinese and experience its culture under spectacular circumstances for 8 weeks (June 1 to July 25, 2015). As they tell the Campus News reporters, they hope to enhance friendships with students in Taiwan, to understand cultural differences, and to enlarge international perspective mutually.
Different life in a military college
In fact, life in military college is different to what people usually imagine; like ordinary college students, they go this military college on scholarship. Therefore, they must also have outstanding grades on academic performances. One student, Joshua, mentions: "In this college, it is important not to show off too much, just follow orders and that’s all.”
They didn’t have much free time in their rookie year, because there were many classes and trainings. At first, those trainings seemed meaningless and boring, but to Joshua, he knew he had to persist to become a qualified member of the military college. He persisted and never gave up. Part of the reason was that he grew up in a single-parent family; his mother raised 4 children on her own. Being the eldest among siblings, Joshua thought he had the responsibility to protect his family, so he chose to join the military. Since then he has never regretted the decision, and he has always made all efforts to do his best. One thing Joshua feels proud in his college years is attending community services. He thinks he can show his ability of leading a group of people by using the skills he has learned in the training classes.
Why learning Chinese?
All the students who come to Soochow University this year have great passion toward learning new things; one of them is learning the Chinese language and culture. Before they come, many of them have minored in Chinese and learned basic Chinese for a year to two, so they can all use simple Chinese to introduce themselves.
Joshua in particular has enjoyed watching some Chinese movies as well as reading Korean and Japanese comics since childhood, and he wants to learn more about Korean, Japanese, and European languages.
After coming to Taiwan, Joshua appreciates deeply the hospitality of people in Taiwan, people who are always willing and ready to help others. He thinks they are very different from people in New York, who tend to think more of fulfilling their own goals and less of interacting with others. So he wishes to learn as much as he can about Chinese culture within the 8 week when they are here.
Besides military trainings, they are also passionate for learning other new things. They come all the way to Taiwan just to immerse in Chinese learning environment, and choose Soochow University because its Chinese Learning Center has devised a whole new curriculum particularly customized for them. Besides, the teachers also take the roles as tour guides, taking them to travel around Taipei to experience local culture. We students here at Soochow University should also welcome these students with sincere warmth. If you ever meet them on campus, don't forget to say hello to them, and they will surely respond with passion too!
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