The TU Darmstadt Asia Office at NCKU Celebrates its First Anniversary

Celebrations Marking the Anniversary of the Asia Office in Taiwan

2020/05/18

In the past few days, the Asia Office of TU Darmstadt and the NCKU partner university in Taiwan have been looking back at many memorable activities and events of the past years: From the first partnership agreement in 1987, this cooperation has been promoting student exchange programmes and scientific collaboration including the Taiwan Comprehensive University System (TCUS) and the TU9 Alliance of leading Universities of Technology in Germany. TU Darmstadt is the only German university maintaining an Asia Office in Taiwan.

Group photo taken during the celebrations, including Claudia Finner, head of the Asia Office (2nd from the left), Dr Huey-Jen Jenny Su, President of NCKU (3rd from the left) and Professor Hsiao-Wen Wang, Vice President, International Affairs, of NCKU) (5th from the left)

“This partnership with NCKU is extremely valuable to TU Darmstadt. The Asia Office has proven its worth by generating new impulses. By cooperating with NCKU more closely, we also expanded our joint international network,” said Professor Tanja Brühl, President of TU Darmstadt. The one-year anniversary celebrations also served this purpose. On 7 May 2020, NCKU, TU Darmstadt and our industry partner Bosch Taipeh designed a Future Leadership Scholorarship programme consisting of a student exchange programme, work placements / internships and financial support. In addition, the Materials Science and Optoelectronic Science department intends to expand its cooperation with NCKU and to implement an exchange programme. Jenny Su, President of NCKU, praised TU Darmstadt as a future-oriented and responsible partner. There will be many more anniversaries for this partnership in future.

For many of the involved, the Asia Office is an important point of contact building cultural bridges on site. “Thanks to the Asia Office, the only one of its kind by a German university in Taiwan, we are able to reach out and contact interested students and instructors alike for personal discussions and consultations and are also able to deepen existing relationships. In the scope of our internationalisation strategy, this is of great advantage for us,” said Claudia Finner, head of the Asia Office since September 2019. For Taiwanese students, the Asia Office offered intercultural training and a German course. The current “German culture” course programme includes events informing about opportunities and options to study in Germany.

Students from TU Darmstadt currently studying as exchange students at NCKU are invited to visit the Asia Office, too, when in need of assistance. During the poster presentation on 8 May 2020, they were very impressed by the openness and helpfulness of their host country including Taiwan’s culture and countryside. “There may have been communication problems at the beginning due to insufficient language skills on our part; however, the Taiwanese people are so kind and eager to help. It really makes up for it”, said Elvira Khamenok, Master’s student at the Mechanical Engineering department.

As the spreading of the Sars-CoVid-19 virus has been well under control in Taiwan, the five TU Darmstadt students have been enjoying their stay at NCKU with hardly any restrictions even on travel: “There is much to discover in Taiwan not just the university. Many travel destinations can be reached easily. The countryside is just awesome including mountain ranges and breathtakingly beautiful coastlines”, said Jens Grünwald, Master’s of Computer Science student. Even though he has many lectures to attend, he spends most of his weekends visiting different places in Taiwan.