I came from Thailand to Taiwan traveling once last year. Overall living conditions here was so satisfying, and then an idea of studying in Taiwan popped up in my mind instantly on that time. I tried searching a program in many Taiwanese universities match for me. Finally I ended up applying faithfully only at the IMAS of NCCU. As a result, now I am a first-year graduate student of the IMAS or International Master’s Program in Asia-Pacific Studies.
First I have to speak about the dormitory. The one I am living is the Zichang 9 dormitory, the biggest dorm among several dorms located uphill inside the university, with a medium-side air-conditioned cafeteria and a discount mini-mart. There are also other dorms downhill in the front and in the back of university as well. To compare, air pollution here is relatively lesser than downside. I can say that very fresh air still really exists in a big city like this. The only con is, it is quite far from the downside classroom, about fifteen to twenty minutes walking. However, there is a school shuttle bus service for only NT$1!
The next thing I have to say is about the classes. I am taking four graduate classes this semester. It is not easy at all since the assigned readings, presentations and papers are numerous. But it assures that I will get more than a paper of degree from NCCU, and it also meets my expectations because I have known before that NCCU is a prestigious school which is very strong in social science, and it is. Lecturers here are all experienced professors who are leading academicians of Taiwan. They can conduct English classes very well since they are all graduated from the United States. And most, maybe all, of them are members of the Academia Sinica, the Taiwan’s central institution supporting researches which is accepted internationally. Therefore, there is no doubt about their academic performance.
My classmates are really international. About only one-third are local Taiwanese students. In this way, there is no such kind of discrimination problem. Friends from Europe, North and South America, and other Asian countries make the class diverse and fun. We always go eating out after class. It makes me feel that multi-cultural socialization is not that hard like I use to afraid of. We share the same problem of ordering food because menu in English are so limited in restaurants here. In this case, our Taiwanese classmates are dependable.
The last thing I want to mention about is student activities. Local students here are so energetic to create and engage in many activities. There are a great number of student clubs in many types of them: sport clubs, music clubs, social clubs, culture clubs, religion clubs, table games clubs, and, the most important for me, international clubs. Even I do not have so much free time, but lately I still spared my time to join the activities of International Youth Club or IY and the International Family Group or IF. The IY tends to hold various recreation activities such as a one-day trip to the famous National Palace Museum and the Danshui Walking Street that I joined last week whole the IF holds a group discussion on politics of Taiwan weekly, sometimes biweekly, basis. I guess both activities are so meaningful to international students who are here without knowing anyone before like me.