23 Students sent to Taiwan for the 17th START Program

For two weeks from September 2, 2014 to September 16, 23 first-year undergraduate students took part in the 17th START Program. Led by Associate Professor Naoki Maeda (Graduate School of Social Sciences) and 3 other faculty members, the students went to National Chengchi University in Taiwan.

Divided into three classes, the participants attended Chinese language lessons and listened to lectures on the “History of Taiwan”, “Japan-Taiwan relations”, and the “Human rights”. For some students it was the first time to learn Chinese. However, every student engaged in preparation and review of the lessons and their language ability improved day by day. Furthermore, even those participants who had been shy at the previous learning sessions actively asked what they wanted to know during actual classes.

Furthermore, together with students from the National Chengchi University, the START participants visited the Deng Nan-jung Memorial Museum, the 228 Memorial Museum and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and the Palace Museum. While on tour, the HU students could exchange information about history and culture with students from National Chengchi University and were able to expand their knowledge.

On the weekend, the students participated in a guided tour to Quemoy, an island which was at the forefront of the battle with the Chinese mainland during the Chinese Civil War and went to the Chiunglin Tunnel, where traces of war remained, the Mashan Broadcasting and Observation Station, the August 23 Artillery War Museum and the Jhaishan Tunnel.

Moreover, at National Quemoy University, the START participants took lessons on Japan-Taiwan relations together with students from that University and spent a short but meaningful time enjoying exchange in Japanese, English and Chinese.

During their stay, the HU students spent busy days attending lessons, visiting facilities and exchanging with Taiwanese students. They devoted themselves wholeheartedly to studying Chinese and to preparing for their presentations and so could make future-orientated experiences. Some of them were very impressed by the high language ability of the Taiwanese students, and after coming back to Japan, they showed their determination to define their motivation and goal and to study languages. The group presentation demonstrated them the difficulty of making a conclusion and publishing contents. On the other hand, the START students mentioned to have realized that they could learn more by thinking and acting on their own initiatives. They also said that they had at first felt anxious to go abroad, but that they now wished to study overseas again. “We were stimulated by exchanging with the Taiwanese students. I’m going to take advantages of them during my future student life,” said one student. “The numerous experiences I had broadened my mind. It’s an opportunity to reset my vision,” said another student. The students made positive statements like these and confirmed what they had learned a lot through this START program and stated their determination to move to the next goal by making full use of their experiences.

The students played a shopping game in Chinese

At National Quemoy University

A lecture held by local teaching staff

Exchanging with local students


International Exchange Group,

Education and International Office,

Hiroshima University



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