Nosisa Thembumenzi Vilakati 范若紗
It has been quite wonderful experiencing the new culture. I particularly appreciate the Night Markets, 24 hour convenience stores, technological advancement and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT). It was not an easy adjustment at first, particularly to the diet but now I have settled in and stable.
I applied to study at National Yang-Ming University under the International Health Program because the firstly, that was the only program that my academic criteria fit in and lastly, I thought this program will be of benefit for me in the future.
The International Health Program (IHP) is divided into two parts: Infection and Immunity and Health Policy. I am majoring in Infection and Immunity since that is the particular field that is of interest to me because one day I aspire to be a medical doctor in the future. The courses offered cater to both aspects of the program. It is also quite interesting to note that even if you are majoring in one part of the program you are still exposed to the other side. Students are encouraged to take courses in both Infection and Immunity and Health Policy in order to broaden your knowledge. One course, the Seminar, helps us to be familiar with published articles in the Public Health Sector, we are able to learn to critique and understand them, retrieve information about your home country concerning that particular article and finally this trains us in the art of presentation. In this seminar, first year students are able to witness the progress reports on the thesis of second year students and thus this is quite vital for us to be prepared for what is to come ahead.
The teaching staff is very essential in the learning process and they are very friendly, encouraging and they are willing to be of assistance if it is truly needed. Most of the lecturers are seasoned academics that are professors, so we are guaranteed quality information. The availability of online learning resources such as e-Campus is also quite helpful that you can get information on classes and assignments at any given time.
There are guest professors that come to Yang-Ming to make special presentations concerning certain topics that are of importance in the health sector. As IHP students we are invited to participant in this kind of events and it is encouraging for us to learn more about the topics that have been discussed and may be unlock our minds to think of certain ideas that may help in solving the problem on the future.
The students that make up the International Health Program are from diverse cultural backgrounds and professions. We have doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists and so forth. I greatly appreciate this diversity because we are able to converge and share ideas and have cultural exchange. I personally think that this is of importance because we form relations and bonds that cut across borders.
There is a need for balance and this means time to unwind and relax. In the three months I have been here, there have been several field trips organized by the university such as visiting the National Palace Museum and Yilan county where we got to see the history and preserved culture of Taiwan. It was an amazing experience that will never be forgotten.
Improvements that can be made to this program are basically linking it with the university. I feel that IHP students are isolated from the rest of the students at Yang-Ming University. This should not be so as we can benefit from the local Taiwanese students as much as they can from us. The arrival of the monthly stipend is later here than it is in other universities so it would be of utmost appreciation if we are able to receive it earlier.
Overall, I am really happy that I came to Taiwan and enrolled in the International Health Program at Yang-Ming because I am getting a once in a life time experience and I appreciate the knowledge being gained that may help my future prospects in my country and also the cross-cultural experience of meeting and forming bonds with students from the world over.