A Decade of Achievements: International Chinese Literature BA Degree Program
Learning Mandarin Chinese has gained popularity around the world in recent years. Chinese characters, literature, and thinking have also attracted much attention. In 2008, NTU’s Department of Chinese Literature established the Bachelor's Degree Program in Chinese Literature for International Students—the first of its kind and the only program in Taiwan that officially confers degrees in Chinese literature on international students.
It has been a decade since the program was launched. All the courses of the program are designed specifically for international students to receive solid Chinese language training while developing expertise in Chinese literature and culture with an immersion in Taiwan’s cultural and social environment. Students of this program are expected to become international Chinese-language professionals or even future sinologists. So far, the program has produced 88 graduates from a variety of backgrounds and countries, including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Britain, the United States, Canada, Iceland, and Russia.
At the 10th anniversary of the program, the Department of Chinese Literature held a celebration and banquet that featured celebratory videos, theatrical and singing performances by international students, and the release of a 10th anniversary special publication. The banquet was attended by distinguished guests and faculty members, including President Chung-Ming Kuan (管中閔), former President Si-Chen Lee (李嗣涔) during whose term of office the program was established, Prof. Kuo-Liang Yeh (葉國良; then Dean of the College of Liberal Arts), Academician Yu-Yu Cheng (鄭毓瑜; then Chairperson of the Department of Chinese Literature), former Chairperson of the Department Long-Shien Lee (李隆獻) who has made substantial contributions to the program, Prof. Chih-Wen Chou (周志文) who has helped design the curriculum, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Mu-Shuan Huang (黃慕萱), Deputy Deans of the College of Liberal Arts Fu-Chang Hsu (徐富昌) and Hsien-Chung Lee (李賢中), Executive Vice President Chiapei Chou (周家蓓), Vice President for Academic Affairs Shih-Torng Ding (丁詩同), Vice President for Student Affairs April Chiung-Tao Shen (沈瓊桃), Secretary-General Johannes Hsiao-Chih Sun (孫效智), as well as instructors of the program. In particular, the renowned writer Kenneth Hsien-Yung Pai (白先勇) graced the event to greet the attendees and offer his congratulations, making the occasion even more memorable.
Chairperson of the Department of Chinese Literature Chia-Ling Mei (梅家玲) opened the celebration and addressed the audience, welcoming and introducing the distinguished guests while recounting how the idea of a Chinse literature degree for international students was brought up and realized a decade ago. Afterwards, President Kuan, former President Lee, and Executive Vice President Chou took the stage to deliver their addresses, expressing their hopes to see the program grow continuously so that more international students would have the opportunity to see the beauty of Chinese language and culture.
The celebration came to a climax when the international students showcased their performances for which they had prepared for several months. These included singing by seniors, a play titled “An Anecdote about the Feast at Swan Goose Gate” performed by sophomores, two plays based on “The Orphan of Zhao” presented by juniors, a music video about the historical figure “Cao Cao” by freshmen, as well as singing by several sophomore and junior students. The students spoke and performed in fluent mandarin Chinese, which rightly demonstrated the satisfactory learning outcomes of the students as well as their enthusiasm for Chinese language and literature.
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