Photos by Elsi Muñoz Ramos (University of Mississippi), Student Correspondent for CET Taiwan, Spring 2023
It’s been seven months since I arrived in Taiwan—a learning experience of ups and downs. Today, I would like to share some moments and people that helped me find peace when life as a study abroad student was a bit too difficult.
Do you guys remember Lynn? She is my language partner from the Fall semester! Lynn is a lovely girl, charismatic and full of energy. Lynn’s Major is Spanish. I am proud and happy to see how her Spanish has greatly improved in the past seven months! Hanging out with Lynn is always muy divertido (very fun)! Using Spanish and Chinese simultaneously with Lynn is a beautiful experience and a unique cultural exchange.
Lynn invited me to travel with her to Taichung! This was not only my first time traveling to Taichung, but also the first time a friend invited me to her hometown in Taiwan! I was thrilled to travel to Taichung and meet Lynn’s family! They took me to Sun Moon Lake! I had so much fun with Lynn and her family. Una experiencia inolvidable (an unforgettable experience)~
This is Jane! My amiga (friend)! I met Jane through the CET Language Partner Program. One of the things I love about Jane is her beautiful smile. On this day, we traveled to Yangmingshan, one of Taiwan’s National parks. On this weekend trip, we saw beautiful landscapes and cows! Besides the beautiful view, I had so much fun traveling with Jane! Jane is also learning Spanish! Hiking and long walks at 阳明山国家公园 were worth the views of this unique landscape.
週末快樂 (Happy weekend)! On a sunny Friday after Chinese class, my friends and I decided to go to the beach. On this day, we traveled to 淺水灣海濱公園. My friends and I had so much fun. We enjoyed the sea view and the fresh water. Then, we watched the sunset and shared a delicious meal. A special day with special people~
She is 智瑛! My classmate and friend! 智瑛 is from Japan, and we both study Chinese at the Chinese Language Department at National Taiwan University. When taking classes at CLD, you will not only meet people from the United States but also will have the opportunity to meet classmates from all different countries.
On this day 智瑛 and I traveled to Keelung 基隆 where we headed our way to Heping island park, but on the way, we stopped at Tianxian Temple, where we were able to watch a ritual performance. At the end of the performance, we were asked if we wanted a picture! With beautiful views and friendly company, Keelung is a must-visit, which can be done on a day trip. 我跟智瑛玩得很开心！
Life gets busy, and at times stress is unavoidable. However, we must treat ourselves kindly and find ways to succeed and be happy. After a busy Fall term, I headed to the East of Taiwan on a 6-day trip. The east coast of Taiwan is known for its beautiful landscapes: the beach, the mountains, and the home of the Aboriginal people. Being close to nature was a peaceful moment.
On my trip, I made some friends! I went to Taroko National Park Visitor Center on day two of my journey and had lunch there. While looking for a place to enjoy their meal, a group of travelers asked if they could sit with me, to which I said yes. After chatting for a while, I learned they were from Taipei. They were retired, and Hualien was their favorite place in Taiwan to travel! Then, they invited me to travel with them for one day, to which I said yes. The story is not short. My six days of travel on the East Coast of Taiwan were full of surprises. I was happy to meet good people along the way.
As I made my solo journey on the East side of Taiwan, I encountered challenges like missing the last bus of the day at Taroko Gorge. When traveling, you should be careful. Before embarking on an adventure, I advise you to learn about the transportation of the place you are visiting and about the area you are visiting. Somehow, I was lucky enough to find people who helped me during his time. While standing alongside the road, an elderly man traveling by himself stopped his car and asked me why I was in the middle of the street alone. After telling him in Chinese that I had missed the last bus, he offered to take me to Tianxiang, where I stayed the night.
This picture shows my friend Paola and her friend Sofi. They are currently studying abroad in South Korea, and before they went back to school for the Spring semester, they came to Taiwan on a five-day trip! I was so happy to welcome them to Taiwan! On their trip, we visited Taroko Gorge. But guess what! I knew how to travel in Taroko this time, so I served as a reliable tour guide. We had so much fun, and together we witnessed the beauty of Taroko Gorge.
On my journey in Taiwan, I met some fantastic people. Besides the many people mentioned, I want to introduce my friend Riho and Professor Chen Laoshi.
I met Riho while studying at the library. We sat at the same table, and suddenly I saw her Chinese textbook, which was the same as mine to my surprise. I immediately smiled at her and showed her I had the same book. From that day, we exchanged lines and became friends. In the other picture is my Chinese Language professor from my home university in the United States. When studying Chinese back home, I faced some challenges that were out of my control, which led me to change my Chinese learning strategy. I felt much better after talking to Chen Laoshi one day after class. A few days ago, I traveled to Chiayi to visit her! where she is currently finishing her Ph.D.
Keelung Night Market
Food makes me Happy. As with every good post, I must discuss food and Taiwanese night Markets. This picture was taken at Keelung Night Market. On a Friday evening, I went with my friend Jane to enjoy some delicious snacks. My favorite snack at Keelung Night Market was an oyster omelet (蚵仔煎 )! Food, friends, and adventures have made my study abroad experience in Taiwan one that I will never forget. 谢谢你们