National Taichung University of Education
When I first came to Taiwan on a trip, I was interested in the culture, language, food, and many other things about Taiwan. I was particularly interested in the language and Chinese characters used in Taiwan. In particular, many of the Chinese characters used in Taiwan are also used in Japan, and as a Japanese person, I felt very familiar and close to them because I could understand some of their meanings even though I could not read them. Although I could not read the kanji, I could understand the meaning and felt very familiar and close to them. Two years after my trip to Taiwan, I quit my job and came to Taiwan to study Chinese at a language school for about a year.
While I was studying Chinese, my interests expanded and I wanted to know more about early childhood education, which I had studied in Japan, and how it differed in Taiwan from Japan.
Later, I studied at the Department of Early Childhood Education at the National Taiwan University of Education with local Taiwanese students. I was surprised because I never imagined that I would go back to Taiwan to study as a student, but it was a great honor to be able to study in Taiwan in a field that I am interested in. By stepping out of the classroom, I was able to learn and think about many things that I cannot learn in Japan, and at times, I was able to compare Japan and Taiwan based on my work experience in Japan. This was a valuable opportunity for me to interact and spend time in the same space with local Taiwanese students and teachers. I was most happy to see that all the students and teachers were as kind and warm to me as they were when I visited Taiwan before. In Taiwan, people are really close to each other, and if I had any problems, they would immediately give me a hand or listen to me with kindness. I could see that they really value the relationships with people.
The classes were taught in Chinese, of course, but I was made aware of my lack of language skills and aimed to improve my language skills even further. In addition, there were many international students not only from Taiwan but also from other countries, so it was fun to interact not only with Taiwanese culture but also with international students from other countries. There were also events held by international students, and I believe that I was able to experience a truly global world that I have never experienced in Japan. In addition, the Taiwanese Ministry of Education organized an exchange program between the university and high schools, and I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the exchange program with local high school students in Taichung.
What I felt in the university classes was that students can receive more stimulation by writing reports while interacting with their classmates, interacting with teachers and class units, and also by collaborating and interacting with outside parties.
Also, during the long vacations, I was able to go to Taichung and other places with my Taiwanese friends and experience the culture, traditions, and gastronomy of various parts of Taiwan. I think I was able to learn more about Taiwan than before.
For me, having experienced student life in Japan, I feel that student life in Taiwan has enriched and stimulated my life even more.