Photo By Emma Krause
WSC student Bethany Janzen told a packed audience in the Kanter Student Center last Tuesday about her experience studying abroad in Taiwan and China for one semester last year.
“My favorite experience was getting to live in another culture, getting to make relationships and being able to have that culture become a part of my own,” Janzen said.
Janzen spent two months in Taiwan and two weeks in China. She talked about the culture and some differences she noticed, whether it was about the people, sights, food or campus life.
Janzen mentioned multiple times how nice the people were and how they made living in Taiwan a unique, enjoyable experience. The Taiwanese people were extremely kind, and Janzen mentioned a time when a friend even translated a menu since the group couldn’t read to find out what they had ordered.
The Asia Study Abroad Group of 2015 got the opportunity to explore Taiwan and China seeing historical sights in the area. They explored the city of Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan, as well as the Sun Moon lake, the largest body of water in Taiwan. The group also visited The Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City in Beijing, which Janzen mentioned were extremely impressive to see with all of the history behind them.
Food greatly differed in Taiwan and China compared to Nebraska. Janzen went with friends to night markets, and she was able to try dishes like fried squid or blood cakes (pig blood and rice). Pigs blood was not her favorite dish, but she did find food there overall flavorful and delicious.
The exchange students, including Janzen, went to Providence University, and college life was also different compared to Wayne State College. For instance, students there would often use umbrellas and place them outside their rooms, making this a part of their campus life. There was also a midnight curfew and squatting toilets, and though campus life seemed strange at first, Janzen got used to the differences.
At the end of Janzen’s speech, Professor Wen-chi Vivian Wu, who teaches at Providence University in Taiwan, was introduced.
“This is my fifth visit to Wayne. It’s so peaceful and so quiet, and it is a very nice campus. That is why I keep coming back to Wayne State College,” she said.
Professor Wu, who teaches English as a second language at Providence, mentioned the size difference between the two schools. Enrollment at Providence is about 13,000 students, while WSC has about 3,500 students.
Overall, Janzen enjoyed her trip to Taiwan and feels like she has taken away experience for life from her travels.
“I think it helps you know yourself, know your world, and know your own beliefs and culture a lot better. It helps you value what you believe in and understand other people a lot better,” she said.
For students interested, there is another Asia study abroad trip planned for next semester (March 13 through May 20). There is also the annual trip to Greece from March 6 through May 27 and Costa Rica, next summer May through June.
Financial aid can be used toward studying abroad, and there are scholarships available.
If interested, contact the International Education Director Gerald Conway by e-mailing [email protected] or calling (402) 375-7029.