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9th issue by NSYSU on December 2007

Upon arrival in Taiwan in August, after a tiring three day's journey, I was lodged at the NTNU Learning center together with other Gambians and International students from various countries for two weeks orientation programme. Let me first introduce myself. I'm Edward Ceasar Mansal from the Gambia, a graduate student in Civil Engineering and Construction management at NCKU.

Three months yet, I have been living in Taiwan, especially in Tainan city where i am studying civil engineering and management at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU). I start to know a lot about Taiwan: it is not only the country of the sun as I saw that when I had come here at the end of summer; it is not only the country of typhoons and the cold where the sun and the heat of the day disappear, where people are forced to stay at home;Taiwan has a rich environment.
During the orientation visits, I contemplated a lot the mountains with a wonderful vegetal cover in the suburbs of Taipei. At that moment, I became full of nostalgia, thinking about some mountainous parts of Haiti covered of trees: Montagne noire (Black Mountain), Turgeau, Kenskoff, Leogane, Bordes(Jeremie), Dame-marie, Labadee, etc…Taiwan is also a peaceful country, according to my point of view, where people know how to enjoy their life. The foreigners like me are welcome and offered many entertainments.
On the other side, in Taiwan, people are hard-worker and very interested in education. In fact, at NCKU for example there is a time to entertain, there is a time to work hard, a time to struggle with the homeworks from the morning until late at night. That is through this encouraging atmosphere the recipients of ICDF scholarship start their research.

My name is Raphael Munthali hailing from Malawi, “The Warm Heart of Africa” in the Southern Part of Africa. Am pursuing a Master of Science Programme in Civil Engineering and Management at National Cheng Kong University (NCKU)
I can describe the why am in Taiwan as “being in the right place at the right time, a long awaited opportunity and a dream come true.”
It was after a 23 hours air travel mode on 27th August, 2007 that the gurus from “The Warm Heart of Africa” landed on this articulated island, at Taiwan Tao Yuan International Airport. What I can remember is that it took us another 1 hour bus travel to reach National Taiwan Normal University, an acclimatization centre. I appreciated the 2 weeks scheduled initiation activities both in and out doors. Some of the activities were in the arena of Culture and Tradition, Religion, Tourism, Language, Education, Ethics and Social values of Taiwan and the day to day exposure to Taiwanese food. The initiation was a wonderful one in that I learnt many things amongst which are grasping some basic Mandarin, acclimatization in Taiwan, reshaping personalities, crosscutting tourism promotion and not forgetting the active participation in Lion and Dragon dances and finally the wonderful rituals in the Confucius Temple. The most unique thing I learnt is that each and every development sector in Taiwan has an aspect of culture which gives a special Taiwan identity, wonderful. Till that hour, I did not have an idea about the giant Banyan.

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”.

Allow me to first, introduce myself, since last time I had my article appeared in your newsletter ( ICDF News), I realized that I didn’t expressed myself well enough to an extend that my readers will at least become aware of my personal and cultural background, if that’s necessary! Anyway, my name is Walton Bohanny, married and a lovely father, as often expressed by my beautiful wife, from the Marshall Islands, located and floated in the Northern Pacific Ocean, somewhat between Hawaii, to the north and Australia, to the south.

Recently, I have been contacting lots of research; looking through a wide variety of data resources, literature reviews, internet sources to name a few. I found myself to be more comfortable in using the computer, internet, and other forms of information technologies.

I have been admiring all the works and learning experiences I have gained so far through my study in Taiwan. I personally thank my school, NTCN, for giving me all the opportunities to use the latest teaching or learning tools; like using laptop and projector in doing presentation, or using the computer on campus to explore the wide range of data resources and literature reviews.

My study in Taiwan is not has hard as i though it would be. When i had the ICDF Scholarship many of i friends back at home warned me that eventhough my lectures may be in english language but most of the references that i may need will be in chainese.However, i found out this is not so. My lecturers are very good in english and all the lecture materials are in english. All the learning materials in the school's library web have both english and chainese interface and it is done in such a way that you can print or download journals, magazines and past thesis even when you are in your room. My school's internet system is excellent and the classrooms are conducive for learning.

Secondly, the method of teaching use is interactive and motivating. We are always given reading assigments on the required topics before the lectures. This helps us to have an insight about the topic and facilitates active discussion during lectures.

I am doing five courses in this semester, but the timetable is arranged in such a way that i have sufficient time to prepare for each course. The courses are also relevant to my work.

It has been a while since I arrived in Taiwan and by that time until now it has been a wonderful experience. I am taking a M.S. in Industrial Engineering in Yuan Ze University, one of the top private universities in Taiwan. This university is located in a town called Neili, is in between Taoyuan and Jhongli.

It is reasonable to say that there are advantages and disadvantages in studying in a foreign country. In my opinion I believe that the advantages overcome the disadvantages.

When it was confirmed that I would be studying in Taiwan for the next two years, I thought that I would have one of my greatest experiences in my life. Because I knew that the university (Yuan Ze University) I had chosen is one of the best in Taiwan for studying my master degree in industrial engineering
Yuan Ze University has all the necessary conditions to assimilate and acquire the best of the teachings from the YZU’s academic staff which possesses valuable expertise.

The whole Yuan Ze University’s community, namely administrative and support staffs, academic staff and alumni: undergraduate and postgraduate students are integrated like a huge and glad family within the university’s culture.

In keeping with the times of fast technologies advancements and a globalize world the classrooms are endowed with all the essential and pertinent electronic technology devices that enhance the qualities’ education of a serious and committed institution like Yuan Ze University.
An internet access at each university’s facility is available, including of course the library which contains a vast of up to date amount of educational material and supporting information. Even the dorms are provided with wireless internet network.