Text/photo: Chia-Yi Lee
Translation: Steve J. Lin
Today(06/26/2017), Tzu Chi University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with St. Joseph’s College New York. TCU was represented by Vice President Mutsu Hsu, while Vice President Barbara Garii represented St. Joseph’s College. This summer, twenty of St. Joseph’s students will come to Taiwan and study at TCU for four weeks, and TCU students will go to St. Joseph’s next year. Through these collaborations, both institutions wish to nurture exceptional citizens and to make the world better.
St. Joseph’s College was founded in 1916 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, in response to the need of a day college for young women. In 1970, the college opened to male students for full matriculation, and now 70% of its students are females. St. Joseph’s has 35 academic departments, including art, nursing, biology, adolescent education, social sciences, and so on. Its student population is around 5,000. St. Joseph’s has two campuses, which are located in Brooklyn and Long Island, respectively, and also offers courses online. The student-faculty ratio is about12:1.
TCU President Pen-Jung Wang pointed out that Tzu Chi Foundation was founded in 1966. To meet the needs of indigenous young women, the foundation set up Tzu Chi College of Nursing in 1989. To nurture medical professionals, Tzu Chi College of Medicine was founded in 1994, and TCU has expanded to four colleges totaling 3,300 students. The university motto “Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity” signifies TCU’s wish to prepare its students to be good professionals and responsible citizens. Both TCU and St. Joseph’s were founded by religious organizations, in response to social needs. President Wang was grateful that faculty members of St. Joseph’s College came all the way from the United States, and he wished that students of our two countries can work together enthusiastically from now on.
St. Joseph’s College’s Vice President Barbara Garii stated that St. Joseph’s provides significant amounts of financial aid to the underprivileged, to enable them to continue their college educations, and nurtures students to pursue truth as well as act responsibly. She was happy that both institutions have similar goals. Vice President Garii toured the TCU campus earlier, reviewed the program prepared for St. Joseph’s students, and was satisfied with the learning environment and summer program, and thus wished she could come back this summer.
This summer, twenty of St. Joseph’s students will come to TCU to attend summer program. This program contains four courses: Chinese Learning; Humanities and Cultural Healing; Introduction to Chinese Culture; and Social Work in Taiwan. Students will receive eight credits after completing the four courses. Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Professor De-Chen Chou, said that St. Joseph’s students would visit local communities, interact with indigenous tribal residents, get firsthand knowledge of local Taiwanese culture, and learn how Taiwanese charitable organizations help the needy in Taiwan and overseas. She wished these students could learn Tzu Chi spirit, know more about Taiwan, and fall in love with Taiwan.
Ten TCU students from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences will accompany St. Joseph’s students all the way through the program. Through personal interactions, the Taiwanese students will learn different perspectives, such as how US students view the world and how they live their everyday lives. TCU’s students will go to St. Joseph’s, and experience different lifestyles in the US. Furthermore, it is possible for the students of these two institutions to receive dual degrees, one from TCU and the other from St. Joseph’s College.