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Posts Tagged ‘Ashland University’

With only two more days left in Taiwan, looking back at the past six weeks we have created many memories. Throughout the trip we always dreaded all the pictures Greta took, but now I’m glad we took them so we can look back at the fun and wild experiences we had in Taiwan. I think the best part about this trip was getting to know so many new people,especially the ones from other countries such as Spain, Germany, and Switzerland. Though, in these last few weeks I’ve noticed how we have become more independent from each other and choose to venture out on our own. Personally, I never thought I’d feel comfortable enough to walk around a city by myself, but in Taichung it’s really no big deal. That says a lot about how friendly and safe it is in Taichung. It’s bittersweet to leave everyone I have met, but I am ready to get back into my normal routine in America. Lastly, I’m hoping our flight doesn’t get delayed or canceled from this typhoon that is expected to hit Friday night, but none of the locals seem to be too concerned.

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Just posting a few pictures of the many different foods that we’ve eaten here in Taiwan.

bamboo rice bamboo rice that we had while walking the mountain.

pork dumplings pork dumplings that we get from a close by store

pizza rockPizza Rock is literally our rock, it is the place we’ve ate at the most

sweet potatoe ballstea time with some delicious sweet potato balls

watermelon juice watermelon juice from the night market, everything can come in a bag

ice cream passion fruit ice cream on a very hot day!

BJ mashed potato cheese burger from Burger Joint…tastes like heaven.

chicken nugg Morning House one of the many breakfasts we’ve had at Morning House, which is located on campus. Not your traditional breakfast meals.

yum and of course one of the many versions of beef noodles you can find here.

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I feel myself growing as a person everyday. My attitude and outlook toward everything has brightened a little more each day I’m here. The country is beautiful. Our week in Kenting and Hualien was one to never forget. The water was like an ombre blue and the water was so warm and fresh. In Hualien we got to go water tracking. This really forced me to face my fears with heights quickly. I think climbing on wet rocks that I could slip off in a second was a good way to get over my intense fear. Everyone was really supportive though. I’m glad I lived up to the challenge.On our way to Hualien and during our stay we were able to meet different aboriginal tribes and join in their dances and celebrations. They were so welcoming. It was great to see a more traditional way of life in Taiwan, past the busy city life. Our bus ride back to Taichung was extremely scary as most of the journey was spent on a one-lane highway on the edge of a mountain, with only a guardrail separating us from the deadly fall. Even our Chinese professor said she was glad to see us as the journey is long and dangerous. I love our Chinese class. It’s really interesting and I’m actually proud of myself for picking up on it as quick as I have. It’s fun to pick out symbols that we know on our adventures throughout the city on a daily basis. Just going through the city I find myself wanting to know more about the Taiwanese culture. I wonder what the cost of living here is and where a vendor owner lives compares to someone who might work at the school. What is considered a large amount of money to be carrying on you at all times? I want to know about the country economically to compare to that in the United States.

I’ve met so many amazing people from around the world, including Europe and Hong Kong; people I can see myself staying in contact with even after our trip is over. The people here are so friendly and eager to talk to us. I find it funny that the first question most people ask when you first meet is what you think about the food. The food here is very unique. It’s a lot of trial and error, but I have tried and like some really tasty foods. I never thought I would say this, but I have adapted to the heat a little bit. There are still some days that are unbearable, especially with our massive walk up the hill back to school, but it’s getting better. While the companies we have visited do not appeal to me, I still like going and listening to the workers and owners. People take so much pride in their work here. They are eager to talk about the jobs they perform everyday. It makes me excited to start my career when I hear other people so excited about their companies, no matter what the industry. I can’t believe we leave in a week. This whole trip has flown by. I’m very excited to see the adventures that await us in Taipei our last week.

