大家好(Hello everyone)! My name is Siul Urbina, I come from Nicaragua and I have been living in Taiwan for a year. I study International Master Program in Information Systems and Applications in National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Hsinchu which is an excellent location since there is a science and industrial park in the city with several worldwide recognized companies related to information technologies field. I have had the opportunity to learn more about some of these prestigious companies, their researches and how they work because some of them have come to the university to do presentations. I also could visit through one of my courses an Information Security Company in Taipei.

As a student coping with the pressure from schoolwork is very normal. There are easy days and there are others that seems like all schoolwork was assigned for the same day. I think that organizing time, properly using the resources that the university provides for studying and also taking some breaks when needed helps to handle the pressure.

NTHU has an e-learning system that provides several tools very useful for students. You can see your schedule with the schoolwork that has to be submitted in a specific day, most of these works can be handed in to professors through the system and later you can check it and see your grades. Professors also use this system to communicate with students, share teaching materials that can be downloaded and make announcements about their courses, the system automatically send a notification to your e-mail. Other advantage of this is that if you have any doubt you can open a discussion forum where professor and students can participate in it.  I have found this system very useful to organize my time and stay abreast of the activities of each class.

Other thing that has been a big help to me is group study. Sometimes some of my classmates and I book a discussion room in the NTHU library to work on our assignments and help each other to solve any doubts about a topic of the class or prepare for a test. Discussion rooms are very comfortable to study in groups, all of them are equipped with whiteboards and there are a few that also have data show. There have been days that we spend the whole afternoon working and later we can go to have dinner together outside the university campus.

The library of the university has recently moved to a new and much better building. There is more space and the environment is very nice and comfortable. There are also more services and new and modern equipment. Students have access to computers, TVs, multifunctional printers, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs, e-books, books, and many other services. The library’s webpage allows finding the location of the material you need beforehand so you can just go and pick it up, you can also see if there is any discussion or audiovisual room available and book it online. There are also some individual rooms that are like office, and you can book it for weeks.

Sometimes to get out of the routine my friends and I would cook some dishes from our countries. I really enjoy this time because I can learn from other people culture and have some delicious food.

I like to take advantage of vacations to relax, get to know more places in Taiwan and go to visit some friends that are studying in other cities and I do not have the chance to see as often as I would like. This time is very important to recover energy and reduce the pressure of the schoolwork.

Now is already September, I wish everyone a happy new scholar year!