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15. MCU

At some point or another within our educational journey, I'm sure we've all encountered the pressure that comes along with being a student and having schoolwork. With this being said, I believe that when it comes to schoolwork it is not how much or how little pressure you are faced with that arbitrates ones scholarly success, but rather it is how you handle the pressure that confronts you that is the ultimate determinant.

 Pressure that comes from schoolwork can stem from different sources i.e. teachers and parents, but it can also come from you yourself. Often times it can be seen that the people who feel the most pressure are those that expend the most effort in anticipation of the highest outcomes. Now don't get me wrong, determination and some amount of pressure is good as it tends to keep one from idling, but, too much pressure can be disadvantageous. The last thing you want to do is burnout yourself stressing over schoolwork.

As a student myself, I too have on several occasions, encountered this feeling of being pressured to not only succeed academically, but to exceed expectations that have been placed upon me by others. After some years of carrying this pressure around like a heavy load on my back, I've come to the realization that as a student the ultimate tool needed to cope with the pressure from schoolwork is “Balance”. Whenever I find myself feeling pressured to meet approaching deadlines from having lagged behind in my schoolwork, I’d normally take a step back to re-evaluate my scholastic approach in an attempt to discover new techniques that I can incorporate into my academic life.

Belize Is My Country; Taiwan Is My Home

The snippets of hushed conversations and unexpected bursts of laughter as you are barreling toward your destination inside the MRT is the first scene that comes to mind when I imagine Taiwan. I have grown to love the freedom that comes with living in a very safe and convenient city, and I have made very fond memories in my short time spent here. The places that I will hold in my heart for the rest of my life are scattered throughout this beautiful country. In Taipei, the places I will miss the most are at the opposite ends of the city. The first night I arrived in Taiwan some friends from Belize took me to Yamingshan. Here I saw the entire city of Taipei laid out before me, and I fell in love. I was jetlagged and exhausted, but that view gave me new energy. I have returned many times since, and it is easily one of my favorite places in the world.

A few weeks into my stay my roommates and I went to Tamsui (or “Danshui” as it is lovingly pronounced). It is a picture of serenity with its soothing atmosphere, and on a warm summer day the fresh air is a blessing as you stroll down the boardwalk eagerly peering at the venders' wares. I love that it has a perfect view of the sea. When I am feeling homesick I love to go there to feel the fresh breeze gently console me since, having lived by the sea my entire life, that is something that brings me comfort no matter where I am.

Travelling is my greatest passion.  I was thrilled when I got accepted at Ming Chuan University to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in International Trade and Management.  The excitement grew as it dawned on me that I would get to not only travel to Taiwan, but also live here for 4 years.  I felt like Christopher Columbus, about to discover a land unknown to me.  Ever since, I have taken every opportunity offered to roam this land and make the most of my stay.

And what pleasant surprises have I encountered!  Taiwan is like a paradise to me; I feel as if I’m experiencing a piece of heaven itself.  I live on a mountain, overlooking the scenic valley of Taipei City, surrounded by tall, green and luscious mountains, forever kissed by the sky.  To take my first waking breathe every morning with this view is simply priceless.

Vietnam, a country with a population of 90 million is still developing. Recently, the country’s two- digit economic growth rate and a stable political environment have helped to draw lots of investment, which contributes to the improvement of its infrastructure. Transport system is one of major elements of a country’s infrastructures. A good transport system will not only speed up the circulation of goods and services, but it will also raise the people’s quality of life. To Vietnam’s national planners, building a developed transport system which works effectively for a long term is critically important.

Not far away from Vietnam, in the South China Sea lies Taiwan, a small island with an amazing economic development. This high income country has a developed transport system which is a good case for any national planners to examine in order to sketch out and implement plans for improving a country’s transport system. 

Where are the buses when you need them?

I am from a country that can be fit inside of Taipei not Taiwan , let us say, three times- I might be wrong as it could be less or it could be more. However, I am appalled by the way our transportation system works. Our public transportation system in St Kitts and Nevis is efficient enough for a people of about 50,000 but could be altered a little.

If I am to suggest to the head of my country a system that will be beneficial socially, physically and economically to St Kitts and Nevis, it would be of course the introduction of a Metro Rail Transit Station.

Studying abroad brings me many opportunities as well as challenges. During my first year in Taiwan, I have exposed myself to different foreign cultures and worldviews. I also learn skills to survive in a world which is becoming more globalized due to the increasing interactions and interchanges among different countries. Contrast to these benefits of which my friends in Vietnam might be jealous, I also have to cope with many difficulties which anybody studying abroad at least once experiences. In this brief article, I would like to share some of my healthcare experiences I’ve had so far in Taiwan.

