As part of the Taiwan Studies Program established by the Ministry of Education at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), a group of 22 students from the university’s Naveen Jindal School of Management participated in a Taiwan Business and Cultural Experience exchange program in August 2023. The program was designed for students to learn about Taiwan’s economy, business, and culture through a series of academic lectures and visits.
After an initial introduction to the history and culture of Taiwan, the students spent time exploring the city of Taipei. Among their favorite sites were Taipei 101, Longshan Temple, museums, and the night markets. They also enjoyed a walkthrough of the pineapple-cake-making production process and took part in making some cakes themselves. This and their night market experience informed class discussions about the differences in the food diversity and the spices used in food preparation in the United States and Taiwan.
An important part of the program was a visit to Fu Jen Catholic University, one of UTD’s academic partners with whom the university has an exchange agreement. The students were given an in-depth tour of the university’s Textile Department and the Fu Jen Catholic University Hospital. They also visited two companies: Diodes Incorporated, and Delta Electronics one of the largest companies in Taiwan. Diodes’ Asia President, Andy Tsong, gave a very informative seminar outlining the company’s operations, semiconductor trends, opportunities, and challenges, together with an overview of their product line. At Delta Electronics, Alessandro Sossa discussed the global trends that are shaping the company’s operations. The students were impressed by this Taiwanese company’s emphasis on sustainable operations, including energy efficiency and addressing several UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The students also met with Taiwan business students and alumni who talked about their current entrepreneurial activities, including starting new boba tea businesses. And at the end of their trip, they took part in a networking event together with Fu Jen Catholic University professors and industry partners, and with UT Dallas alumni living in Taiwan, which will help build bridges for cross-cultural partnerships, friendships, and collaborative projects in the future.
The students will stay in contact with the UT Dallas alumni living in Taiwan through social media, and discuss career plans and opportunities for future collaboration. They were delighted to make so many connections in Taiwan and hope to engage in future academic and industry projects with their newly made friends.