Lucie Rozinthe, has been studying at the National Chengchi University in Taipei since January. She describes to us the differences she has seen there in the education, the way of life and also how it compares to France.
“The main reason that I wanted to do an exchange in Asia was because I know that nowadays it’s important to know about Asian culture and how it works.” She went to Taipei because its culture is like in China, except it’s “easier to live there.”
Going on to how University the university and courses were, she seemed quite impressed. “It’s an American style campus so it’s really big and has many facilities. While Grenoble is just one building and focused on Business.” Instead there in Taipei, there is a mixture of students from different disciplines so we feel like one big family. Of course things aren’t all easy, at the start she mentions how the buildings are all named in Chinese yet they are numbered on the timetable, so it took a while to put that together”.
As for the actual education, Lucie highlights some differences between the two countries. “In France we have always been taught to think for ourselves, however here the teachers are trying hard to stress that students think for themselves, as this is not something that was emphasised to them up until University.”
Moving onto the subject of living in Taipei she paints it in a positive light, “It’s nice here, it’s huge and there are a lot of things to do. It’s also cheap in comparison to France!” of course most importantly are the people who make up the city of which she says “ the city is safe, and the people nice, even if you don’t speak Chinese there will be someone who speaks English and is willing to translate things for you “. Also compared to France things open later as people are working during the day so shops open after 4, there is a different logic to life.
But will this help her in the future? Lucie thinks so “I think it will help me because it has given me a vision of how people live and work here, it’s also helped me understand and notice the different norms/ unspoken rules which are quite different to the ones in Europe.” She also compliments the entrepreneurship class where they visited different companies who gave talks to the students and showed them around the company itself. “Recently it was a fashion company which was actually quite a new brand, it was great because they were really welcoming and they gave a talk which was really interesting.”
She leaves us with some titbits of advice for those students thinking of studying in Taipei? “Well for one, definitely come here as it’s a really nice place. I also highly recommend living in the city as it’s really nice and different; there is a different way of living but in the way that it’s easy to live here. People are less stressed and calmer.”