UW Tacoma Study Abroad: Taiwan Past and Present


Drs. Mary Hanneman (UW Tacoma), Yi Li (Tacoma Community College), and Lily Li (UW Tacoma)

Program Description

In this hybrid study abroad program, students will begin summer quarter by traveling to Taiwan for 4 weeks. The program will be mainly headquartered in Taipei, the capital city on the northern coast of the island, with travel to other sites including Tainan, the Qing Dynasty capital on the island’s southwest.  The program is designed to allow students to visit some of these many historical and cultural sites.

Following the four-week in-country portion of the program, students will continue to engage in study abroad related coursework including guided online discussion sessions and writing assignments.  Additionally, students are expected to reflect on their study abroad experience by  writing  a  “Letter to a Future Participant”. This will be an opportunity for students to reflect on what they have learned from the program and provide advice for future study abroad participants.

Taiwan has long been integrated into the historical experience of mainland China.  It was formally included during the 17th century and was incorporated as a Chinese province in 1885.  During this time it saw a constant exchange of people, goods and ideas. In 1895, China was forced to cede Taiwan to Japan and Taiwan remained as a Japanese colony until 1945.  As a result, Taiwan today carries an imprint of both Chinese and Japanese culture. After WWII and independence, Taiwan became embroiled in the drama of China’s civil war between the Communists and the Nationalists.  Facing defeat on the mainland, Chiang Kaishek and Nationalist forces retreated to Taiwan, and his government, the Republic of China, continued to claim the legitimacy to rule China. Today Taiwan’s status as an independent nation is contested, and many in Taiwan are working to assert their national independence.  Thus, Taiwan provides a historical, cultural and philosophical microcosm of the greater Chinese and East Asian experience.

Academic Content

This program offers four courses, three of which must be taken:

  • THIST 251 Global History in the 20th Century
  • TPHIL 351 Chinese Philosophy and Religion
  • TINTL 480 Experiencing China
  • OPTIONAL: TCHIN Chinese Language

For more information, visit the UW Tacoma course page here.

Application deadline: January 31, 2023