It has been an incredible couple of weeks studying abroad in Tainan, Taiwan. One of the highlights was spending Christmas day with the Tongxuemen in Tainan Park. It was so special to see how everyone likes to celebrate their holiday, and it was an incredible opportunity to learn more about their culture. Although it was difficult to spend such a special day without my family, I was grateful to have such a lovely group of people to share the day with.
On Christmas Eve, we even saw a Santa biker gang giving out lollies outside the Shangri-La Christmas tree. Everyone was so friendly and dressed up in various costumes. It was such a unique and fun experience, and it definitely added to the festive atmosphere of the holiday season.
In addition to celebrating the holidays, we have also been taking cultural classes and learning about different aspects of Taiwanese culture. We learned how to do a tea ceremony, which was an incredibly peaceful and relaxing experience. We also had the chance to see koi fish and eat delicious hot pot at the 茶館！ Another cultural class we had the luxury to enjoy was making 漢餅, a kind of Chinese pastry delicacy, which was a lot of fun and tasted amazing!
As part of our community service efforts, we also made Song Dynasty tea and beautiful Christmas decorations. It was great to be able to give back to the community in this way and contribute to the holiday festivities.
To ring in the new year, we travelled to Taipei and witnessed the incredible fireworks display at the iconic 101 building. We met up with our other Tongxuemen studying at Tsinghua, and it was great to catch up with them. We even made some awesome new friends to dance the night away with! It was an unforgettable experience and a great way to start off the new year
Overall, it has been an amazing couple of weeks studying abroad in Tainan. I have learned so much about the culture and have had the opportunity to participate in so many incredible experiences. I am so grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to see what the rest of my time here has in store.