This summer, Utah State University's 4-H extension, in collaboration with its sister institution, National Taiwan Chung-Hsing University, embarked on a trailblazing journey. Sponsored by iPACE, the first-ever high school language learning tour in Taiwan was launched, targeting scholars who've showcased excellence in the AP Chinese test.
The attendees, primarily from Utah's Mandarin Dual Immersion program, have been honing their Mandarin skills for over a decade. Their dedication and hard work bore fruit in the lively environs of National Taiwan Chung-Hsing University's renowned Chinese Language Center. Each morning was dedicated to intensive language sessions, while afternoons sprung to life with cultural classes and excursions.
Nestled in the heart of Taichung, students delved into the city's unique blend of modern vibrancy and rich historical tapestry. From the allure of night markets and the symphony of flavors in traditional Chinese cuisine to the echoes of the past in heritage sites, every moment was a lesson. A special jaunt to Tainan City revealed the poignant tales of the An-Ping castle and offered our landlocked Utah students a refreshing tryst with the ocean. Another memorable weekend was spent navigating the bustling streets of Taipei, challenging students to use their Mandarin skills in real-world scenarios.
But it wasn't just the language immersion that stood out. The warmth of the locals, the array of experiences, and the cultural immersion turned this trip into an unforgettable adventure. Delicacies like the world-renowned Ding-Tai-Feng steam dumplings, the refreshing Mango slash ice and scallion pancake became instant favorites among the students!
With the resounding success of this maiden voyage, iPACE reaffirms its commitment to supporting USU Extension's language learning initiatives. As we set our sights on future international adventures to Taiwan, we can't help but reminisce about the shared laughter, challenges, and steamed dumplings that made this trip extraordinary. Here's to many more enriching experiences and linguistic explorations!
Language Learning Coordinator - Mandarin