Meet Chatham’s Study Abroad Ambassadors for 2022-2023. These students are study abroad returnees who are available to answer questions and share their experience with interested students!
Program: Taiwan, summer 2022
“Going abroad to Taiwan for the summer was amazing, easily one of the most unforgettable experiences I have had in a long time. Due to Covid-19, the process of getting the Visa and having to quarantine once arrived in Taiwan required a lot of patience from the students, but mostly for the people who had organized the program. Despite the constant challenges, our program coordinator- Robin provided great support that made the whole process easy and bearable. Although we had to quarantine for two weeks, my experience of quarantining wasn’t actually excruciating as I expected because the Fulbright program had orientations throughout the week with mentors who taught us the culture, history and the norm of Taiwan. We learned how to play Mahjong during our quarantine and we were all able to connect with our cultural buddies the program had paired us with.
Next, I will discuss my school experience I had in Taiwan. I think being in a school setting was one of the times where I experienced the most cultural difference between the West and the East. As an Asian, when I arrived in the United States, I had to learn to speak up for myself and speak up when I had thought to share. Of course living in the United States for almost eight years, I adapted to the new culture, but when I arrived in Taiwan and attended the school, I realized I had to take myself back to eight years ago-to when I didn’t really share my thoughts unless my name was called or else I was seen as the American that just talked and talked in class. I quickly readjusted to the new cultural norm in Taiwan class because I was familiar with the setting, but if you are someone who has never lived or has no experience in Asian countries, I recommend keeping this in mind. Also keep in mind that just because someone doesn’t freely speak up like in America, doesn’t mean they are dumb and have nothing to say. So, don’t look down on their intelligence or sum up their personality.
Lastly, I’ve attached a few of the images from the trip in Taiwan and three of the pictures are from the optional excursion I participated in after the summer program had ended. If you are someone who is planning to go to Taiwan for the summer, I strongly recommend participating in the five day excursion because you get to go around and see so much more things than the weekend excursion during the program. Not only that, you get to bond deeper with people that you’ve already met and get to experience the authentic Taiwan. As you can see in the first image, it is a Starbucks, but Starbucks inside a container and that container has traveled through London, South Korea and many more countries and I thought it was super cool that the store was built Inside the CONTAINER! In the second image, it’s a beach, but it was really awesome because we had to climb up the rocky hill, but as it dropped, you got to experience this beach that was breathtaking and the fresh air in hot, humid Taiwan. The third image is at one of the oldest temples in Taiwan and this was during a weekend excursion. One of the most fun experiences I had during the five day excursion was on a Go-cart! It was so fun because we went early in the morning and nobody was around except us in the program. Got some fresh air and a few things probably went inside my eyes, but it was an unforgettable experience!
If you are afraid to go abroad because of financial reasons, there are plenty of options that provide financial aid for you. Don’t limit yourself because of money. It might take you more leg work compared to people who come from money, but please don’t let that stop you from having amazing experiences abroad!
Go Abroad and Live Your Life! Enjoy New Things and Go Out of Your Comfort Zone!!!”
Students can reach out to Vickey via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org