My semester in Taiwan

Bart – Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan

Semester 1, 2019
Master of Business – International Business

Application process and language

For my study exchange, I went to Taiwan. The application process is time-consuming, but, nothing which should keep you from going abroad. In my case, the host universities subject outlines were in Mandarin so I had to manually translate them in order to find matching units.

Arriving in Taiwan and living on campus

Upon arrival in Taiwan, I was welcomed by my buddy and guided to my accommodation on campus. It was a dorm, shared with another QUT student and an Italian student. It’s a very interesting experience to stay on campus in a dormitory. The dormitory did not have a kitchen, but the campus had facilities where you could eat for a reasonable price. It was very nice not having to cook for a semester. However, you’re going to have to put in some effort to take in your daily amount of veggies.

Meeting new people

Experience-wise, I’ve had an amazing time. Taiwanese people are extremely friendly. Local students take the time to introduce you to their culture and are very proud of their cuisine. They will take you to local activities, take you to the best restaurants, and let you try all the local food. The language barrier with the younger generation isn’t a big problem since most of them speak English. With older generations this might be a problem, but, they are extremely friendly and will put in 110% effort to help you out. E.g. if you’re staring at a menu in Mandarin, it will on average not last longer than a couple of minutes before another customer will drop their chopsticks and help you out with the menu. Or if you look lost in the city, it won’t be long before someone will ask you where you’re going and if you need some help.

For the ones who love nightlife, there are heaps of clubs in Taipei. It’s very diverse but extremely spread out. Unfortunately, I found it more expensive than in Australia. The country is beautiful and very small, so you’ll have plenty of time to see most of it during the semester. And for short day trips, if you’re into hiking, you’re sorted in Taipei. Taipei is surrounded by mountains and there are plenty of day hikes you can do.

Academic experience

That said, academically, I did not have a good experience. The teacher’s English is extremely poor, which drastically drops the level of the courses. Which might not be a big thing for you. For me, it was, because my master degree only has 4 semesters. Which means that I felt missing out on 25% of what I could have learned. To give an example, I had 85% on a test (with 1hr of study) and told the teacher that I deserved more points on some questions because of certain reasons. And without discussion, she increased my grade to 95%. It turns out, that the FJU is a good school for languages, fashion, and related studies.

To round up, Taiwan is a great country, has amazing food and the friendliest people in Asia. However, keep in mind that academically it will be a disappointment (if you study business). So keep that in mind before applying, you might not mind studying a little less for a semester. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to contact me through the exchange centre.

Read more about Fu Jen Catholic University

1 Comment

  1. Looks amazing!

    You mention that the language barrier didn’t end up being a problem with younger generations, but did you end up picking up much overall? How much would you say your language level improved?

    It’s unfortunate to hear about your negative experience with the teaching staff. Was this just one teacher in particular or did you feel as though this would have been similar with other teachers as well?

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