2013年8月30日 星期五

The Photo Gallery of 2013 NCCU ISS

Please feel free to click the following links to browse the photos about 2013 ISS: 

1. 2013.06.30NCCU I-House Accommodation Check-In

2. 2013.07.01Morning Orientation

3. 2013.07.04
Taipei Excursion (1) - Yingge Pottery Town, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, etc

4. 2013.07.11
Taipei Excursion (2) - National Palace Museum, Shilin Official Residence, etc

5. 2013.07.10 & 17:Workshop of Chinese Calligraphy

6. 2013.07.18
Taipei Excursion (3) - Office of the President, Huashan 1914 Creative Park, etc

7. 2013.07.25
Taipei Excursion (4) - Taipei Zoo, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, Taipei 101, etc

8. Class Photos:

(1) Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (9 a.m. – 12 p.m./ Jul. 2 – 10)

(2) Sustainability in Taiwan and East Asia (9 a.m. – 12 p.m./ Jul. 2 – 10)

(3) Cross Strait Enterprise Development (2 p.m. – 5 p.m./ Jul. 2 – 10)

(4) Introduction to Supply Chain Management (2 p.m. – 5 p.m./ Jul. 2 – 10)

(5) Foreign Policy and Society in Taiwan and East Asia (9 a.m. – 12 p.m./ Jul. 15 – 24)

(6) Modern Art in Taiwan and East Asia (9 a.m. – 12 p.m./ Jul. 15 – 24)

(7) Knowledge Based Economy and Multiculturalism (9 a.m. – 12 p.m./ Jul. 15 – 24)

(8) Principles of Management (2 p.m. – 5 p.m./ Jul. 15 – 24)

(9) Globalization & National Development, Its Social, Economic & Political Perspectives in Asia        (2 p.m. – 5 p.m./ Jul. 15 – 24)

2013年8月29日 星期四

2013_04_Julia Maria Kern

* Full Name: Julia Maria Kern
* University/ Institute: Leiden University    
* Nationality: Netherlands  

My name is Julia Kern and this summer I joined the NCCU summer school in Taipei, Taiwan. I barely can describe what a beatiful and wonderful experience this is. This is for sure the best decision I’ve ever made and I will shortly share some of myexperieces with you.

The first moment I arrived at the I-house, the dormitory where al the international students stay this 6 weeks, I immediately felt welcomed. The crew is really friendly and kind. Already the first day I met somany new people! Everyone is in the same situation and that really creates a strong connection. On monday we had our introduction day, and I really want to compliment the organisation. Everything was planned out so well, and the crew really wants us to feel like at home. In the afternoon I made a placement test for my Chinese course, so I’m with people in class who have the same level of Chinese.

Every week in the morning from 9 a.m. till 12 p.m. I have a business course. In the afternoom from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. I have Chinese Class. The subjects are really interesting, and the professors are really friendly and kind. Also, Chinsese class is a lot of fun! We only have courses form Monday to Thursday, wich give us a 3 days a week free to spend!

I did a lot of great things in the weekend. For example, me and a couple of friends shired motor bikes and went to Hualien and Taroko National Park. That was definitely one of the highlights during my stay. Another weekend we went visiting all the museums and memmorial places of Taipei, a must see.

But not only during the weekends, also after classes we went to Taipei to visit for example of a night market, or went on top of Taipei 101. The public transportation in Taipei is really convenient and that makes it even easierto go to a lot of different places.

I am really happy that NCCU gives us enough free time to discover Taiwan. In my eyes, Taiwan is so far the most beatiful country I’ve ever been to. Not only nature, but also culture. The people here are extremly kind. Even though some of them can’tspeak English, they will find a way to help you .

Going to Taiwan is the best decisionI’ve ever made. I can’t believe this is already the last week and thinking about leaving makes me sad. But it also motivates me more to travel the world and discover new places, people and culture. I would like to thank NCCU for this beautiful opportunity and organisation. Especially toAllen Chen, the project coordinator.

