Long before I went to Taiwan, I’ve heard a lot of good stories about this country from one of my most respected university professors. She herself was an alumni of National Chengchi University, and she was deeply in love with the campus, and with Taiwan in general. From her words, I could imagine a land of beautiful scenery, humble lifestyle, friendly people but not lacking of modernity and charisma. Taiwan was always on the top of my ‘study-abroad’ list. After several years of working and defining my own goals in career, I finally could turn that dream into reality. With a bachelor degree of Chinese and a set of good skills in English being trained during years of working, I considered Taiwan as my obviously best choice. I decided to join an English-taught program (International Master of Business Administration in National Chengchi University), knowing that my Chinese would do a great help so that I would easily get familiar with Taiwan’s daily life. And with Taiwan’s well-established intellectual associations with many leading high-education countries, such as USA, UK, France etc, my next steps on the study and career path would undoubtedly be more potential and open.
I’m a first year student of International Master of Business Administration (IMBA), College of Commerce, National Chengchi University. The program is conceived and initiated to instill in the students an international business with a special focus on the Asia-Pacific region. This was my very first understanding and imagination of the program I chose in Taiwan. But it turned out that I would reap so much more than that. What I feel most grateful about is the way the Taiwanese professors communicate their knowledge and insights, both intellectually and personally. They all have many traits in common: cool, calm and collected, but precise and consistent (I feel that they are really the perfect combination of both East and West, something comes from their Taiwanese/ Asian origins, enhanced by the rich experience in learning and working in Western countries like USA, Europe etc). Their lessons are not only full of real life stories, insightful points of views, but are very encouraging. By their humble yet charming way, our professors encourage the student to look at each (business) situation with the calm, precise attitude, but above all, we should treat every business based on a concrete foundation of strong and firm ethical rules.
In every aspect, I’m very pleased with studying in Taiwan. Teaching quality is explained in my answer of question 2. I’m very grateful for the facilities in NCCU, (to the extent that I sometimes have the feeling of being ‘pampered’ by the university, the staffs here always try to bring the students the best conditions). I especially enjoy living in our uphill dorm (Ziqiang dorm 10), a residence that is surrounded by forest, where the air is fresh and beautiful scenery all year round. The good environment in our campus, in my opinion, is a ‘killing-feature’ that undoubtedly should attract more and more international students.
The most difficult part for me while preparing the application for study in Taiwan was arrange as much time as possible to write the essays required by my program (IMBA in National Chengchi University). I really felt a lot of pressure by that time (I even got exhausted some time, because I had to juggle between my daily job and this preparation). But in fact, those essay topic helped me a lot to contemplate deeply about my true intention with this brand new adventure. I had to honestly answer myself first and foremost about why/how I wanted to go to Taiwan, why I strongly believed that this journey would bring about a great change to my life (and my beloved ones). And the first lesson I learnt back then was I should take one step at a time, patiently, persistently. I thought about those questions any time I had a free moment, I tried to write down the brief answers any time I came up with some good ideas, I leveraged every ‘tools’ I could find, even a piece of tissue, a random piece of paper. After many times of drafting, writing and editing, I finally came up with some really good reflections. I thought that whole process must be one of the most interesting experience I’ve had in my life so far.
Before going on this trip, I was a long-time book editor/ producer in Vietnam. I plan to go back to my hometown right after I finish my degree in Taiwan. Because I took this course out of a desperate need: to equip myself with knowledge and skills in managerial field, particularly in marketing, so that I can build and operate eligible projects to launch and promote a 100% localized magazine (and books in general) in Vietnam. I’d need to go back to my hometown to apply the knowledge/ skills that I’ve acquired into my daily working. After two years of intensively practicing both my English and Chinese, I’d have better opportunities with any endeavor that I’d go along with.
I think in long term, this IMBA program in Taiwan is the major step for me to walk toward my dreamier dreams, like combining publications with other products and services, for example: books + flowers (book-flower shop); books + interiors shop, etc. Because in my opinion, book/magazine would no longer remain a stand-alone product, reading itself would become more of a true personal experience that people enjoy along with other activities in everyday life. We can totally craft and provide some kind of service to enhance and personalize this experience and make it a business that could survive and thrive.
I’m lucky to be a member in a multicultural community like IMBA program in National Chengchi University. My classmates come from almost 20 different countries all over the world, working and studying with them open me up to many different points of view and various (and sometimes creative) ways to identify and solve the problems. Outside the class, I learn a lot from the way Taiwanese people are living their lives, I like the way most of them lead a calm, quiet but very balancing and healthy life. I love to see how Taiwanese people be so nice and gentle to each others (and to foreigners like us). I love to see how they love daily exercises, like walking, running, hiking. The key achievements that I’d get after 2 years is definitely not be a master degree, it might be something bigger and deeper than that, it’s the feeling that I can totally lead a happier and balancing life, instead of just ‘fighting and struggling’. I can totally slow myself down to contemplate more deeply and thoroughly on any problems, yet still motivate myself to be precise, persistent to achieve my targeted goals.
You can find a lot of good food to eat and good places to go in Taiwan, it’s for sure. But don’t just rush for those well-known specialties. You should spend a good amount of time just slowly and carefully observing the way Taiwanese people are living, talk to them as much as you can and find out for yourself what is so special about Taiwanese ‘personality’. I’m sure it’s every bit interesting as the food, the drink here, not to mention it can be much more worthwhile.