Perceptions of Students from Southbound Countries

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

KHAN ZHI CHIEN/ National Taipei University of Education

Nationality : Malaysia
Major : Music


I come from Malaysia, I live in Kuala Lumpur. I am a kind and easygoing guy, this makes me many friends. I love animal and so I am a vegan. My hobbies are travelling, playing piano, playing badminton and so on. I love music very much, my ambition is becoming a music teacher since I want to cultivate the next generation who loves music. I will endeavor to accomplish my dream one day.

∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ ∴ 

1. What made you decide to study in Taiwan?

One of my reasons to study in Taiwan is there are variety of scholarships offered to overseas students and this helps reducing my burden on living expenses and school fees. Since I am a Chinese, there’s no communication problem too. Also, I like the food and weather in Taiwan. The most important, I want to live an independent life because this will teach me how to solve problems by myself and face my future challenges.

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

study music, my major is piano; my minors are vocal music and violin. I take general program instead of teacher training program because taking the latter program will be busier and required more credits to complete Bachelor degree. I studied many subjects, there are English, Chinese, Italian, Physical Education, Introduction to Environmental protection, music theory, piano duet, Harmony and Voice Leading, Western Music History, Taiwan Music History and Counterpoint. I enjoy my time with my foreign friends very much since we can learn each others’ culture, language and know them better to prevent any misunderstandings.

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)

Most of the universities in Malaysia use English as teaching language but in Taiwan, Chinese is used more frequently, this makes my studies easier. In addition, the average tuition fee in Taiwan is lower compared to Malaysia, so I choose to study in Taiwan. From the aspect of climate, Malaysia is tropical rainforest climate, it only has the summer and rainy seasons throughout the year while Taiwan has four seasons which is spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Lastly, studying in Taiwan is convenient because there are multifunctional convenience stores, high-efficient public transports, good public facilities and so on, these help me save most of my precious time.

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

When applying for VISA, it requires many documents. One of the documents is called health certificate which is issued by local hospital designated by the Centers for Disease Control of Ministry of Health and Welfare of the R.O.C. (Taiwan). Since most of the designated hospitals are in the city and I live far away in a small town, I have to make two round trips to get the health certificate. To get this, my father has taken a leave to bring me to do the health examination.

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

After graduation, I plan to become a piano teacher at the music centre and a lecturer too in universities. I might not stay in Taiwan because Malaysia is my home, I want to nurture more Malaysian students which music talent. The most important thing, I want to accompany and take good care of my aged parents.

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

People will make many friends during their life in university, so when I face some difficulties in my career, I can ask them for help or suggestions to solve my problems. Besides that, studying in Taiwan makes me know more about Taiwan culture, I also learn how they think and how they solve problems in different perspectives and ways. These have changed my ways of thinking, I believe this will stimulate my innovation, creativity on teaching methods and overcome my difficulties easier.

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

I have learned how to live a life independently. Studying overseas indicates that I will leave my parents to start a new life by myself. When I just arrive Taiwan, I feel worried and scared because it is an unfamiliar environment for me. After realizing my parent will not be able to help me anymore, I force myself to learn how to take public transport, open savings account of post office, wash my clothes, cook for myself and many others. Although it is quite a hard time at the beginning, I can do everything and solve problems by myself now. It’s quite unbelievable but I have made it so far and I can take good care of myself. To sum up, I have grown up as an independent man.

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

For those who are unfamiliar with Chinese, I advise them to study and learn how to communicate with others using Chinese because you know Chinese doesn’t mean you know how to use it in everyday conversation. Next, I really encourage foreign student to live with Taiwanese or other students of different nationality, this makes one know more about other nation’s culture and misunderstandings could be prevented. Also, the average living costs differ in each city, so overseas students should think of your family financial ability besides choosing your ideal university. Lastly, there are many governmental scholarships and private scholarships offered, loan and study grant are also provided to lighten overseas students’ burden, so feel free to apply because these are opened to all overseas students.