...in Taipei, Taiwan
National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan
WU student Katharina Reidl spent a semester abroad at National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan. Now she tells us about her personal relationship with the country and also about her intercultural experiences.
You decided to spend an exchange semester in Taiwan. What were your personal reasons for doing so?
The decision to spend a semester abroad in Taiwan was a bit different for me than for other students. I was lucky enough to meet one of my best friends, a Taiwanese woman, during another study abroad program. She convinced me that Taiwan was the right place for an exchange semester. And although my preferences were ranked differently and I had never been to Asia before, today I am immensely proud to say: I have lived in Taiwan for four months.
Can you tell us something about the partner university?
The National Cheng Chi University, or NCCU for short, is somewhat smaller than WU, with 15,000 students. Nevertheless, it offers a wide range of study programs and is one of the most renowned business universities in the country. The campus is located on the outskirts of the city and right next to nature and forests. It is perfect for hikes or an occasional sit-down on the riverbank in the evening after university. At the same time, the campus is very well connected to the city by public transportation and you can get everywhere very quickly.
What did you do during your exchange semester?
During my semester abroad, I of course explored all of Taiwan, tried the local "night markets" with all their exotic food and went hiking in the countless national parks. I even got through the cool of March with the help of the hot springs (warm natural hot springs). There are also surfing opportunities in the south and northwest. If this is not enough, Taiwan as the "Heart of Asia" offers the possibility to reach all surrounding countries in short time and cheap by plane.
Living in Taiwan is as expensive as at home, except for the food, but the dormitory was comparatively cheaper. We always ate out, because we had no cooking facilities. However, since we paid a maximum of 4€ for a large dinner, this was not a problem. My dormitory was organized by NCCU and I met all my friends there, with whom I spent the whole semester. This created contacts all over the world, which - even if it sounds cliché - I will keep for a long time.
What do you personally take away from this exchange? In what ways has this experience enriched you?
Taiwan has reminded me once again to be more open to new cultures in the future, not to judge them and just to allow yourself to adapt. This way you are guaranteed to have the most fun living there. So now I can say that I have the best photo poses and stick tricks, which I will certainly use often in the future.
For my studies, the stay helped me mainly on a cultural level. Since I am aiming for an international career in the future and also want to study International Business in my Master's degree, Taiwan certainly helped me to expand my portfolio of stays abroad.
I can only recommend everyone to visit and live in this beautiful country. If you have this unique chance, take it!
Content and pictures by Katharina Reidl. Thank you very much!
National Chengchi University
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Population Taipei: approx. 2,670,000
Number of students: 16,000+
Exchange level: Bachelor, Master