Semester-End & Christmas Party

Since the semester was reduced to 16 weeks and the fall semester started in early September over the past two years, the final-exam week is now generally concluded before Christmas. This semester, the last day of final exams was on 12/23 (Friday), coinciding with the winter solstice. To celebrate this festive season and provide a feeling of home for international students, the department organized a Semester-End & Christmas Party on that day, featuring a warm gathering with tangyuan (glutinous rice balls) and the hope of easing homesickness for international students. Additionally, the event aimed to foster interaction among students in a relaxing atmosphere and have a better understanding of whether they may encounter any learning and living difficulties in Taiwan.

The undergraduate International English Program was introduced in the 108th academic year (for each required course, at least one class is taught in English, allowing non-Chinese-speaking students to graduate from the department). There has been an accumulation of international students in this program over five years. In the past couple of years, the number of undergraduate international students admitted in a single year has reached nearly forty. Considering the existing international students in the graduate programs, the total number of international students in the department is currently 214, accounting for 19% of the total student population. Among them are many outstanding students academically, with several international students receiving awards such as the Dean’s List Award or Dean’s Award for CoE Graduate Students. Many of them are active in several different aspects, such as a variety of student clubs or competitions. Inevitably, some international students are still struggling with the adaptation to learning and living in Taiwan. There may be relatively fewer resources and channels for seeking help; however, any care and goodwill for them can always be the greatest support!

The event took place in Room 203 of the Civil Engineering Building, with approximately seventy students attending. The department provided pizza, fried chicken, various snacks, and desserts. Tangyuan with ginger tea were also served to warm everyone up. Notably, faculty members, including Department Head, Prof. Louis Ge, Associate Vice President for International Affairs, Prof. Kuo-Hsin Yang, and Prof. Keh-Chyuan Tsai, Prof. On-Lei Annie Kwok, Prof, Jiunn-Shyang Chiou, and Prof. Jacob Je-Chian Lin, attended the event to chat with students. Professor Yu-Ting Hsu served as the host for the event, introducing the story and cultural implication of the winter solstice and tangyuan, engaging students in interactive games via Slido, and then moving on to the highlight of the party – karaoke! Initially, students were a bit shy, but once a sophomore student Cheryl Huang sang “Sweet Honey,” the atmosphere was stirred up! Everyone joined in, singing one song after another, “Last Christmas,” “All I Want for Christmas Is You”…Even just singing with YouTube videos, students were so excited and cannot stop!

A special guest for the day was our alumna Shannon Yu from the B02 class. During her time at the university, Shannon was passionate about modern dance and organized several dance performances both on and off campus. After graduation, she flew to New York to pursue higher education in dance, and last year, she received the Jadin Wong Fellowship for Dance from the Asian American Arts Alliance. Shannon, who was a student mentored by Prof. Ge during her time, was invited to the event during her visit to the alma mater to share her experiences with pursuing interests during college, the dedication and courage to chase her dreams, and the various possibilities after graduating from the Department of Civil Engineering at National Taiwan University.

As the event neared its end, it seemed that everyone still had much to share through singing and chatting. The hope is that the Semester-End & Christmas Party will leave students with some small nice memories from this semester. There were, however, more international students who couldn’t attend the event, and some may need additional attention. As the department continues to internationalize and admit more international students, there is a desire to see increased interaction and support between local and international students, not only to help international students better adapt themselves to Taiwan but also to encourage local students to expand their social networks and visions. Beyond events like this end-of-semester gathering, the department will make efforts from various perspectives to promote more vibrant friendships and mutual learning between local and international students. We sincerely hope the international students of our department can feel that choosing to come to NTUCE was the best decision they ever made!

自從學期改為16週且上學期提前至九月初即開學,近兩年來,期末考週都在聖誕節前即已結束。這學期期末考的最後一天結束在 12/23 (五),當天並適逢冬至,系上於是規劃在這個年節時日為外籍同學們舉辦一場Semester-End & Christmas Party,邀請大家來吃個湯圓,熱鬧熱鬧,希望或許能稍解外籍同學在異地求學的思鄉之情,同時也藉此機會和同學們有些互動、了解他們在學習和生活上的狀況。

系上自108學年度開辦大學部國際英語專班以來 (系上的必修課至少有一門會以英語開授,外籍生可在不會中文的前提下,仍可從本系取得學位畢業),目前已五屆的同學,這一兩年大學部一屆的外籍生人數更達近四十人。再加上研究所原本即有不少的外籍生,加總系上目前的外籍生人數共214人,佔總學生人數中的19%。其中不乏許多在課業上表現優異 (每屆都有多位外籍同學獲得書卷獎和工學院研究生院長獎等) 或在各個領域甚為活耀的外籍同學;當然,也有些外籍同學仍舊不免遭遇到學習和生活適應上的困難,而他們的資源管道可能還是相對較為有限,或許多一點點的關心對他們而言也都是很大的支持。

活動在系館203會議室舉辦,約計有七十來位同學參加 (主要是邀請外籍同學,但外籍同學也可以邀請本地同學參加)。系辦同仁們買來了pizza、炸雞、各式零食、點心,另外也特別起了兩爐薑茶湯圓,給大家暖暖身子。包含葛宇甯主任、楊國鑫副國際長、蔡克銓老師、郭安妮老師、邱俊翔老師和林之謙老師都到場和同學們聊聊天。活動並權請許聿廷老師充當主持人,先是和大家介紹冬至和湯圓的相關典故,用Slido和同學們玩些互動小遊戲 (請同學們回答最要好的本地生同學和最喜歡的土木系課程),接著就到了最熱鬧的點歌時間了!一開始大家還有點害羞地自顧用餐、聊天,直到大二的黃香英Cheryl同學一首「甜蜜蜜」之後,同學們遂欲罷不能,一首接著一首Last Christmas、All I Want for Christmas Is You……其實也就是播個Youtube影片,大家就可以跟著嗨唱一番!

當天的活動還有一位特別的嘉賓,B02級的校友余香儒Shannon。香儒在學期間便相當醉心於現代舞,並曾在校內外舉辦過舞展,畢業後即飛赴紐約學舞;目前是紐約Dance Village School的專業舞者,並在去年獲得美國亞裔文化協會 (Asian American Arts Alliance) 的紐約新銳編舞家獎 (Jadin Wong Fellowship for Dance)。 香儒過去在學時是葛主任的導生,藉這此回學校看老師的機會,葛主任也特別邀請香儒來參加當天的活動,和學弟妹分享在大學期間發掘自身興趣的重要性、那些追求夢想中的投入與勇敢,以及就讀臺大土木畢業後各種發展的可能!

活動將近之時,大家唱歌、聊天似乎都還有些意猶未盡,但希望這個Semester-End & Christmas Party能總結同學們關於這個學期一點小小的美好的回憶。系上其實也還有更多當天未能參加活動的外籍同學,而其中或許也有些更需要關心和支持的同學。在臺大和土木系持續國際化、招收國際生的這個發展方向上,我們同時也希望看到外籍生和本地生之間更多的互動、相互的支持,除了是讓外籍同學能夠更加地融入臺灣的生活、學習之外,也是更加擴展本地同學的人際互動和國際視野。未來除了透過期末舉辦像這樣聚餐、聚會的活動之外,系上也會從各個方面來努力促進外籍生和本地生之間更熱絡地交朋友、共同學習、成長,讓同學們能感受到當初選擇來到臺大土木系是他們最好的決定!