Away from home can be so hectic and stressful especially if you have never stayed away from home for more than one year, but in Taiwan I am home away from home. The elements of homesick are there since here it’s a different environment and culture. However, I have listed few ideas and activities on how I easily overcome the homesickness syndrome.

Culture Diversity

The program I am currently doing is an international program which defines itself in the name since there are many foreign students. This rich diversity of culture helps one to understand how other people live on other parts of the world. The language barrier is very interesting since most of us foreigners have different accents and sometimes have different meanings to whatever we are trying to express. I have never been alone most of the time trying to learn few sentences from different languages, we share study rooms and we mingle with local Taiwanese students too.

NTU Student Dormitory

The school dorms have always participatory activities, organizes touring adventures for international students. Each semester there are about two trips and more than three activities which bring foreign students together. Activities such as music competition are very popular and we make lot of friends as we cheer them up as they perform, that’s an extra ordinary experience. The most interesting part is the student lounge in the dorms, most students relaxes there and we share more on our cultures, our people and the way we live in our different countries at the same time making friends.

Foreign Students Association (NTUFSA)

At NTU there is the main body of foreign student association in which there are affiliates bodies under it. Theses bodies have many different activities which make students to feel at home, for instance I joined foreign student’s soccer team where I train and play with many foreign students. The activities ranges from swimming, art, kung-fu defenses classes, entrepreneur ventures, all foreigners are encouraged to join the association bodies. The most important thing is that there are two student activity centers in the NTU campus where students have games, mingle and sometimes have to share on their different cultures and also share the Chinese language together with local students. In addition the NTUFSA organizes trips which include interesting tourist sites in Taiwan and these help minimizes the feeling of homesick.

ICDF Summer Camp

The other part I experience is to an outing to an ICDF organized summer camp. The atmosphere was so great and I enjoyed almost all the days I was there, the mingling the sharing with international students. The activities there, including different games, ballroom dancing, at the same time learning important cultures of Taiwan. The topics we shared, having discussions on topics and doing assignments together it was quite an experience one will not forget at the same time enjoying the environment that you are away from your school and its was so refreshing.

Taipei Transportation Systems

I have an experience in Taiwan that the way the transportation system is so convenient I can go anywhere at any time wherever, I feel lonely and homesick. The Taipei u bike systems, the MRT and buses, makes one to travel at cheaper costs using student easy card and at the same time very convenient. I usually rent a u bike travel around Taipei visiting interesting sites like Shandao Temple, Taipei 101, Taipei Main Station shopping malls, so refreshing at the same time I am exercising. The fact that I can travel to shopping malls by MRT and come back at the most convenient time makes one forget that you are away from home.

Fellow Country People

There are many other students coming from my country in the nearest schools so I try to make friends with them. I have learnt that the best cure for homesick syndrome is to talk sometimes with people who may understand you better which are your country people. Most weekends we travel together to see places of interests around Taipei and also do shopping together in that we are able to express ourselves they way we want. The other thing is that our schools are different in terms of size; sporting activities, dorms and the programs offered so sometime we just visit each other and appreciate the differences in environment.

The Embassy Efforts

My country embassy in Taiwan does a lot for us students who are studying here, for instance they encourage us to be together, and share ideas so that we could learn and appreciate each other. There are many things they do like celebrating Africa Day, they invite us all to come and celebrate together. In some cases the embassy organizes social gatherings like end of year celebrations for students. That spirit makes one to realize that you have a home too even in a foreign country. I have learnt that any possible challenge one faces its easier to alert the embassy and this makes all the students who are studying here to feel secure, safe and well protected since the embassy is like the next partner you will share your thoughts and challenges with at the same time not regretting your coming to Taiwan.

Conclusion and Recommendations

My stay in Taiwan so far has been so exciting and the experience amazing, the most important thing I am doing is making friends through travelling, joining students association and participating in activities. In as much as there is no place like home, I am trying hard to adapt in this environment like being sociable, outgoing and open and able to talk to people. I would personally encourage other foreign students to try some of the ideas I have shared, I know they will forget home for some time and at the same time enjoy their studies in Taiwan.

christopher.jpg90.75 KB