Taiwan is an island located some 180 kilometers off the southeastern coast of China. I arrived Taiwan on August 29, 2011. After been three days in the Taipei (the capital of Taiwan) I moved to Pintung County, where I am doing my bachelors degree. When I heard about Taiwan, my first impression was huge buildings all over the country, but it was not the way I thought. Yes there are huge buildings in the big cities, but not here in Pintung. Pintung is more peaceful in the way that there is less traffic. Pintung is located in the southern part of Taiwan. I could say that is one of the most beautiful counties in Taiwan. It has many attractive places to visit, for example Kenting National Park. Kenting was the first national park that was established in Taiwan. Kenting is one of the most visited national parks in Taiwan. The people here in the southern part of the country are friendly but few people speak English. Meaning that you need to know mandarin to survive here in Pintung, but I don’t really need to speak mandarin now because my friends do all the talking, especially when we go out to eat or shopping. Later on I will need mandarin because my friends will not always be there for me.
The common transportation in Taiwan is scooters (motorcycles). I could say every person in Taiwan owns a scooter. It is amazing, even the old age people ride scooters. Food is really important in Taiwanese daily life. There are many kinds of foods (dishes). Everywhere you go, you are going to find food. Taiwanese people love to eat but they never get extra fat as they are always involved in activities. You will see Taiwanese people, from the young to the old age people (there is no exception) playing sports or doing exercise to maintain their shape. Back to food, my favorite dish is fried rice. I know fried rice is not good for my health but I love it. I am 100 percent the fried rice from Taiwan is far better from my country, Belize. Maybe I am saying that fried rice is my favorite dish because it is the only dish I am accustomed to eat. As I said before there are many dishes to choose but yet I cannot find the one that will substitute fried rice. There is a common dish known as stinking tou fo, I think stinking tou fo will be the dish that will substitute fried rice in the future. Stinking tou fo is made of pig cuts, and you could smell it from a far distance. Stinking tou fo as the name suggest stinks like pig waste but I heard that it is really nice. When I am passing by a food stall, I take a big breath and run until I am far enough from the food stall. Wow, it is great to breath after a few seconds. So, I advice you, if you are going to taste stinking tou fo, cover your nose but be careful you choke.
What about NPUST (National Pintung University of Science and Technology)? NPUST is a huge school which academically wise has a good reputation. I am studying tropical agriculture, and I am specializing in plant science. The courses are taught in English which is a great advantage to me as I am from a speaking English country. Another advantage while studying in NPUST is that you get to know different people from all over the world. In my case I am staying with a Vietnamese and a guy from Cambia. A student from NPUST will not always be studying; as there are many activities you can choose to join, for example sports. So far, for me, Taiwan is the perfect place to study. I am getting a good experience in only three months.
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