I have been having a wonderful time studying in Tainan. I can’t believe that I have already been here for about three weeks. In some ways it feels like time has flown by and in other ways it feels like it hasn’t, because every day I discover something new. Although I am very busy with balancing school work, my social life, and exploring, I really love having a busy schedule. By now thankfully I have gotten into a routine and I am able to get to school without using Google Maps. Since I come from a tiny rural town, before coming to Tainan I had absolutely no experience living and navigating life in a big city. The first few days of classes and activities I would often spend a lot of time using my phone for directions or trying to find where I want to eat.
This week I noticed I am getting better at remembering the places I’ve eaten at that have delicious food. While I have been in Taiwan I have not eaten anything that I haven’t enjoyed, so in my opinion I can’t go wrong. I would say the food is one of my favorite parts about my experience in Taiwan so far. I haven’t even been able to try all the infamous Taiwanese foods yet, but I definitely plan on it. I basically have a picture of almost every single meal, snack, or beverage that I have had while I’m here because in the future I want to reminisce about all the tasty things. I would say my favorite food items are the fresh mango, mango smoothies, mango slushies, mango popsicles, I mean mango everything. I love mangoes and the mangoes here are so deliciously sweet.
If I had to name my ultimate favorite thing about my experience in Taiwan so far, it would be my teachers. Before coming to Taiwan, I knew that the teachers would be amazing, but I never would have imagined that I would have such genuinely amazing relationships. From the first day of classes and my first one-on-one class to my last class of this week, I have loved it all. Every interaction I have had with every one of my teachers has been so interactive, genuine, and fantastic. I love being taught by amazing passionate teachers who truly care about students. I already know when I return to the United States that I will miss every single one of my teachers. Every day I become more and more grateful to be in this position and spend this wonderful summer in Tainan.
By: Mari Holben
Term: Summer 2019