2016年「美國航太動力科技實習及文化見學團」在德州孤星學院湯博校區研習第一天，校方及湯博市長特地為學生舉辦歡迎茶會儀式，15位來自臺北市高中學生受到熱烈歡迎。出席歡迎會的嘉賓有孤星學院校長Dr. Lee Ann Nutt、駐休士頓辦事處教育組周慧宜組長、湯博市市長Gretchen Fagan及大湯博地區商會主席Bruce Hillegeist等人。湯博市市長Fagan於典禮上宣布8月1日為臺北市國際學生日，以此表示對臺灣學生的歡迎。
By Isabelle Chen on August 24, 2016
On August 1, 2016, the Lone Star College-Tomball welcomed fifteen high school students from the Taipei City of Taiwan in the “meet and greet welcoming party” for its two-week summer program in Rocket Science and Robotics.
The Education Department of the Taipei City funded the global internship program for its vocational high school students aiming at extending students’ learning experience in professional skills, raising students’ awareness of global industry trend and enhancing students’ understanding of different culture contexts through study abroad and staying with local host families during summer times. The program has been running for four consecutive years and admission to the program is getting more competitive each year. Participants are selected based on their academic performances, Chinese and English language proficiency and other qualifications set for the group’s target learning subjects. The city government pays half of the tour cost for each participant whom is financially responsible for the remaining half.
The Aerospace Engineering Technology Internship and Culture Immersion Tour USA 2016 was one of the groups organized by the Taipei City government in light of its global internship program missions. Mayor Gretchen Fagan of Tomball City, President Bruce Hilligeist of the Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce and Director Sophie Chou of the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston joined Dr. Lee Ann Nutt, President of the Lone Star College-Tomball and the host families at the welcoming event. To show Tomball City’s warm welcoming for the Taiwanese students, Mayor Fagan announced August 1 as the Day of the Taipei City International Students.
The two-week program that was accommodated by the Lone Star College-Tomball consisted of morning sessions on Rocket Sciences and afternoon sessions on Robotics. The program featured weekend field trips to Johnson Space Center, Lone Star Flight Museum, Oil Drilling Museum, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Battleship Texas, Rice University and the United Airline airplane maintenance center.
In contrast to the modern technology lessons and excursions, students lived with host families in the Tomball area where countryside living style is a luxury to people of populous cities while acreage of lands, ranch houses, cattle and livestock are typical scenery of this relaxing ambience city that offered students with one of a kind culture immersion experience that they hardly had in their metropolitan lifestyle in Taiwan.
In the program closing ceremony, every student went up to the stage and talked about what they learned from the program and how living with the host families had affected their perceptions on cultures differentiated from that of their own. Some students said that they plan to put extra efforts in learning English after they return to Taiwan so language will not become a barrier when similar events arise in the future for being great citizens of this global village.