Read Insights from Students Studying in Taiwan
Below is a sample of the journal entries, photos and other writings of their experiences. Read about their adventures as they explore night markets, temples, monuments, museums and karaoke bars, writing about it all as they go. Experience their joy as they gather among hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese to welcome in the New Year with fireworks under a full moon in the amazing city of Taipei. Follow them day by day as they travel the country, meeting students from the National University of Tainan, sharing with them and with others the pleasure of cultural exchange.
As more writings and photos are submitted, we will create a website for readers to check regularly and read about the students' adventures.
Janny Phung - Works Like Magic
The welcoming message from the airport in Taiwan when you shortly walk away form the airplane really set the tone for the trip so far. The friendly message did set the stage for an introduction to a country that juggles its ancient and modern advances. By my observation, people's quality of life can be measured by how happy we are. How can we measure happiness? Is there something you can wear that lights up whenever you are happy? Oh wait, something similar has already been done. Do you remember mood rings?
I would dare say that our attitudes are very telling and can be shown by our actions. Of course there are exceptions, but what do you say when you experience something not once, not twice but on many many occasions? Arguably, the most frequently heard phrase when you enter most establishments is 歡迎光臨 or huangying guanlin. (Forumosa) Every time we went out to eat or entered a shop we heard it. The phrase means "Welcome [and thanks for] gracing the occasion with your presence" But what does that have to do with being happy? Isn't that just a gimmick by retailers to retain customers? I have to admit, it is catchy especially when said with enthusiasm and more importantly, like you mean it. The sincerity is felt in the tone and manner in the delivery. Does it make me think of rainbows and sunshine? Maybe. But it does make me smile. What is intriguing to me is that people are willing to do this. If you are one of the lucky ones who have not experienced bad service, that's great. But for the rest of us, it can linger on like the scent of smoke. But it can work both ways. It's amazing how that magical little phrase can lift your spirits in a matter of seconds. The result: a pleasant experience.
Kelly Moynihan - Arts District of Taipei
I am heading out today with one graduate in a small group of students and we intend to explore the independent arts district of Taipei. I will immerse myself in the creative spirit of art and aesthetics that permeates Taipei. The autonomy that has been afforded to this group of students and that has allowed them to build ties of kinship based on enthusiasm and passion for education through the humanities and cultural engagement offered by this incredible experience is something not to be missed. In an increasingly globalizing world, international travel ought to be a requirement for graduation.