YSU, Lunghwa University Sign Exchange Agreement

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – In coming years, dozens of students and educators will travel between Youngstown and Taiwan, thanks to the student and faculty exchange agreement between Youngstown State University and Lunghwa University of Science and Technology.

The five-year agreement, signed Wednesday by YSU President Jim Tressel and Lunghwa Vice President Ru-Jen Lin, re-establishes the “sister school” relationship between the two universities, separated by 7,600 miles. In addition to exchanging students, faculty from both schools will spend time teaching at the other university.

For students, Lin explained, the agreement provides a chance to become immersed in other cultures and see globalization on a large scale.

“We prefer our students to have globalization views, world views. … They can get more cultures and learn English here and make friends,” she said. “For the exchange students, they can get our culture. At Lunghwa, it’s very convenient take a metro to anywhere they want to go to deeply understand Taiwanese culture or visit the Taipei capital.”

For faculty, noted YSU’s associate provost of international global initiatives, Nathan Myers, teaching in Taiwan provides an opportunity to live the adage of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.

“One of the things that an overseas experience does for you professionally is it broadens you out and enriches you,” he said. “Once faculty have spent time overseas and gotten a sense for the cultural differences, they’re able to meet students better on their terms.”

The partnership is the third such program at YSU, joining agreements with the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland and Yeditepe University in Turkey. There were 401 international students from 56 countries who attended YSU last year, up from 264 students in 2014. About 140 students from YSU study abroad every semester.

For the 2014-15 school year, Taiwan was ranked seventh in the number of students sent to study internationally with nearly 21,000 students moving abroad, according to data from the Institute of International Education. By moving into the country, Myers said, YSU can attract even more students.

“Right now, we’re not doing much in Taiwan. … It’s relationships like this that work in a soft-power way to increase YSU’s stature,” he said.

Within the next few years, Myers said he expects YSU to triple the number of exchange agreements and begin to send its students to China and India.

“You’ll see more intentionality on the part of Youngstown State in terms of giving our own students great international experiences and reaching into new markets,” he said.

Following a lunch at Pollock House, where the agreement was signed, Lin also met with Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber President Tom Humphries and other representatives from the chamber.

Pictured: YSU President Jim Tressel and Lunghwa University Vice President Ru-Jen Lin sign the exchange agreement Wednesday during a press event at Pollock House.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.