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2. NCCU

Night market in Taiwan is one the best place to spend your night life. There are over 100 night markets in Taiwan and there are many famous night markets such as Shilin Night Market in Taipei, Raohe Street Night Market in Taipei, Keelung Temple Night Market in Keelung and etc. Taiwanese night market is very famous for food. There are tons of different kind of food that you can find in the market including all kind of snacks and drinks.

As a Honduran woman, I was been marked by the social and cultural situations in my homeland. Growing up in a developing country, I was exposed to several levels of inequality. Somehow these experiences strengthened my belief in hard work and the remarkable influence education has on changing destinies.

I came to Taiwan not lot time ago, however since the first moment I put my feet in the Formosa ilha, as the Portuguese called Taiwan the first time they came, everything has been an adventure in a new world. I must say that everything had passed too fast and I still don’t believe that I’m studying so far away from home, at least 20 hours flight from Nicaragua, and I think the biggest reason is the Taiwanese people.

When I got the news about my chance to come to Taiwan the first thing that came to my mind was: Oh!, I have to do some research, I don’t know enough about Taiwan and I have to be prepare to not suffer of the famous cultural shock.  Then, I started to read, watch and listen all about this country; history, geography, religion, weather, culture, people, language, FOOD, everything. So, I did my homework before coming and I declared myself ready for this adventure.

So, when I arrived to Taiwan, everything was where it supposed to be, Taipei in the North, Tainan in the South, Taichung in the middle, Chiayi County and Chun Cheng University somewhere among these places. Nevertheless, everything was bigger of what I expected and the distance longer of what I thought, but I think it was my fault because most things in Nicaragua are much smaller than in Taiwan.

 If choosing the right university for students is difficult, now imagine how difficult it is the next step of applying for a specific department and/or faculty. That is probably one of the most anxious and stressful moments of our lives. So many emotions, feelings, questions, and insecurities passing through our minds stealing and taking away from us hours of sleep, our focus, and so much energy. I know this because I have been through that moment already. After hours, days, and months of thinking I decided to apply to National Chengchi University to pursue my bachelor degree in Business Administration.

I still remember the first day I arrived at NCCU, I remember seeing all those coffee/tea shops, restaurants, bakeries, traditional food stands… which by the way, we still have. It was so crowded, so many students and professors were crossing the streets, talking, eating or just chilling out. I can still remember it as if it was yesterday. Even if NCCU was founded in 1927, not everything that surrounds it is equally old. There is a 3-floors MacDonald’s and Starbucks Coffee, Subway, Hi-Life, Watsons, and of course many 7-11convenience stores. It was definitely a very good first impression. I remember being really excited about the area but at the same time, being extremely anxious and nervous about seeing my Department and all the Faculty members.

My debut as a High School teacher
 
I have always supported the idea that adventures are that “something” that makes your life more fun and interesting. The fact of coming to Taiwan for pursuing my bachelor degree is indeed one of the biggest adventures of my entire life. That’s why since the very beginning I was just expecting the typical experiences of being in a foreign country such as culture shock, different foods, and a completely new language. Now, I laugh so much because I had no idea that in Taiwan my biggest adventure so far would be my debut as a high school teacher!
 
I have been living here in Taiwan for almost a year now, and I won’t lie to you… being a “外國人” has a lot of incredible benefits. Taipei is a very diverse and big city with an amazing multicultural and international environment; therefore you can go to many international conferences, huge events, art expositions, concerts, festivals, conventions, presentations and so on. As a foreigner all this kind of activities are very suitable for us foreigners because Taiwan is looking forward to see a “massive boom” in terms of internationalization and globalization. Therefore, is not a surprise that every time we can see more and more international big scale events.  For example, in the past couple of months, I have visited and become part of many activities such as “Taipei Flora Expo 2010”, “Assembly for Democracy in Asia (ADA) / 亞洲民主大會 (ADA)”, “Taiwan Book Festival”, “Picasso’s Century Classics Exhibition / 世紀畢卡索特展” and “Monet Garden / 莫內花園”. The next big “thing” coming soon is “Taipei World Design Expo” and the “Japanese Art Festival”.

 

Before I came to Taiwan I was very worried about the food here, especially because of so many taboos and stereotypes when it comes down to this topic. I still remember that one week before my flight to Taiwan I was very scared and the idea of eating something new for five long years was so disturbing for me. However, I decided to give it a try because I know from my own experiences that in many cases stereotypes are not true at all.
 
 
 

The moon has been an intriguing and mysterious symbol throughout the ages and civilizations. It has also been a sign of inspiration, beauty and elegance for many artists, intellectuals and human beings in general. Its shape, color, intensity and essence are not only unpublished evidence of its beauty; but they are also the reason behind the existence of so many urban legends, mystical adventures and epic events. There’s no doubt that the moon has entertained us since the very beginning of our existence.
 
As we can see, it is not a surprise that in some countries like Taiwan there are holidays related to the moon. This holiday is called “Moon Festival” and is quite popular among all the Taiwanese. During the night of this holiday the moon is at its fullest and roundest. That’s why in Taiwan, since 1980s, barbecuing meat outdoors has become a widespread way to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival (another name of this holiday). Basically, the main activity during this holiday is to gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, sharing some quality time and eat moon cakes and pomelos under the moon together…

I would like to start by mentioning that Mandarin is one the hardest languages to study, but I also need to admit that it is one of the most important languages nowadays. Since my first day in Taiwan, my biggest problem has been communication in different aspects; from ordering food to trying to explain my symptoms to the doctor when I´m sick.
When I was informed that I was granted with the TaiwanICDF scholarship, the first thing that came to my mind was the idea of learning such an important language, as Mandarin is. I was more exited of learning the language than actually getting my Master Degree. My family as well as my friends told me that this was my best opportunity to learn the language, and we all thought that being in Taiwan will facilitate this goal. I thought that living in Taiwan for two years and sharing everyday with Taiwanese people will be enough to learn the language. I have been in Taiwan for almost one year , and now I realized that I was so wrong about this. Sharing with people just help you learn enough to ask for food and buy stuff, but not in more difficult situations. My family and friends are still wrong about this idea; they think that since I have lived in Taiwan for almost a year, I can speak fluent Mandarin.

 Will the combat eventually develop into a manifestation of success? Learning a foreign language takes time and dedication, particularly when you are dealing with a language as intricate as Mandarin Chinese. No one said it was going to be “piece of cake,”but I doubtlessly thought it would become a phenomenal experience for me. I have been learning Mandarin for one year and whether it has unfolded a benefit or composed a challenge, it has certainly influenced my life, so let me talk to you about my remarkable experience.