My name is Nancy Rodriguez and I am from Honduras. I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Human Resource Development at National Taiwan Normal University. Before coming to Taiwan I heard and read a lot about this beautiful country, and one of the things that always came out it was about Taiwanese people, about how nice and friendly they are. I been here for about ten months already, and all I can say is that it met my expectations. I consider Taiwanese people to very polite and willing to help you when you need it. There are many wonderful experiences that I have had since I came here.  I still remember my first day I came to Taiwan,  there was our ICDF program manager waiting for us at the airport since then she and the professors of our department  are always willing to help us, and always hoping for our well-being. After we arrived to the dorm there were some of our Taiwanese classmates who took us shopping for things we needed for our room. Our countries are so far away, and there are so many differences in culture and language and all this help is really well appreciated.   

Now I will share with you one of the most touching experience I had had in Taiwan. It was during the Chinese New Year celebration. One of my friends invited me to spend this holiday at her parents’ house, which is located in the south of Taiwan, in Pingtung County; I was very excited to spend the New Year with them since this is one of the most important celebrations here in Taiwan. 

Once I met my friend’s family they start treating me like family so it felt like home, I enjoyed the food and was surprised that I even got a Hongbao (red envelope) by some of the family members, I wasn’t touched by the monetary gift but I was touched because I know that Hongbao is a very special gift usually given to family members, so I was very touched by that action, and also a little bit shy about it.  During my stay in their house, many family friends came over, and they all were very interested and happy to see a foreigner and I felt their warmness.

Another experience I had was during a visit to Jiufen in the northern part of Taiwan, where we went mountain climbing with my friends, and after hours of climbing we arrive to a road, but that road was a little bit far from the place where we should take the bus back to Taipei. My Taiwanese friends said “Oh let’s ask for a ride,” I was quiet surprised since in my country it is not very safe and people are cautions about doing this. As soon as we stood and ask for a ride a couple stopped their car and they were very nice and happy to give us a ride. I was again convinced of the hospitality of Taiwanese people.

Half of my classmates are Taiwanese, they are very nice people and they respect our differences. They are also willing to share about Taiwanese culture with us and even go out for shopping, food and to show us the beautiful places Taiwan has. I am also interested in improving my Chinese, and there are always nice tutors and available Taiwanese students that are willing to help and most of the time it is without waiting for something back, they are just happy to help you or either interested in improving their teaching skills. 

In conclusion, I will say that I can see the kindness and politeness of Taiwanese people as I live my daily life here in this beautiful island.