Faculty Members and Students from TCU’s Department of Child Development and Family Studies have dedicated themselves to serving communities overseas during the summer of 2023


This summer promises to be an extraordinary one for the faculty and students of the Department of Child Development and Family Studies at Tzu Chi University. The Department has a bustling schedule with four international activities slated to take place. This includes dispatching two volunteer teams to Malaysia, a team dedicated to teaching Mandarin in the United States, and a team comprising professional interns to Singapore. The departure for these transformative experiences will commence from July onward.

This year, the Ministry of Education has provided funds to support 73 teams and 732 student volunteers for their volunteer service overseas Among the beneficiaries, three teams from the Department have received assistance from the Youth Development Agency, the Ministry of Education. Recently, President Tsai Ing-wen held a meeting with Youth Overseas Peace Corps representatives, attended by three student volunteers from the Department: Jian-Zhi Huang, Qi-Min Zhang, and Mu-Xun Zhuang. During the meeting, President Tsai urged the volunteers to utilize their overseas services as a platform to foster stronger relations between Taiwan and other nations. She further advocated for their efforts to amplify Taiwan’s global presence and spread the spirit of Taiwanese warmth and compassion to the world.

A team consisting of seven faculty members and students from the Department is set to participate in a service-learning program in Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia. They aim to provide education on parenting, elders health promotion, anti-drug advocacy, environmental protection, and gender equality, among other topics. Student Jian-Zhi Huang is eager to bring his passion and expertise to this service-learning initiative in Malaysia, hoping to extend the reach of student influence. Upon his return to Taiwan, he looks forward to sharing his experiences via social media, inspiring his peers to engage in overseas volunteer work and contribute positively to society.

In addition, two other teams, the Taiwan-Malaysia Glimmer Education Volunteer Teams, named Kedah and Penang, led by Professor Mei-Chih Hu, are also involved. Comprised of eighteen students, these teams will work with kindergarten children in Malaysia to enhance their understanding of health, environmental protection, character, and daily life skills. Student Qi-Min Zhang expressed his excitement, saying, “I am honored to have the opportunity to observe the learning process of kindergarten students in Malaysia and experience their cultural characteristics. This experience will undoubtedly broaden my horizons.”

Under the leadership of Chief Secretary Kun-Yi Ho and Professor Peishan Lu, a ten-student group known as the Chinese Language Teaching and Volunteer Service Group will embark on a U.S. trip, funded by the Ministry of Education. They’ll visit major cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, aiming to spread Chinese culture, share Tzu Chi’s humanistic culture, and contribute to community service.

The student volunteers plan to use their skills to develop engaging activities, making the learning process interactive. Activities include teaching how to make spring rolls and bubble tea, introducing traditional festivals through games, and hands-on experiences with movable-type printing and calligraphy.

Cai-Xuan Liao, a junior in the Department, reflected on the preparation process: “While making preparations, I gained insights into teaching Chinese and honed my skills. Despite challenges like refining my teaching methods, I’ve been able to develop my unique teaching style through learning and reflection.”

The Ministry of Education has granted the Department funding to enable student educational visits to Southeast Asia. Led by Professor Li-Fen Chang, ten students are set to visit Singapore for professional internships in various institutions, including the Tzu Chi Early Childhood Education Center, Fei Yue Aging Institute, and CARE Singapore.

Yong-Hui Li, who will intern at CARE Singapore, a youth-focused organization, shared her thoughts: “Exploring a new country triggers feelings of both anticipation and anxiety. I’ve attended language workshops provided by our Foreign Language Center to improve my English, particularly useful for a shy speaker like me. This summer promises personal growth and self-discovery.”

The Department of Child Development and Family Studies, comprising our dedicated faculty and engaged student body, is committed to “fostering transformation through personal development.” Their mission centers on harnessing the power of academia to fulfill the University’s social obligations, solidifying its influence within Taiwan, and maintaining a global perspective.