Taiwanese students experience life at NU

by Diana Weggler, February 2005

visitors from TaiwanPictured (L-R): VP for Student Affairs and Commandant BG Michael Kelley '74, RCMA Commandant of Cadets Colonel Tzu-Jui Chuan, MG Richard W. Schneider, RCMA 3rd Cadet Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Kee-Chyuan Jung, and Vice Provost Dr. Joe Byrne.

Ten students from the Republic of China Military Academy (RCMA) in Taiwan recently paid a visit to Norwich University as part of an ongoing tour of United States military schools. The students -- sophomores, juniors, and seniors majoring in political science, engineering, business management, computer science and architecture -- were accompanied by two officials from the academy: Commandant of Cadets Colonel Tzu-Jui Chuan, and 3rd Cadet Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Kee-Chyuan Jung. 

According to Vice Provost Joe Byrne, their visit was only the latest in a long-standing tradition of exchange between the two schools. "Norwich has a long relationship with the Republic of China's Military Academy," said Byrne. "Currently we have two students in each class year attending Norwich."

In addition, administrators from each school have paid visits to their overseas counterparts at various times.

"President Schneider has visited CMA several times. Fred Snow and I have visited once," said Byrne. In the past, several RCMA Superintendents have visited Norwich, including their current Superintendent, Gen Young, who visited last year, also according to Byrne.

visitors from TaiwanTaiwanese students assemble for one last time on the steps of Jackman Hall before taking leave of their hosts.

"General Young proposed this most recent visit last summer in order to enrich the experiences of his students," said Byrne. "Of the two groups that came to the U.S., one visited Norwich and West Point, and the other VMI and the Citadel."

During the mornings, each RCMA student was paired with a Norwich Cadet volunteer sponsor, and participated alongside them in formations, PT and classes.

Evening activities included attending a reception in Milano Ballroom hosted by the Commandant's Office, NU basketball games, and an early Chinese New Year celebration hosted by the NU Asian Cultures Student Union, a NUAC-sponsored club.

visitors from TaiwanRCMA Commandant of Cadets Colonel Tzu-Jui Chuan and BG Michael Kelley exchange gifts.

Highlights of the Taiwanese students' visit included a morning of skiing at Sugarbush and watching the NU Drill Team perform.

While their charges were experiencing life as Norwich cadets, officers Tzu-Jui and Kee-Chyuan met with the president, provost, and commandant as well as Norwich faculty and staff. At the conclusion of their stay, the guests presented gifts and mementos to their hosts, and invited them to pay a return visit to the Republic of China.

BG Michael Kelley '74 spoke to the educational and ambassadorial value of encounters such as this.

"These kinds of international experiences – visiting a sister school, learning about cultures and people – serve to bring us all together," said BG Kelley. "Our rich relationship with RCMA was only strengthened by this visit, and we look forward to a long and fruitful association," he added.