Taiwanese student in traveling college excited about Taipei semester

2018/03/03 17:09:35 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Jason Liang (梁永錚, left)

Jason Liang (梁永錚, left)

Los Angeles, March 2 (CNA) Jason Liang (梁永錚), a Taiwanese student in a revolutionary traveling college startup, said he is looking forward to the final semester of his program, which will be held in Taipei.

Liang, who grew up in Taiwan but moved to Los Angeles in California for high school, said that as one of the first students of Minerva Schools, he has been traveling around the world, studying for a multidisciplinary undergraduate degree.

Minerva Schools focuses on "engagement among faculty, other staff and students," which means having a say in what "our education should be like," Liang told CNA.

Minerva Schools at KGI, founded by Ben Nelson with the stated goal of providing an Ivy League education at a fraction of the price, launched its first classes in the fall of 2014 in San Francisco with an enrollment of 100 students.

After spending the first year there, the students have been traveling to a new location every semester and have been to London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Hyderabad and Seoul.

The final semester of their four-year programs will begin in Taipei early next year, which Liang said will be an exciting development since he will no longer be a visitor but instead will be able to show his classmates his homeland.

Boasting a unique experience that breaks from the traditional classroom-based education, Minerva Schools conducts its courses online, with small groups of students participating in each of the classes that are all discussion-based, according to the school's Chief Experience Officer Robin Goldberg.

On top of such an interactive education process, she said, whichever city the students are staying in at the time becomes their campus.

"We use San Francisco and the best of it to bring everything they are learning in the classroom to life," she told CNA.

Students at Minerva have the opportunity to work on civic projects with the school's partners, in fields ranging from local politics to the arts and finance, to "get a chance to engage with the people who make the city tick," Goldberg said.

According to a Pakistani student, what is special about Minerva's study abroad experience is that the students become locals in the campus cities for the four months they spend there.

"You are working on different projects with people there, so you are actually becoming a local," the student said. "At the same time, students are learning the best local and global practices and applying them in different contexts."

Minerva's first student cohorts are scheduled to arrive in Taipei on Jan. 1, 2019 for their final semester.

(By Kuan-lin Liu and Chang Ke-yi)

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