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Monday, January 6, 2014

Understanding the FCU International Student Association - An Interview

Claire Hsu & Amy Chen

FCUISA Logo courtesy FCUISA Facebook page

The Feng Chia University (FCU) International Student Association (ISA) is an association for all FCU students from foreign countries. Its purpose is to help foreign students solve any problems they encounter and to help them adapt to life in Taiwan. One of our friends, Alice, is from Malaysia, and she is an ISA officer. Alice is always very busy, so she didn’t have time to meet with us. Therefore, we decided interviewed Alice on the phone to see why she was so busy and to find out what secrets there are in ISA.

All photos by the authors

Clair and Amy:
What does ISA do?
ISA is mainly responsible for assisting international students in solving their administrative problems, like picking foreign freshmen up at the airport every year, helping them apply for their Taiwan residence permit, and showing them how to register for their classes. In addition, ISA holds a lot of activities, such as Dragon Boat Festival, Songhran Festival, and Christmas Party. These activities help foreign students make friends in their new environment. In this way, the ISA lets all foreign students at FCU know that they are not alone even though they are far from home.

C & A:
Can you tell us about some ISA’s activities?
In order to make foreign students’ life more interesting, ISA holds some regular activities each semester, including Welcome Camp, Dragon Boat Festival, and Cultural Tours. In December, ISA holds a big Christmas party. This party is not only for foreign students; Taiwanese students can also participate. At this party, there are dancing and singing performances. Also, there are some small games. Finally, the students exchange Christmas gifts, and this really brings everyone together in a holiday spirit.  

C & A:
What event impressed you most about ISA?
The first time that we prepared the Welcome Camp impressed me most. Our Welcome Camp was held outdoors, so we had to do a site survey in advance. Every member of ISA rode a motorcycle to Miaoli. It was really stupid because the site was very far from Feng Chia University. However, we still felt it was fun, and we enjoyed the site survey.

C & A:
Why did you want to become a club officer?
There is no reason why I wanted to be an officer in ISA. I thought it was my responsibility to carry on the tradition. I also thought I could learn to be more responsible and improve my communication skills.

C & A:
What does your office mainly do?
I am the General Management Officer. This office is in charge of distributing funds for every activity.

C & A:
Have you ever faced any frustrations? How did you overcome the situation?
I felt strong frustrated once, when the teacher of International Office said that what I had done was wrong. Therefore, I could only communicate with the teacher again and again until we reached an agreement.

C & A:
What have you learned in ISA?
I have learned how to communicate with different people. A successful activity is definitely not one person's effort. We need to divide the work, and then we need everyone to cooperate for an activity to succeed. I also learned a lot from planning activities and making staff assignments. It seems simple, but it is really not easy.

FCUISA logo courtesy FCUISA Facebook page 
After the interview, we understood that ISA was not just a social club, but a club willing to help people.  The ISA helps foreign students solve school problems and holds a lot of activities to make wonderful memories for them in Taiwan. If there were no ISA, foreign students would be lonely and helpless.

Although being a club officer is tiring, Alice is still very happy because she has become more talkative and has made a lot of friends. Most importantly, she has learned a lot. Alice and everyone else at the International Students Association welcome all FCU foreign students to join ISA and to serve as club officers. It’s sure to be a memorable experience! 

FCU Foreign Students Association

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