Perceptions of Students from Southbound Countries
Read about the perception of students from soutbound countries to share the insight of studying in Taiwan.
Wei Shan Lim 林瑋珊/ National Cheng Chi University
Nationality : Malaysia
Major : Master in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language
I’m Lim Wei Shan from the lovely country, Malaysia. My hometown is Klang, the origin of Bah Kut Teh. As a Malaysian Chinese, I learned to speak Chinese (Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese) since I was young. During my journey of learning, I love all the Chinese cultures as well as the Chinese language. Therefore, after I finished my degree study, I joined a Chinese Independent High School and became a Chinese Language teacher. I like to travel around and meet different people from different places. Then, I can share all the stories with my students and encourage them to start to walk away from their comfort zone.
1. What made you decide to study in Taiwan?
Other than Malaysia, Taiwan is the country that I love the most. In Taiwan, there is a lot of delicious food, beautiful views, interesting culture and the most important thing -- kind people. Taiwanese are helpful and friendly. They are willing to share their knowledge if you asked them; they are ready to give a helping hand if you need help. Other than that, Taiwan is also a comfortable place to stay. It is very safe and transportation is very convenient especially in Taipei. As mentioned above, I decide to study in Taiwan to gain a different lifestyle compare to Malaysia.
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 currently studying Master in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language (TCSL). We study different subjects in this program, such as Chinese Linguistic, Chinese Culture, Chinese Teaching Methods, Second Language Acquisition and so on. This program is to train us to become a high-quality teacher in the industry of Chinese learning. In order to do that, we are expected to acquire the essential knowledge and to develop other relevant academic skills. The part that I enjoyed the most in my studies is I can learn a different methods of teaching, it helps me to consolidate my teaching skills in order to become a better teacher in the future.
3. How does studying in Taiwan compare with studying in your home country (e.g., teaching quality, environment, school equipment, facilities, etc.)?
First of all, for me, the biggest difference is the language. Most of the medium language in Malaysia’s Universities is English or Malay language, however in Taiwan is Chinese. Secondly, the environment. In Taiwan, most of the campuses are huge! We even have to take shuttle or ride a bicycle for getting around in the campus. The last but not least, the schoolmates are come from around the world. We have the chance to get to know the people from different countries. It’s the fun part! We can try to know their languages, their cultures and we can promote Malaysia to them as well.
4. What has been the greatest challenge you faced in applying to study in Taiwan? How did you overcome this challenge?
Due to I’m not studying for my bachelor's degree in Taiwan, and I’m applying personally to study the Master program in Taiwan, so I do not have much information regarding how am I going to apply for my Master's program. Fortunately, the website of “UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE COMMITTEE FOR OVERSEAS CHINESE STUDENTS” is easy to get all the information regarding these. The steps of applying that they provided are clear enough to read. Other than that, The Federation of Alumni Association of Taiwan University Malaysia is also playing an important role when I’m applying. They organize a briefing to us provide a lot of useful information before coming to Taiwan and help us to run the application of visas.
5. What do you plan to do after you have finish your studies in Taiwan? Would you like to stay in Taiwan? Why?
I love teaching Chinese, therefore after the completion of my study, I hope I can become a Chinese teacher. I wish I could help the students who willing to learn this beautiful language, I couldn’t wait to share the interesting Chinese culture with them. I would like to leave my footprint wherever who willing to learn Chinese. Taiwan is my favorite country, and due to the “Southbound” policy, there will be a huge amount of foreigners come to Taiwan, if they need to learn Chinese, I will definitely stay and teach.
6. How do you think studying in Taiwan can benefit you in your future career?
The program that I study currently is providing professional theory and practical skills to us. The school is emphasis both theory and practical part of our learning. Other than we can learn from the textbooks, we have to participate in an internship as well as attend a certain amount of seminars before we graduate. All the things I acquire and some of the relevant academic skills are helping me to consolidate my own teaching skills and enrich my own knowledge. It makes me feel confident and ready to face my future career.
7. What do you see as your key achievements during your studies in Taiwan?
The “human taste”, I can feel the most in Taiwan. All my friends in Taiwan, they are warm and friendly. No matter how hard our studies are, we will encouraging each other and helping each other. They are the “medicine” when I’m getting homesick. They bring me around in Taiwan and be my tour guide; They bring me the special fruits or food that I had never seen before these; They generous in giving their time to share everything they know to me. These friendships are definitely meaningful to me and I will never forget in my life.
8. What advice do you have for other foreign students who may want to come to Taiwan to study?
I STRONGLY recommend studying in Taiwan. Why? You will definitely experience the different lifestyle from your country; You will see how good the Taiwanese are; You will taste how delicious the food is; You will definitely enjoy your studies in Taiwan, so please step out from your comfort zone and fly to Taiwan to study, you will not regret. And you have to be open-minded when you study in Taiwan. Go and gain some working experience by being a part-timer; Go and learn something new, it can be a foreign language, a new skills; Go and know different friends that come from a different country, try to broaden your horizon. Come to Taiwan!