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1 posts from March 2017

03/15/2017

2017 SPRING CBPE STUDENT NEWSLETTER VOL. 1

Welcome back to CIEE Taipei!

 

Martine CIEE Bridge

Spring is fast arriving and a new semester has begun. The weather is thankfully warming up a bit, but with Spring comes showers. After arriving the new group of CIEE students ventured to Central Taiwan, visiting Nantou and Lukang. The trip was punctuated with bridge crossing, noodle making, and a science park that brought cold vibes to our tropical island.

Martine Fortune

Rhys

After almost three weeks in Taipei, I had the chance to explore western Taiwan. Unfortunately I spent most of the weekend dealing with a cold. I was still able to enjoy the trip but I spent most of the weekend not feeling very well.
Our trip began on Friday in Yuanlin, which is southwest of Taipei. After a three-hour train ride, I did not have much time to explore. Since I had class that ended at 4pm, I joined the rest of the group late. Most of the stores were closed but we were still able to walk around. Eventually, we were all too tired and returned to the hotel. For some reason, everyone in my room decided to watch
Suicide Squad. It was even more terrible than I thought.

Saturday was a far more eventful day. We left Yuanlin around 9am and went to 天空之橋 in Nantou (Tiankong skybridge). The view was incredible and breathing didn't really hurt that much. It was nice to get out of a city. When I crossed the skybridge, the wind would occasionally make the bridge move a little. By the time I reached the other side, I was practically running. I don't think I would ever cross that bridge again. For someone who is not the biggest fan of heights, it was a terrifying experience. On the other side of the bridge, there were some games for us to play. My friend Adam and I challenged each other to archery and a paintball target range. Surprisingly, I hit 7 of 10 targets in archery (I won). But I did pretty bad with the paintball gun. Adam and I keep track of all the wagers we have made with each other. Currently, I owe him quite a bit (I blame ping pong) . 

Once we left the skybridge, we went to a rice noodle factory. We learned how rice noodles are made and even had the chance to make some ourselves. Once our noodles were made, we were able to bring them back with us to eat.

From the rice noodle factory, we went to Little Ding Dong Science Park. I wasn't sure what to think of the park before we got there. I had heard that it was a park for children; I didn't know if a group of college students would enjoy the park too. I was pleasantly surprised. The park had an indoor tubing and skiing area. For me, Adam, and the other students used to the cold weather, this place was paradise. I spent most of the time at Little Ding Dong in this tubing area, tubing down to the bottom and running back up to the top to do it all again. As someone who is not a fan of New England weather, I never thought I would be so happy to be cold again. By the time we went out of the area, we had gotten adjusted to the cold. It just so happened to be around 78 degrees Fahrenheit that day; going from a cold environment to the heat was not fun.

We spent Saturday night at Little Ding Dong (each hotel room at 4 queen-sized beds, meaning I thankfully didn't have to share with anyone). Before we returned back to Taipei, we went to a bike trail along the beach in Xinzhu. I didn't take any pictures during the bike ride since I ended up racing some of the other students. The bike trail was pretty chaotic since there were so many other people on the trail, but it was a perfect day. The weather was perfect and my cold had gone away by this point. Renting bikes is pretty cheap so I plan on exploring more bike trails while I am here. I'm not planning on biking back from the 101 again though (we all know how that went last time).

Martine CIEE Temple

Martine

This weekend we went to a trip with the CIEE organization that both Harald and I are studying away through. CIEE are nice to plan various excursions and activities for us, amongst one of them we have had the three-days trip where we travelled with an awesome karaoke bus through this wonderful island. I keep being surprised and impressed by how much complexity there is in this culture. Everything from high-speed trains to low-key people that seem to be so relaxed and down to earth in this "buzzing" atmosphere of Asian development. We study at a National University in the capital of Taiwan, Taipei, which itself sounds to be a very industrial area with a lot of growth, and that is true. What else is true is that Taiwan has basically everything one could look for in terms of vacation.

