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FASCA Students from Washington D.C., Boston, and San Diego Collaborate with SSVS in Taipei for a Special Online Event

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For the first time, students of the Formosa Association of Student Cultural Ambassadors (FASCA) from Washington D.C., Boston, and San Diego hosted a joint online event with Taipei Municipal Song Shan High School of Commerce and Home Economics (SSVS, 松山家商) from Taiwan on March 1st, 2024.

The online event, named Virtual Hangout, was coordinated by FASCA advisors from three chapters: Washington D.C. (Jesse Taur, Shinyi Lee, Lee Hou), Boston (Tzongshi Lu), and San Diego (Shihyun Tseng, Ching Chuan Liu). Olivia Wang and Chloe Chang, the student committee leaders from FASCA DC, hosted the event. In addition to FASCA students, the event also invited mainstream high school students from non-Taiwanese backgrounds, including members of the Global Cultural Connection club from Churchill High School in Maryland and the Korean Symphony Orchestra from Oakton High School in Virginia. This event transcended geographical boundaries and time zones, providing all participants with a broader perspective on different cultures and lifestyles.

The theme of discussion for the online event was "Special Celebrations". During an 80-minute online session, students in Taiwan shared their recent experiences celebrating the Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival. FASCA students from Washington D.C. also shared photos from the Rockville Lantern Festival, a cultural event they recently supported. San Diego and Boston also shared their local Lunar New Year events with the group. FASCA students expressed their excitement over this inter-city gathering. Many students said that through this online connection, they had the opportunity to interact with students from other cities and share each other's high school life experiences, which was a rare opportunity. Venus Hsu, the director of the Applied English Department at SSVS, said that this joint Virtual Hangout allowed her students to better understand that there are many differences between various cities in the United States. For example, given the expansive geography of the United States, students in San Diego might be wearing short sleeves while Boston is still experiencing chilly weather. Some students even looked up a map of the United States to understand the geographical distance from Boston to San Diego. Additionally, Korean students, who are passionate about learning Mandarin, found it very interesting to chat online with Taiwanese students of the same age about topics such as Beitou hot springs and Taiwanese food.

This online event successfully promoted cultural exchange and the establishment of friendships, which deepened students’ mutual understanding. Students and advisors from all locations will continue to diligently plan and coordinate future online events, ensuring that learning and fun go hand in hand.

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