Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan

Open the world gate through Taiwan: The dreams of South and Southeast Asian Youth

People worldwide have more chances to get in touch with each other thanks to the development of traffic and communication technology, living with foreign friends in the same place becomes more common.

In recent years, Taiwan government positively implements New Southbound Policy to enhance bilateral and multilateral exchanges, hoping to appeal tourists and talented people to visit and live in Taiwan with soft powers. According to the data of Ministry of Education, Taiwan, the amounts of students from New Southbound countries coming to Taiwan has reached 4.1 million, among them more and more students decide to stay in Taiwan for work. These outstanding persons are believed to become the key to industrial development and enhancement of competitiveness. Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET) interviews 3 international students separately coming from Malaysia, Vietnam and India, hoping to understand the outline of how these students get involved in the Taiwan’s living situation.

Bravery in the Face
Nur Adibah, from Malaysia, whose family runs food business in Malaysia, decides to learn Mandarin to exploit her family business in Chinese market at first. She compares several environments for language learning, considering the distance, the tuition fee and the degree of difficulty of obtaining the visa, she decides to study in Taiwan. However, without language foundation, it’s not easy for Adibah to learn Mandarin, it even makes her feel that she is in a silent world. To assimilate into lives in Taiwan as soon as possible, she keeps practicing language by watching videos and working in a small café. With her efforts and the help from the owner of the café, she improves her language skills and gradually know how to cook Taiwanese food and Taiwanese living style. It is the time Adibah works in the café that Taipei city government promotes tourism targeting travelers from Southeast Asia and Muslims with Muslim friendly environment. Adibah sees an opportunity to open a Halal café and she is ready to do so; therefore, she opens her own café named ‘Mooka’, from the word ‘Muka’ meaning the ‘face’ from Malay, symbolizing her store could become the face of Malaysia that more and more Taiwanese can know the beauty of her country.
Tender Fortitude
Dinh Thi Thu, born in an unsophisticated countryside in northern Vietnam, is recommended by relatives and friends to learn Mandarin in Taiwan together with several friends. Aside from adapting new knowledge from classes, Thu takes part time jobs in the restaurant to exposure herself in a favorable learning environment. With steady basis built from many year’s studying, Thu thinks now that there are many academic resources in Taiwan, she wants to improve herself by learning in Department of Chinese as a Second Language in National Taiwan Normal University for bachelor degree and to Department of educational management in National Taipei University of education for Master study (in progress). Meanwhile, Thu meets her better half and has their baby, these life events steady the determination of staying in Taiwan. Thu fulfills her dream as a teacher teaching Vietnamese for students and general publics, hoping to let more people know Vietnam from the details. In the future, she will devote herself in assisting sisters from Southeast Asian countries in learning the skills that can be make a living, because she keeps believing only if people conquer initial challenges could they make people she loves happy.

Innovative Pulse
Sanket Nagnath Yerule was born in a city located in middle India. Fighting for better life, he originally plans to give up on technology industry but turn to business field, yet then he receives some suggestions from an uncle’s friend. He finally makes up his mind to be in touch with for which he has passion that is to continue studying in technology in Taiwan. He gets master’s degree of EECS International Graduate Program of National Chiao Tung University in August, 2017. Now he is working in Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) as a deputy engineer as a deputy engineer with a 15-member team, at the same time studying for Ph.D. in National Chiao Tung University. One of the projects his team conducts is to develop a system for shopping cart, which can detect customers’ behavior with the sensor installed in the cart. They also develop a band, for kids, which can detect human behavior and physiological index. To get involved in the process of making these products of the recent technology trend is a rare chance. Thus, Sanket regards Taiwan as a gangplank connecting to the whole world, he believes these experiences in Taiwan can bring him tickets to international companies in creating future technology. Within the process of slowly exploring, Sanket has gradually drawn a map for career planning.
After studying in Taiwan for years, these three foreign students create own businesses with the skills that they originally possess and the knowledge they learn in Taiwan. Adibah opens a stylish and homy café in the lane in Taipei; Thu expects to bring Vietnamese passion through language classes; Sanket searches for his A.I. dream in Taiwan’s university and research institute. We are honor to be the witness of the journey of self-pursuing, love-spreading, and future-exploring, we hope more people can know their stories filled with different cultures and similar enthusiasm, last but not least, we encourage more international students in Taiwan can be inspired to pursue dreams as they do.
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