This four-week program provides students with an immersive introduction to Mandarin Chinese and hands-on coursework in the history, culture, politics, and contemporary issues of Taiwan. Participants explore the unique ways Taiwan has responded to challenges all modern societies face while gaining a better understanding of an increasingly important region of the world. The program is hosted by National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taipei City.
Participants attend lectures and discussion sessions on Taiwanese history, culture, politics, and contemporary issues with relevant excursions throughout Taipei City and father afield to bring course concepts to life. Students spend an average of 1.5 hours per weekday attending each of the following two courses:
- The Culture and Society of Taiwan
This course examines Taiwan’s cultural heritage and the diverse factors shaping modern Taiwanese society. Students explore topics including religious diversity, environmental protection, social equality, community development, and popular culture.
- The History and Politics of Taiwan
Taiwan is an island indelibly shaped by its history as a colony of (successively) Spain, the Netherlands, multiple Chinese empires, and Japan followed by a period of strict martial law and, finally, transformation into one of Asia’s most open and vibrant democracies. This course provides an overview of this unique historical development, allowing students to better understand the dynamics at work in Taiwan’s contemporary political and social affairs, its position in an increasingly influential region of the globe, and its role on the world stage.
All classes are taught in English by expert faculty experienced in teaching students from around the world.
Students also receive one hour of daily instruction in Mandarin Chinese with sections tailored specificially for both absolute beginners and those with prior Chinese language study.
All participants who successfully complete the program earn 2 units (the equivalent of approximately eight undergraduate credit hours or ten graduate credit hours) of U.S. academic credit in political science and sociology awarded through Bryn Mawr College.
Excursions & Activities
Field trips to museums, temples, and historical sites as well as cultural activities such as calligraphy and tai chi deepen participants’ understanding of course content and allow hands-on engagement with Taiwanese culture and society.
Among the program’s numerous excursions is a visit to an aboriginal village in the mountains of northern Taiwan.
While excursion destinations vary from year to year, past participants have visited:
- National Palace Museum
- Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affars
- Taipei 101
- Taipei Modern Museum of Contemporary Art
- Tzu Chi Foundation Recycling Center
- Organic tea farms
- Leshui Atayal Aboriginal Village in Yilan County
- Headquarters of local political parties
- Night markets
- Numerous temples reflecting the diversity of Taiwan's religious traditions
Housing & Meals
Students live in NCCU's international dormitory "International House" with other participants during their stay in Taipei. International House is a five minute walk to campus with easy access to supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, bus stops, and the MRT (Taipei's subway system). Students are responsible for paying for their own meals besides those provided during orientation and cultural excursions.
Administration & Partners
American Councils administers the TMT program in partnership with the Office of International Cooperation at National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taipei, Taiwan. As one of Taiwan’s most prestigious universities renowned for the strength of its programs in the social sciences, humanities, international affairs, and politics, NCCU is the ideal location for students to explore the interplay of history, culture, and societal issues in Taiwan and East Asia more broadly. With a lush and spacious campus perched in the hills south of Taipei, NCCU offers visitors a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city while providing easy access via public transportion to numerous sites of historic, cultural, and political significance.
Taiwan Ministry of Education Scholarship
Through the generous support of the Taiwan Ministry of Education, all U.S. students applying to the AC Study Abroad Need-Based Scholarship for the Tradition & Modernity in Taiwan program will automatically be considered for additional scholarships of $500 to $2500, awarded based on financial need and academic merit.
American Councils Scholarships
With support from a wide range of funders, American Councils has established several scholarships to support U.S. students engage in overseas study. All applicants to American Councils summer, semester, or academic-year overseas programs are eligible for partial scholarship awards from the American Councils Outbound Scholarship Fund, which include:
- AC Study Abroad Alumni Scholarship
- AC Study Abroad Diversity Scholarship
- AC Study Abroad Need-Based Scholarship
- Dan E. Davidson Fellowship
Awards are made on the basis of financial need, program compatibility, and academic merit, and typically range from $500 to $2500.
Applicants seeking additional funding for their trip may consider the following resources:
- The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
- Fund for Education Abroad (FEA)
- IIE Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants
Visit our Financial Aid page for more information on scholarships and funding opportunities through American Councils and outside sources.
While overseas, participants have access to in-country program staff that provide around-the-clock emergency support. A full-time resident director oversees the academic and cultural program; assists participants in academic, administrative and personal matters; and coordinates activities with the host institution faculty. During the program, the AC Study Abroad Team in Washington, D.C. stays in close contact via email and telephone with in-country program staff and provides updates as needed to study abroad offices, university partners, and family members.
Participants are enrolled in comprehensive overseas health, accident, and evacuation insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) for the duration of the program. CISI provides medical coverage of up to $250,000 per accident or illness. Enrollment in the CISI plan also provides full coverage for emergency medical evacuation.
U.S. citizens are not required to obtain a visa for visits to Taiwan under 90 days in duration. It is the student's responsibility to obtain any other visas required by their individual itineraries.