Perceptions of Students from Southbound Countries

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

Nguyen Vi Thong 阮維東/ National Chung Cheng University

Nationality : Vietnam
Major : Linguistics

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I am from a beautiful coastal city in Vietnam. I have been a college lecturer for nearly 10 years. I obtained my Master degree in Yuan Ze University in Taiwan from 2011 to 2013. I am now a Ph.D. student majoring in Linguistics at the Graduate Institute of Linguistics in National Chung Cheng University. Simultaneously, I am now the Vice-Chairman of Foreign Languages Department at Duy Tan University in Vietnam.

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1. What made you decide to study in Taiwan?

My reason seems to be very simple that I used to take my Master Degree in Taiwan, so I know exactly how the education system here is. After my graduation from Yuan Ze University, I came back to Vietnam to continue on my occupation. The opportunity to study here did bring me a bunch of benefits. I was provided with solid disciplinary knowledge; good career opportunities were offered by several universities in Vietnam to me. Moreover, the international education environment in Yuan Ze did improve my confidence and socialization. Therefore, it was such an easy decision to me to choose Taiwan for my doctoral program.

One more important reason is that I love Taiwan and people here, which I can hardly find in anywhereelse in the world. I got used to the locations, people and culture here,
so it would not take me a lot of time to adapt myself to the circumstances. I am always grateful to Taiwan for having changed my life. Hence, Taiwan has become a really important part of my life.

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

I am now attending a doctoral program in Linguistics, which has been my passion all the time. The program here is designed very appropriately with the goals of providing students with solid field knowledge and academic research skills. Even though the requirements are very tough to be able to graduate, I still agree with them since it would be a treasuring opportunity for me to challenge and train myself to become a “real” linguist. In this program, I can be able to pursue my interest of Sociolinguistics, which becomes more and more popular in the modern linguistics world.

One more important fact is that I do admire the Professors here. They are not only excellent experts in the field but really friendly and thoughtful. I am truly grateful to my Professors for their care towards both my study and my life here. They are not only my Professors but my family in Taiwan.

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)

It can be easily seen that Taiwan educational system is more stable and developed than Vietnam. I can be a valid evidence for the teaching quality in Taiwan. After I got my MA here, I came back my country with a confidence. I had learned a lot, which I am sure that Linguistics program can hardly provide students with. In Taiwan, it is focused on autonomy and academic research. This is the reason why students here can all become researchers in their field, and also this certainly meets the global need. Studying here, students are provided with excellent study and research environment. They have an open access to
most of the prestigious journals and database, which is still a big limitation to Vietnam education.

Schools in Taiwan are all well-equipped. Most of schools are large and beautiful. Classrooms are facilitated with modern teaching aids. Especially, most of schools here have libraries as their pride, which really surprises all Vietnamese students when coming to any school library. Research laboratories are one more advantage of schools here. As far as I observe, most of the lab-rooms are very well-equipped and convenient for researchers. Compared to Vietnam, Taiwan schools invest much more budget on research. In short, Taiwan emerges as a country with all advantages for education.

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

Actually, I do not find any trouble during the application process to study in Taiwan. If you follow the step-by-step instructions given by the government or schools, you will not find any difficulties for the application. Otherwise, it will take time and effort to finish all the required paperwork.

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

My prior plan at present is to come back to Vietnam and continue on my occupation. With the advantage of obtaining the degree here in Taiwan, I will be promoted very soon in my university. However, I observe that Vietnamese language is now becoming popular in Taiwanese schools now. If I can find a good job in Taiwan, I will definitely stay since Taiwan is a beautiful and peaceful country that I fall in love with.

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

As far as I observe, most of my friends who graduated from universities
in Taiwan, when coming back to Vietnam they all found very good jobs. It is the fact that students graduating from Taiwan are highly appreciated in Vietnam since they satisfy most of the employers’ requirements. They have been built up with solid disciplinary background; moreover, the dynamic international study environment helps them improve their soft skills. Foreign languages can be also considered another strength of students graduating in Taiwan.

To me, getting a Ph.D. degree here is a very big advantage to my future career. I have been already planned to hold the position of Chairman
of the Department where I work now after I finish my study here. To me, I am confident with what I learn here so that I can be a good advisor for many generations of students in Vietnam. That is the reason why this semester I have recommended some of my friends to come to Taiwan for their higher education. I do believe that Taiwan is always one of my best decisions ever.

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

The very first achievement that I can obtain from studying in Taiwan is the promotion in my career and the appreciation from the school board where I work. I have mentioned this for several times in the answers above.

One more achievement that I think I am now getting is to be engaged in a “real” study and research environment. Thanks to this advantage, I have had my own research article published in an international journal right in this second semester. To have a chance to study and research here in Taiwan has been always an achievement with me.

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

You should be advised that Taiwan has an excellent education system. You will be facilitated with all the best conditions. Be confident to apply and prepare a very good package of documents proving your ability and desire to pursue your study in Taiwan. Prepare yourself with health, patience, and passion for pursuing your dream of study, research and cultural exchange.

Your study can be tough here but you will be compensated for your effort and time. Come to Taiwan and you will be satisfied with the country, people and culture here!