Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    College angst also in Taiwan

    College is hard. Finding time to study and do homework while also meeting family and maybe work obligations is sometimes a struggle. Going to school can also be isolating since sometimes there is little free time left to socialize. 
    It turns out, those are common college experiences no matter what the location — American students abroad have the same concerns. So, if the experience is so similar, why not consider doing it in another country? 
    Richard did just that — confronted with a stalling job market and interested in Chinese, he applied to a university in Taiwan to complete his bachelor’s degree. Taiwanese universities are considerably cheaper than even the CSU system, so many people find them to be a better financial decision. 
    Richard found his biggest challenge to be all of the paperwork involved in applying for school and a scholarship, since lack of familiarity and his low Chinese level when he arrived made it overwhelming.
    Just like college students everywhere, though, he found that a friend was what was needed in order to make it through. He met a Taiwanese woman who helped him to complete the process, and was able to earn a scholarship. Now, like many students at Peralta, he balances work and school. 
    Understandably, the education in Taiwan is very different from the US. Richard noted that he was alarmed by the focus on rote memorization and constant testing. Additionally, so much information is covered in classes that he often finds it hard to remember everything, especially since he has to fit study time around a part-time job. 
    Frankly, despite the gains he’s made in his language skills, on balance he finds the education quality in Taiwan isn’t worth the move. Thus, anyone moving to a new country needs to have another priority — learning about culture in a unique way. 
    Living in another country affords opportunities that are impossible in their home culture. 
    “Taiwan is different,” Richard said. “But I think that difference can make us better people.” Living abroad may be worth it, but only after expectations have been seriously considered.

    Elisabeth Shlifer is a Tower staff writer. Email her a [email protected]

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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