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Background

Page history last edited by abbylee 11 years, 6 months ago

The Inner Influence of Joining Overseas Volunteer Program on students

submitted by

UE4C

1098200143

Abby Lee

Wenzoa Ursuline College of Languages

 

In the end of the year 1997, the United Nations make the year 2001 is “International Year of Volunteers” (IYV).  After the establishment of IYV, Taiwan set up the law “Volunteer Service Act” in 2002, and then Taiwan became the second country which legislated for promoting volunteer service.  Since then, the government(eg. National Youth Commission, Executive Yuan), organizations(eg. Eden Social Welfare Foundation), and schools start to implement volunteer service program.   

 “Gap year” has been a common and popular rite of passage in Australia and the U.K. for decades, the concept Gap Year, which is the idea of putting off college or work for a year to have some deeper self-exploration, is now starting to gain notice in Taiwan.  Many magazines, such as Global View magazine, promote young people to take Gap Year to find out their interest and get themselves ready for their academic life (遠見雜誌, 2010, volume no.291).  Studies have been conducted by leading universities like Harvard that conclusively show that students who take a year out before college are more focused and motivated when they arrive on campus than those who don't take this detour.  In contrast, in Taiwan, students often go into university right after graduating from high school. 

In Taiwan’s traditional family, it is not easy for parents to accept children having pauses in their academic life or carrier.  However, with the widespread culture of volunteer and pack packer among Taiwanese people’s mind and the image of figures, like Chu Shi Ying, the public welfare traveler, make the idea of gap year more acceptable for parents.  So, programs are designed for people to consider, such as working holiday, work and study, or being an overseas volunteer etc. 

A new idea is growing up in people’s hearts: letting our next generation experience poverty instead of giving them fortune.  The need of discipline education and life education enhances the spirit of overseas volunteer.  Because overseas volunteer program combines the concept of gap year and the spirit of experiential learning and service-learning, overseas volunteer program is becoming popular.

.  Because of the raising consciousness of the importance of volunteer work, institutions like National Youth Commission, Executive Yuan, the Red Cross, Wake, even universities have their own volunteer clubs offering opportunities for people to be volunteers.  According to Taiwan National Youth Commission, Executive Yuan’s statistics, there were 1,697 people who participated in youth volunteer programme in 2011.  This shows Taiwan’s youth now are more willing to devote into short period of overseas volunteer program.

 

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