I attend the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST), which is located in the south of Taiwan. Based on other universities I have visited, Pingtung is very different not only in landscape but in surroundings. NPUST is nestled in mountains away from the hustle and bustle of city life. If natural and relaxed is more your cup of tea, NPUST is definitely a prime candidate. Its’ surrounded by green rolling mountains which are absolutely breathtaking. From the school gate to the Main campus is roughly 3 km. Lined up along this long path are statuesque trees adding to the already naturally aesthetic landscape.  There are a number of lakes on campus which in my opinion not only  makes a good jogging route for the more active individuals but also a peaceful area to clear your head or lose yourself for a moment when the pressures of studying gets to you. When I visit the lake I enjoy feeding the turtles and ducks.

Outside the Main Gate, there are many restaurants where different foods can be sampled. As a true foreigner, for the first month, my diet consisted of chao fan (fried rice) and chi pai (fried chicken). However, after I became more acquainted with my surroundings I began trying new meals which I now am deeply fond of. Sadly to say there is no McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken or subway near the campus. Don’t fret though, about 30 minutes away via public bus, is Pingtung City where all your favorite fast foods can be found. That isn’t much of a problem for me being that I don’t like eating fast food too often, but for persons who like myself enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, the fresh food market is less than 15 minutes away. I enjoy visiting this market because not only can I get all my favorites but it’s very cheap too.  When it comes to shopping for clothes and shoes, even electronics, you have many options in both Pingtung City and Kaohsiung City (the second largest city in Taiwan, roughly 1 hour away) which is why I do not think I miss out on much even if I don’t live in Taipei.

Also, near the vicinity of NPUST is a sublime waterfall and river which one could enjoy a lovely picnic or barbeque with friends. The water is refreshing on a hot day. The institution is also near the famous Kenting National Park which features a beautiful beach to enjoy. Camping can also be done there, if that is more your style.

Here at Ping Ke Da (the local name for NPUST), I am pursuing my undergraduate in Tropical Agriculture – Plant Production/science. From my point of view, the courses do provide an avenue for students to explore all the aspects plant related agriculture. Practical experience can be gained in the form of internship which really is a positive because you have the opportunity to put what you learn into practice and also learn things which may not be taught in class. One reason I like my program is because there are a number of courses designed to explore my favorite aspect of agriculture – Horticulture.  These choices help me decide what exactly I would like to have as my career in the end. I think that choices are keys for one to make up their minds as to where they want to end up in life. For me, people should pursue careers in fields they love; therefore it doesn’t seem like work.  The courses offered under the program run from horticulture, crop protection, plant propagation, crop breeding, medicinal crop science post-harvest technology, agribusiness, forestry etc., (more specialized courses).


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