BSP Taiwan 2018
On 28 November 2018, 24 students and 3 teachers – Mdm Jiang Ling, Ms Chia Siew Ling and Ms Chew Geok Joo embarked on a 13 day overseas learning trip to Taiwan. The trip included the exploration of the cities Taichung and Taipei, accompanied by a friendly tour guide, Ms Elva Ho, with the objectives of providing students with the opportunity to cultivate an in-depth understanding of Taiwan’s history, culture, economics, education, politics and current state of society, to expose students to the culture of other Chinese regions and to provide an avenue for meaningful interaction so as to promote international friendship and understanding.
We visited many must-go places in Taiwan, from the Earthquake Museum of Taiwan where we expanded our knowledge of natural disasters and learnt about the tragedies of the past, to the Sun Moon Lake where we enjoyed a boat ride, and then to the famous Taipei 101 Observatory. The trip was not short of cultural and historical experiential learning with programmes in Qin-Liu tribe, a traditional glove-puppet experience and a visit to Ying-ge Ceramics Museum which included a DIY session. We also visited the Tamsui Historical area and Jiu-fen and Shi-fen historical street where we released sky lanterns which carried our wishes. Moreover, we witnessed the grandeur of Taiwan on our Taipei Metropolis Tour to The Presidential Office Building, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, our visit to Yangmingshan which included the grand Chung-Shan Building and our visit to the National Palace Museum, which left us in awe of the people of the past.
We were honoured to have been given the chance for experiential learning at renowned enterprises like The World of Coca-Cola, Want-Want China Times Group and Dream Vigor where we had a DIY session at the famous pineapple cakes of Taiwan. These enterprise groups taught us about the importance of seeking improvement to keep up with the latest trends and work ethic as many were undisturbed by our visit as they continued working hard.
Our itinerary definitely included the bustling Fengjia and Raohe Night Markets and Ximending, where the students were free to buy and eat the delicacies of Taiwan, ranging from the homemade dark brown sugar boba pearls, the latest bubble milk tea craze and papaya milk to the fried chicken and sweet potato balls. We learnt of the culture of the nightlife in Taiwan from these wonderful experiences.
The trip allowed us to expand our knowledge beyond Singapore, learning more about Taiwan and grew our curiosity to learn about other countries. Certainly, this was not the only aspect in which we have grown, for the interactions with the 5 schools we visited have made us more comfortable with interacting with new people. The 5 schools, namely Natural Way Experimental Educational School, Datong High School, Taipei Chenggong High School, Ta-ren Girls’ High School and National Wu-Ling Senior High School allowed us to forge international friendships. The schools welcomed us with popular Taiwanese food, such as the famous bubble milk tea and snacks common to the Taiwanese students. Conversation was easy as the students warmly welcomed us to their school, providing us a learning point about hospitality while allowing us to learn about the culture of their school and the spirit of the Taiwanese. We were also fortunate enough to be given insight about the Cross-Strait Relations when we attended lectures by 2 professors at the National Taiwan University – Professor Chen Chih Jou and Professor Hsu Szue Chin.
As the saying goes, “All good things come to an end”. Our 13 day learning trip in Taiwan flew past just like that, and ended with a tearful goodbye with our tour guide at the airport. Our 24 students brought back with them many fond memories, an expanded knowledge of Taiwan and curiosity for the world beyond Singapore. We are grateful for the accompaniment of our 3 teachers for being there for us and our caring tour guide who took care of our necessities for the trip.