Perceptions of Students from Southbound Countries
Read about the perception of students from soutbound countries to share the insight of studying in Taiwan.
Lei Jia Yi/ Nanhua University
Nationality : Malaysia
Major : Business Administration
I am a Malaysian Chinese from a very loving family. I like to travel and learn different cultures. I am shy but I am curious about everything. I like to spend time with the elders so I can learn more about the society and different characters of people. My favorite pastime is reading. If I could find time just for reading, cuddled up in my favorite spot with a book, that would be the time of my life.
我是馬來西亞人，我來自一個非常有愛的家庭。 我喜歡旅行和學習不同的文化。 我非常靦腆但卻好奇心旺盛。 我喜歡和長輩相處，這樣我就可以更多地了解與認識各式各樣的人。 我喜歡閱讀， 如果我能空出時間來閱讀，我會偎在我最愛的位置看書，是我一生中最棒的時光。
1. What made you decide to study in Taiwan?
My elder brother came to Taiwan to study before me, I found that his study life here is very exciting, and furthermore I came to Taiwan once during high school and I love the type of lifestyle, the scenery, the friendliness of Taiwanese and the most important of all is the food! I really liked the Taiwanese stinky tofu and fried chicken fillet. Also, I could travel around Taiwan if I came here to study, like during the school holidays and summer break. The biggest factor was I wanted to study abroad, and Taiwan was not only affordable, the crime rate here was also very low, my parents will be less worried about my safety during my time here.
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 currently studying for a bachelor degree in business administration, and I am already in the final year of it. Throughout the years studying in this field, I have learned that teamwork, collaboration and communication are essential, particularly in the administration field. Numerous of works, presentation or even the undergraduate research projects comes in group, and I really enjoyed in working along with my fellow classmates, and it is really great to be able to get the different innovative ideas and thoughts of different people that comes from different country and cultures that they grew up with.
3. How does studying in Taiwan compare with studying in your home country (e.g., teaching quality, environment, school equipment, facilities, etc.)?
I had never studied in Malaysia’s university, but if compared to my high school, I would say that language is be the most different factor here. In Malaysia, most subjects would be taught in English. But I think that the teachers here are very responsible compared to ours (there are still some responsible teachers in Malaysia too!) From what I had learned from my friends back in Malaysia, they have a lot of formal presentation, which I think is a great way to train our ability to express ourselves, they have had at least ten formal presentations in four years whereas I have only had two formal presentations.
4. What has been the greatest challenge you faced in applying to study in Taiwan? How did you overcome this challenge?
I have zero problem coming here.
5. What do you plan to do after you have finish your studies in Taiwan? Would you like to stay in Taiwan? Why?
I would like to stay in Taiwan to work for a few years before going back to Malaysia because I could use my multilingual ability as an advantage in job seeking and the salary here is certainly higher than Malaysia and simply because I haven’t finished exploring Taiwan. But I think that working in Taiwan wasn’t easy, the working morale and atmosphere is a huge difference comparing to Malaysia. But I take this as a chance to toughen up myself and widen my horizon as I was planning to go for a working holiday in Spain after working in Taiwan for a few years.
6. How do you think studying in Taiwan can benefit you in your future career?
As I was already in Taiwan for four years now, I had a grasp of how Taiwan’s business management works, for instance I learned that most companies in Taiwan have their own Standard of Procedure for almost every process, whereas companies in Malaysia are unlikely to have this. As Taiwan was one of the “four little dragons” in Asia, there sure are a lot of business tactics that I could bring back to Malaysia if I were promoted to management level. Furthermore, Taiwan’s products are becoming a hit in Malaysia, maybe one day I could open a franchise in Malaysia.
7. What do you see as your key achievements during your studies in Taiwan?
As coming to study in Taiwan is my own choice, I didn't want to burden my family with the huge expense, so I study hard to earn scholarship for my school tuition fees, and as for my living expense, I took on several part time jobs as tutor and “errand girl” and also summer jobs to cover them. However, it is very hard for me to handle both my studies and work. I was so stressed out I developed anxiety and depression, which made everything worse. The worst thing was I could not turn to my family for help as I was so far away from home. But I know I couldn’t let depression and anxiety get the best of me, so I powered through them. I know it seemed like it wasn’t a big deal, but for a soft person like me, I guess it was a big achievement for me.
8. What advice do you have for other foreign students who may want to come to Taiwan to study?
I strongly recommend foreign students to get along with Taiwanese students or students from other countries, instead of just making friends from your home country or just staying in dorm all day, you could do that back at home, you should not miss out this great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone! You wouldn’t need to be shy about making friends with the Taiwanese students, they are super friendly, and you could learn more about the Taiwanese culture from them! Furthermore, I suggest you to be closer to your professor, the professors here take extra care for foreign students and they are like your parents in Taiwan!