Perceptions of Students from Southbound Countries

Read about the perception of students from soutbound countries to share the insight of studying in Taiwan.

Erna Sulistyowati/ Kaohsiung Medical University

Nationality : Indonesia
Major : Medicine

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My name is Erna Sulistyowati.I am a lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine, Islamic University of Malang, Indonesia.  I have been pursuing Ph.D. program in The Graduate Institute of Medicine, KMU for 3 years. I am with my family in Kaohsiung, including my husband, he studies at Nat. Kaohsiung First Univ of Sci and Tech, and our three kids. My husband and I are also the DIKTI Indonesia scholarship awardee.

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1. What made you decide to study in Taiwan?

To study in Taiwan is a kind of the way for me to improve my knowledge and skill in the major of biomedicine and traditional medicine. I know in this country there are a lot of universities have been positioned as the high rank campus in the Asian and the world as well. And as the lecturer must pursue advanced study to achieve our goals, therefore I need to study in the prestigious campus. Otherwise, my friends who have been studying in Taiwan told me that the teachers (professors) are easy to help students, especially to the foreign students whose come from Indonesia. So that, I decided to come and study in Taiwan. Then, we were also greatly assisted during the scholarship admission and interview.Till now, the teachers, campus staffs, and all environment on the campus are welcome to me. We tremendously appreciate for this, hope my colleagues will follow us to study here too. Other than that, people of Taiwan are respectful, no more than others, that what we need during study in Taiwan. We feel peaceful here and we experience just a little cultural shock which different from other countries. 

2.  Briefly tell us about the program you are studying. What subjects are you studying? What have you enjoyed the most in your studies?

As I mention above, I am a Ph.D. student, which has been studying in biomedics, a pharmacology approach. I feel very happy working in my lab, which is belongs to the graduate institute of pharmacology. But, actually my department is Graduate Institute of Medicine. All of the teachers, staffs, and technicians, and even the local students are very kind. They are handy to help me doing experiments in the laboratory, such as animal handling, histology staining, western blotting experiment, echocardiography in rats, and so on. Those are all skills that I dream before when I was a master student. In my opinion, I am completely skilled as a doctor, not only able to treat patients, but also capable to do biomedics experiment.

3. How is studying in Taiwan when compared to studying and being a student in your home country? (Teaching Quality、Environment、School Equipment、Laboratory or others)

Studying in Taiwan, I am very able to do biomedical laboratory research with my own hands. I could learn the subject and then prove it into the following experiment in the laboratory, which is also designed by myself. This is really amazing work for MD (medical doctor) profession, compare with studying in my country. 
Furthermore, the school has so many advanced equipment to support our research regarding biomedics. They provide us to utilize it after we passed its delivered training course.The school has provided all of the procedure regarding it. On the other thing, in Taiwan, I can discuss with the teachers who have expertise related to biomedics and translational medicine freely. Their experiences have widened my concept. In the future, I have plan to do research collaboration with them.

4.  What has been the most difficult part about applying to study in Taiwan? How did you overcome the difficulty?

I found no difficulties in applying study in Taiwan. I face only one problem, because of school’s international temporary staff. Because they was changed in a period of time, then I need to confirmed many times my application. Otherwise,  we almost frustrated in applying visa because the office of embassy need legal formal documents. In my country, we only have one office of Taiwan embassy in the capital of my country at that time. It took almost 2 months to get the visa by agency service. I think we would be better handle it by ourselves if we have enough time to make it.

5.  What do you plan to do after you have finish your studies in Taiwan? Would you like to stay in Taiwan?  Why? 

After I graduated from my study, I will go back to my country because I have an agreement with the government to work in the university which I am belongs to. FYI, I am a lecturer, then in the future I plan to have a research collaboration with the teachers in the university in Taiwan, especially with Kaohsiung medical University.

6.  How do you think studying in Taiwan can benefit you in your future career?

Surely by studying in Taiwan, I can improve my capability designing and performing research about biomedics. I am enthusiastic to make research plan, and then create it by having research cooperation with the university in Taiwan, like university to university collaboration.

7.  What do you see as your key achievements when studying in Taiwan?

When studying in Taiwan, I see that the key to success are being disciplined to commit with our job, follow all the instructions required, and learning by doing. And the important things is loving what you are doing by now.

8. What advice do you have for other interested overseas students who want to come to Taiwan to study?

Do not hesitate to go to Taiwan for advance education. Do not wait to find out more information about study in Taiwan. The all of types of educations; i.e undergraduate, post graduate and post doctoral are available for foreigner. There a lot of scholarships are provided for foreign students who want to pursue study here, in Taiwan. 
P.S. Anyway, I am willing to be the volunteer to share my experience and the information about study in Taiwan. Especially, for the area of Indonesia.