Wonderful excursion organised by NCCU ISS

Eating diner at Taipei 101

Beautiful view of Taipei from Elephant mountain

With my friends at Taroka National Park

With my friend and buddy at Yangmingshan National Park

2013年8月28日 星期三

2013_03_Iva Adamová

* Full Name: Iva Adamová
* University/ Institute: Masaryk University   
* Nationality: Czech Republic 


If somebody had told me half a year ago that I would spend my summer in the lovely island on the other side of the globe, I wouldn’t have believed him. However, since I found out that there was a possibility to participate at Summer School at NCCU which was the partner university of my „alma mater“ in Brno, Czech Republic, I have immediatelly fallen in love with the idea about studying, travelling and broadening my horizons in Taiwan. Few months went by and here I am!

I had never been to Asia before so I was very excited about my „Taiwanese adventure“. And after three weeks of my stay in Taipei I must say that the reality is even better than all my dreams and expectations. I have so many experiences to share, so many stories to tell, so many impressions to describe that I could write a book! But even though I have always wanted to be a writer, it is actually quite difficult to make other people understand what we are living here – it is a pure enthusiasm for exploring this wonderfull place and its culture. And much more than that! Gaining experience. Developping oneself.  Meeting amazing friends and living in a multicultural environment. Hanging out with the Taiwanese buddies who are the kindest people on the planet, sharing, studying, travelling. Seeing the world from the different point of view.  I am amazed every day and I cannot fall asleep at night because of excitement. The time passes so fast here but on the other hand, I have already seen so many places, tasted so many kinds of food and met so many new friends that it feels much longer. I think you could spend a half of your life in Taiwan and still have a lot of places to see and things to do. This stay has been actually very inspiring and motivating for me: I am thinking about learning Chinese because I would love to understand local people and their culture. I am sure that travelling is the best kind of education you can ever get and I believe that I will return back soon.

I would like to thank you for the possibility to participate at NCCU Summer School in Taiwan. Special thanks for the smooth organisation and kindness belong to the project coordinator, Allen Chen. Coming here has been one of the best decisions I could have made. Hope to see you all soon again!

Our group of international students in Din Tai Fung restaurant

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

   Elephant Mountain and its beautiful view

Wulai waterfalls

2013年8月27日 星期二

2013_02_Jennifer Rose Gienger

* Full Name: Jennifer Rose Gienger
* University/ Institute: University of Northern Iowa (UNI)   
* Nationality: USA

My NCCU ISS experience has been unbelievable. I have learned so much about myself, Taiwan, Chinese culture, and travelling in general. This has truly been the trip of a lifetime and a real life changing experience. Taiwan, and Taipei itself, is such a beautiful and unique place to visit and live in for six weeks. 
Taking the Chinese language class at NCCU has been such an interesting experience for me. I have never tried to learn another language besides English and I have always heard that Chinese is one of the hardest languages to learn, so I was worried at first. My teacher was wonderful. She made the class fun and interesting every day so I looked forward to going to class. I learned so much more than I thought I would in just six weeks. I found myself using basic Chinese phrases after just the first week and I have only progressed from there.
I have met so many wonderful people during my stay in Taiwan. From the people in the International House to NCCU students on campus, everyone has been so welcoming and friendly. I cannot believe how nice the Taiwanese people have been when I was lost or just did not know how to say what I needed in Chinese. I have made many new friends that I hope to stay in touch with after I leave here and now I know people all over the world. 

Travelling in Taipei has been an adventure all in itself. Public transportation is a new concept to me, coming from a small town in the U.S. I was especially worried about the language barrier being a huge issue, but it was not a problem at all. The bus system works so smoothly and it makes it really easy to get around. It has been really convenient and the MRT system has been an even bigger advantage. I used the bus and MRT almost every day to go to a night market or downtown. It was confusing at first to figure out which one to get on to go the right direction, but once you figure it out, it has been great. I have really enjoyed getting to use the public transportation in Taipei. It gives you a sense of accomplishment after you travel by yourself for a day and are able to figure everything out. I even had the chance to take the high speed rail one weekend to Kenting and that was amazing. I saw the beautiful country side of Taiwan immersed in the mountains all around.

