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Student-run Summer Program Invites International Students for Exchanges

The Intercultural Discovery and Exchange in Asia (IDEA) Program will be held this summer, August 2-9. Organized by the International Seers’ Organization, with the support of NTU, the program invites top students from elite overseas universities to come to Taiwan to engage in cross-cultural exchange and learn fascinating things about Taiwan. The students, called delegates, gradually understand each other’s cultural differences through the project’s academic discussions and its learning and recreational activities. Moreover, the local students in the program, called staff, act as citizen “diplomats” by sharing the things they love about their homeland.

ISO members are students who enjoy promoting international exchanges. These students seize opportunities to learn about cultural diversity and broaden their global outlook by participating in and organizing international activities. The IDEA Program is managed entirely by the students of ISO. The organization’s administrative, academic, activity and public relations divisions handle IDEA Program affairs, from managing the budget and making public announcements to recruiting students.

The IDEA Program has been held for five years. Students from all over the world have participated as delegates, and the project has won praise from far and wide. By the time the program ends each year, the delegates and staff not only have become familiar with each others’ cultures, they have formed deep friendships, as well. That some students return to take part as delegates a second time indicates the interest of the program.

Many delegates comment that it is not easy to attract students to travel all the way to Taiwan from overseas. They also mention being impressed by ISO’s effective organization as well as by the staff’s enthusiasm in explaining the subtleties of local culture. The hospitality of NTU’s students is another feature of their experience that the delegates always bring up. Besides meeting local students, the delegates make friends with each other and learn about each others’ cultures. For participants in the IDEA Program, the greatest reward is the opportunity to meet top students from around the world and initiate possibly life-long friendships.

The prestigious institutions IDEA delegates come from include Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Tokyo, Seoul National University, National University of Singapore, Hong Kong University and the University of New South Wales.

The theme of IDEA 2011 is "Education, Arts and Culture, Creative Innovation and Entrepreneurship." With August just around the corner, the 50 delegates and 30 staff members who will join the program this summer must be bursting with anticipation.

Chinese version