Home | Newsletters

29th issue by NTOU on December 2011

Taiwan, like my country is an island, thus I wasn’t expecting to see many changes, however, arriving at the Taoyoan International airport in Taipei, the strength of the vastly economical growing country was notice and even more define was the organization and discipline of its people.
I stayed at the Monarch Plaza that night; the immediate attention of its staff was an added plus to the clean, beautiful and luxurious hotel. In the morning I was picked up by an ICDF assistant at my school and even though she was late on arriving, her pleasant attitude and welcoming smile was enough to make me forget about whatever worries I had about being in a strange country all on my own.
Taiwan is one of the countries that amazed me most from the very moment of my arrival. A country located as an Island with its natural beauty ranging from the ecosystem (the natural environment), Agriculture, infrastructures, traffic system including the basic life style of the people I met. It is one of the countries in Asian Pacific with two-third of the total area covered by forested mountains and the remaining areas consisting of hilly country, platforms and highlands coastal plains and basins. Yet is one of the countries that have protected its natural environment from man induced activities of destroying the ecosystem which have varying consequences including the climate change. The country which is almost entirely dominated by mountains with very thick vegetation coversportraying the country’s concern for green revolution and sound conversion practices. This undoubtedly will have something to do with Taiwan's tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate climates which provide clear differentiation between the different seasons, and also species of wildlife available on the Island.
Since I have been living in Taiwan for more than 3 years, I took a look around the country and fell in love with this small island. I have been travelled to many attractive places from the northern part to the southern part of Taiwan. Moreover, I have ever eaten a variety of Taiwanese foods. Consequently, I have more experiences involving the exciting activities in this country. I also indulge in a lot of activities related to adventure such as travelling, shopping, eating, and learning.
On September 2010 I boarded a plane in El Salvador. I had 100 pounds of luggage which included cloth, shoes, and personal belonging. My destinations was Taiwan, an island located in Asia. I had never been there, or speak the language or new anything about the culture. All I knew was that I was coming for two years with an open mind ready to embrace my Taiwanese adventure.
Having spent a two months in Taiwan now, I am continually amazed by just how cheap things were there. Of course, it helped that we were living in Pingtung, which is less expensive than Taipei. For a start, there was our orientation programme of ICDF at Taipei in a luxury university campus in the heart of the city, facing the Chinese letters for the first time and featuring lovely guards, a multitude of apartments, a leafy green courtyard and a koi pond, our new friends were huge from different parts of the world. We thoroughly enjoyed the day’s outing, during orientation days, “This is the best day I’ve had since I’ve been in Taiwan.”   Later, after completing our orientation days we returned to our respective university, during my journey I had an opportunity to see the beauty of Taiwan all along from Taipei to Pingtung. Food is also very cheap in Pingtung – lunch would be purchased from my favorite noodle or dumpling shop down the street near our campus, and dinner would be from any number of restaurants located near the campus. Even shopping proved a relatively inexpensive habit – between night markets and sales, I scored some awesome deals, which is always a good thing. Was it possible to overspend? Of course, but I would say that it takes good effort to exceed your income as an expat in Taiwan. Certain things were pricey – fancy shoes, electronic goods – but these were not necessary elements to my daily life, so it hardly mattered. It’s worth noting too that we made less than your average buxiban teacher, but lived comparatively luxuriously by Taiwanese standards. Still, as I prepare to move ahead in Taiwan clichéd life of a broke grad student, I can’t help but feel nostalgia for the cheapness of a wonderful life in Taiwan. I wish to spend good days in Taiwan, but living the good life on the cheap is definitely on the list.
August 28, 2011 at 11:35 p.m. I host for the first time the soil of Taiwan! When I was retained by the ICDF scholarship program, one of my relatives told me: "ah, but you must love the adventure you!" Indeed, this person is right, I like adventure. I like discover, and I was excited to go and study in a country that I did not have much information, except that it is an island that has a beautiful landscape. And I thought that in this country, I would have much to discover about the people who live there, their culture and practices. Since my arrival, I realized that every day I spend here I learn something new on Taiwan. I will try to enumerate some of which I think is the most significant.
Definitely, Coming and be in Taiwan has been a completely adventure, since i was in International Airport of Nicaragua and during all trip that last 32 hours! That was just the beginning. When arrived to Toayuan Airport, I began seeing characters I got nervous and happy thinking that I will be able to study and in the future might read them and understand them. All tiredness disappears when I saw through the window the streets and building and the evidence development that Taiwan has reached.  I realize I was already in a culture completely different, my first place to visit was the Army Hospital, I suffered a fall and twisted my ankle, I felt so unfortunate, but when I was attended for the doctor and nurse and staff of ICDF I didn’t feel the distance from my hometown, in exactly that moment I knew I will never be alone in this country with this amazing people. When I went out to buy my first meal, was kind of difficult and embarrassed, of course, everybody that came to Taiwan, want to try traditional food, so I went to a restaurant that look like very reprehensive of the culture, but, when I got the Menu all was written in Chinese! So I didn’t have another option to leave and go to McDonald, where also was a difficult to order, due his English was not fluid enough or maybe mine. Now, when I go to any place, order chicken, pork or beef to me it’s amazing, just almost three months has passed and could say some words and most of all, when people can understand me it´s just awesome. I feel so proud of it.
Hi my name is David Fernando Pineda Pinto. I come from Honduras, Central America. At this time I am around 15,000 kilometer from Honduras, far away from home. Very close to midterms examinations, in front of my computer at my study room writing this submission.
Taiwan as it is well known by many countries around the world is a very peaceful country compared to other nations. This country and my own country The Gambia had consolidated an excellent and a cordial diplomatic relationship among themselves.
About three months ago, I left my home country Belize to start a new life in this country on the other side of the world. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would end up here in Taiwan, a country that is completely different from what I am used to. Nevertheless, I landed on Taiwanese soil with an open mind and adventurous attitude which has helped me to enjoy and learn new things about the culture each day.
My first two days in Taiwan was at the Normal University in Shida, Taipei where I was able to meet a lot of new students who were also on the ICDF Scholarship. It was a very exciting two days but we soon had to take off to our respective schools.