Student exchange Travel

What It’s Like Studying Exchange Semester in Taiwan

Kai-Lin – Fu Jen Catholic University – Taiwan

Semester 1, 2023

Bachelor of Design


As an interior architecture student from Australia, my exchange student experience in Taiwan was a
transformative journey filled with cultural immersion, diverse education methods, forging lifelong
friendships, and savoring the delightful blend of tantalizing food and rich traditions. Throughout my time
in Taiwan, I learned valuable lessons not only in the realm of design but also about life, community, and
the importance of embracing new perspectives.


New Study Environment

The moment I arrived in Taiwan, I was struck by its vibrant energy and warm hospitality. Settling into the
city of Taipei, I enrolled at a prestigious university known for its esteemed architecture program. The
education methods in Taiwan differed significantly from what I was accustomed to in Australia. In
Taiwan, the focus on group collaboration and hands-on learning was paramount. The students were
encouraged to engage in interactive discussions, fostering a dynamic learning environment that
encouraged creativity and experimentation. I found this approach to be both refreshing and challenging,
as it pushed me to think outside the box and explore alternative design solutions.


Culture and Connection

One aspect that stood out the most was the emphasis on traditional design elements and cultural
context. Taiwanese interior architecture students deeply respected and drew inspiration from their rich
heritage, seamlessly incorporating traditional aesthetics into modern designs. This contrasted with the
more contemporary and multicultural approach prevalent in Australia, broadening my appreciation for
diverse design influences. The exchange experience not only enriched my academic pursuits but also
allowed me to form meaningful connections with both students and teachers.

Through various group projects, I bonded with fellow classmates, understanding their aspirations, and
witnessing their dedication to design. Collaborating with them taught me the importance of teamwork,
communication, and cultural sensitivity, as we navigated through diverse ideas to create harmonious
spaces that respected both Taiwanese and Australian design sensibilities. The friendships I developed
with my Taiwanese peers extended beyond the university walls. I was warmly welcomed into their social
circles, participating in cultural events, local festivals, and experiencing everyday life through their eyes.
Engaging in these activities helped me grasp the intricacies of Taiwanese culture, and I found myself
captivated by their traditional customs and the deep sense of community that permeated every aspect
of their lives.

It wasn’t just the students who left a lasting impact; the teachers, too, played a significant role in
shaping my exchange experience. Their approachable and supportive demeanor fostered an
atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. They encouraged us to explore beyond our comfort zones,
making us feel that our ideas were valued and had the potential to transform the world of design. This
nurturing environment instilled in me a newfound confidence and passion for my chosen field.
During my stay in Taiwan, I documented my adventures through vlogs on my Youtube channel. Sharing
my experiences with a global audience allowed me to connect with people from all walks of life,
sparking meaningful conversations about design, culture, and personal growth. It also encouraged me to
reflect deeply on the encounters and lessons I gained during my exchange.

Of course, no reflection on my exchange student experience in Taiwan would be complete without
mentioning the tantalizing food and captivating culture. Taiwanese cuisine, with its flavorful street
snacks and delectable night market treats, became an integral part of my daily life. Trying new dishes and understanding their cultural significance was a journey of its own, exposing me to the heart and soul
of Taiwan’s rich culinary heritage.


Some Final Words

In conclusion, my exchange student experience in Taiwan was a life-changing adventure that broadened
my horizons and deepened my understanding of both interior architecture and cultural diversity. The
contrasting education methods pushed me to grow as a designer, while the friendships I formed with
students and teachers enriched my understanding of community and collaboration. Through vlogging, I
shared my story with the world, fostering connections and inspiring others to embrace international
experiences. Above all, my time in Taiwan allowed me to immerse myself in a captivating culture,
creating cherished memories and leaving an indelible mark on my personal and professional journey


Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.

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