Log on to the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) course registration website and click the “English-taught courses”, what you will get are more than 600 courses for the Spring 2022 semester. Among all NTNU programs, the Graduate Institute of International Human Resource Development (IHRD) is one of the programs that provides students with the greatest number of English-taught courses: up to 14 English-medium instruction (EMI) courses are offered in Spring 2022.
IHRD, widely known as the first postgraduate institute in Taiwan to offer an English-taught MBA program that has a reserved quota for international applicants, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this October. Each year, IHRD seeks to enroll a full-time class of about 30 students (half local, half international students).
Currently, the student body of IHRD is comprised of students from more than 13 countries, including the U.S.A, Belgium, Malaysia, Thailand, Honduras, and Turkey to name a few. “Even those who are studying overseas are unlikely to meet peers from such diverse backgrounds in one classroom like us.” said Dr. Yi-Chun Lin, the Director of IHRD.
So, what exactly is the appeal of IHRD? Why do international students spend two or more years pursuing a degree in an unfamiliar country? And why do Taiwanese students choose to study an English-taught program in IHRD instead of learning HR related topics in Mandarin? In this article, we asked four current students about their experiences attending IHRD and their thoughts on the EMI courses provided by the program.
Sasinuch Nutachaisri (Sunny)｜Thailand｜MBA Candidate ‘22
Sasinuch Nutachaisri, more commonly known as Sunny, is a second-year student of IHRD from Thailand. After working in the HR consultant field, Sunny decided to pursue further studies in the HR field and that was when she found IHRD which offers English taught courses.
“The language barrier becomes a small challenge that I can overcome with support from the school and my friends, as the IHRD curriculum is taught entirely in English and also surrounded with an international-friendly atmosphere. At the same time, NTNU provides international students who would like to ground basis and improve mandarin skills with free Chinese classes and the Mandarin Tutorial Service, which sort of help me adapt to my life in Taiwan,” said Sunny, who considered joining IHRD as one of the best decisions she has ever made because of the multicultural learning environment provided by the program. “Because of Covid, I haven’t been home for nearly two years, but I think it’s totally worth it. Studying in IHRD offers me the chance to make friends with people from diverse backgrounds.”
As IHRD focuses on teaching practical skills alongside theories, students get to learn by doing, said Sunny. In the course “Studies in E-HR (E-human Resource)”, they visited companies to gain real-world experiences in HR. “We visit their workspace, we see the real case… and yes, the employees all speak in English.” said Sunny excitedly.
Studying away from home in IHRD is a rewarding experience for Sunny. She encouraged other non-native English speakers to step out of their comfort zone and enroll in English-medium instruction (EMI) courses. “Don’t focus on the ‘you are not enough’ part, just go for it,” said Sunny, “We don’t have to be perfect in English, as long as we can understand each other, we can still collaborate, we can have fun.”