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5 posts from April 2015

04/13/2015

2015 Spring CBPE Student Newsletter vol.6

 

Newsletter #1: The Taiwan Experience

 

Iván Díaz 狄伊凡

 

Taiwan has far surpassed my expectations for this semester. A mere two weeks into my study abroad experience, I have loved every single thing that I have experienced. To begin with, life in Taipei is so affordable and public transportation is very convenient. I love the way nature makes itself present in every part of the city, so I particularly enjoy every view. I have met truly amazing people, each already leaving a mark on my life and experience.

 

 

 

I’ve had my second job experience here in Taiwan, and I couldn’t be happier. The Taiwanese concept of work and interning is completely different than in the United States, and I have been treated like another member of the company: I have been trusted with developing projects that will actually have an impact on future company activities. Far beyond simply having something to put on a resume, it’s providing invaluable experience that I wouldn’t be able to attain this early on in my professional career.

 

 

 

Personally, I believe that what makes Taiwan such a beautiful and special place is its people.  With very few exceptions, the majority of Taiwanese I have interacted with have been really friendly and willing to help.  Taiwanese people are so hard-working, focused, and value the importance of helping others. I’ve felt more at home, allowing me to feel more comfortable about using my Chinese and learning as much as I can. Two weeks into my study abroad experience, I can safely say it could not have started any better.
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04/08/2015

2015 Spring CBPE Student Newsletter vol.7

Alex Barker 巴立信 -CBPE Student



My first three weeks in Taiwan have been full of surprises--both positive and negative ones (though luckily, the first category has far outweighed the second!)

Having spent a bit of time in mainland China, I was amazed by Taipei’s verdant landscape: the NCCU campus is enveloped by thickly-forested hills, while the downtown districts are full of parks and other green spaces. What a pleasant contrast to China’s urban jungles!

 

Unfortunately, my sense of excitement at arriving in Taiwan was marred somewhat during my first weekend, when my passport was stolen. The good news was that the CIEE staff was extremely helpful in resolving the situation--Ken accompanied me to the police station to file a report and to the immigration bureau to get an exit permit. All in all, the whole situation ended up not being that bad.

 

I was also surprised academically my first week here, when I stumbled into the wrong class: one taught in Chinese, with Taiwanese classmates. I felt too embarrassed at my mistake to leave right away and ended up resolving to stay until the next break. Yet to my astonishment, I was able to follow along with the lecture fairly well. This has continued to be the case for the next couple weeks, and on Friday I formalized my enrollment in the class. Though I have no doubt it will be a challenge, my personal philosophy regarding language acquisition is that it pays to put oneself into difficult, often uncomfortable, situations as much as possible. Nobody ever became fluent in Chinese by exchanging  “你好! 你怎麽樣?" with each other inside a classroom.

 

In accordance with this view, I also jumped at a unique opportunity last week to appear on some Taiwanese TV shows. Full disclosure: I am a quiet, introverted guy. Appearing on TV speaking a language I have only studied for a few years, in front of potentially hundreds of thousands of viewers, is so incredibly far outside my comfort level that you might as well ask me to go to the Moon. Yet that’s what I’ve doing this week. It’s not only a way to conquer my personal anxieties, but also to improve my Mandarin. We’ll see where it goes; I have no preconceived notions about my ability to become to a 電視明星!


See everyone next time! Best,

Alex
Alex_中文一直獎

04/07/2015

2015 Spring CBPE Student Newsletter vol.5

Winnie Bee 畢文-CBPE Student

It has only been three weeks since I landed in Taiwan and every day has been full of excitement and food. I feel like I have to constantly check my spending (and calories) because food is so inexpensive and readily available here that I just want to buy everything. My guilty pleasures are the little red bean buns and milk tea. Traveling has also been very convenient, so it has been pretty easy for the CIEE students to get out of the NCCU area and explore.

