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7. NCU

Taiwan!? Is that a question or an exclamation? Being living here for more than one and half year I have not been able yet to say whether I know something about this country and its people or merely whether I know enough about it and then able to tell about my learning experience. Recently, a friend of mine asked me what I think about Taiwanese and how do I see them. After thinking for a while I told her that I really don’t know what to respond and I was seriously embarrassed with that! Well, I thing it is definitely hard to understand this people and its culture and therefore to assert that I have learned something from them.

I must go to palace museum, the park, the Zoo, to Kaohsiung and oh I heard the east coast is lovely. How would I get there when I cannot speak the language? I pondered to myself as I sat in the comfort of my room. The winter holiday was fast approaching and I needed to go to the east coast to experience the beach and the warm climate that I hear ever so often from the Taiwanese.” You have to go to the east coast “they say.

I decided to go to the east coast but how will I get there? It’s so far, I’ve never been so far. I reflected on my past experiences for the 6 months I’ve been here. I went back to my traveling experience in Taipei. The friendly people who were quick to offer their assistance to the foreigner who looked questioningly at the Chinese characters , who they saw and heard talking with the English of a child combine with what I would call signs language in an effort to communicate or just standing there with a puzzled look on their face. I remembered that the transportation system is foreigner friendly and efficient. You only have to remember the number of the bus or the colour of the line for the train and be there, they are always on time.

Traveling twenty-six hours across the globe to gain a graduate degree, I believe entitles me to tour a place I’ll call home for the next two years. I love traveling, experiencing new cultures and traditions and most of all, land-marking new memories. For me this is the joy of being alive accompanied with a sense of excitement. I came to Taiwan with limited expectations and an opened mind to try and appreciate what I might meet. Little did I know that Taiwan would have been so beautiful and captivating to the eyes, the mere reason I decided to document my experience of traveling in and around Taiwan.

Even though I haven’t mastered the language and the idea of so many people living in one place (since I come from a population forty times smaller than Taiwan), I still managed to make my way around this “huge” island. Accounting for the places I have visited so far, they include: Danshui, Sun Moon Lake, Keelung, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taitung, Tainan, Taoyuan, Pingtung, Hsinchu, and Jinguashi. Each have its own unique memory, for example Taipei and Danshui are the top shopping stops for a lady, since that’s one of our best traits (ha ha ha); Keelung holds a soft spot in my heart with the dolphin show (– my favorite animal) and the cool souvenirs as a keepsake; Hsinchu being the northern benchmark for Taiwan’s Industrial Parks – very interesting to me since I’ve never seen something of its nature before; and for Kaohsiung, two words sums it all “LOVE RIVER”.

National Central University (NCU) was founded in 1915 in Nanking and was ranked among the best universities in China. NCU was re-established in JhongLi, Taiwan in 1962. Since then it has developed from a graduate institute of Geophysics to full university status with seven colleges and more than thirty departments and graduate programs. In recent years NCU has been able to obtain a significant number of government grants in support of our excellent projects.

Thesis! Thesis! Thesis! This is the word the makes students to tremble with fear and at the same time excited. Fear in the sense that you question your self, if your research topic is good enough and if you will be able to defend your point in front of the evaluation panel, full of professionals and experts in the field when you are just a novice.

As it is well known, a Master degree is the initiation of researchers in any University in the world, and this NCU Taiwan experience is not an exception.

In this article I will focus more in general Asian food as in my country is very popular, although the most popular is the famous Cantonese food, we can still find Taiwanese, Japanese, and Thai food. Our idea (very wrong in some way) about Asian food is the use of non traditional meats, reason by which general public think it is not safe food (there are even jokes about it).

When I left my country I was determine to learn from the individuals that I was going to meet in the new chapter of my life. The name of this chapter is Taiwan. Before coming her I imagine Taiwan as a place with great technology and places that I had never seen. The mentality I had was due to the comments I have heard of different individuals in my country.

I will share some of the fantastic experiences I have lived as a student here at Taiwan. The real reason for me to study here was to learn from people that have a different life style and culture from mine.