 

There are temples and fascinating art that ties back to hundreds of years ago, there are palms, pineapple growth in the mountains, and gondolas that take you to famous hot-spots or tea-houses. There are amazingly big shopping malls that looks more luxurious than what I myself could ever imagine. There are night markets, beaches and coast-lines to make fire and enjoy the sunsets, there are large mountain to do hiking, jungle and tropical islands surrounding Taiwan. And no, this is not me pretending to be Expedia, hehe, but my aim is to show that Taiwan is actually a hidden beauty.


We keep exploring places here in Taiwan that seems to be the "Silicon Valley" of Taiwan. However, in all of this technological growth and 23 million people that live on this small island, there is so much fascinating and deep culture. By saying deep culture I could mean everything from the buddhist/taoism religion, food, music, chinese characters, taosim, art, and even the way of living. 

Personally, I have the impression that the buddhist culture made people more aware of the present moment, and made the Taiwanese to be better at enjoying the current moment.

Martine CIEEAbigail

This weekend we went to a trip with the CIEE organization that both Harald and I are studying away through. CIEE are nice to plan various excursions and activities for us, amongst one of them we have had the three-days trip where we travelled with an awesome karaoke bus through this wonderful island. I keep being surprised and impressed by how much complexity there is in this culture. Everything from high-speed trains to low-key people that seem to be so relaxed and down to earth in this "buzzing" atmosphere of Asian development. We study at a National University in the capital of Taiwan, Taipei, which itself sounds to be a very industrial area with a lot of growth, and that is true. What else is true is that Taiwan has basically everything one could look for in terms of vacation.

 

There are temples and fascinating art that ties back to hundreds of years ago, there are palms, pineapple growth in the mountains, and gondolas that take you to famous hot-spots or tea-houses. There are amazingly big shopping malls that looks more luxurious than what I myself could ever imagine. There are night markets, beaches and coast-lines to make fire and enjoy the sunsets, there are large mountain to do hiking, jungle and tropical islands surrounding Taiwan. And no, this is not me pretending to be Expedia, hehe, but my aim is to show that Taiwan is actually a hidden beauty.


We keep exploring places here in Taiwan that seems to be the "Silicon Valley" of Taiwan. However, in all of this technological growth and 23 million people that live on this small island, there is so much fascinating and deep culture. By saying deep culture I could mean everything from the buddhist/taoism religion, food, music, chinese characters, taosim, art, and even the way of living. 

Personally, I have the impression that the buddhist culture made people more aware of the present moment, and made the Taiwanese to be better at enjoying the current moment.

 

It’s truly a pleasure to be back. My time with the CLS Tainan program during the summer of 2016 was one of the most challenging, rewarding experiences that I have ever had. The program’s lasting impact inspired me to return to Taiwan in the first place, but this time, to see the country from a more cultural, immersive perspective. In many ways, Taiwan is just the way I remember: warm and friendly people, night markets teeming with unforgettable smells and sights, and gorgeous expanses of green scenery and blue skies (when it’s not raining, of course!).

 

At the same time, it’s a totally different experience. Whenever I go to a familiar place, such as Taipei 101 or pretty much any night market, I can’t help but remember my friends from CLS and Tainan. It’s a bittersweet feeling that I’ll have to adjust to while I’m here.

 

Nevertheless, it’s been refreshing to encounter new experiences. The people on my program —Communications, Business, and Political Economy— and my roommate’s program —Intensive Chinese Language and Culture (ICLC)— are so adventurous, curious, and caring. Our program organizers, April and Christy, are welcoming and always willing to talk. It’s inspiring to live and learn alongside a group of people who push me to make the most out of my time in Taiwan. Of course, I’ve decided to take a rigorous academic schedule: I’m taking two classes conducted entirely in Mandarin Chinese for the first time, a challenge that I hope will strengthen my Chinese language skills. And I aim to explore new places around the island and Asia.

