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12. NTU

First of all I would like to mention that I have already lived in Taiwan for a year, so far, it has been an excellent experience assimilating the day to day environment Taiwan provides. If someone asked me, ‘how much has your Chinese improved throughout this year?” I would answer back, “Well at least I know more then when I came, and currently my progress is at steady growth rate”. But to my defense the Chinese language has a reputation of being among the most difficult of languages to learn, statement that I do not refute, never have I felt a language so complex to understand, since most of its pronunciation can be easily be misheard or misspoken leading to a non desirable misunderstanding. A simple example is the word “wen” depending on the intonation given; it can have different meaning starting from a question to a kiss. Of course this obstacle can be overcome with a lot of practice and also a good teacher.

Labeling a teacher as good is certainly very subjective but I also still believe that there is some sort of agreement among students about what makes a good language teacher. I personally believe that a good teacher is one who loves being with their students and motivates them to succeed. But, I think, patience is above all the most important trait in a good teacher more especially a language one.

Tainan City is steeped in cultural history; its canal might someday become the “Venice” in Asia. Yvonne our tour guide made us fall in love with Tainan, the same way that she has, and it only took her one day to do this. My class mates and I visited Tainan two days before the TICA Tournament, and on the second day of our visit Yvonne took us on an unforgettable tour of the historical part of Tainan City. She showed us the area where Koxinga (or Cheng Cheng-kung) defeated the Dutch settlers in 1662 to reclaim Taiwan. At the Chihkan Tower formerly known as Fort Provintia we saw the nine stone tortoises each carved from a solid granite slab carrying on their backs giant royal stele written in both Chinese and Mandarin. Nearby the imposing Chihkan Tower with its vase shaped doors and various Pavilions dedicated to the god of wisdom, among others is a stunning reminder of the distinct architectural, artistic and cultural identity of Tainan’s past inhabitants. Yvonne took us to the Confucius Temple, the Guan-Gong Temple, the Koxinga Shrine, and the Official God of War Temple, her insights into the history and symbolism behind these monuments allowed us to not only see, but understand what these buildings meant to the people that made them and those that visit them until this day.

My name is Frantzdy Herve, I am from Haiti and I am studying in National Taiwan University (NTU), as it is common to say, the oldest and the biggest university of Taiwan. Through the Taiwan-International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), that is sponsoring my study, I am doing a master in an international program titled: “Agricultural Policy Development and Management”.

I am Mathias M.C. Mailosi from Malawi in southern Africa and I am currently studying in the department of Agricultural Economics at National Taiwan University (NTU) as a graduate student. My program of study is International Agricultural Policy Development and Management

Before I arrived in Taiwan, many friends advised me that the food here was different. They never quite fully explained why, so I came here with a vague idea about the organoleptic characteristics (flavor, smell and texture) of the Taiwanese cuisine. Before I came, the only taste experience I’ve had was the “Chinese food” offered in my country, fried rice, chop suey, eggrolls, chow mein and sweet and sour pork, which later I discovered was only the tip of the iceberg of the culinary art characterized by diverse, healthy and tasty.