Perceptions of Students from Southbound Countries

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

Wong Xin Yie/ National Ilan University

Nationality : Malaysia
Major : Department of Food Science


My name is Wong Xin Yie. I was born in Penang, Malaysia. Now, I start my university life in National Ilan University in Taiwan. I am a sophomore with major Food Science. I come from a simple and small family which includes father, mother and a younger sister.

Helping those in need is a blessing indeed' has always been my maxim and it lays in the bottom of my heart. Therefore, I hope to dedicate my whole life to providing help to people who are suffering and putting a smile on their face.

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1. What made you decide to study in Taiwan?

First, the various departments. Comparing with those departments provided in Malaysia, universities in Taiwan provide a wide-range of departments for the student to choose, so student can choose the department that truly fits their ability and flex their muscle. For me, I am interested in cooking, Food Science not only provides an opportunity me to learning cooking but also knowing the food deeply by scientific knowledge.

Second, independence, growing up in a warm family, my family members give me fully support all the time and accompany me to overcome the buffering time. It seems I am a flower in a greenhouse. After graduated from high school, I decided to study overseas and give myself a valuable chance to learn to be more independent. Most importantly, Taiwan is an ideal place that having the same language as I used to speak in my hometown. Moreover, the living standard in Taiwan is acceptable when compared with other western countries and it is affordable for my family to support my oversea study life.

Last, I enjoy the custom and beautiful scenery in Taiwan. Despite the fact that chasing for my university life is the first priority I came to Taiwan, I am convinced that it will definitely broaden my horizon and enlarge my social circle in this 4 year.

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

am studying idepartment of Food Science. Food Science requires students study a lot of science subjects like physics, biology, and chemistry. The most them, chemistry is the most critical such as analytic chemistry and organic chemistry. Beside science course, Food Science also provides us with many engineering lessons and practical works. Therefore, it is sometimes a tough job for me since it is new to me .there is four major areas in our department, food processing engineering, food chemistry and nutrition, food microbiology and bio technique and applied sciences. I enjoy taking those experiment and practical classes, it is because we can apply what we have learned in the textbook during the practical works instead of being a bored bookworm.

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)

The biggest difference between studying in Taiwan and t in my home country is language. In Taiwan, professors will teach in Chinese although the textbook we used is printed in English. For me, the study environment here is better than my home country as the competitiveness is greater in Taiwan compared with my home country. It already becomes a common scenario that there are many universities here and a lot of people getting a Bachelor's degree. However, that makes students be more hardworking and put more effort in lessons so as to apply for the institute and chase for their Master's degree before entering to social or workplace.

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

Choosing 70 departments is the most difficult task. It is because I didn’t have a clear direction of what am I interested in and what courses should I applied. Besides that, the name of the courses shown is unfamiliar with me because I never saw before in the application form. So, I have to do a lot of researches about those courses that I interested and found out the differences. Fortunately, I found through the internet, asking those graduated seniors and teachers so that I can make sure I have chosen a right course which is suitable for me.

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

Being an overseas student, finishing the degree course and back to my hometown is always my ultimate goal. Yet, before back to Malaysia, I would consider getting into the workplace in Taiwan for a period of time for the sake of gaining experiences. I wish to apply that knowledge and skill learned from school in my file. I believed techniques used in Taiwan is more advanced and latest than my hometown. Therefore, with a good working experience and knowledge I have, I can apply for my job in my home country with a handsome pay in the future.

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

With different study background and syllabus between Taiwan and Malaysia, skills I learned maybe advancer and latest than that in Malaysia, therefore, I can combined skills in two place together to develop a new technique.

Studying abroad may always leave a good impression for the employers that we have different experience, more international perspective, those are beneficial to the company.

4 years living in overseas, we know a lot of culture and custom of Taiwan, it is good for a company to know a place and understand what Taiwanese wants and needs without carrying out a research to get to know about it. It helps make a big step forward to extend their business in Taiwan.

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

First, friendship. Ilan University, an international school. I made a lot of new friends who come from different part of the world, we play, we talk, we study together. We share our happiness and our tears. Through that, I found a lot of cultural differences between us. We built up a strong bond and create memories. It enlarges my friend zone. Besides, be more independent and mature than before. It is because whenever I encounter difficulties I have to overcome all myself first or finding ways to solve them first before seeking help from others. Apart of that, 4 years education here also changes my mind becoming more mature and farther.

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

I think that Taiwan can be one of your choices if you are interested in studying overseas. It is because the living standard in Taiwan is much cheaper than other countries and transportation is convenient here.

Ability in Chinese should be your consideration before applying for the Taiwan University. Otherwise, it will absolutely be an obstacle in your studying as the professor here uses Chinese in the lessons and many labels or road signs are mainly in Chinese.