 

Here’s to a familiar, unfamiliar adventure — Taiwan, Take 2!

Martine CIEE Farm

Fredrick

In a blink of an eye, it has already been a week and a half. Where does all the time go? It feels as if I was just struggling to fall asleep because of jet lag. Although I have only met everyone a week or so ago, it feels like it's been months already. The 3 day excursion brought everyone a lot closer and I am looking forward to many more memories with everyone. Although the mountain is a bit of a struggle to climb everyday, it gives me more reasons to eat more delicious food. Food is literally everywhere you go!!! May the good meals and memories continue to rush my way.


The CIEE ambassadors has been phenomenal, awesome, great, amazing. I could not have wished for another group of student to be our buddies and friends. They voluntarily use their time to spend time with us and bring us to incredible places. Without their presence, my time at Zheng Da may not be as joyful right now. If you guys ever read this and I haven’t personally said thank you to you. I would like to formally say 謝謝你們

CIEE 101

Emily

It’s been a while since I’ve lived on campus, and I’m totally loving it! Getting to hang out with a roommate and other friends who live right next door, eating to my heart’s content, exploring the city (and sketchy places) - my college experience couldn’t get any better.

 

Visiting less touristy places on the 3-day excursion allowed me to experience Taiwan in a different way. Becoming 5-year-olds at the Doraemon park, struggling and finally succeeding in eating BBQ, and riding bikes by the coast (my favorite part) are all great memories.

 

But honestly, it doesn’t matter if we go to a special place or not. It’s the people and the time you spend with them that’s the most valuable. Such as...going to Gongguan night market for “Taiwanese hamburgers,” Chinese medicine soup, and super sweet bubble tea. Reliving the childhood days of playing the flute with a Chinese flute. Studying in a super noisy and couple-infested lounge. Visiting a less-crowded but still crowded Shilin night market in the pouring rain. Drinking, chatting, and playing cards for a chill weekday night. Finally waking up early enough for breakfast yum yum. Perfecting our Taiwanese by using an Italian accent. Doing laundry with the roomie at 12am. Trying to dance in an elevator with the roomie at 1am. Finding and freaking out over a lifesize Catbus and a snoring Totoro in Taipei 101 with the roomie. Trying new strange foods such as fish skin, pig ears, and chicken feet. And finally flying lanterns and playing with sparklers with a group of good friends at Shifen. It’s been a good two weeks, and I just hope it gets even better :)

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Nickie

我是這學期新加入的大使,這段時間內我參加了第一次的campus tour 還有excursion trip。第一次參加campus tour的時候既緊張又期待;當天幫學生搬宿舍、介紹校園還有辦sim卡,在搬宿舍的路程中,一直很擔心學生們會嫌棄宿舍在深山裡,結果他們的反應卻是很喜歡這樣清幽的環境,說這裡很像度假村他們很喜歡,聽完後就深深覺得有時候真的換一個角度會過得更加滿足和快樂呢!(雖然我還是覺得他們會這樣想是因為十舍真的很高級呵呵呵)去辦sim卡的時候非常有成就感,店員一開始看到一大批外國人走進去的時候看起來很緊張,結果在我們的幫助下過程都蠻順利的,頓時覺得能幫上忙真的太好了。

 

之後的excursion trip讓我跟學生們有更深層的認識,我們去了鹿港、新竹、南投玩,第一天在鹿港介紹了許多當地的習俗,例如進廟要從右邊進去還有一些神明所保佑的項目,還品嚐了一些美味的小吃,他們都很喜歡「蚵仔煎」和「糖葫蘆」;第二天天空之橋的風景很美麗,還帶他們喝了鳳梨汁還吃了鳳梨蛋糕,晚上的烤肉雖然剛開始出了一點小差錯,但到最後大家還是開心的!第三天早上我們在科學園區玩了skiing tube 超級刺激!還有學生說那裡的溫度讓他很懷念家鄉哈哈哈,下午我們去新竹騎了腳踏車,海邊風景非常的美麗,學生暪都很開心~


我很喜歡大使這份工作,不但能在過程中了解不同文化之間的差異、讓外國人深刻體驗中華文化,更在介紹台灣的過程中對自己的國家多一分瞭解與喜愛,實在是一個很特別的經歷!

