Tzu Chi University held a new student orientation camp from August 28 to August 30. On the 28th, new students checked into their school housing, and on the 30th, an opening ceremony and Student Club Expo were held. During the opening ceremony, President Ingrid Liu gave six gifts to each new student: “Gratitude, Discipline, Focus, Compassion, Positivity, and Openness,” hoping that they will live their college lives in a fulfilling and exciting way.
The opening ceremony for the orientation camp was held at the Jing Si Hall. President Ingrid Liu, Vice President Yun-Chi Ho, and deans of the various colleges were present to welcome all the new students. This year, Tzu Chi University has international students from Malaysia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and others. The ceremony was hosted in both Chinese and English.
President Liu gave six gifts to the first-year students, hoping that everyone would cultivate a grateful heart, set goals with discipline, focus on every moment, have compassion for needy people, exercise their skills and knowledge to help others, confront hardships with a positive attitude, and face things in an open manner.
Most first-year students came far away from their homes for the first time. Professor Huei-Jhen Wen, Dean of Student Affairs and a Ph.D. in Exercise Science, told the new students that exercise can increase blood flow to the brain, thus improving memory and learning ability. Tzu Chi University emphasizes sports and health, regularly hosting athletic events, 10-kilometer runs, and water sports competitions, among others. The hope is that students will set exercise goals, train together, and discover lifelong interests.
The Tzu-Cheng and Yi-Te Association comprises senior Tzu Chi volunteers from various walks of life. A Tzu-Cheng Dad, Jia-Shu Chang, explained how these dads and moms interact with students. Mr. Chang said that we need more intergenerational communication in Taiwan. These dads and moms come to Hualien every month to meet with students. Through interactions, they listen to students and offer advice and help to them with their rich experiences in daily living and the workplace. Meanwhile, these dads and moms gain insights into the thoughts of the younger generation.
Zhi-Qi Sun, a student of the Department of Child Development and Family Studies, said that she chose her major because she likes helping others and loves children. Zhi-Qi said, “The six gifts President Liu gave are enriching. The world would be a better place if everyone could be more compassionate.” She believes that learning to be disciplined is essential.
Li-Qian Yang, a freshman in the Department of Physical Therapy, is from Malaysia. She has two elder sisters who also graduated from Tzu Chi schools. Li-Qian chose to study physical therapy because she wants to help people who are injured or not feeling well. After listening to faculty members’ talks, Li-Qian set a goal to participate in a 10-kilometer run in 2024. She will use the next seven months to train herself.
On the afternoon of August 30, the Student Clubs Expo that first-year students have been eagerly looking forward to finally came. Forty clubs set up booths, including the Hot Music Club, Street Dance Club, String Music Club, Chongde Youth Club, Guitar Club, Tzu Chi Collegiate Association, Hot Dance Club, etc. Each club pulled out all stops to attract the new students’ attention, and first-year students chose the clubs they were interested in. Several freshmen played against current students in the Table Tennis Club. Huang, a first-year student of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Biotechnology, said, “I am thrilled to see that the University has a Table Tennis Club, so I can continue to play table tennis that I love.”
An alumnus, Bai-Yi Tsai, who majored in Communication Studies from 2015 to 2019, encouraged the new students to make the best use of their time in college by participating in activities sponsored by the University or student clubs. He noted that skills learned in these activities while working with others are invaluable, and many of the friendships formed during these years will become important later in their lives.