Clubs and societies Student exchange Study

My learning experiences in Tainan, Taiwan

Sean – National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

Semester 1, 2019
Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours)

Coming from Australia, and not speaking any Chinese before arriving in Taiwan, I found the process quite easy to get the accommodation and basic university things sorted out. Class registration and department registration is a tedious paper-based process where you run around to every department giving copies of the same form and collecting stamps no one seems to understand! This is something that I hope they will be improving in the coming semesters.

Once settled into NCKU, I was offered some really amazing academic opportunities from the weekly College of Planning and Design lectures, the Industrial Design and Architecture final presentation/graduation exhibitions and the Aerospace research pathways lecture weekly series. At the same time there were also fun activities: attending the dragon boat festival, going to all-you-can-eat barbeque (its near the canal in the West District – you must go!) and experiencing the local alleys and markets scattered throughout Tainan.

As part of the ICID (Creative Industries) department, I joined two team projects with local and international students, organised and hosted the POINTS Data Visualisation Exhibition in April 2019, attended the International Conference of Planning and Design at NCKU and was part of the Hong Kong-Tainan Design Thinking Workshop as part of Professor Yang’s annual university study tour.

Finally, the student societies at NCKU are numerous and so interesting! While many of them will be in Chinese, they all seemed willing to find someone who could Chinese-English as their way through to teaching you how to join in. Some really memorable clubs for me were the Architecture Society (C-Hub café!!), the MAGI CLUB – NCKU’s maker club for students who want to build stuff for fun and the NCKU Pottery Club who were all so generous letting us get involved and helping us out when we were struggling.


Thank you Tainan and thank you NCKU for giving me such an awesome exchange journey, I hope to see you soon!

Sean’s experience was funded by the Australian Government’s 2019 New Colombo Plan. Sean was an NCP Scholar. Find out more about funding your international experience.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Sean!

    It looks life you had a wonderful trip! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I particularly enjoyed reading about the Barbecue experience and the boat racing. It is fantastically impressive (and very brave) that you travelled to Taiwan without knowing any Chinese. I’m curious, how much Chinese did you learn while you were over there?

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