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9. NSYSU

The moment I step into Taiwan’s night market culture, it immediate give me the sense of what Taiwanese culture is like, that is by experience the culture through type of cuisines, street foods and goods sold at the markets from five pieces of sugar cake going for 30NT$ to fried delicious shrimps with fowls eggs wrapped into it, as to name this as few, and many more yet be to taste.

My sister told me that, when she was in Taiwan few years ago, one place she used to go when finding something interesting after a long day of work, is the night market. This night market is so good and is somewhat scattered with all varieties of needs and wants. The thing that would give you more desire about this place is the variety of local food it has.

"Muslim Traveller go shopping in Liuhe Night Market, Taiwan"

 

Taiwan is a country with many good traits and valuable knowledge that adds importance to the nation and this is also valid in terms of education and technology. The education in Taiwan can be viewed from several standpoints and for most of them it stands in firm ground. Concerning the offer and quantity of programs available Taiwan doesn't lag behind and is at the top of technological advancements, anyone wanting to study in Taiwan can find its own personal vocation and successfully access the vast amount of knowledge that Taiwanese have amounted along the years. In this country you find a program for anything you want to study, from the most pleasurable art to the most complex and advanced science discipline. Besides the academic endeavors, coming to Taiwan also represents an enriching experience in terms of cultural variety and richness. The educational system of Taiwan focuses on getting the best out of the brightest students through programs based on research and innovation.

From my experience studying in Taiwan, I can say that something very remarkable to be noticed is the capacity of the professors, these are very well prepared and don’t lack any knowledge in their field of study. This is one of the things that contributes to the education quality of Taiwan. Good masters will make good disciples. For that reason when going to class in my school, I felt like I could have all my doubts cleared once I asked the professor anything related to the topics that were taught.

My name is John S. Mahlalela, a master student in the department of electrical engineering, National sun Yat Sen University in Taiwan. National sun Yat Sen University is one of more than one hundred institutions of higher learning in Taiwan. These (institutions of higher learning) includes universities alongside technical colleges which contribute by nurturing highly skilled, middle and top level academic talents. In this article I will discuss the valuable and valueless aspects of Taiwanese education in colleges. The values that will be discussed include, Availability of highly qualified and experienced professors and its benefits to students. Benefits of university affiliation to international professional associations will also be discussed including issues of information access and availability of research facilities.

Taiwanese universities boast of highly qualified, experienced and internationally acclaimed educational research professors, in this section I will briefly discuss the advantages of having a qualified/experienced teacher as a student. Experienced teachers are on average more effective in raising student achievement. They (experienced professors) impart world-leading academic and professional credibility to their students. As an example, professors from my department has earned respect from the international educational research community this boosts student’s confidence and adds value to the quality of education one can receive from local (Taiwanese) colleges.

Studying in Taiwan has been a brand new experience for me, full of challenges and mountains to climb. Since the first day of class I realized that I was in front of a different approach for learning in which you’re responsible of your achievements.

Since the first day I came to Taiwan homesickness came to knock my door. But for my sake I tried not to let it come in. sometimes I couldn’t avoid it, but as the time went by I started using technics to deal with it.

To my homesickness comes as a feeling that makes me miss the environment that was used to, including things like my family, friends, music, people, food, culture and so on. Most of these things I can’t find them here and when I am wishing them, then, it is when homesickness strikes. What I did was that I tried to reach these things that I missed so much; for example, I called my relatives, listened to my favorite music, and did things to make me feel like I was at home. But, as the time passed by in this new place I started getting used to it and discovered new things that I started to like. In this order I managed to make a balance in this stage am living, so when I feel homesick I don’t just show resistance trying to make me feel like at home all the time but I look for the way to embrace this place as my home. I live a balanced life not losing the love for my homeland but also discovering how to love Taiwan more every day.

Dealing with home sickness has been a challenging endeavour since I came to Taiwan. Although slowly am coping with my new environment, I personally do find it tough to cope with home sickness, however, not always because there is so much to do.

I have tried to overcome the feeling of homesickness by making friends with local people. My lab mates will sometimes take me out to the city to visit number of places like the night market. Events like those effectively isolate me from thinking about my home and the people back there. Spending a lot of my time doing my school work keeps my mind busy thus reducing the chances of thinking about things that can be self-destructive.

Taiwan is like my second home.  The foods, weather, people, culture, etc, none of them is new or strange to me.  This is the second time I came to this beautiful island and everything is normal to me.  Now I live in Kaohsiung, a port city in the southern part of Taiwan, for more than a year and found out that this city is more comfortable and relaxing when talking about weather.  I lived in Taipei for 7 years and the cold and rainy weather during winter always made me unsettled and uncomfortable.  On the other hand, people live Taipei and Kaohsiung does have their own way of life.  Relaxing, smiling and socialized people in Kaohsiung made me feel more at home compared to busy and serious- looking people in the north, Taipei.

The language is the main factor to overcome homesickness.  Hardship and difficulties in communication with local people would add social pressure on you which can lead you to remembering your family or friends and missing your home country badly.  Sometimes you feel isolated or ignored when you cannot speak probably to locals or fully understand what they said.  Making friend with local and get along well with them requires a good communication.  My Mandarin now is acceptably good and I have made lots of good Taiwanese friends as well as some from other countries.  Hangout with them, talking and sharing jokes with them eradicate homesickness feelings completely. I sometimes consider themselves as my family members.  My country mates in Taiwan are also my good and close friends and we are like big family here.  I feel so blessed and special to have such good friends in my lives.

How do you cope with the pressure from schoolwork?

There are four main things I usually used to do when get stressed out with schoolwork.  These are surfing the internet, catching up with my Taiwanese friends, being alone doing extra-curricular activities, and most important of all is doing physical exercise.

 

Facebook is one of the most common website I usually visit when I'm stressed out.  I hardly post anything on facebook just enjoy reading my friends' statues and posts.  Most of my friends' posts and statues are funny where I can spend like more than an hour or so. Shared and posted photos and videos of my friends on facebook are the most time consuming, however watching them really helps releasing the stresses and pressure.

Youtube is the second common website I used to browse when I am under pressure from schoolwork.  Sometimes I miss my home country when I'm stress sometimes so watching my country's video as well as listening to local songs do really help me to lighten and ease the burden.

 

Eating and chatting with my Taiwanese is another way to release the schoolwork stress.  I really like to spend some of my times with my Taiwanese friends eating and talking together when I am bored and under extreme schoolwork pressure.  It is fun to be around your friends and sometimes I almost forget the heavy burden of schoolwork.  Additionally, seeing the smiling faces around you really boosts your morale.

 

Sometimes I need to be alone eating or doing extracurricular activities without the company of friends or classmates.  The campus of NSYSU is so natural and beautiful where both the ocean and mountain are integral part of it.  The secret beach as most people call it is my favourite spot to see the sunset and swimming.  The beach is no longer secret as most people in Kaohsiung knew it; however the entry is restricted people can still enter through broken fence.  Seeing such a spectacular sunset and swimming in the cool seawater make me feel relaxed and refresh.  The bouncing waves and salty water of the ocean always give me energy and courage to fight and overcome any difficulties and challenges.  Every time I swim in Taiwan it always reminds me my childhood times back in the days in my home island where the blue lagoon is the only place for kids and even old people to play in and have fun.  My home island is very small and is surrounded by sea.  No mountains in my island so for me the mountain is very special.  Near my dorm there is a hiking trail so sometimes I walk up the mountain for an hour just to enjoy the scenery and take a brief break from studying.  The smell of different plants together with sound of insects in the mountain really help me to clear my mind.