International Relations Major
Amy Krutz’s Experience at OiKID
Studying in Taiwan through the Asia Biztech program is something of a collection of happy happenstances for me. Not only did it give me an opportunity to practice and grow my Mandarin language skills, but it also placed me in a foreign culture’s business setting which was something of a goal of mine. On a more personal note, coming to Taiwan gave me an opportunity to visit my family. My grandmother is from Chaiyi, Taiwan and I hadn’t seen her family in over five years.
My investment in this program grew and grew over the course of the first month. Most fascinating to me was listening to Professor Marr connect pieces of information and history to weave a rich tapestry that we could set current events against. Following the news for me up to that point had been a series of keeping up with the latest headlines and trying to look into future implications, neglecting in the process the backdrop that on which those events were happening. One of my most valuable take-aways was realizing that, though the American future-oriented mindset has its value and is important, important too is looking back to understand where we came from.
This was hammered home through talking with officials, businesspeople, and peers on our visits with various influential organizations throughout Taiwan. Pieces of history or long-standing traditions were built into the fabric of their thought processes and practices. Now that I knew to look for them, I could see them almost everywhere.
Finally, I cannot emphasize enough the impact our partnership with Providence University had on my experience. We were assigned two international friendship buddies who were absolutely integral in adjusting to, learning about, and figuring out how to operate in Taiwan’s rich culture. I was so thrilled to be able to ask about the little ins and outs of a new culture through the eyes of a peer. While I learned Mandarin vocabulary and sentence structure in class, I learned how to speak on the streets with our buddies. While we learned about the overarching political and historical themes in class, I learned about how those themes affected the Taiwanese on an everyday basis from talking to our buddies and their friends.
I am so excited to apply the new concepts I have learned throughout the course of this first month in my internship with OiKID. More than that, I am thrilled to say that I not only have a greater understanding of the workings of the world, but new friends who are just as eager to keep learning and growing with me.