國際學生心得分享

想知道國際學生們對於在臺灣唸書有什麼想法和感受?您一定要聽聽他們的故事。

Studying in Taiwan: A Story of Friendship and Global Citizenship Building/Joagni PARE

On the importance of valuing relations in social life, Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed: “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is the knack of getting along with people.” In today’s interconnected and interdependent world where working with culturally different people has become a necessity, such an advice should have a resounding echo in us. One of the most crucial skills that school graduates need in order to succeed in today’s globalizing world is “learning to live together.”
In this regard, I believe that the most precious aspect of my experience as an international student in Taiwan is the opportunity the island has given me to connect with the rest of the world. As a student at Ming Chuan University’s International College, I didn’t have to spend money to go to Mongolia, Korea, Vietnam, Gambia, the USA, Germany, France, the Caribbean, etc. With more than seventy different nationalities on campus, the school has brought almost the entire world to my feet, thus giving me the unmatched opportunity to meet, interact, appreciate, and learn from culturally diverse people.
Of course not everything was rosy in the very beginning. We came from different countries with different cultures, different educational backgrounds, different experiences, different languages, and different accents. So there had been clashes and misunderstandings as a result of our cultural myopia. For instance, I used to think that all my Asian friends were good at Mathematics and kungfu. And they used to think I had giraffes and lions in my house back home. I assumed my Taiwanese classmates understood everything in class because they almost never asked questions. So every time I asked for their help with my calculus homework and they replied “Sorry, I do not understand it either,” I would label them as selfish. I didn’t know their silence in class was a sign of respect for the teacher. I also used to be offended every time they asked me “吃飽了沒?” (Have you eaten yet?). I didn’t know it was a form of greeting and caring about others. I thought it was because I’m from Africa, a place portrayed by most foreign media as a harbor of misery and starvation.
But those misunderstandings were to be expected. The course of true friendship never runs smooth all the time. Our misunderstandings eventually helped us better understand and appreciate one another. As Carl Jung rightly put it, “the meeting of two personalities is like the contact between two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
As a result of my contact and interaction with the school’s rainbow of nationalities, I’ve been transformed. I’ve become a global citizen who is culturally more understanding, open-minded, and compassionate towards others. Consequently, I’ve built a vast network of local and international friends who always fill my life abroad with the fresh aroma of a family-like atmosphere. As the Chinese saying goes, “at home you rely on parents; outside, you rely on friends.”