Compassion Goes Global
Published At:2016-03-03 
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 2017-02-12 updated

What do MBA students do the first weekend after final exams? Take exotic vacations? Start an internship? Make up for time missed at work while studying? Of course!

But if you had gone looking for NTU’s Global MBA students this past January break, you would have found a number of them in Taoyuan – but no where near the departure lounge for the next flight to Bali. For the members of this class, having a break from school also meant having time to pause, reflect, and share their time with some well deserving kids at the Mu Xiang Orphanage.

The Global MBA (GMBA) at is the internationally-oriented business program at National Taiwan University, gathering top students from across Taiwan and from around the world. For almost half of the program’s student body Taiwan remains a new and foreign place but that didn’t stop local and international students together – representing 15 different nations – from demonstrating their commitment to Taiwan and its people.

“Compassion and generosity are leadership skills,” said Emily Chen, a second year student who helped coordinator the Mu Xiang visit, “For our classmates to donate their time in this way… it says a lot to me about the kind of leaders they are going to be in life and in business.”

The day at Mu Xiang included lots of games, crafts, pizza, cross-cultural connections, and a lot of laughter.

Some of the children – fascinated, as are many of their peers around the world, with K-Pop and the Hallyu Wave – were enthralled to meet their first Korean, second year student, Max Jung. They promptly enlisted him for a lesson in basic Korean phrases. Other students, living with a built-in basketball squad, took to the court where their persistence, fearlessness, and practiced teamwork helped pre-teens and young teenagers best fully grown GMBA students. None of the GMBA students could keep up with the children’s elaborate dance routines, though they had a lot of fun trying.

The GMBA students also took time to teach English, through both conversation and structured games. The orphanage’s Dean, Mrs. Liu, stressed English-learning and global-mindedness as keys to the future for the children under her care. She later commented that the children had never been exposed to such a large and diverse group of nationalities and that it was critical to their ability to imagine big things for their own lives.

After a long day of games and laughter, the children gathered outside on an atypically warm and sunny January afternoon, where GMBA students offered final words of encouragement. Among them was Matthew Keyser, a first year student from San Diego, California who reminded the children:

“No matter what gets in the way, day-to-day, always support and respect one another. The friendships you build here [at Mu Xiang] will be with you for the rest of your lives. There is no time like right now to teach and learn from one another.”

That statement is just as true for the GMBA students, who returned that evening to Taipei, having learned something not only about the people of Taiwan, but also about themselves and one another.