Admissions Blog Posts

Furman in Taiwan

Last updated May 21, 2024

By Katelyn Wong

One of the biggest reasons I chose Furman was for their study away opportunities. My mom and sisters had always told me that being in college was the best time to travel the world. So, when I came to Furman, I knew I wanted to study abroad. I am a double major in communications and Asian studies, so when I saw the experience of studying abroad in Taiwan, I jumped at the bid. Dr. Zhang was one of my all-time favorite professors, and I knew I wanted to study abroad in Asia. 


This past fall, I studied Chinese and Chinese culture at the National Taiwan University in Taipei. This Furman lead experience partnered with CET and NTU’s national language learning program. This experience was a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While studying there, I could travel around and build relationships with locals. Visiting another country and living there are two very different things. I could visit all the tourist attractions within the first week, but by living there for four months, I could experience Taiwan on another level.


I enjoyed the hikes, local coffee shops, and night markets in their fullness! For the first two months, I visited different coffee shops around the city every day as a way to explore. Public transportation was easy; I could get anywhere by taking the MRT or a taxi. Living in the city meant I was surrounded by food. I think that out of everything, I miss food the most. But the hikes were a close second. A great part of this experience was that I had the opportunity to live with local roommates. They were able to help my other housemates and me find not only the best places to eat but also some of the greatest views. My housemates and I became really close and often took hiking trips together. One of which was Elephant Mountain, which gave us the most beautiful view of the city.


Throughout this experience, I was also able to travel around with my Furman professor and other Furman students. Throughout our time there, we had field trips to different museums, temples, and historical sights.  As well as dinners as a group where we were able to talk about all the different things we were able to experience. By the end of our journey, not only did I feel more efficient in my Chinese language skills, but I also felt more rounded as a citizen of the world. I got to experience how other people in other countries lived their lives. I was able to see and experience a different culture and learn from lessons in and out of the classroom.