Campus Bulletin - Activities

A Sophomore Taste of Taiwan: a First in GCC History

From the Report of Engr. Eduardo Marin


"A Sophomore Taste of Taiwan," was the pioneering program of Grace Christian College with its sister school, Chung Yuan Christian University in Chung-Li Taiwan, for Language, Cultural, Academic and Spiritual immersion. The program has been conceived by the GCC President, Dr. James L. Tan, in line with the school's Vision: "Integrating Academic Excellence with Biblical Truths to produce Global Christian Leaders."


There were nineteen (19) students from five (5) programs and two (2) Professors who joined the pioneering program. The students were Allan Curtis Chua (BSECE); Hazelle Marie Joyce Lao (BSECE); Shalom Elishiah Wenceslao (BSECE); Immanuel Ken Apacible (BSIT); Macauley Kevin Serrano (BSIT); Nicole Angelica Tan (BSIT); Ronniel Yao (BSIT); Abigail Alfaro (BSEd); Wei Ting Huang (BEEd); Da Eun "Cindy" Kim (BSEd); Richmond Jefferson Fernandez (BSA); Samuelle Isaac Ong (BSA); Ann Dominique Tiu (BSA); Beverlie Ann Young (BSA); Sharmaine Dianne Fernandez (BSBA); Grace PreƱa (BSBA); Misha Lee Soriano (BSBA); Reagan Lawrence Sy (BSBA) and Michelle Wong (BSBA). The professors who accompanied the students in this program were Dr. Mary Grace Termulo and Engr. Eduardo Marin.

The Office of International Affairs (OIA) of Chung Yuan Christian University (CYCU), headed by the Dean, Dr. Jyh-tong Teng, coordinated all activities of the Sophomore Taste of Taiwan program. Although a first for the school, the program has been highly commendable.

The duration of the program was from October 11, 2009 to December 23, 2009 for BSECE and BSIT students; and October 17, 2009 to December 23, 2009 for BSBA, BSEd and BSA students. The program has been sub-divided into three (3) categories: Language and Culture, Academics and Spiritual Immersion.

I. Language and Culture Immersion: These areas have been the focus of the program. Here, the students were immersed in the community of students and professors who are native speakers of the Taiwanese language or Mandarin (e.g. Taiwanese students, professors and staff) and to maximize the use of the Chinese Language (Mandarin).


a. Cultural Trips - the students discovered a broader cultural outlook and understanding of Taiwan's rich heritage as they interacted with Taiwanese people and friends. The places visited were: Trick or Chicken, Mautu (BBQ trip), National Palace Museum, Confucius Temple, Danshui/Tamsui, Taipei 101, National Center for Trade Arts, Ylan (Foot Spa), NTU Night Market.

b. Service Learning Activities - the students had community immersion and service. The activities were: fixing furniture and some carpentry work in "Carpenter's Coffee) for BSA and BSBA students; Storytelling to Taiwanese kids for BSECE, BEEd and BSEd students; and selling "Lala" fruits to the CYCU Community for BSIT students.

c. CYCU Student Ambassadors - the CYCU students guided the GCC students during the cultural trips and in the process made new friends.

d. Mandarin Classes - one-on-one sessions between students and CYCU student teachers in a formal classroom setup. The classes have been helpful in the Mandarin conversation and writing skills of the students.

e. Others - The "Home Stay Mom" from CYCU, stayed with the female students for one to two weeks. Various activities that helped enhance the Chinese conversational skills of the students and equip them to be organized in preparing programs for native Chinese audience, like the Taiwanese were the Thanksgiving Program, Lighting of the CYCU Christmas Tree, OIA Lunch with Filipino students, Fellowship with Dr. and Mrs. Tan, and the Farewell Party

II. Academic Immersion: The students enrolled in four (4) courses including two major subjects from their respective fields; Physical Education (level) 4 and NSTP (Service Learning and Community Service activities).

a. The 2 major subjects taken by the students were: for BSA - Business Calculus & Microeconomics; BSBA - Operations Management & Microeconomics; BSECE - Electricity and Magnetism & Physics 2 (lecture); BEEd & BSEd - Principles of Teaching 2 & Computer Technology; BSIT - Java Programming & Operating Systems. b. The Physical Education Classes comprised of practical tests, warm-up exercises and other routines, with standards set by respective CYCU- P.E. instructors. c. Laboratory Classes were designed for the ECE and IT students, to enrich their background in electric circuits and familiarization of operations for various laboratory equipment used in analog and digital electronics. d. Film Viewing was designed for BSA, BSBA and BSEd students. One example was the film: "The Rise and Fall of Enron," where the students learned ethical issues in business, accounting and leadership. e. CYCU Library was where the GCC group conducted daily devotions until November 2009. This library is equipped with excellent facilities, Multi-media and Internet resources and a good book collection.

III. Spiritual Immersion: The students were immersed in Daily Devotions, Cell Group Fellowship and Evangelism Training. They were given the opportunity to discover and strengthen their gifts for the Lord in the areas of evangelism, song leading, and leading devotions among others. The Spiritual Immersion activities were:

a. Chung-Li Campus Christian Church (CCCC) Cell Group Fellowship - the students were assigned to different small groups to mingle with other Chinese speaking international students, every Friday. b. Logos Evangelism Seminary (LES) Evangelism Training - Every Saturday for four (4) weeks, the students were trained to share the Gospel to native students using the "Four Spiritual Laws." c. Grace Baptist Church (GBC) Worship Service - Every Sunday, the GCC group worshipped together at the Grace Baptist Church, said to be older than the CYCU, and located inside the campus. The church is Fundamental and Mandarin-speaking. The GCC group was given an opportunity to present a special number by singing Christmas songs for the Chinese brethren. d. Daily Devotion Meetings - Every other week of the students' stay in Taiwan, they were assigned to lead the Bible devotion. e. Chung-Li International Christian Fellowship (CICF) Relief Program - an English-speaking church in Chung-Li, Taiwan, where the students were assigned to clean the worship place, as part of community service. Here, the students helped in packing the relief goods that were sent to the Philippines for the typhoon "Ondoy" victims.

This program was a first in GCC history and will continuously be a part of the College's curriculum for Sophomore students.

Some testimonies from "A Sophomore Taste of Taiwan," participants:

"The Taiwan study tour had certainly changed me in many different nowadays, I know that I can be independent. I learned to be responsible, I learned how hard it is to handle money by yourself and I also learned that with God, nothing is impossible." - Shalom Elishiah Anne C. Wenceslao, BS ECE

"My point of view in life has greatly changed. You can't always depend on your parents for everything. You must strive hard and endure all challenges that will come your way; also, don't forget to have faith and believe in God." - Misha Lee Soriano, BSBA

"The study tour taught us how to be more responsible and to be independent. The study tour also helped us to grow more - spiritually." - Reagan Lawrence Sy, BSBA

"I think it changed my lifestyle because I learned to stand alone and socialize with other people. It also changed my perspective in life by knowing more about God and growing deep spiritually. Lastly, it helped me strengthen my relationship with my friends." - Sharmaine Dianne Fernandez, BSBA

"This tour made me more mature and helped me in making right decisions in life." - Hazelle Marie Joyce Lao, BS ECE

"This study tour taught me how to be independent. I learned to do laundry on my own and to budget my money wisely. A Chinese saying proved to be so right! "Depend on parents when at home, and rely on friends when outside." - Wei Ting Huang, BEEd