By far, the night markets have been my favorite part of Taiwan. I have been to so many different ones, but Shilin would probably be my favorite. I have been there twice so far and still have not seen it all. The overall atmosphere is such an experience like nothing else. Trying all of the different foods was such a delight, and of course, the shopping was a lot of fun. I have gotten so many great gifts for friends and family. I also really enjoyed going to Ximen. The Modern Toilet Restaurant was a great experience and the night market there is really fun too. It was quite different than the Shilin night market, but they were both great in their own way. Whether I am really shopping or not, I just enjoyed walking up and down the streets looking at everything and all the people out enjoying their time.

My experience in Taiwan is one I will never forget. I have made so many memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. When I return home, I hope to continue learning Chinese and possibly return to Taiwan one day. This truly has been the trip of a lifetime and a real life changing experience.

Jennifer (right) at the Orientation

A visit to NCCU's Psychology Dept. with other UNI group members

Strolling on the street near NCCU campus

With Int'l residents at NCCU I-House

2013年8月26日 星期一

2013_01_Ariana Da Costa Gomez

* Full Name: Ariana Da Costa Gomez
* University/ Institute: Leiden University  
* Nationality: Netherlands

A couple of weeks ago I arrived in Taiwan, not knowing what to expect of this yet to be discovered island off the coast of China. As I stept out of the plane, I remembered the moment Dani (my classmate and good friend back home) asked me if I was interested in going with her to this summer course. I instantly agreed, but in the back of my mind I thought it was all still so far away. Now, I was walking out of the airport and felt the notorious hot air of Taiwan brush against my face and I instantly knew that this was going to be a trip to remember.

Before I came to Taiwan, I already studied Mandarin for a year at Leiden University in Holland. It’s the only place in the Netherlands where you can get a higher education in Chinese culture and language and I must say I feel lucky to be one of the few that are following this very interesting and challenging course. Naturally, when I got here I was itching to practice my Mandarin skills and in a way show off what I had learned this past year in school. Boy, was I in for a surprise! Right away I got my first reality check when I tried to explain to the cab driver at the airport where our dorm was. He didn’t understand a word I was saying and I didn’t understand anything that came flying out of his mouth with a speed of a hundred miles an hour. After hearing “shenme” (meaning “what” in Mandarin) for the so manias time, I gave up and showed him a piece of paper where we had to be. At that moment I knew I still had a lot to learn.

After a long hour of dosing off in the back of the cab we finally arrived at the I-House, the place we have been calling home for the past six weeks. Everybody has been so nice here and is always ready to help with anything. Even after long study sessions till 3 am in the morning, every time while walking back to my room I got to hear “Wan’an” (goodnight) with the nicest most genuine smile from the night guard. And after coming back from a long hot day of strolling through the streets of Taipei, it’s always been a relief hearing the beeping sound of my room unlocking and being able to turn on the air conditioning and relax in a very peaceful environment It’s the little things that count! The I-House has definitely become a home away from home to me.

When Dani and I settled in that day, we both fell asleep almost instantly. After a thirteen hour flight and the cab drive it has been a long travel and naturally we both were very tired.  The next morning we woke up, it felt like it was the first day of school all over again. We had our first introduction to the courses and on that same day a placement test to see on which level you could speak, write and read mandarin. I was a bit nervous, but it turned out to be fine. We both placed in the intermediate class and got to meet our new classmates the next day.

The Mandarin classes here are way more challenging than those back home. We have a very energetic teacher and the only language spoken in class-yep you guessed it- was Mandarin. While you might think “well of course, that’s what you came to learn here right?!”, I can assure you those three hours of class where the most intense hours of concentration I’ve had during my whole year of University. Coming out of that class I felt a bit insecure about the coming weeks, but also motivated. I was determined and eager to learn.

