Perceptions of Students from Southbound Countries

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

Adeline Sacharissa Firdaus/ Kaohsiung Medical University

Nationality : Indonesia
Major : M.Sc. In Tropical Medicine

 04Adeline Sacharissa Firdaus_edi.jpg

My name is Adeline Sacharissa Firdaus. I am Indonesian woman also medical doctor graduated from Andalas University in Padang, West Sumatera Indonesia. Nowadays, I am continuing my study for MSc in Tropical Medicine degree at Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan.


1. What made you decide to study in Taiwan?

Since I was in medical school, I have been dreaming to study overseas. I studied very hard to finish the school earlier, but medical study is not easy to learn, that is why I took 6 years to graduate from medical school. After I got my degree, I had to work in hospital for a year, and that time I tried to find and apply for many scholarships about Tropical Medicine from every countries. Unfortunately I was not lucky enough at the beginning, and then I found about a scholarship from ICDF and also Tropical Medicine from Kaohsiung Medical University. Even I did not get the ICDF Scholarship, I feel really grateful that I got the KMU Scholarship, finally my dream to study about tropical medicine overseas came true. I did not want to lose any chance that I got, that is why I decided to continue my study in Taiwan. After I come here I feel extremely lucky, because Taiwan is a perfect place to continue your study.

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 studying about Tropical Medicine. I feel really grateful that I got accepted in this program. because I have been interested to learn about tropical disease since I was in undergraduate. When I heard a chance to learn about Tropical Medicine in Kaohsiung Medical University, that is famous with the research in Tropical Medicine, I applied as soon as possible and also try to applied the scholarship from ICDF. Even I did not get the ICDF scholarship, gratefully I got the KMU Scholarship type B, I feel really lucky that I got a chance. I am very impressed that Taiwan has eradicate Malaria since many years ago. I hope my country, Indonesia could imply it too. The most enjoyable moment in my department are the facilities in the laboratory, I feel amazed when I enter the laboratory, I have never seen such equipment in my country. I feel that I have to study harder and learn more so I would not lose a chance in here. Moreover, I have lot of friends from many countries, for example Taiwan, Haiti, Guatemala, Brazil, Belize, Mongolia, Myanmar, etc. I feel all of these moment are the most enjoyable in my life because I could know a lot of people from different countries and have a chance to learn about their language and cultures.

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)

really love the teacher in here. All of my teachers are very nice and open-minded. All of my teachers are Ph.D. and some of them graduated from one of the best university in the world. I feel really lucky that I could learn so much from my professors in here. 


Taiwan especially my place Kaohsiung has a pleasant environment. The air, the weather is very convenient.

School Equipment

Laboratory and another equipment in my University make me feel amazed at first. I have never seen such facilities before in my life. I really love how Taiwan Government and University in Taiwan encourage the teachers also the students by the funding for their research. In here I could do much research that I have never been imagining before that I can do because it was very impossible for me before to have this kind of research for my thesis because of the limitation of the facility.

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

In the beginning, the most difficult part is the Chinese language. I could not speak and understand Chinese. It is hard because not many people in here can speak English especially when I go outside and looking for the food. Because I am Muslim and I only can eat halal food and vegetarian food. I try to talk “is this vegetarian ?” but not many people understand what “vegetarian” is. Fortunately, Kaohsiung Medical University give an opportunity for foreigners to have free Chinese class. It help so much, but it is still difficult for me, because of the tones, but my Chinese is getting improve now, for example when I tried to ask about the vegetarian food “zhe shi shute ma ?“ at first they did not understand what I was talking about because my tone was wrong, but I start to learn more and finally I have the right tone to ask about “shute” and another. It is a simple question, but it is very important for someone like me.

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 finish my study, I have a plan to go back to my country to apply as a lecturer in universities in Indonesia. If I have a chance, I would like to come back to Taiwan to study PhD, but after I got a work as lecturer in University, so I can work as an Assisting Professor after I finish my Ph.D. Studies in Taiwan and probably in the future I can achieve what I have been dreaming of which is being a Professor in the University.

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

Got a chance to study in Taiwan is a very good opportunity for me, I can increase my knowledge in here, especially because University in Taiwan have a lot of facilities that country do not have yet. For example, the laboratory is more convenient and have a lot of facilities to do research. Also, I could meet a lot of people in many countries, and I finally know about the diversity of us, and I learn so much from the language, the culture, and their experience.

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

My knowledge is getting improve so much, such as the research technique, I have never seen such a modern technique research before when I did my study in Indonesia. There is also a lot of improvement with my English language and Mandarin ability.

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

It is a very good chance for overseas students to study in Taiwan. For example for Muslim students you do not have to worry about the food. In here there are lots of vegetarian food that Muslim people can eat, because there are no meat ingredients in the food. Also, there are some halal restaurant in Taiwan, even not all places have this one, but if you go to the main station, you can find halal food restaurant also some Indonesian restaurant. Moreover, if you feel homesick in Taiwan and really miss Indonesia, you can go to the Main station on Saturday and Sunday, there will be lots of Indonesian people in here also the Indonesian restaurant, Indonesian store and it feels like in our home country, which is Indonesia. On the other hand, some public area now have prayer room for Muslim people, for example in Airport, Main Station, some Indonesian Restaurant, and some universities. You will not regret your decision to study in Taiwan.