Chitra Maharani Tanjaya, S.TP
Faculty of Agricultural Technology 2013
Spring Semester ACUCA-SMS ScholarAt Providence University, Taiwan
Personally, I really like to watch Taiwanese drama series. The dramas have an interesting plot that can be easily followed by the viewers though the viewers are from other countries. That is why I was so excited when I know that I have an opportunity to study in Taiwan. I was extremely nervous because it was my first time going study abroad and I can’t even speak Chinese well. But, after I arrived in Taiwan, all of my nervousness was gone. I got a lot of new friends from other countries and they are all so fun. I was also happy and amazed when I arrived in Providence University for the first time.
The campus was really big and has a lot of facilities that support students’ learning. There are a sport hall with badminton hall, gymnasium, table tennis room, basketball hall, volleyball hall, and running court. We can also found three minimarkets, three canteens, one bookstore, one music room, one auditorium, two big dormitories, swimming pool, a lot of parks, one church, and one library with eight floors. Every department also has their own buildings. I feel like living in a small city. Actually I faced two big problems when I arrived in Taiwan. The first one is the language. It was difficult for the first time I had to order the food in Chinese with the fact that I can not speak and read Chinese words well. Luckily, my friend helped me at that time.
The second one is the weather. I had livedin tropical country for more than 21 years, and then I came to Taiwan in winter. I got a culture and weather shock at the same time. I also had a cold, but I could suffer from that. I could adapt fast in Taiwan because I met a lot of helpful friends and the university had one organization which ready to help all new international students. We were divided into groups (each group has two learning partners who would help us if we faced some problems in Taiwan). We had some activities which is held by the International Office from Providence university such as “BBQ One Day Trip”, “ Trip to Sun Moon Lake”, and “411 Study Abroad Festival”. These events made us getting closer and closer like family.Same with Indonesia, in general, teacher’s teaching style in Taiwan was serious and the students were not so active. I found some different disciplines, for example, we were allowed to drink and eat while studying in the class also got a lot of assignment. We did a lot of presentation and a real work for our assignments.
One thing that I didn’t imagine before is we could be so close with the teacher. We werelike friends there. My teachers and I hanged out together, had lunch, joking around each other, and sharing about our experiences. We didn’t feel awkward with the teacher like in Indonesia. What a great things!!I made a lot of friends there, it always nice and interesting to know a lot of people from many different countries. I ever stayed in my friend’s house and I learned a lot about Taiwanese family. They were so kind and very nice! Even though we came from many different countries with different culture, we still could communicate well. I just took a course which is taught in English. I took the courses which were not related with my major because all of the courses in my major are taught in Chinese. Mostly, I took courses from English department. I took one class named “Multicultural Class” and it was a really great class because we came from different country and we can share each other about our culture. We was not just sharing with our friends but also sharing with the children from the Elementary School. The challenge of study in Taiwan is when I had to speak Chinese to all of the children in multicultural class. I really want to communicate with them but I just know a little bit Chinese. Sometimes they talked to me and I just could answer a little. There was a translator when we presented about our country, but we can not always stick with the translator. When we had to play outside, we were being charged to communicate with the children directly.
From this exchange experience, I think I become a better person now. I am more independent, more active, more confidence, and my English and Chinese also better. I have some messages for my juniors in Soegijapranta Chatolic University : “Do not be afraid of study abroad.” It will give you a lot of experiences and unforgettable moments. “Try every chance that you face.” Sometimes, chance doesn’t come twice and don’t forget to join activities as many as you can when studying abroad!! The last, don’t hesitate to study abroad and I hope there will be more students can join this program.