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Marcus

I just start my ambassador job for few weeks, and this job really bring me a lot of joy. At first, I was so shy that I even worried about quitting this job. However, it turn out to be the last nice shot of the last few months of my college life. Nobuyuki san is a friendly Japanese. He is the first student I met. Sab is really out-going. He always give me big smile. We enjoy singing Rich Chigga’s song together. Harald is such a nice person that once I mentioned I want to pursue master degree of Supply Chain in the United of States he started to give me a lot of useful information and advice. Fred likes to prank me, but, when I need help, he is always there. Nick and Andrew are my buddy. I was so sorry that I wasn’t there when they arrive Taiwan, and met them at welcome party for first time. Nick is such a hard-working student that he practice his Chinese every moment. Andrew is fun, always doing his old-school dance move and even take Taiwanese class. “賈霸沒” is the first word he say every time he saw me. Allie and Emily are like sisters. They do a lot of funny things and laugh together. Last but not least, I am happy that I join the interview of Ciee Ambassador.

 

 

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Allie

I initially chose Taiwan because it seemed most beneficial towards my academic career and the path I wanted to lead after college. But like most places I’ve been to, I end up expecting the unexpected. Although I’ve only been here for two weeks, I’ve experienced more than I anticipated and the memories I’ve made in such a short time are quickly making room for more to come. My CIEE group has become my extended family, I’ve met relatives I never knew I had and I’m taking courses including a graduate course, that I never thought I would take.

 

To recap, I’ve learnt that trash cans are hard to come by in Taipei, you can literally buy anything at 7/11 or Watsons and that the mountain we live on gives a great leg workout with the option to take a little pink bus for only 1 TWD which has become extremely tempting over over the last few days. Taiwan, in the limited time I have been here, has opened many possible opportunities and experiences for me and I honestly cannot wait for what the next 4 months has in stock.

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Maggie

This is my first semester to be a cultural ambassador in CIEE. Everything is new to me. I also have a lot of expectations of this program and myself. Sometimes I even worry about whether I do well enough or whether there is still more space for me to improve. Being an ambassador is a great chance for me to learn.

 

Not only going to the places that I haven’t been before but also going to the places that I have been before, I still have a lot of fun. I think this is the reason why people usually say that where you go doesn’t matter much, the most important is who you go with.


It is not easy to meet each other in such a big world, but I think I am really lucky to have this chance to meet all of you in CIEE and NCCU. I’m looking forward to making more memories with everyone.

 

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Nobu

I will just post newsletter in Chinese, since I need to practice Chinese no matter what. Sorry for any grammatical mistakes :)

 

從三月六號起,我開始上中文課,慢慢地學中文. 由於我來台灣這是第一次, 還沒去過中國, 我覺得台灣人說得真快!! 初次上課的時候,我覺得一點受不了,因為老師說的話我一點也聽不懂哈哈. 雖然我中文說得不流利,中文越學越有意思. 同學們是從俄國,韓國,法國和日本來的. 他們不是從上個學期在政大學習中文,就是曾經在台灣讀書. 現在我的中文沒有他們的好,不過我認為一個月內可以取得他們的中文程度. 加油,伸行!!! 我希望三個月內跟台灣朋友自由自在地聊天.

來到台灣以前,我沒想到文化大使們和同學們對我那麼好. 他們太體貼啊. 有時候他們幫我修正我寫的作業,也跟我很愉快地聊天. 非常感謝!!! 多多指教!!

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Marching onto the next adventure.

 

That wraps up the usual newsletter. Tune in next time for more amazing stories and adventures in beautiful Taiwan!

 

再見!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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