My Year in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Name: Amber Chandler
Type of year: Studying abroad
Location: Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Course: Politics with a Minor
· Why did you choose to do a year abroad?
I chose to do a year abroad in order to gain an extra qualification, to improve my Mandarin and to put on my CV to show that I can adapt to different situations.
· How did you choose where to go?
At Loughborough I minored in Mandarin so for me it felt suiting to go to Taiwan.
· How have you enjoyed being abroad?
Overall I have enjoyed my experience here. It is hard adapting culturally as it is very unfamiliar. But everybody I have come across is so happy and friendly, all they want to do is help you.
· What is a typical day like?
I have two hours of Mandarin every morning, often accompanied with a new bizarre tea I have plucked up the courage to try. Three times a week I have course related modules, which are three hours long each. In the evenings, we often go to explore the night markets, all selling strange ‘Taiwan delicacies’, clothes and Tourist novelties.
· What (if any) problems/issues have you come across and how did you overcome them?
I unfortunately had a few problems in the first month. I fell ill twice, once with food poisoning and an infection. It was fine though, the exchange programme leader at the University took care of me by authorising my absence from lessons with no worries and assigned me a student helper who took me to the hospital and translated for me.
· How has it/it not benefitted you?
Language wise it has benefitted me greatly. I’m picking things up every day and getting used to the rapid speed in which they speak! In terms of my degree, I haven’t benefitted so greatly yet, as it is very similar to first year work in terms of content.
· Would you recommend other students to do a year abroad and why?
I would recommend doing a year abroad. You get another year to be a student, have the choice to focus on something other than your chosen degree; like a language, and in only what is a year of your life you gain so much from it.
· What are your plans after university?
I’m thinking about joining a programme where I can become a Teaching Assistant teaching English for a year in China. Or perhaps take on work straight away. But I definitely don’t want to forget Chinese!