The one thing I wasn’t expecting, or too happy about, was the weather. I did not expect it to rain so much the first couple weeks. I am from California, which is actually in the middle of a drought right now, so I am not used to it raining so much. I would tell my parents and friends from home that I have yet to see the sun since I’ve been here. I have never had on so many layers of clothing and still be so cold. Fortunately for me, it seems that it will start to get warmer. However, I am sure in June, I will complain about the weather yet again.

Despite my body not being meant for cold, the weather didn’t stop me from going out and exploring Taipei with the other CIEE students and ambassadors. I am very fortunate to have another CIEE student, Allison, as my roommate. We were both pretty lost the first couple days, so it helped to know that I wasn’t the only one struggling. If it wasn’t for her, I feel like I will just be a hermit and stay in my room all day. She forced me to endure the cold and go out with the others, which I am grateful for because now I feel really close to many of the exchange students and ambassadors. I am looking forward to the next 3.5 months of adventures with everyone (and Tainan next weekend)!

Winnie_最愛美食獎


04/05/2015

2015 Spring CBPE Student Newsletter vol.4

Allison Ngo 吳孝儀 - CBPE-Student


Today marks my one month anniversary with Taiwan! It's truly been an amazing journey thus far. Although it's only been a month, I can't help but feel that I've known everyone in my CIEE program for a much much longer time.

In all honesty, I can say that the first few days after arriving at NCCU was probably the hardest time I’ve ever had adjusting to a new environment. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who adapted easily to new situations, since I had no trouble moving from school to school when I was younger, or moving across the country for college. But it was really hard finding myself in a new country with no one familiar who I could depend on. The first night I genuinely regretted making the decision to study abroad and wished that I could just find myself back in my home college playing out the life that I had gotten used to for the past two and half years. But fortunately, with the support of my lovely roommate, Winnie (who could ever ask for better??? <3), and my friends back home, I was able to force myself into a better state of mind and view Taipei and NCCU in a more optimistic light.

Since then, life here has been amazing! I’ve been able to settle down into my classes, become confident in ordering food in Chinese, take time to explore my new surroundings by myself or with the company of others, and make friends whose relationships, I feel ,will last a lifetime. As the days pass by, I find myself getting busier and busier. Each day I’m learning more things and creating memories I hope I’ll never forget. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester will bring!

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04/02/2015

2015 Spring CBPE Student Newsletter vol.3

Jimmy Zhang  張忠旻 CBPE -Student

 


這是我在台灣的第二個學期。很難以想像我已經在台灣呆了差不多六個月。我是一個美式華人。對我來說,自從我三歲來到美國,我永遠卡在兩個非常不同的文化之間,不知道應該跟哪邊更有關係。更複雜的事,我對中國政府與政策有一些反感,以及對我自己的中國背景感到有一些衝突。我在台灣帶了一段時間以後,發現中國國家政策和中國文化是兩種不同的概念;重視自己文化的來源是自己身份很重要的一部分。當然,我是一個美國人,所以,也不能純粹融入中國文化。但是,我現在也肯定不會為了完全融入美國主流文化而放棄我的中國背景與來源。

 

我這個學期正在上一門台灣歷史課;我覺得我的過去也比較像台灣的過去。台灣一開始是日本的殖民地,所以,好多台灣人都想成為日本人,完全融入日本文化。但是,他們沒法成功,以及,試圖成為日本人給台灣帶來很大的痛苦。讓後,台灣被國民黨佔領了。現在,好多台灣人想融入中國文化,但是,試圖成為中國人也給他們帶來了很大痛苦。現在,台灣還在尋找他們自己的文化與來源,以及大多數台灣人都認為台灣文化不完全是中國文化,也不完全是日本文化。就是獨特的台灣文化。


我也不完全是中國人,也不完全是傳統美國人。我站在兩個位置之間。我經過我在台灣的經歷,覺得我更重視我獨特的文化位置,以及對這個位置很得意。不管別人怎麼看我,我也不會放棄我的歷史。我有我爸爸的夢想。我有我媽媽的眼睛。沒人可以把這些東西從我這裡拿走。這就是我在台灣學到的最大的知識,希望在下幾個月可以對我自己有更詳細的瞭解!

Jimmy_台語代言人獎

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