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16. TMU

Education in my life!!

I Come from a family dedicated to the work of the field with little opportunity to study but with full knowledge of the importance of education, represented for me the opportunity to go to college and complete the medical career.

Learning is one of the most important aspects in the development of human beings as it allows them to acquire knowledge of their environment arising as it grows and develops as part of a society, or they can be acquired through the itself experience  of an individual, all as a nearly constant and unrestricted educational process.

Knowledge can also be stimulated by the interests of human beings, when this is passionate about an issue in particular, then he decides to go in search of knowledge necessary to meet its target increasing their ability to educate and enrich his interior.

My name is Carmen Barboza Penayo, I left my country, Paraguay when I was 16 to study in Taiwan for 5 years. The first year I enrolled in the Chinese program of National Taiwan Normal University (師大), and the following 4 years of Bachelor program of Biological Sciences and Technology at National Chiao Tung University (交大). After my graduation I went back for one year to my country and started working, while working in my country I realized that my country has a huge need for skilled Administrators, so I decided to continue my studies, and my first option of course was to come back to Taiwan, so I applied for ICDF Scholarship at Taipei Medical University, Health Care Administration Master Program, fortunately I was selected by ICDF, in 2013, so I came back to my beloved Island.

Coping with the many pressures of life is an important mechanism for peace of mind and survival! One situation which can often create some degree of pressure is that of numerous school assignments. It can cause one to become stressed and this then affects you mentally and physically! However, I believe that the key to these types of situations is to try to avoid them as much as possible and when that fails, then identify what works best for you and get through it. In my academic and work career so far, I have found several strategies which have helped me to avoid situations of pressure. These include: being informed, being organized, not procrastinating and applying a concept of ‘urgent and /or important’!

Firstly, knowing what is happening in my classes and what is expected of me is very important! If you know what is expected of you, then that really is the starting point on getting your schoolwork done. Sometimes it is said that ‘ignorance is bliss’; but in the school environment or any professional environment, that is definitely not the case. You must be aware of what is happening, you must know your deadlines and work to meet or beat them!

Secondly, I try to be organized, that means always trying to write everything down or as much as I can.  I keep of list of the daily activities and sometimes even a larger scope, that is, weekly and monthly activities, which I need to accomplish.  We simply cannot remember everything, so I find that by writing these things down; we can actually have something tangible to keep track of which activities are finished and which are  still pending.

The thought of leaving Taiwan in a year’s time, and saying goodbye to my good friends and the adventures I have par-took in, make me think about how I will feel on the very last day standing on the Heart of Asia soil Taiwan.

Coming from a developing small country in Swaziland which is situated in the Sub Saharan region of Africa, I had no expectations about how Taiwan would be except for the information on how remarkable and well developed the health system is, which was what inspired me to come and pursue my studies in Taiwan and I am Thankful to ICDF for giving me the opportunity to attain skills of such nature. It has been 10 months in Taiwan and the is so much to say about the places I have visited and still to visit. I think the most important factor which I cannot stop raving about is how friendly, polite and nice Taiwanese people are, with that alone makes me enjoy my stay thus giving me the zeal to visit more places whenever I get the chance to.

Swaziland is a developing country with many public health problems such as high rates of maternal and infant mortality, among others. These can be solved my adopting some concepts from Taiwan’s systems especially in the education and health systems. I believe an educated nation is better able to practise good health seeking behavior and to subsequently live a healthy lifestyle. Health and education are priority investment areas for many developing countries. As a health professional, I have seen in practice, the disparities between educated and less educated people; how their judgments differ, life style, health seeking, and many more, which in-turn affect their health. Therefore, it is inevitable that health and education cannot be separated as they are positively related. Swaziland can adopt some concepts from Taiwan to try and combat some of the problems we have, since Taiwan already has an excellent health and education system.

I wanted to pursue my studies because I wanted better education and qualifications as career preparation. It is true that I did not know where to get these things, but my final decision was Taiwan. For one to travel a distance of about 11,000 kilometers to this lovely Island, leaving a population of about 1 million to live with a population of 24 million, and to a country with no knowledge of that foreign language, really called for a tough decision that I had to take.  

I knew that I would never go wrong if I chose Taiwan, based on the 42-year relationship that my country, Swaziland has with it. Swaziland has diplomatic relations with Taiwan and many other countries and I initially thought that only the elite benefited from these relations. When I earn of this opportunity, I tried my luck and eventually stuck to it, and at last I experienced the direct benefit from this relationship.

My name is Heber David Lopez Colman; I come from Paraguay and I am twenty-four years old. First of all, I want to thanks the ICDF organization for the support and for giving me the opportunity to develop my education, especially for giving me a dream that could come true.

As a child I was always encouraged by my parents to follow traditions and topics in which I could develop myself. From a young age I started to have interest in health and all related to it.

From this early self-seeking of further information to what I was learning through regulated studies, I started to read information that would allow me to do so, which was at the same time driving me to start having interest in Engineering and Science.

My interest continued growing and it gave a big jump when I was received the opportunity to learn language skills in Chinese Mandarin with the desire to apply new technologies for the development of Paraguay, taking me to study Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management in the National Tsing Hua University (NTHU), one of the most prestigious institutions in Asia.

Now, regarding the opportunity that Taipei Medical University and International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) is providing with this program, I am continuing my education into the international master program in Health Care Administration.

Remember that time when you were younger? That time when you went on your first trip to the market with your mother and you were filled with that child-like wonder and awe for everything that invited your senses on an adventure? Close your eyes and remember the medley of smells, kaleidoscope of colors, and the collage of faces and smiles. But for me, I remember most the beautiful orchestra of sounds, the laughter, the happy chitchat among friends, shouts thrown above my head and darting from every direction, and then the gentle buzz of low voices too far in the distance to decipher, yet made beautiful as they collided with the low hums of vendors who truly do ‘whistle while they work’.
Now, I want you to think of the last time you had an experience so brand new and exciting that it took you right back to that time you walked alongside your mother in a busy market. It is not so difficult at all to recall such a time when you find yourself in Taiwan at this moment in time. I remember believing, while riding through the streets of Taipei on our way to our University, that it just doesn’t get better than this! Needless to say, Reader, I was pleasantly surprised when it did, every single day. In fact, the word pleasantly made it sound as if I was always a lady about it. Let’s just say that once I had to pick up a few things I knocked over while jumping from my bed when I learnt that our group was headed east to Hualien on one of the best cultural and educational trips of my lifetime!

 Taiwan, one of the most beautiful and scenic countries in Asia, is famous for its unheard of cuisine. It is often said that a country can be known for its people and this can also be applied to Taiwan when it comes to their food. Taiwan in my opinion has a unique blend of exotic cuisine.

Taiwan is undoubtedly an island full of wonders and new experiences for any individual visiting. Regardless the occasion that brought us to the “Formosa”, I envision a drastic change occurring in each of our lives. Personal and spiritual growth, but most of all, empowerment in our professional lives will assist us in the development of our mother country. Everyone would agree as to what is this new chapter in our lives without indulging in this country’s traditions?! After all, it’s not always about the books but joining in (with moderation) with the fun and the celebrations.
As per personal experience, it is my 3rd and last year joining local and international friends in most of Taiwan’s celebrations. The previous two years haven’t been much different because I usually spend it with friends doing the usual we do back home when it is festival time: eating, dancing and simply having fun. I can attest to this country’s unique way of celebrating every event and this time I’ll share my experiences during the Mid-Autumn Festival or better known as the “Moon Festival”; furthermore, for those of us who can read and write Mandarin, it is “中秋節”.