As you might know, life is usually hard for newcomers; especially ones have to live abroad. Luckily, my mother country and Taiwan have many things in common. Therefore, I don’t have as many cultural shocks as my friends from Africa and Latin America do. However, new living environment, new friends and pressures of study also had some sorts of effects on me while my body took time to adapt to these changes.

During a couple of first weeks at Mingchuan University, I was sleepless at night. The consequences of this were that I was usually late for morning classes and felt tired, asleep all the time in class. I had been trying many ways to get myself asleep at night such as showering with hot water before going to bed or taking some exercises, rearranging my bed; however none of these worked. As a last resort, I went to the clinic located in the school campus. The woman who was a nurse and a therapist as well listened to my concerns about my sleeplessness. She told me that I had nothing to worry about; this was simply due to changes of environment and minor tensions of study. She recommended using Chinese massage to relax my body. My curiosity was aroused by the word “Chinese massage”, so I agreed to try it. A painful process started when she used a spoon to scratch different places on my body like neck, back and forehead. As the same time, she applied some hot mint oil to them. During her “treatment”, I had to hold my breath and my hands grasped the chair which I was sitting on to restrain the pain coming out. The moment her spoon touched my skin, I just wanted to scream but I didn’t do that because I didn’t want people in the room to look at me as if I had been a coward. After a while, my body was totally relaxing and my mind was covered with subtle mint oil smell. I felt much better and relieved. She also gave me an advice that I should change the pillow I was using because it made my neck and my shoulders fixed and hard. I went back to my dorm and exchanged my pillow for a lower and more comfortable one. That night and many nights later I sleep soundly. The period I had to stay on my bed, tossed and turned was just over. Now I am able to sleep well no matter how busy I am. As my friends said, it’s worth trading in my back, neck tortured for deep sleeps. It’s my first funny healthcare experience on this island.

It’s either through the windows, behind the walls, above the crowd in buses, in the MRT, in the park, in a restaurant or even just standing right in front of you. The constant staring by locals is a ‘must-have’ scenario told by every foreigner who has come to Taiwan. Now, depending on your personality, this can be either incredibly awesome or incredibly annoying. However, I can promise you, it does get old- and really fast.
 
Ok, so maybe that ‘Celebrity’ feeling is an unusual twist to any traveler’s story; your pictures get taken, you attract a crowd of people, you get handshakes and hugs- kind of cool, right? Well, be it as it may that you have to ignore the angry looks, the mean and insensitive comments, the pushing, the lack of privacy and of course the ‘oh-man, a-weird-foreigner-is-coming-towards-me-I-have-to-avoid-him’ type of look. Student or not, you’re going to get it whether you like it or not.

 

Taiwanese Cuisine is one of the most interesting I’ve ever come across. Its pros are its cons!! It’s so delicious you might as well label it as addictive and so accessible, probably way too easy to feed the addiction. It’s different but so good; it’s complex but has a little bit of everything you’ve known before.
 
I think I may be in love with the Taiwanese Cuisine on a whole. It started with dumplings, duh! I can have fried dumplings or steamed dumplings, meat dumplings or vegetarian dumplings, my absolute favorite. I have tried them all. There are so many other dumplings out in the night markets but none can hold a candle to the dumplings sold at my school’s cafeteria. After my first dumpling I spent hours in my school’s cafeteria sampling the others: fried pork dumpling, steamed pork dumpling, steamed garden fresh dumpling, fried garden fresh dumplings, steamed shrimp dumplings and leek dumplings.
 

 

Food is –and has always been- my favorite hobby, so writing an essay on Taiwanese Cuisine is just the right topic for me. First, let me make something clear: if you are an adventurous type of person who’s not scared of trying new things, Taiwan is the perfect place for you.

 
There is a wide variety of foods to discover around the island regardless of your specific location. As a foreigner, I’ve classified almost every Taiwanese dish I’ve tried as an exotic experience.
 
First, l will share with you a little bit about my night market adventures and lastly, I will write about typical dishes.
 
One of the most remarkable foods I’ve tried in Taiwan is calamari on a stick. You can find this specialty at any night market. The squid is first marinated, then grilled and lastly served on a stick. I tried it and I was so amazed to actually like it because I thought nobody could like something with its appearance. (See picture)
 

I’ve been living in Taiwan for almost three years now. One of the things that took me the longest to adjust to was the food. I used to dine at the American restaurants all the time and that cost me a hunk of my stipend every month. However, I can say that I am accustomed to the food since I enjoy eating many of them very much now.

Based on my experience thus far and those that I’ve acquired vicariously through friends and professors I would say that there are lots of advantages associated with tasting the Taiwanese food. To me, the Taiwanese food is a ritual that contributes to bringing families and friends together by reinforcing their sense of connectedness. Food is mostly associated with very important festivals celebrated yearly in Taiwan and therefore carries an interesting and significant symbolic meaning.