On this trip we got to experience so many new and interesting things. We visited many different night markets and companies. I enjoyed the night markets because there is so much to do and see. You can get food or a drink and walk around looking at all the different stores. We also, took many different trips to temples around Taiwan. I now know that you are to enter temples on the tiger side and exit on the dragon side. I enjoyed the experience of trying many different foods and beverages. I found out i don’t like bubble milk tea but chocolate tea (Pictured Below) on the other hand is really good. Overall I feel the trip to Taiwan was a good experience that helped me to grow as a person.
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The companies we visited were interesting, some included Jonnesway Enterprise Co. and Kenos Industrial Co. I don’t have a strong desire to work in the manufacturing industry, but talking to the managers really opened my eyes to the world of doing business internationally in my future career. The passion that the workers had for their jobs and the work they performed was something that was very unique to me. I feel like so many Americans I know go through the motions in their jobs everyday but don’t find a great amount of joy in it. But everywhere we went no matter if it was a restaurant or our enterprise visits they take a great pride in what they do. They are constantly asking your opinion of the product and if you’re not satisfied they’re eager to learn what they can do to make it better for you. It’s so personal. They want each and every customer to leave satisfied. They can’t seem to stop talking about their work. Their faces just seem to light up when they talk about the work they do everyday and that’s always something I’ve admired. I have yet to find what I want to do with my life, but I know when I figure it out I want to be that passionate about it. I also learned the lesson of doing your research before meeting with a client. Study their culture and maybe their social media pages to find out their interests. Learn about them before you meet them so you already feel a connection with them. In Asian culture, this relationship takes time to build but when you establish it, they serve as a long time client. It’s interesting to me just how big food culture is in Asia. Everything revolves around food. The events they have, the business deals they make. Joseph Liao, the President of Jonnesway, made this apparent. He said he watches what people order and everything and judges their character just on that. You need to study up on the mannerisms before going over to make sure you don’t do anything to offend a potential client. China is such a big economy that I found by the end of the trip that I want to continue my learning of the language. I think that there are great opportunities that lie in Asia in the business world and I want to be able to communicate to find those. I’m excited to keep learning and hope to visit again soon.
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We had news about a week in advance that there was a huge typhoon coming and just our luck it was supposed to hit Saturday AKA the day we are supposed to leave. We prepared (slightly) by buying some snacks and water but wow I was not prepared for what actually came. The wind was so strong it felt like our windows were going to crack at any time. If that wasn’t enough to rile up the nerves we were awakened at 2 am to the sound of glass crashing to the ground and shattering completely. The sound of the glass was continuous and little by little all of the glass was out of the window pane. Shortly after that the power flickered on and off for about an hour, then finally went out completely leaving us without air conditioning as well as without a filtered water dispenser. I chose to sleep in the middle room that didn’t have windows just to stay on the safe side. At about 6 am the wind had let down enough for me to feel comfortable laying in my bed. We then woke up again at about 9 am dripping with sweat, WE HAD CONQUERED TYPHOON SOUDELOR!!
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Last night a few of us went and celebrated our last few days here (hopefully). While we were all out we were all talking about our favorite memories and the things we liked. The responses included the food, Taipei, and the main thing we all loved, Greta. She has helped us so much throughout this process. Without her, I don’t think any of us could have survived. While I was listening to some of the responses I was thinking what I really liked about this trip. I came with the conclusion that one of my favorite parts was becoming closer with the people from Ashland. Coming on this trip, most of us barley knew anything about each other (excluding what we learned in class). But having to spend six weeks with each other, we have all grown closer to each other. We have all learned or changed in one form or another. Hopefully, when we get back to AU, we will continue to talk about our experiences and laugh at all of the silly moments we have had. I know I will urge other students to come on this trip, so they can experience some of the moments our group did. Pictured below is from the start of the trip to the end. (Kara isn’t in the first because she hates Ohio) (Not really she lives in Minnesota)
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It’s the day before we leave. Or is it? Typhoon Soudelor is making its way towards Taiwan as I type. It’s the biggest storm of the year with winds up to 218 miles per hour, which is equivalent to a category 5 hurricane. Right now it’s not too bad though with some wind and a little bit of rain. We’ve been suggested to stay at the dorm tonight as the storm will continue to get worse. Our coordinator offered to order us food and have it brought to the dorm so we don’t have to worry about going out for dinner. It was so nice of her to offer to have that done for us and shows that everyone here at Providence really cares about our safety. It’s hard to say right now if our flight home will get delayed. Since we don’t leave until Saturday evening we’ll miss the worst of the storm and might not have any problems getting home. Either way it’s pretty cool to be able to experience one last thing here in Taiwan. You never know what’s going to happen. Wish us luck on our travels home!
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My favorite thing about this study abroad experience is the ability we have to go explore. Last week, we found out that the country’s All Star Game and Home Run Derby were going to be taking place that Sunday. Being big fans of baseball, a few of us decided that it would be fun to go see some baseball while here.
We decided that we just wanted to go the Home Run Derby, otherwise we would have been there for 7 or 8 hours. We took the bus to a place where there is supposed to be a shuttle to the stadium, but we couldn’t find a shuttle… We ended up having to take a taxi to the Taiwan Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, which was an incredibly beautiful ballpark. We sat out in the left field bleachers and tried to catch a home run ball – but didn’t get any hit near us. After the Taiwanese players had their derby and determined a winner, some retired American players went out to take some swings to see if they could compete with the Taiwanese guys. These two players were Jason Giambi and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez!
Talk about a cool experience. Definitely one I won’t ever forget.
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Today we visited the Windsor Hotel as an company visit. We had a presentation, explored the rooms, and had lunch in their restaurant. The presentation was a short powerpoint giving a brief introduction of what the company does. The exploring was nice as we got to see the type of the rooms the hotel has to offer to its guests. they had us try to guess how much it was a night (less than I thought). The lunch was amazing as there were some many options to chose from on their buffet including everything from Taiwanese to American cuisine. Pictured below is a portion of the dining area. If I ever get the chance to visit Taiwan again I plan to stay at The Windsor Hotel.
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