From the 1st of November to the 13th of November 2015, 20 students from Dunman High School Bicultural Studies Programme, along with two teachers, Ms Wong Lu Ting and Mdm Teo Geok Hiok, flew to Taiwan for our exciting 13-day experience.
This trip was indeed an eye opener for all of us. It allowed us to visit four schools in Taiwan, namely DaoHe Experimental School, Kang-Chiao Bilingual School, Da-Ren Girls’ High School and Taipei Cheng Gong High School. Visiting the four schools provided us with the opportunity to tour around the school compounds of both secondary schools and junior colleges and interact with the teachers and students there. This tour allowed us to experience the warm welcome given by the students and teachers, as well as their enthusiasm and excitement upon meeting us. We also learnt more about the daily school life of the students and had a glimpse of how lessons are like in Taiwan.
We had the privilege of attending the lectures of two professors from National Taiwan University – Professor Hsu Szue-Chin and Professor Chen Chih-Jou. They talked to us about Cross-Strait Relations and Cross-Strait Social Interactions, enabling us to gain deeper insights into these controversial issues. We also had the chance to consult the professors about queries regarding Cross-Strait issues.
We visited various organisations, including Formosa Plastics Corporation, Chung T’ien Television and Want Want China Times Media Group, allowing us to better understand the different working cultures of these organisations and the stories behind their successes. We also visited the 921 Earthquake Museum, where we learnt much more about earthquakes, including the formation of earthquakes and its impact on the human population. At the museum, we had a realistic simulated earthquake experience that demonstrated just how serious and traumatising a real earthquake can be. We also went to interesting museums in Taiwan, including the National Palace Museum and New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum, where we were exposed to various different artifacts and the intriguing stories behind the artifacts. At the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum, we had the chance to mould our own ceramic masterpiece. Not to forget, we also took the world’s fastest elevator and went up to the 89th floor of the Taipei 101.
A trip to Taiwan would not be complete without visiting its night markets, such as the FengJia Night Market and RaoHe Night Market, where we indulged ourselves in the vast amount of food there. Delicious food and drinks were on display—we tried papaya milk, fried chicken, fermented beancurd and many more. Interestingly, the 50-year Japanese rule has affected Taiwan in many ways. In terms of food, Japanese food such as sushi and miso soup are commonly found in Taiwan. Some parts of the presidential office building in Taiwan were also built with unique Japanese architectural designs.
Ultimately, it was the people in Taiwan who impacted us the most. Not only are they kind and friendly, they are also environmentally-friendly, great traits which we should learn. This trip to Taiwan has allowed us to broaden our knowledge of Taiwan, so we have a deeper understanding of Taiwan’s history and current affairs, political and economic matters, as well as Taiwan’s culture and educational system. This 13-day trip went past in a blink of an eye and we are extremely grateful to the school for allowing us to embark on this learning journey. Not only did we learn about the different cultures and history of Taiwan, we also met many new friends whom we interacted with in the four schools.