Nick’s Experience at ITRI
It was a strange feeling when I first arrived at my internship location. Mainly because for the last month I was surrounded by new and old friends and had built a comfort level around that. When I arrived at ITRI I didn’t know a single person and went from having so many people to talk to and hang out with too being on my own. I had no idea how many people at ITRI were in the same position as me and it didn’t take long to meet great people and forge friendships. Coming from Providence University and already having spent a month in Taiwan gave me a great head start to working in Taiwan. I was already comfortable with the weather, culture, and interacting with the people. I was worried going into my first day of work that I wasn’t qualified enough to be working at such a large institute. After meeting with my mentor and going over what I would be working on I was relieved to find out I had the perfect amount of experience to work on the project he had assigned to me. Upon completing my project at ITRI I was able to dive into topics of computer science that I had never touched and it helped me broaden my skill set. The internship along with the class at Providence has given me so much more than I could ever ask for and I am beyond grateful to be able to participate in such an amazing program.
Nick’s Taichung Experience
My trip to Taiwan so far has been one of the greatest experiences of my life and by the end of this month I believe that’ll be the greatest experience of my life. I have been to quite a few countries in my life but I have never been fully immersed into a countries culture such as I have here. When first arriving to Taiwan I of course had the typical “culture shock” of being in a new country and learning about the everyday differences between the United States and Taiwan. Typically when people travel abroad this is about as far as they will get when experiencing another country. We were fortunate enough to go much deeper than most people with our experience of Taiwan. The Project Management course, Chinese lessons, and field trips have given us chance to go much deeper into the rich history that is Southeast Asia. For me personally I have gained so much knowledge about Asia’s role in not only North America but the entire world. Coming from interest that mostly lie within the tech world I rarely touch on the business or political side of things so having the chance to join this program has opened my eyes to the world. I never thought I could take away as much I did from Jack’s class in only three weeks. The format of the class being more of a discussion fosters a great learning environment and allows people to discuss topics that pertain to today’s issues or that you may be passionate about. The Chinese course was priceless, giving us an amazing introduction to this very complex language. The teacher was one of the most patient instructors I’ve ever experienced and really instilled the basics of Chinese into me. Being able to have structured field trips throughout the trip was priceless. We were able to talk about business, tech, and political industries in class and then actually visit them. Any class can talk all semester about companies but actually being able to visit the facility and talk to the people who work there is something else.
Mixing all of these things together makes for an unforgettable experience in itself, but then there is the interactions we’ve experienced with the local people. This is what I believe makes an experience something to remember. I have never been to a country where I have felt so welcome. The people who live here are the nicest and most welcoming humans I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They will go out of their way to help a completely lost foreigner who doesn’t speak their language; that has to be the greatest thing I will take away from this trip. It doesn’t matter who you are, what language you speak, or the color of your skin we are all one race. I truly believe the Taiwanese people embrace this concept and through my experience here I have been able to forge an everlasting bond with people from the cohort and from Taiwan. As I continue here in Taiwan I hope to meet more unforgettable people and build lasting memories.