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18. NCHU

Taiwan certainly deserves praise for its cutting edge, modern scientific research. The school I go to for instance, NCHU is famous for its biotechnological research into agriculture. I am not sure about the academic culture of other schools but based on my discussions with other students, it seems to be quite similar to what I have experienced at NCHU. However that is not the whole story. While the quality of research at NCHU and other Taiwanese universities seems very impressive and modern, it suffers from a lack of critical thinking, where students are not allowed to be creative, independent-minded or challenging of orthodoxy.

In Taiwan, most of the international students in Mathematical classes often feel embarrassed by Taiwanese students, because they are so good in Mathematical subjects, such as Calculus. Taiwan, like most Asian countries seems to have discovered the secret to teaching Mathematics to high school students correctly, whereas most countries outside of Asia continue to struggle with teaching Mathematics properly. This indeed may be the foundation for Taiwan’s success in science. I believe Taiwan is definitely in a position to teach countries like my own and others how you go about teaching Mathematics the right way.

Slang is a liminal language that consists of words or phrases that are informal and phenomenal. It associates with certain group(s) of people, tend to construct and define the identity of its practitioners. It also brings complex ideas and topics to the grasps of its practitioners and connects them through illustrations of real-life examples of their environment; however, it can be offensive depending on its intent use. I personally see it as an evolving language. For this article, I wish to express my personal impression on Chinese Mandarin slang with little emphasis on Taiwanese-Chinese slang.

I find it fascinating that Mandarin slang has many meaning for common words (homonyms). I noticed that, Mandarin slang uses several domains such as the people, ancestors, believes and environment. Under the people domain, use of slang concerns “sex” and “mother” are commonly used. Other domains are straight forward referring to the ancestors, believes and the environment. I personally found these domains as means for “all walk of life” to express and communicate themselves in terms of “imparting ideas or topics, deriving avenues for discussions, share fun and happiness, encrypt messages, teasing and discriminate”.

I believe Taiwan has touched the hearts of many foreigners and everyone of us will have something to share about our experience(s). I wish to share my special feel for Taiwan.

I have been in Taiwan for six months and Taiwan is like a mother to everyone. She is tender, lovely and caring. She doesnt bother to interfer with your whereabouts but she is very interested to know you, where you are from and why you chose her.

For me Taiwan is beautiful and has an amazing heart. She is filled with many beautiful and amazing gifts one could ever dream of having them. It took me four months to realize how much Taiwan has touched my heart.  Being touched by Taiwan is liked a feeling of being awaken from long sleeping trench and gaining complete sense of yourself and where you are. At first confustion then memories of past, present and foresights of the future flushed into my mind.  My heart was immersed with the mixed feelings of joy and sadness. I believe this special feel Taiwan gave me is one nugget of experiences one has to be search alone and treasure whilst in your stay here.

Many people say that in order for a person to change he or she must have the willingness or desire to change and that people don’t cause others to change. Perhaps that may be true in some contexts however, it is my personal opinion that people can change when they are taken from their comfort zone and put into a culture where change or adaptation is necessary for survival or a happy life. The slogan “Taiwan will touch your heart” is commonly known by foreigners and like me ,many foreigners have been on a quest to experience that period in time when living in Taiwan will evoke emotions of contentedness or acceptance.

As foreigners, Taiwan may touch our hearts in similar ways. But since we have different experiences and personalities, small things may have an effect on some and not others. As a citizen from the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, the culture in contrast to Taiwan is more individualistic rather than collectivist. The first thing that I recognized about Taiwan is the emphasis placed on family or family time. Taiwanese people generally like going out whether it may be for food or recreation. There is not that much of a generation gap in Taiwan, since people of all ages can enjoy generally the same activities. Taiwanese also are very friendly and curious in knowing about different cultures.

Studying in Taiwan is one of the most challenging and interesting part of my life. Taiwan has exposed me to different cultures as well as more innovative ways of learning. I came from a country of people of common ancestry and cultural heritage, hence similar ways of life. Moving away from my home country to study abroad, I expected to face challenges as well as difficulties along the way.

As my first year in Taiwan draws to a close I have begun reflecting on my time here. My name is Apral Deterville and I am from the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. The moment I arrived in Taiwan I was greatly intrigued by the scenery, landscaping and the culture which I think is one of this country’s greatest resources. Although the culture of Taiwan aided partly to my culture shock, I have come to appreciate it and desire to know more about it. The history and tradition of Taiwan already makes it a place that I will never forget. In terms of scenery, Taiwan has majestic mountains and many spectacular buildings each having their own unique style. My island of St. Lucia is quite small compared to Taiwan and although we have our own unique architectural style I cannot deny the fact that many of the buildings and landscaping has fascinated me.

 ​I choose to study my university program in Taiwan because my country the Gambia has a diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. As such I was fortunate to secure a scholarship to study in Taiwan. Growing up in the Gambia, my ambition was to travel abroad for my degree programs. I was always fascinated with people who travel abroad for education. The Gambia is a developing nation with only one national university, with a very limited courses offered. Therefore the need for me to choice Taiwan is of immense importance as I am learning a discipline that is not offered at the University of the Gambia. By the time I graduate here, I will be able to introduce new courses in the University of the Gambia to enable young Gambians have more diversity in course selection. I am always curious and interested in knowing more about the world. Taiwan gives me the diversity that I needed to live and learn more about different cultures and races in the world, which I wouldn’t have been exposed to if I were to study in the Gambia. It helps me develop a sense of understanding the world beyond the scope of imagination. Coming from a totally different background, every day of my life in Taiwan breeds new experience. I experienced so many things within a short period of my stay here, which I had not had the opportunity to know since childhood.