Settling in to Life in Taiwan

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

Program: Taiwan Intensive Summer Language Program

Term: Summer 2019

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