The course consisted of four classes a week, three hours a day of constant speaking, reading, writing and listening exercises and I’m not going to lie it was hard at times. But now that the course is over, tomorrow we have our big final test, I have definitely noticed progress in my language skills. Speaking and listening, especially understanding, have been the biggest challenge but I feel that after a few bumps in the road and a lot of practice it’s been worth my while coming here to NCCU.

Of course, while I was here I didn’t only study. Taiwan has so much to offer in every aspect.  The title of this essay, as you might have noticed, is a pretty cliché one but it’s the truest to what I’ve experienced here on this beautiful Island. Let me explain. While I was in Lugang, an urban township in northwestern Changhua County, I stayed in a very charming hostel called Tai17. Dani and me decided to go away for the weekend and explore this little town and see how a smaller city was different from the always busy Taipei. This little town is known for it’s old  preserved architectural structures, many temples and delicious Baozi( a type of steamed filled bun, of a bread like texture). There is no other way to describe Lugang, but quaint. Every corner you turned (trust me Lugang has a lot of them)  there was something new to see, but always true to its old traditions. For example, we happened to stumble upon an old shop were the owner has been making Chinese lanterns in every size and form for seventy years. Traditional professionalism at its best.

As we walked the streets of Lugang for a whole day, going from temple to temple through little alleys and walking on the market we ended up eating at a little food stand on the side of the road. The people were so nice and welcoming and even though we had a bit of a language barrier, we ended up eating a nice bowl of Chinese noodles with delicious pork and steamed veggies. A full stomach makes a happy heart, is a well used proverb back home and it couldn’t have been more true at that moment.

The next morning the very nice owner of the hostel we were staying at had made breakfast for us. While we were sitting at the breakfast table enjoying our sandwiches, I happened to notice a book in the book shelve. It was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and it all fell into place to me. This trip, not only the one to Lugang but also everywhere else we have been to, was defined by those words.

First of Eat. Taiwan has a rich food culture, everywhere you turn there’s a little restaurant, food stand, juice bar or night market. You can get everything from squid nuggets to traditional dumplings all in just one street. And everything tastes as good as it looks! The night markets are my favorite place to try strange new things like “stinky tofu”, but fancier restaurants like Din Tai Fung (famous for its delicious dumplings) are also on my favorite list. One thing is for sure, for every taste there is something to find here.

Pray. The second thing you will see the most here in Taiwan, except for the many restaurants, are temples. Everywhere you go you will stumble upon one. From small ones in an alley to really big ones like Longshan Temple, they are all well visited by locals here. The bigger temples are always very busy, and there is a lot going on. Every temple has it’s gods, that can help you in a specific area like love, school, work, health etc. Walking through temples and feeling the presence of belief  of the prayers offering essence and other goods to the gods for good fortune, you can’t help but also start to feel a sense of belief. I always stood in awe looking at all the detailed work put into the architecture, every temple has something special.

And last but not least, Love. This is the easiest one to explain to someone that has been to Taiwan, because it is almost impossible to not fall in love with this place. The people, the culture, the food, nature, everything is just amazing on its own. I guess you will just have to visit this special island, to understand what I mean.

Before ending this essay I would like to tell something about the best experience I’ve had here. It was a couple of days ago, on the 5th of August 2013. I went up to Zhinan temple and it was absolutely breathtaking. I've never seen such a beautiful place in my life, I just felt really small and everything else seemed so unimportant. When I was watching the sunset and the frogs and crickets were chirping, I actually got overwhelmed with a very sad feeling. The day was coming to an end and it made me really realise that this amazing trip to Taiwan was also coming to an end and that I wouldn't see this beautiful place anymore. On the other hand I felt this feeling of infinite beauty and happiness, I'm just so happy I came here and got the chance to see all of this. I’ve experienced things I have never experienced before, from jumping of cliffs in Taroko National Park to visiting the world’s second largest building, it has all been a great adventure.

Taiwan has really captured a piece of my heart and I think it’s safe to say that when I leave in a couple of days, it won’t be a goodbye but a see you later. 

The International Building where NCCU Chinese Language Center located

The sunset scenery taken at the Zhinan temple

The food stands of the night market

Taipei 101 Building