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Stepping off of the plane was suffocating. People can try and explain just how hot it is here and nothing will prepare you for the intense humidity. The first night we decided to explore the night market. There’s so much excitement going on as you approach. It’s like an Asian version of a carnival in the United States. There’s people everywhere playing carnival games such as balloon popping and ring tosses. The vendors and smells were endless. The strongest one that would not leave is stinky tofu. It was everywhere. It is an indescribable smell that once you smell it once, you’ll never forget it. It’s awful even though no matter how many locals you ask, they will rave about it. At some point I will come around to tasting it, but my stomach has not fully adjusted yet. The market offers interesting foods from fresh fruit to bees. It’s overwhelming. When testing the night market out, it’s definitely lots of trial and error. The smells are hard to get past sometimes, but when you do you can find some pretty tasty things. The people here are very friendly. Their faces seem to light up when you say you’re from the U.S. Some are really eager to hear and critique your Chinese. It’s really encouraging when we need to apply the Chinese we are learning in class to the streets. Thursday we toured downtown Taichung. It was so exciting as I’ve always loved city life no matter where it is. The hustle and bustle of all the people is thrilling to me. We visited the Confucius Temple, which was a calming escape amidst the chaos. The rest of the day and Friday was spent exploring the shops around downtown and other markets. The clothes includes various collections of Japanese, Korean and Chinese styles. Walking around I noticed electronics and accessories around every corner. Cases for your phone are extremely jeweled or have some type of cartoon character on it. Disney characters are very popular on everything. If you are looking for something with Mickey Mouse on it, you will be able to find it in under a minute. Saturday was by far my favorite since we arrived. We visited a Buddhist Monastery which was located on the mountain. It was beautiful and so peaceful. It made me want to stop and meditate and just appreciate the beautiful scenery around us. After we went to a theme park further up the mountain and then rode the cable cars over the top and arrived at Sun Moon Lake. This was one scene that I have been looking forward to the most. Even with the rain, it was breathtaking. The lake was beautiful with the mountains surrounding it. There was a heavy fog that formed over the mountains after the rain so when we went out on the boat, they seemed to disappear once we went far enough. It was really cool. So far the country is so beautiful and we have just begun to explore all of its beauty. For me, I went through a great culture shock when first arriving but at the same time, I find it exciting to be out of my comfort zone. It helps me to grow. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey!

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A large part of our adventures here in Taiwan have been so that we could get some exposure to different kinds of businesses that run outside of the United States. We have had the opportunity to tour, experience, and even meet presidents and executives of corporations from all over Taiwan, including some well-known companies such as Honor Seiki Co. and Jonnesway Professional Tools.

An interesting aspect of trips to these companies have been getting to see the facilities they operate in – especially the factories and warehouses. We were given tours of each of their complexes and got to see how their companies run. In total, we were able to see these companies so far:

  • Honor Seiki Co., a Vertical Lathe Company
  • Kenos Industrial Co., a Heat Treatment Company
  • D.E. Chung Hua Foods, a Food Industry Company
  • Jonnesway Professional Tools, a Tool Company

At one of the factories, one of the main points of their presentation was that some of them had air conditioning in their warehouses and factories – that was a big deal. As our professor, Eric Velliquette, pointed out, many of the companies here do not provide air conditioning for these types of facilities as he is in the fastener (and heat treatment) industry himself. Another interesting bit was that they all knew a lot of English, which I think surprised us all a little bit. I don’t know how many American companies would be able to communicate in fluent Chinese with students from a Chinese speaking nation. I think our favorite of the visits so far would have been Jonnesway because of the interactions we had with the people there. We got to sit down with the president of their company and ask him questions for a few hours about his company, Taiwan, and the business world.

Both educational and interesting, these site visits have allowed us to see how companies outside the United States might run in similar and different ways than companies where we’re from do. It showed us the value of language in the business marketplace because we found out that the most effective companies in these industries are ready for change and are multilingual. They are able to adapt as the business world changes – new economic powerhouses, political regime shifts, and changing world supply and demand levels – any of these might require a company to expand or change their market just to keep up as new leaders emerge. These companies have done just that.

Stay tuned for more posts!

Austin Williams

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Today in Taiwan I experienced a fun day of adventuring new places and trying new foods. After our morning class a few of us walked around some streets near campus in search of a new place to eat food. Our search resulted in finding a restaurant called KLG, which was a very close rip off of the American brand KFC. The quality was much lower, but the logo and menu were a clear attempt to copy which we found very entertaining and surprising. Later in the day we made our way to the Fen Jia Night Market, a few square blocks in the city with hundreds of little stands and shops that come alive as the sun goes down. We tried some new foods such as tea-boiled eggs and pork blood cakes, both of which did not leave me wanting more. Some even ventured far enough to try the legendary stinky tofu, but I wasn’t inspired enough for that tonight. We walked around for a couple of hours on the streets looking in every shop for things that peaked our interest. We took part in some fair-like games and took home some prizes to go with our souvenirs. All in all it was a very interesting night filled with new experiences in a culture that is slowly but surely getting more familiar. Perhaps next time I will be bold enough to sample the stinky tofu.

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This past week we left our usual home of Taichung and went south to visit some businesses and go on a little vacation from our vacation. We visited manufacturers in a small town and got to see an inside look at one of the first steps of the process for most consumer goods. It was very interesting and quite an eye-opening experience, one that allowed me to put a picture with the descriptions of factories overseas in China and Taiwan. We were then able to relax and enjoy a week off spending time at the beach in the south and some river activities on the East coast for a few days. This was a very fun adventure to go on and it was interesting to observe the recreational pieces of the culture and interact with the people in that way. It was a very fresh perspective as we have been interacting with people in an academic setting mostly. Seeing the people in their relaxed states on their vacations allowed me to get a feel for how nice they really are and how they interact with foreigners, which was very positive. The Taiwanese culture continues to impress.

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