The Communications Courses aims at training students who can communicate effectively across disciplinary and cultural divides, in both academic and professional settings, using a variety of strategies and tools.
To do so, students need to have solid language training, communication skills, and an adequate understanding of cultures beyond their native ones. They will select a designated number of courses from each of the four major categories under the Communications Courses—languages, written, oral, and creative communications. These courses are designed to train students how to use a second foreign language, speech, writing, as well as visuals, sounds, gestures, and space to communicate precisely and persuasively with others.
The Communications Courses puts particular emphases on language classes and writing classes. Regarding the language classes, all international students are required to take up to three years of intensive Chinese, depending on their level of mastery upon enrollment. Both international and domestic students are also expected to have at least two years of training in a second foreign language other than English upon graduation.
In terms of writing classes, students are required to take classes on academic writing, proposal writing, and creative writing upon graduation. Writing is the foundation for cognitive thinking and logical reasoning, students will benefit from solid writing skills regardless of where they continue their careers, in academia or in the industry.
Finally, to give students an adequate understanding of non-native cultures and different modes of thinking in other disciplines, we have designed a series of classes that introduces students to the history and thought of Western and Asian civilizations, masterpieces of literary, visual, and performing arts around the world. These classes will serve as the foundation for cross-cultural and interdisciplinary understanding, expose the root causes for certain phenomenon in the current world, enhance students’ sensitivity to other cultures, and provide a platform on which to apply their communications skills.
Given the increasingly close ties Taiwan has with Southeast Asian nations, students are encouraged to receive instruction in Southeast Asian languages. Eventually, we hope to develop also a roster of courses on Southeast Asian politics, economics, society, and culture.