Two years ago, 20 students from both SJC Brooklyn and SJC Long Island made their way to Tzu Chi University (TCU) in Hualien, Taiwan, for a month-long experience designed to teach them about Chinese culture and the value of mindfulness as expressed through Buddhism. As part of the College’s partnership with TCU, SJC Brooklyn welcomed six volunteer leaders from Tzu Chi University on campus for the “Humanities of New York” program on June 30.
Using an interdisciplinary approach, “Humanities of New York” aims to train students on how to become effective volunteer leaders. During their time at SJC Brooklyn, students will take part in three intensive seminars. For the first week, instructors from the ACES (Academic Center for English Language Studies) Program will use their proven pedagogy to refine the student’s English language skills. Following this, SJC faculty will discuss the principle of mindfulness and its role and utility in serving others as well as the ethical foundations of service.
Throughout the program, the students will see important New York City landmarks and learn of their social and historical significance, as well as take part in community service projects with the Tzu Chi Foundation.
“TCU and SJC have the same vision for educating the next generation of global citizens — we emphasize the spirit of humanity, giving and compassion, incorporating these values into our curriculums with the aim of cultivating compassionate human beings with open minds,” said Ingrid Liu, Ph.D., professor and vice president at Tzu Chi University. “Through this interaction with SJC and their time in New York City, our students will learn to value and respect differences between people from distinct cultures.”