Before I got on the plane to get here to Taiwan, I made myself a personal promise not to have any expectations about Taiwan as a country, the university, the people and the culture. I did this so that I wouldn’t get disappointed about anything, in what would soon become my new home.

Therefore for me everything about Taiwan was an absolute surprise. The city is beautiful specially the Taipei 101 area, the night markets are great, convenient for when I am hungry at midnight and the best thing is that they sell very tasty food for a very cheap price.

Part of my surprise of life in Taiwan was the university. Ming Chuan is a great university, the students are really nice and so is the staff, but to my greatest surprise I haven’t become as physically fit as I should be by now, as climbing up the 367 steps of Ming Chuan everyday hasn’t really changed my physical appearance, but I still have 3 years to go, so jia you for me!

The culture is definitely interesting; I love the fact that there are so many differences between my culture and the Taiwanese.  I never thought I would feel as inversed into the Taiwanese culture as I feel now.

To my surprise I have been able to learn a few bits of mandarin vocabulary; I never thought I was going to be able to speak (a few words), read (yet again a few words), and write Chinese characters. This is probably the biggest surprise I have encountered since my arrival here, I never thought it would be as simple as I see it now, before Chinese characters looked to me like little drawn stick men doing some funky moves, but now I have finally, to my absolute surprise, connected the Chinese characters and their meanings. 

However not to my surprise, the people areas lovely as everyone had said to me before I came here. They are always smiling and always willing to make you smile. I have found it that the Taiwanese people I have met are really helpful, really giving but slightly shy; but it is all part of the getting to know Taiwan and it’s people is to accommodate yourself into your surroundings; which is what I have learnt to do now

What mostly surprised me about Taiwan really,  was the fact that I haven’t felt homesick ever since I got here and I am more than proud to say that I can now call Taiwan my home, Wo ai Taiwan!

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