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29th issue by NTOU on December 2011

Being an ICDF student in Taiwan has taken me to live memorable adventures in Taiwan. It is a great opportunity to meet different people from all over the world. Friends, classmates and professors have different backgrounds, with them I have shared very special moments. Visiting different places and getting to know about the local culture, as well as the cuisine, traditions, festivals, is also a part of the excitement that brings living in such a wonderful nation. Taiwanese people are humble, sincere, friendly, talk-active and of course very adventurous. I’m very satisfied with my life as a student in Taiwan. I have experienced and learned a lot. I would like briefly describe some of the things that have brought me joy and excitement during staying here in Taiwan.
Besides all the fun, night life, scenery and entertainment that Taiwan has to offer, I must say that my greatest adventure is related to playing basketball since I still get to have fun, meet friends , travel from place to place, eat different cuisines but most of all, do something that I like to do. My passion and love for the sport have blessed me with close friends, some of whom I now refer to as brothers. Besides school, I must say that Basketball have played an important role in my daily life in Taiwan. Everyone has their own way of enjoying themselves or spending leisure time to alleviate those sad times thinking about home and family who are far away. Luckily for me, I find peace and tranquility in my favorite sport.
Today I feel honoured and privileged as a student from the small Kingdom of Swaziland to be given the opportunity to contribute towards the 29th Issue of TaiwanICDF TICA Newsletter and feature my article on “My Adventure in Taiwan”. I would be lying to myself if I cannot mention that the conducive learning environment in my school as well as the hospitality of the Taiwanese has contributed a lot towards seeing myself writing about my adventure in Taiwan. Specifically, my ICDF scholarship has seen me up to this far in this beautiful island called “Formosa” which is Taiwan. Furthermore, my lecturers and staff from the Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation have played a major role in having this article written. Without them, I would not be having this article. My caring Advisor, Dr. Su Ju Lin   林素汝博士 through her constructive advises and guidance has seen me enjoying the company of having Taiwanese lab mates from the Department of Plant Industry-AG106.
Brief Introduction
I am Samkele Sikhulile Tfwala from Swaziland, in the lower parts of Southern Africa. I arrived in Taiwan on the 28th August 2011 to pursue my graduate studies in Irrigation at the National Pingtung university of Science and Technology (NPUST). Below I will share some of my experiences in Taiwan.
My adventure in Taiwan was one of the most and exciting, special adventure I have ever experience since I started to travel overseas. It was exciting and so special in the sense that when I first arrive in Taiwan, I met with people so friendly, but on the contrary, when I met others and try to talk to them, then tend to divert and move away from me and I was so much surprise. When I found out from our colleagues who were here before why this is done, they told me the people feel shy to talk when they are unable to communicate the language especially English and this makes them run away. So this is a quite different culture from where I came from and the countries I have ever visited before Taiwan.
Being here is an adventure all in itself. It only takes a few months and the aspect of culture shock, strange foods and a new language loses its significance—then the exploration starts. In NPUST it starts in the unusually large school, and then it extends to the little cities and towns just outside the school and, when we become comfortable, into the neighboring counties.
 
It goes without saying that NPUST campus is unusually large but the rustic beauty is captivating and ideally romantic. Each building is isolated by a sea of green from the other. Approaching each is a beautifully extended lawn and doors that are always open or sometimes not even there. Upon entering the building some are suggestive of museums and art galleries and for a moment one forgets they are on their own campus, or at a university, to say the least. Each building looks to have been built at a different time than the other so all the fixtures, facilities and details reflect the moment the stones were erected into the ground. Walking along the campus roads, a story unfolds that one never gets tired of listening to or telling. Aside from the unique features of the building, the manufactured landscape designs are very much comforting and inviting for a picnic, scenic lunch or late-night rendezvous. Might not sound much like an adventure but the exploration of the campus lasts for many months and gets more exciting as new conveniences are found and enjoyed.
I am Korawait Chaisu, a Ph.D. student in food-biotechnology at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST). I graduated bachelor degree from Maejo University, Thailand and continued my master degree at NPUST, Taiwan. I have been living in Taiwan for more than two years. My study experiences here are filled with valuable knowledge and fantastic moments.
 
I decided to study Ph.D. program in Taiwan because of its high standard education system. Taiwan’s outstanding academic provides students excellent knowledge and professional research experiences. Studying at NPUST enhances my special interest of Microbiology and the benefits of microorganisms such as the plastic-degrading microorganisms or relevant. My research in undergraduate program was the study of optimum conditions for oil-degrading bacteria. Currently I am continually to study Microbial Degradation of Poly lactic acid (PLA). I am also interested in the identification based on morphology and 16S rDNA sequence analysis plastic-degrading microorganisms in agriculture field by high-tech equipment and expert research to develop a higher level of research which will be benefit for environmental treatment in Thailand.
Taiwan is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the Western Pacific Ocean and located off the Southeastern coast of mainland China. I have always wanted to visit that country for its beauty and for discovery.
It was September 5th 2011 approximately midnight, I disembarkedfrom an Aver airlines flight AV 221 from Japan to Taiwan at the Taoyuaninternational airport.This was the second time I was visiting Taiwan. I walked out of the plane and entered the main terminal to the terminal feeling disillusioned, homesick, and weak. It was very busy since four other planes had previously arrived and dropped off hundreds of people. I began to wonder,why I had to or need to go through this since I could not fully adapted to the new culture, the Taiwanese way of life and the Chinese language. To my amazement everything seemed tobe exceptionally strange and different since I had been away on vacation for the pasttwo months.