My life in Taiwan as an international student

By Jade Khieu, Class of 2023

Embarking on a journey as an international student in Taiwan has opened up a world of opportunities and enriching experiences. In this blog, I'll take you on a rollercoaster ride through the perks and quirks of my life in this fascinating country. Buckle up and let's go!

What are the perks??

Taiwan offers lots of advantages and exciting opportunities to international students. One of the most compelling reasons to study in Taiwan is the country's reputation for providing quality education. Taiwanese universities are renowned for their academic excellence, diverse programs, and highly qualified faculty members. As an international student pursuing a master's degree in NYCU GMBA, I have received a well-rounded education that equips me with valuable skills and knowledge for my future career as well as nurtures my entrepreneurial spirit.

In addition to the educational benefits, Taiwan offers a relatively affordable option for international students. The tuition fees in Taiwanese universities are often more budget-friendly compared to other popular study abroad destinations. Moreover, the cost of living in Taiwan can be reasonable, especially in smaller cities like Hsinchu, allowing me to manage my expenses without any financial strain.

Living in Taiwan also creates opportunities to experience a rich and vibrant culture. From traditional festivals to mouth-watering street food, you will have numerous opportunities to blend yourself in Taiwanese customs and traditions. Taiwan's efficient public transportation system is another significant asset for foreigners. The well-connected network of buses, trains, and metro lines makes traveling around the country convenient and accessible. You can easily explore Taiwan's breathtaking landscapes, historical sites, and vibrant cities during your weekends or breaks from studies.

One of the reasons I chose to study in Taiwan is the chance to build a global network of friends and professional contacts. Interacting with classmates from diverse cultural backgrounds helps me grow in communication and enhances my global outlook.

Class of 2023. Image source: NYCU GMBA

But every coin has two sides...

While living as an international student in Taiwan offers numerous advantages, there are also some potential challenges to consider. One significant hurdle for international students is the language barrier. Although English is commonly spoken on university campuses but outside of these settings, the primary language is Mandarin Chinese. Even though I have lived in Taiwan for years, Mandarin Chinese sometimes is still difficult and overall a hard language to completely master. Proficiency in the local language is also one of the requirements for most jobs in the market so international students should invest in improving their Mandarin Chinese.

Cultural shock is another aspect that I have to face. Adapting to a new culture, social norms, and customs can be initially challenging, particularly for those coming from significantly different cultural backgrounds. But after years of living here, I have learned to embrace the Taiwanese way of life with an open mind and willingness to understand and respect cultural differences.

Lastly, living far away from family and friends can sometimes lead to feelings of homesickness. I often miss significant events or holidays back home and sometimes it is hard to handle these feelings. However, building a strong support network with fellow classmates and friends in Taiwan helps me alleviate them and create a sense of belonging.

In conclusion, while studying as an international student in Taiwan provides many rewarding experiences, it is essential to acknowledge and prepare for the potential challenges. Being proactive, open-minded, and adaptable can help navigate these challenges and fully embrace the enriching opportunities that Taiwan has to offer.