Promoting Cultural Exchange and Integration -
NTU Launched the Global Lounge and the International Week as Platforms for Enhancing a Sense of Belonging for Foreign Students while Broadening the International Perspectives of Local Students
On March 21st, the Office of International Affairs and the Office of Student Affairs jointly held the launching ceremony for the NTU Global Lounge and the opening ceremony for the 2009 International Week, to which NTU President Dr. Si-chen Lee, Assistant Director of the Embassy of India, Mr. Sharma were invited along with a list of foreign and domestic dignitaries. As preludes to the ceremonies, foreign students and overseas Chinese students put on a fashion show wearing their national costumes, Global Lounge provided a guided tour for the visiting guests, and the International Week gave an introduction of its programmed activities. On that day, foreign students, overseas Chinese students, and local students of NTU experienced a rich and vibrant cultural exchange in the Global Lounge, and NTU's efforts toward globalization took a giant leap forward!!
In order to become a top university in the world, globalization has always been one of the educational objectives of NTU. Strengthening the foreign students' ability to adapt to the local environments of Taiwan and helping local students to broaden their international perspectives are thus among the strategies of execution. In view of these two considerations, NTU administration made a special effort to set up. The Global Lounge on the third floor of the Second Student Activity Center.
The design and activities of the Global Lounge were jointly mapped out by the Office of International Affairs and the Office of Student Affairs. Its opening hours are the same as those of the Student Activity Center (during the semester, Mon thru Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., during winter vacation Mon thru Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The purpose of the Global Lounge is to provide a platform for cultural exchange wherein foreign students and local students can interact with one another freely. The Global Lounge employs a number of work study students who speak fluent English to provide advisory services on campus living and studying abroad. In addition, various student clubs, such as the Foreign Students Association, the International Students Information Service Club, the Burmese Student Association, the International Youth Federation, the International Affairs Society, the Study Group for Mixing Drinks, the Coffee Culture Study Group etc., all established student management teams at the Global Lounge, whose responsibilities include assisting in activity planning, establishing rules and regulations, providing services and managing websites. In the hall of the Global Lounge there are an exhibition area, a poster display area, and national flag cabinets to display the cultural artifacts from different countries, plus an international poster display area, wherein the information of NTU's sister schools and the information on NTU foreign students' home countries are put on exhibition. On top of all these, there is an open area for local students to interact with foreign students, to discuss things or simply for them to read. On the satellite TV wall news programs from various countries can be seen in live broadcast, and in the international conference room all kinds of meetings can be held. We hope that the Global Lounge conduces to the enhancement of a sense of belonging for the foreign students, help them adapt to the local environment, while at the same time provide an opportunity to allow local students to put their foreign language proficiency to use, and to broaden their international perspectives. In so doing, we anticipate to promote cultural exchange and integration, and to create an aura of globalization for the NTU campus.