Coming to Taiwan to study has been a great experience for me. It's allowed me to do many things, see many things and meet many people that I wouldn't have been able to in my country. Looking back at these things, I realize that without coming to Taiwan I might not have been the same person. This not only goes for what I think but also what I do. Having to adjust to school life again means that I needed to change a bit, so I picked up some new habits as well. All these things came from Taiwan and my time so far.

One of the major things which studying in Taiwan has changed about me is my shyness. I'm still shy, still too shy according to everyone else, but it's an improvement. Back in my country, I found it extremely hard to speak out to someone, to start up conversation or even to maintain it. Some simple things like buying from stores was a bit much for me and I'd try to stray from it if I could. I soon learned after coming to Taiwan that that wouldn't work. For starters, I don't have a stove so I have to go out just to eat! And to matters a bit worse, very few people spoke English so many times I couldn't understand the workers nor could the understand me. It may sound a bit rough, but it was actually a good thing. It forces you to get comfortable talking to people, or at least interacting with them. Also, many of the people are friendly (or just want my money) so they don't get frustrated and try to help. However, the local students were not the only ones who helped me overcome my shyness. The other foreigners, not only from my school but from outside as well, helped. They came up to me and talked to me, asked if I was OK and offered to help if I had any trouble. They helped me feel at home and also felt like a family to me. Because of that, I can open up to people faster and now can even reach out to strangers and talk, making new friends easily now.

Taiwan has influenced my habits in a slightly different way. I came to Taiwan without learning any Chinese. I couldn't even say “Hello” in Chinese. I knew none. After I arrived and went through a few days, I began to notice that this would not work at all. I felt like all I was doing is causing trouble and slowing down everyone else. So, because of that I began to develop a new habit. Every morning when I get up, I practice some Chinese and try to learn something new. It sounds like a small habit but it has a larger effect. Due to this, I began to learn Chinese very quickly and while I am not fluent, I am improving everyday. This has transferred not only to Chinese but other things as well. I try to learn something new everyday, or try to practice a new thing on a morning before class. Also, coming to Taiwan has made me a bit more curious in terms of food and experiences. Before coming, I would rarely try something new but everything here looks so different and interesting. Now, it's almost a habit to try a new food or a different dish. I go to restaurants I eat from often and try to taste the whole menu and see what they have to offer.

Of course, these ways are probably not the only ways Taiwan has influenced my habits and personality. I'm sure the moment I return home or meet any of my old friends they'll be the first ones to tell me all about it. However, these are some of the ones which stood out to me the most and especially are the most positive.