The symposium also showcased many of the already established Taiwan Huayu BEST program partnerships between American institutions and universities in Taiwan. Hunter College of New York City is a new participant in the BEST program in partnership with Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages in Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.
The symposium drew participants from 26 higher educational institutions across the United States, including ten which are located in the TECO New York region. All the symposium participants expressed interest in continuing with or taking part in the Taiwan Huayu BEST program.
Opening remarks were given by Professor Lawrence Kowerski from Hunter College and Professor Hsu Chang-Mo from Wenzao Ursuline University, and Dr. Min-Ling Yang, the director of the Education Division at TECO New York, then gave details of the BEST program and how to apply. This was followed by the main part of the symposium: four panel discussions with university study abroad directors and administrators, students participating in the program, and BEST program Chinese teachers from Taiwan.
The presenters gave more details of the student scholarships provided by the BEST program, and the benefits of the teacher exchanges to BEST partner institutions.
The organizers hoped that the symposium would help to inspire the participating teachers, students, and administrators to reexamine and positively assess the value of studying abroad, as they prepared to restart their overseas study programs after the three-year break caused by the pandemic. The details of the opportunities for studying Chinese language in Taiwan that the Taiwan Huayu BEST program provides certainly drew a lot of attention. The symposium also successfully showcased the practical nature of U.S.-Taiwan educational exchanges, and the benefits of international collaborations to universities and other institutions training future global leaders.