Unveiling the Campus Lives of International Students at NPUST

Currently, with 622 international students from 43 different countries calling NPUST “home”, the university’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) is always looking to create new opportunities for students from abroad to interact and develop closer relationships with locals. Most recently, in order to provide Taiwan students with better understandings of the different cultural backgrounds and viewpoints of their foreign schoolmates, and help them get an idea of what it feels like to be an international student living on campus, the OIA invited five Taiwanese students from the International Exchange Ambassadors Student Society to form a team of “special correspondents on the campus lives of overseas students”. 

The five student correspondents include Yi-ru Lu, a third-year student from the Department of Business Management, Yu-jing Tseng, a fourth-year student in the Department of Applied Foreign Languages, and, from the Department of Hotel and Restaurant Management, second-year student, Chi-yu Chang, and fourth-year student, Pin-Hsuan Kuo.

As part of this initiative, the correspondents will visit foreign students every 2 weeks to conduct interviews that are a designed to develop different levels of understanding and communication between foreign and local students. The activity also gives local students an opportunity to cultivate English communication skills and develop their ability to recognize and understand different accents.

Topics of interest were selected by the correspondents, who were most curious about such questions as “why did you want to come study at NPUST?” and “what are some differences between Taiwan and you home country?”. To these, Nelma from the Solomon Islands responded that “the main reasons I chose NPUST are because it offers fully English instructed courses, and its Food Science program is very professional.” Nelma explained that “after I finished my master’s degree at this university, I was able to successfully enroll into the PhD program. I have been living here many years – and I really like the people and the surroundings”.

Nokwazi from Eswatini shared about some of the differences he noticed between his country and Taiwan, explaining that “the animals in my country are very different than the animals in Taiwan. And in my country, you will not see them kept in the zoo, rather out in the wild or in a national park living in large communities – if you want to see them, you have to make a reservation. In Taiwan you can see them in the zoos, they are not free, but you can be very safe as you observe them. It is a different kind of experience.” The first interviews were conducted on May 11th and 12th (2020) with the related content posted on the university webpage to offer a realistic impression of NPUST’s current international students to other “prospective students” who might be coming to Taiwan for studies in the future – and to hopefully attract more students to NPUST.