The Taiwan-based, Europe-focused and world-oriented Graduate Institute of European Cultures and Tourism (GIECT) at NTNU was founded in 2007 as a place where students carry out research on European cultures and tourism from an international and multicultural perspective. Some of the features that make our school unique in Taiwan include:
• The two-week field trip in Europe: at the end of their first school year in our Institute, our students continue their activities with a summer internship in Europe developed in partnership with a prestigious European university;
• The dual master degree from Taiwan and France: as part of our extensive collaboration with the University of Angers, our students can enroll in the graduate program of the ESTHUA and work for a dual degree;
• The exchange student opportunities: many of our students opt for experiencing first-hand the atmosphere of a European university by becoming an exchange student;
• The financial incentives: students can compete for several scholarships, including one of up to 50,000 NTD, offered by our Institute.
One of Taiwan’s premier universities, National Taiwan Normal University is renowned for achievements in the humanities, the fine arts and education. The Centre d’Enseignement du Français at NTNU has an impressive record teaching French language and culture.
NTNU’s Center for Chinese Language and Culture Studies has for decades been teaching Mandarin language and culture to students all over the world. Founded in 2006, our Institute draws on NTNU’s strong liberal arts traditions and broad international orientation.
Through tourism and culture-related study and practice, GIECT takes an integrative approach to educating accomplished specialists.
Since August 1 2007, the Centre d’Enseignement du Français has also becom affiliated with GIECT.
Preparations for establishing GIECT began when the President of NTNU formed an exploratory committee for GIECT. Its members were: former Minister of Education Kuo Wei-fan, President Lee Ming-hui of the Taiwan Tourism and Hospitality College, former Director Chiu Ta-huan of the Institute of European Studies, Tamkang University, Dean of Student Affairs Horng Jeou-shyan, Dean of Liberal Arts Chang Wu-chang, Professor Liang Sun-chieh of the Department of English and Professor Lai Shou-cheng of the Centre d’Enseignement du Français. The committee was chaired by Professor Lai, who, beginning from August 1, 2007, also serves as the director of GIECT.
GIECT aims to
· train gifted young scholars in the field of tourism studies, as well as tourism professionals with strong expertise in European cultures.
· cooperate with major European universities to enhance international student and intercultural exchange.
· increase national competitiveness by intertwining tourism and culture through academic research and cooperation with the tourism industry.
· integrate existing resources with a view to increasing the familiarity of the Taiwanese public with European cultures.
· stimulate Europe-relates research in Taiwan.
Development, Description and Aims
GIECT is a culture and tourism research and training center that makes effective use of NTNU’s equipment and resources, keeps up with developments at the major institutions of tourism studies around the world, and coordinates with the developmental objectives and trends of Taiwan’s tourism industry, as well as the national development planning.
1.Balancing theory and practice
At GIECT, the study of European cultures is geared toward providing students with a solid theoretical foundation while simultaneously developing a large set of cultural resources to benefit tourism. It is our strong belief that a growing acceptance of the major significance of tourism and recreation in our time means that more and more people can personally experience the colorful diversity of European cultures.
2. Developing a new meaning for tourism
We approach the meaning of tourism and travel by using the concept of culture: “cultural tourism” means to personally experience the mode of life of a certain place or region. It can be oriented toward places (historical sites, galleries, museums, opera houses, churches, conurbations, national parks), events (festivals, religious and secular, exhibitions, book fairs), or even daily life (dining, shopping, trends and fashion). All these orientations need to be seen as capable of expanding cultural and life experiences, as well as promoting an understanding of different cultures and natural environments.
GIECT aims to raise the level of professionalism of the tourism industry by ensuring that graduates gain intimate familiarity with the European cultural and geographic environment. We see our graduates not just as future tourism personnel, but also as consultants with specialized knowledge, or even as “cultural navigators” who can take visitors to the very essence of European cultures. Liberal arts education and specialized training ensure that our graduates will become into true cultural educators.
4. Providing comprehensive training in European tourism and culture in accord with the Challenge 2008 National Development Plan.
We aim to offer to our graduates comprehensive training in the fields of
· promote intercultural exchange.
· raise national competitiveness.
· Integrate NTNU’s resources in order to carry out research on Europe oriented cultures and tourism.
· Train cultural and tourism specialists that possess an international vision and a deep cultural competence. .
· Offer courses in several European languages.
· Advance interdepartmental integration in accord with NTNU’s university transformations.
· Form sister-university relationships with major European universities.
· Engage in industry-university cooperation with a view to diversifying domestic and international practice opportunities.
· Enhance mechanisms of academic and personnel exchanges.
· Publish a dedicated academic journal as a means to promote internationalcultural and academic exchange.
· Improve the quality of the Taiwanese tourism industry.
· Set up a globally-oriented academic discussion board on Europe/tourism/culture.
· Hold an international conference on topics related to GIECT’s activity.
· Establish databases for theoretical or empirical research.
3. Long-term :
· Train tourism professionals as part of the government’s Asia Pacific Regional Operations Center (APROC) policy.
· Live up to the “Taiwan-based, Europe-focused, and world-oriented” motto and promote debate and research of a theoretical and empirical nature, by integrating tourism resources in industry, government and academia.