Taiwanese Students Association helps international students network, acculturate

With a vision to ease the transition for Taiwanese students as they make their decision to study in Boston, SU Taiwanese Students Association seeks to connect students on campus and in the New England region. Composed of over 50 members, the TSA serves as a guide for the increasing population of Taiwanese students at Suffolk.

Senior Richard Hung, one of the students that founded the organization in 2012, currently serves as the co-president, working closely with students who will be left in charge to manage the club once he graduates.

“The idea of this group is to gather everyone who shows an interest in the Taiwanese culture,” Hung said, “and to facilitate the social networking of all the Taiwanese students in the Boston area. We want to promote the culture in Suffolk to help all the new students adjust to the U.S. and enjoy their experience while studying abroad.”

The organization takes part in cultural events such as the annual Chinese New Year festival to allow networking with other international organizations from Suffolk and other schools in the area. Some activities also held include playing board games and friendly competitions to create a close community for students.

TSA held its first event Oct. 10 on “Taiwanese National Day.”

“That is part of our signature events,” Hung said. “We did quite well. Nearly 100 people showed up for our first event. We had traditional food and celebrated together.”

Every October, the Taiwanese Student Association of New England hosts a festival, and SU TSA participated last year.

“All the organizations for Taiwanese students in New England get together for that event. The TSA of New England calls us to let us know.”

The event took place in Chinatown.

Hung explained that no organization existed for Taiwanese students when he came to Suffolk for the first time, forcing him to seek help and guidance elsewhere to get accustomed to the U.S.

“We now have a Facebook page where students that are planning to come to Suffolk can ask questions. For example, students talk about what it is like to live in the dorms, how they should prepare before they come, and other things like that. Then, people like me, and other members, can chat with them to deal with their problems,” Hung said.

Membership is not restricted for Taiwanese students only, and any Suffolk students interested in the culture are encouraged to join and participate in their events. TSA also hosts weekly meetings for the executive officers, and monthly gatherings for all members. To join and keep up with upcoming events, students can find them on Facebook.

“Not only can we help, but we can also spread the culture. We know that a lot of people like the Taiwanese culture,” Hung said.

“We prepare food and share the culture with everyone. We want to create an environment where people may feel like this is a family and not just a club in Boston or Suffolk.”