On Tuesday, March 7th, the OGA hosted its first event of the Bon Voyage! Event Series (國際領航員系列活動), titled Culture Shock: Navigating Life Abroad. A total of 47 students, staff, and faculty participated in the event.

The Bon Voyage! Event Series is a new series of cultural events for KMU students hosted by the OGA beginning in Spring 2023, with the goal of developing KMU students’ cultural competency and English language skills. This event series is part of the nationwide efforts of internationalization of university campuses (在地國際化) and the creation of a more culturally inclusive campus environment (國際共融校園). The funding for the series comes from Taiwan’s Ministry of Education’s Higher Education Sprout Project (高等教育深耕計畫).

The event began with an introduction to Culture Shock and the Cross-Cultural Adjustment Theory. The Cross-Cultural Adjustment Theory includes 4 phases: Honeymoon, Negotiation/Culture Shock, Adjustment, and Adaptation. Some common coping strategies to overcome culture shock were also shared.

The second part of the event was the International Student Panel. Three international students were invited to share their experiences studying abroad in Taiwan as well as share tips on how they cope with culture shock and homesickness.

  • Tati Rahmawati from Indonesia is a 5th year Ph.D. student in the Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences.
  • Eva Felipe Dimog from the Philippines is a 4th year Ph.D. student in the Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences.
  • Thusnisha Jenish George from India is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Department of Biomedical Chemistry, College of Life Sciences.

International participants of the event learned tips on how to navigate life in Taiwan and ways to cope with the homesickness and loneliness of living in another country. Domestic participants who attended this event also improved their understanding of international students’ experiences and struggles. In addition, the increased awareness of the international student experience will also improve our campus’ support for these students.

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