AIT sponsors US high school students to visit Taiwan

American Institute in Taiwan fosters cultural exchange with 'Youth Leadership Exchange Program'

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American exchange students visit Kaohsiung Center for Arts. (CNA photo)

American exchange students visit Kaohsiung Center for Arts. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In order to celebrate educational and cultural exchanges as part of its 40th anniversary, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) has sponsored a group of American students and teachers to visit Taiwan as part of a “Youth Leadership Exchange Program.”

The Youth Leadership Exchange group arrived in Taiwan on Oct. 21 for a two-week stay. They plan to visit a number of high schools and middle schools across Taiwan, as well as national museums, in order to learn about the country's history, culture, and education system.

The trip is a reciprocal visit, with Taiwanese students and teachers from Kaohsiung Senior High School having traveled to the United States in May 2019, also with the sponsorship of AIT. The Taiwanese group joined U.S. school classes for several days, attended educational workshops, and also enjoyed musical concerts during their visit, reports CNA.

The Americans, who are now being hosted by Kaohsiung Senior High School, just finished a two-night visit to Kaohsiung's Fo Guang Shan (佛光山) temple to learn about Buddhism in Taiwan and participate in cultural activities like tea ceremonies and calligraphy, according to CNA. They also made a visit to the Weiwuying National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts this past weekend, where they experienced traditional Taiwanese opera.

The Principal of Kaohsiung High School, Hsieh Wen-pin (謝文斌), said that exchange activities are important, noting that they can help foster an international outlook among students. The Youth Leadership Exchange Program is a unique experience that can help Taiwanese and U.S. students understand each other’s outlook, which, in turn, can help to bridge cultural differences between countries, said Hsieh.