BHS Students Take on the Asian Experience in Taiwan
Students from Belize High School (BHS) got the opportunity to spend two weeks traveling around Taiwan to acquire both cultural and technical knowledge. The trip is part of the school’s STREAM experience geared at exposing the students to the latest engineering and technological advancements, Eastern cultures, sampling various cuisines and visiting historical and religious sites. Giovanna Moguel tells us more about the students’ experiences.
Taiwan for two weeks… seventeen students from Belize High School spent the past fourteen days soaking in the culture of this East Asian country. The cohort visited three major cities which included Taichung, Tainan, and the Capital City Taipei to develop crucial life skills in communication, organization, self-reliance, and financial literacy. The students engaged in a variety of fun-filled educational activities as part of the school’s extracurricular program STREAM which stands for Science, Technology, Transportation, Religion, Engineering, Environment, Art, and Mathematics. Principal Jamie Lee Usher, explains that this is part of an ongoing “Asian Experience” program to give students firsthand real-world experiences that can help them perform better in their daily lives.
Jamie-Lee Usher, Principal, Belize High School: “It’s an extracurricular activity that we offer annually that the students sign up and they are able to participate in something we call the Asia Experience where they literally come to the future and the hope is that our school community gets some ideas and inspiration from these countries that have really made tremendous steps in terms of service to their people and so Belize has a lot of natural connections with Taiwan so Taiwan was a natural choice.”
One of the key takeaways from this trip was the country’s staggering advancement in technology. Taiwan is notable for its remarkable achievement in innovative and smart engineering designs that make for a more efficient country and sustainable environment. Fourth Former, Nathan Sharp, says his primary focus was math… so that meant calculating whatever he could, whether it was money exchange or total transit time from one location to the next to make sure they were punctual.
Nathan Sharp, Forth Former, Belize High School: “At least for me the interest in mathematics was between exchange rates, the kind of times that they have for metro and just calculating the distance and how fast things travel along those lines. So for example the high speed rail that runs all along Taiwan can go from Corozal Town to PG in forty minutes and just a fact like that is amazing for us to kind of see. So that’s what I’d say is the most interesting part of it.”
The strict adherence to rules and regulations by all members of the public, strong discipline, and the society’s sense of community were a refreshing experience. Third Former, Zayd Assaad, was impressed by the respect commuters displayed towards the transit rules in regard to the seating arrangement and safety measures.
Zayd Assaad, Third Former, Belize High School: “One thing we observed is that they’re very accommodating for people here. So for example in the metros get a certain seat like specifica for people who can’t really stand up on the train so for like elderly people or pregnant people and like if a normal person sits on it they get a fine and there’s also buttons are lowered, like there are regular buttons up here and then there’d be a set of buttons down here for people in wheelchairs so that they can also access the full elevator. And the Taiwanese people are very timely so an example is in the metros where they have all the times displayed for when the trains will arrive and reach their destination and also a clock so that people can know when to be there like what time it is and how fast they should move, like everything is on the dot.”
In a high-tech and heavily structured country like Taiwan, there is still ample room for freedom of expression. Second former, Lia Hunt, and first former, Sophia Usher, explain that there is no shortage of creativity on the Taiwan Streets, which is displayed in everything from the architecture right down to the national cuisines.
Lia Hunt, Second Former, Belize High School: “It’s everywhere honestly. I find myself taking pictures every ten minutes of art across the street or it’s like ceilings that have topography on it honestly it’s amazing. I’d love to see more art across Belize’s streets on buildings, on ceilings, it’s brings life.”
Sophia Usher, First Former, Belize High School: “Surprisingly Taiwan has a lot of artistic pieces like around the country so it’s very interesting to see how these people have created these amazing artworks. Some parts of art is like food so like how they like make the food is like very technique and other parts of it like calligraphy is one of their big arts and they use a special pen, special everything and it’s just everything is just very put together.”
This experience provided a holistic approach for the students to learn how to better navigate through life at an early age and gave them an insight into the different ways other people live which will give them a more comprehensive outlook on life. Giovanna Moguel for Love News.