Utah State University (USU) students embarked on an enlightening journey to Taiwan, showcasing their robust curiosity, enthusiasm, and adaptability. They delved into the heart of Taiwan's agriculture and lifestyle, gaining invaluable insights into the practices that shape the island's distinctive diet and cultural identity.
Guided by a unique study program curated by Dr. "K.J." Chao of NCHU, the students' itinerary was a blend of academic learning and cultural immersion. From attending expert-led lectures and participating in food demonstrations to venturing on hiking trails and diving deep into group discussions, the students experienced a holistic introduction to Taiwan. Their journey took them through lush rice farms, bustling regional markets, and state-of-the-art food production facilities. The picturesque landscapes of Central and Northern Taiwan, with their majestic forests and serene lakes, provided a backdrop for exploration and reflection.
Andree Walker's invaluable guidance played a pivotal role in enriching the academic facet of the trip. Introducing the students to the realm of Extension in agriculture, Andree's expertise illuminated a previously unknown domain for many, opening avenues for potential new career trajectories.
This initiative wasn't just about USU. NCHU students, in collaboration with instructor Dora Brunson, meticulously planned enriching experiences for their USU peers. This collaborative effort fostered an environment of mutual respect and camaraderie. The tangible success of this program is evident in the deep bonds formed between students from both institutions, setting a foundation for future partnerships.
Beyond academia, USU students reveled in Taiwan's cultural vibrancy. The architectural marvel of Wen-Wu Temple, the lively ambiance of Ita Thao Old Street, and the serene ferry ride across the stunning Sun Moon Lake offered glimpses into Taiwan's rich tapestry of history, tradition, and natural beauty.
A poignant visit to the Wu-Feng Rice Farm allowed students to appreciate the dedication behind rice cultivation. Their culinary expedition continued at the Black Shoulder Kite Restaurant, where local delicacies tantalized their palates. A tour of the historic Wufeng Lin's family mansion underscored the nexus between nature and cultural preservation.
Highlighting the academic focus, on May 8th, Climate Science major L.C. and fellow USU students, guided by Professor Simon Wang, engaged with the Department of Atmospheric Science at National Central University in Northern Taiwan. This proactive visit was a precursor to L.C.'s upcoming exchange program, and the warm reception from NCU faculty and students augments the promise of fruitful collaborations ahead.
In essence, this trip epitomized the blending of learning and exploration, celebrating Taiwan's agricultural prowess and rich cultural heritage while forging enduring connections for the future.
View the 2023 Taiwan Mission Website
Language Learning Coordinator - Mandarin