Updated: Jul 18, 2021
Slogan via Beyond Taiwan Website
When I first clicked into Beyond Taiwan’s website, its slogan immediately caught my attention.
Beyond Taiwan (BT) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing public high school students in Taiwan the resources necessary for an education abroad. These students, unlike their International school counterparts who have direct access to AP courses and college counselors, have significantly less resources to navigate nontraditional college options outside of Taiwan. Started by a group of US college students, BT’s mission is to help under-resourced students achieve their goals of studying abroad through hosting events and programs that foster knowledge transfer and personalized mentoring.
A few months ago, I received a private message from an event organizer inviting me to speak (as a student representative of Duke) at BT’s Online College Fair Event on 06/11. I gladly accepted!
Promotional Post via Beyond Taiwan Instagram
A few weeks before the event, the organizers hosted a training session for guest speakers to get familiar with the virtual event application, Remo, that would be used on event day. As a CS student interested in EdTech, I found Remo’s concept and UI/UX particularly fascinating. Remo Conference is a Live Webinar and virtual networking platform integrated with chat tools that allow questions or voting in real time. At the online college fair, I would be virtually seated at one of the 29 main tables (each occupied by students/official representatives from different schools across the US, Canada, UK, etc…). Students interested in learning more about Duke or the general US college admissions process are encouraged to join the Duke table and I, along with my event partner, would give a short introduction about Duke and host a live Q&A session. Since each table can only seat 8 participants at once, the floor planning also includes waiting rooms and social lounges for participants to meet each other and give each other advice.
Remo Floor Plan via Beyond Taiwan Attendee Handbook
Fast forward to today. After 3 hours of nonstop presenting, answering questions, giving advice, and connecting with high school students, the event turned out to be a great success! Here’s a glimpse of my shameless promotion of Duke.
Images via Duke Photo Archive
One memorable conversation I had with a participant was about Duke’s Education Program. When the participant identified her interest in teaching, I got super excited and immediately gave her an overview on how Duke supported me in exploring my interest in teaching. From volunteering at Durham Literacy Center as a math instructor to grabbing Duke-sponsored meals with professors in the Education Department to learn more about their research on classroom behavior, I showcased the wide-ranging and highly accessible possibilities at Duke through bits and pieces of my Duke experience. Another memorable event was meeting my past tutees at the event! Some of them saw BT’s promotional post and signed up for the event just to catch up with me. It is truly heartwarming to see that even though it has been two or three years since I last taught them, they still try to support me whenever possible.
As I’m finishing up this post, I just received a message from an event organizer who happily shared that a participant contacted BT to thank me specifically! According to the event organizer, this student almost gave up on applying to US colleges but after I answered her questions enthusiastically and encouraged her to embrace the process, she feels much more comfortable and motivated. Also, her dream school is now Duke! This type of feedback is what pushes me forward to continue to gain knowledge, skills, and experience to make positive impacts on other people. This is why I am so passionate about education!