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Learning Across Borders: NCKU International Summer School Brings Knowledge to International Students Via Full Online Courses

College of Management, NCKU, welcomed international students to the 2020 International Summer School featuring virtual courses on the topic of “International Entrepreneurship for Global Challenge: Empowering Tomorrow’s Innovators.” First launched in 2012, the International Summer School has shifted its operations to a full online class schedule this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The College of Management handled the course organization this year, with a focus on social enterprise management covering a broad range of economic, social, and environmental management concerns related to water quality, business models, biological systems, and needed behavioral changes. Lectures from entrepreneurs were planned in order to encourage innovative ideas in a context of interdisciplinary cooperation. A VR city tour around Tainan City was scheduled at the end of the week-long program, a fresh feature intended to give international students the ‘Tainan experience’.

 

2020 NCKU International Summer School moved all classes online

2020 NCKU International Summer School moved all classes online.

 

Due to the caution of each nation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, cross-border travelling is being restricted. Due to the pandemic, students around the world find themselves facing a brand new learning situation. Without requiring their physical presence, the 2020 NCKU International Summer School has opened its registration to students of all nationalities, disciplines, and backgrounds. “We have to adjust our learning and teaching modes in the face of the pandemic,” said Professor Yeu-Shiang Huang, Dean of the College of Management, during the opening ceremony on August 25th; “this year we are going fully online to accommodate these changes.”

 

“The world is being hit with a tremendous challenge right now, and we need global collective effort to combat it,” Dr. Huey-Jen Jenny Su, President of NCKU, expressed. Aside from dealing with the pandemic at hand, Dr. Su added that meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations also requires interdisciplinary action. The interdisciplinary courses planned in the 2020 International Summer School prompted students to work creatively. Dr. Su encouraged students to lean on more than their expertise and emphasized the importance to “learn across borders, disciplines, and backgrounds.” She said she looks forward to seeing future interdisciplinary innovators and entrepreneurs contributing to sustainable development.

 

VR city tour

A VR city tour introduced the beauty of Tainan City to international students.

 

Entrepreneurship was the central idea of the courses this year. Entrepreneurs and innovators from a variety of fields were invited to give lectures, share their experience, and guide students on methods for developing innovative ideas. Professor Wen-Kuei Chuang, Associate Vice President for International Affairs, expressed that in the field of physics, most of the research ideas are only published in academic journals but are not often commercialized. In his teaching, he now supports interdisciplinary knowledge, and he encourages students to become entrepreneurs using their diverse skills.

 

During the courses, the students had many opportunities to interact with their companions, who might have had different specialties or cultural values. Because of the diversity in the student body, the International Summer School allows for communication across backgrounds. Japanese student Takumi Kamimura from Tohoku University was interested in understanding how Taiwanese entrepreneurs think. He said that a lot of Japanese people do not like taking risks, so he wanted to interact with foreign innovators in order to understand the different ways they act and think.

 

Also featuring a virtual city tour around Tainan City at the end of the courses, the week-long program included an invitation for students to join a guided VR tour on Saturday morning. The VR tour took international students, who at that time could not freely cross borders, into the sights and sounds of Tainan City. The experience brought by the VR city tour made up for the students’ physical absence and introduced to them the bubbling life in Taiwan’s historical and cultural capital. (Writing by Hsu Tsu-yueh)

 

Entrepreneurship

2020 NCKU Summer School focused on entrepreneurship and encouraged students to learn across disciplines.

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