ISU, with a strong commitment to international initiatives and recognized as one of the few comprehensive universities in Taiwan with a medical college, continues its tradition of active international exchanges. This year, the Department of Medical Science and Biotechnology under the College of Medical Science and Technology forged a significant industry-university internship agreement with Japan’s sole coral reef research institute. This collaboration allows ISU students in the Department of Medical Science and Biotechnology to intern and participate in research on coral reef ecology in Japan. This unique opportunity allows ISU students to enhance their global perspectives during their academic journey while gaining insights into the importance of preserving marine ecosystems.

The coral reef research institute, located on Kikaijima in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, is situated on a unique island surrounded by some of the world’s rare coral reefs. Interns from various countries, including the United States, Italy, and Thailand, actively participate in research at this institute. Dr. Atsuko Yamazaki, the director of the coral reef research institute and a professor at Nagoya University, warmly welcomed ISU students to join in ecological research focusing on the impact of climate change on marine coral reefs. Given that both Taiwan and Japan are surrounded by the sea, with Taiwan known as Formosa, Dr. Yamazaki hoped that through this internship, students could collaborate in preserving the beauty of the marine world and contribute to the continued legacy of the ocean’s beauty for the next century.

Students of the Department of Medical Science and Biotechnology, including Wan-Yu Ho, Wen-Yi Chao, Wei-Lun Wang, Chun-Wei Huang, Cheng-Hsin Peng, and Min-Ching Lin, shared their enthusiasm as they embarked on their inaugural overseas internship. Wei-Lun Wang, despite having prior experience in learning Japanese, took the opportunity to further strengthen his language skills by enrolling in on-campus Japanese courses. He regularly engaged in Japanese conversations with professors and has even made plans with his fellow intern, Chun-Wei Huang, to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. The abundant resources for interdisciplinary learning on campus have allowed students to pursue their studies seamlessly and cultivate diverse skills. The international mobility experience has proven to be rewarding, providing students with valuable insights and accomplishments. Another student, Cheng-Hsin Peng, expressed great joy over the opportunity provided by ISU for overseas internships. This experience allows students to enter the international arena, especially during the internship abroad, where communication in English and Japanese has significantly enhanced their language proficiency. Peng expressed that he is now more confident in speaking English or Japanese when interacting with people from different countries.

Professor and Deputy Dean of Academic Affairs, Wen-Chuan Hsieh from the College of Medical Science and Technology, emphasized that the industry-university internship agreement with the coral reef research institute in Japan, which took over a year to establish, now allows students to depart from the campus and venture into the world. Through the reflections and impressions shared by each intern, the tangible gains and joy experienced by the students become palpable. The College of Medical Science and Technology at ISU strongly emphasizes holistic education, encouraging students to develop diverse professional qualities. ISU aims to translate students’ encounters in areas such as knowledge acquisition, interpersonal relationships, and language enhancement into substantial experiences, fostering the growth of future talents.

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