Walking down Fort Street
Mall, you can see many Asian students, but can you tell where
they are from?
More and more Taiwanese students are joining the HPU ‘ohana;
over 200 students, and the number is growing. The Taiwanese Student
Association (TSA) has become a big help to these students.
TSA helps new students with registration, opening a bank account,
finding a place to live, applying for a cellular phone, and other
living problems,” said Howard Chen, head of TSA.
Besides helping students with their everyday lives, TSA holds
activities such as picnics, BBQ parties, and special events.
This semester, TSA held a Double Ten celebration and a Moon Festival
Double Ten Day is a national holiday in Taiwan that commemorates
the anniversary of the Oct. 10, 1911, revolution. The uprising
took down the Ching Dynasty and founded the Republic of China.
In Taiwan, there is an annual celebration in front of Taipei’s
presidential building that includes parades, folk dances, and
dragon and lion dances. Taiwanese immigrants around the world
also celebrate Double Ten in various ways.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Honolulu held a dinner
party on Oct. 9. They invited some Taiwanese immigrants as well
as TSA members from HPU to attend the celebration.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Honolulu sometimes
invites the members of TSA to have a gathering in their office,
and TSA would have them up when there are big events like the
National Day, and visitors from Taiwan,” Chen said.
Moon Festival is on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month which
fell on Oct. 6 this year. The full moon that day is the biggest
and brightest of the year. In Taiwan, it is an important day
for families to gather together. Since the Taiwanese students
are not able to be with their families, TSA held the BBQ party
The party was held at Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park and nearly
50 people attended. HPU students, along with 10 people from TSA
of the University of Hawai‘i and an officer of The Taipei
Economic and Cultural Office attended.
Promoting national spirit and culture is another mission of TSA.
Members dressed up in indigenous clothing on Intercultural Day
last semester to show their pride and introduce the culture to
“TSA won third place in the parade this year,” said Jeff Hsu, the
TSA activities manager. “We were very pleased that our efforts were being
This year TSA invited the University of Hawai‘i and Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i
TSAs to have a get together before Thanksgiving.
TSA welcomes everyone to participate in any events, and one does not have to
be a member to join it,” Chen said.
Although TSA can help the Taiwanese students in many ways, life can still be
difficult for some of them. The most frequent complaint is about housing. Honolulu
rents are sky high. Sometimes, even if students can afford the rental fees, landlords
or agents are not willing to accept international students because they lack
credit histories or cannot prove they have an income.
It took me two months to rent an apartment last summer. It really drove me crazy,” said
Nevertheless, studying abroad is a valuable life experience for Taiwanese students
and TSA will help smooth the way for them.
TSA members are always there to help. We all understand how it feels when someone
gives you a hand when you are in need,” Hsu said.