Chinese Language Study Abroad

Latest posts

Click on each of our profiles above to read through our individual stories, or scroll down below to browse a collection of the group’s latest posts.

  • An ode to Taiwan’s 7-11s
    One of the things you will notice exceptionally quickly after arriving in Taiwan is how ubiquitous 7-11 (and its cousin Family Mart) is. These stores are the pinnacle of Taiwanese convenience, and if you spend any time in Taiwan, they will quickly become as important a part of your life as they are in locals’ lives. When we first arrived at our hotel in Tainan’s West Central District, our local…Continue Reading An ode to Taiwan’s 7-11s
  • 我愛臺南
    As a New Zealander studying Chinese in Tainan, I am constantly reminded of the incredible cultural diversity in New Zealand. Tainan is such a different place, always bustling and full of life! Let me tell you what I have been up to this first week abroad. My experience in Tainan has been one of amazing discovery and learning. I am constantly surprised by the friendly locals who take the time…Continue Reading 我愛臺南
  • Chapter One: 8,765 km
    Part One: The Journey The toughest decision to make: what to pack and bring to Tainan, Taiwan? The first thing I did was check the weather, to which I was surprised to realise the beginning of winter in Tainan is like summer in NZ, sunny and reaching highs of 25°C. Naturally, I packed with that in mind. The last time I had been on a plane was in 2018, before…Continue Reading Chapter One: 8,765 km
  • Arrival in Tainan
    One of the first things we did in Taiwan was visit a Japanese department store called Hayashi. It’s one week on and I’m back here again, sitting in a café on the top floor, thinking about my time here so far. The hotel that we stayed in for the first week was right in the centre of ‘downtown’ with most tourist sites nearby. Our walks were punctuated with Taoist or…Continue Reading Arrival in Tainan
  • Our journey in Taiwan begins
    你好!My name is Henry, and I’m a Law, Economics, and Chinese student at the University of Auckland (UoA). I have been fortunate enough to receive a Prime Minister’s Scholarship along with 14 other UoA students to study Mandarin Chinese this December and January in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU). I hope you enjoy reading about my experiences in this blog! 8 December —…Continue Reading Our journey in Taiwan begins
  • And so the journey begins…
    A week of settling into Tainan 台南 Tainan: A city rich in culture, good food, and some of the nicest people I have ever met. Little did I know that this opportunity to study in a different country would teach me so much about myself and a little about a little city in the South of Taiwan. To start my blog, I’ve decided to write a first-week recap on my first…Continue Reading And so the journey begins…
  • Tainan: the world’s busiest retirement village
    Writing this blog is a bit like a metaphor for my first week here- I have a lot to say, but I’ve got to figure out how to say it first. Thankfully, I think my Chinese is improving, and hopefully, as I get through this post, I will figure out how to translate my experiences into this blog (rather than into Chinese for the first time in a while). I…Continue Reading Tainan: the world’s busiest retirement village
  • 早上好 Taiwan!
    Welcome one and all to your favourite Chilean Kiwi’s first Taiwan blog! This past week has been absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to share with you all what it has been like in this beautiful country. Let’s start with the arrival! After a long 11-hour flight, we finally arrived around 5 pm in Taoyuan to an expectingly not cold BUT! dark area? This was quite the shock to me,…Continue Reading 早上好 Taiwan!
  • Blog Post 1: A taste of Taiwan
    Kia ora friends and whānau,  I have just completed my first week in Taiwan! While the books and locals may tell you that Tainan is a city of retirement due to its slow-paced and food-oriented culture, compared to New Zealand, it feels like a city of the hustle and bustle! In contrast to home, things move quite quickly here. Never in a city have I been more afraid to cross…Continue Reading Blog Post 1: A taste of Taiwan
  • A new home? Maybe.
    Yes…I will admit, even though it is the first week, I’ve already done a lot of shopping. I mean, how could I not? The prices here are amazing, and the store people are so lovely. I can already say that I love Tainan. There’s something about how different it is from New Zealand that really caught my fancy. I have only previously been to Australia and a couple of the…Continue Reading A new home? Maybe.
  • Landing in 台湾 and 星期一 shenanigans
    00:52 AM, Tainan December 9th The last 24 hours have been a blur, to say the least. I woke up to my phone ringing with a reminder that I needed to start thinking about getting ready and soon sat down to have a last breakfast with my grandparents before the almost two-month adventure that awaited me.  The anticipation had me rushing to leave as soon as possible, not wanting to…Continue Reading Landing in 台湾 and 星期一 shenanigans
  • Tianxia in Tainan: ✨a blog✨
    The roads of Tainan technically don’t have pathways. What there is of the space between the storefronts and road is owned privately so that the path’s tiles frequently change as one section of a building ends and another begins. This means that one pedestrian’s pathway is a million different people’s workspace, restaurant floor, storage space or front yard. With every few steps you might be picking through tables heavy with…Continue Reading Tianxia in Tainan: ✨a blog✨
  • First impressions of Tainan!
    My first week in Tainan. Taiwan has been an eye-opening experience, to say the least! Every day I discover more differences between the way of life here and ours back in New Zealand, which I did not expect before coming and make­­s my experience here even better. A critical piece of information: a pedestrian crossing in Tainan is definitely not the same as it is in New Zealand – a…Continue Reading First impressions of Tainan!
  • A new beginning.
    It’s official: fifteen of us have landed in Taiwan and settled in the beautiful city of Tainan! It has been a week since we landed, and my mind has finally touched ground to realise that the Sky Tower is 8,773 km away (according to Google). It took me a while to use my sight to not only look but to see what was going on around me and take everything in, but…Continue Reading A new beginning.
  • Unalikes and Likes
    Recently, I’ve found myself comparing Tainan to my hometown, Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland. It’s no question that Tainan is different from Tamaki Makaurau, with its boisterous traffic like a chaotic but orderly anthill, its buildings crouched over the footpath and its alleyways quiet, culturally rich enclaves. …Continue Reading Unalikes and Likes
  • Tianxia in Tainan: Lessons in Learning, and Other Adventures
    The cans of coffee from 7/11 taste like sugared water, but I’m still buying them. There’s just something about opening the fridge door and that sweet feeling of selecting something out of ten different options, of carrying a coffee in your hand when you walk to class. It makes the class feel less class-y and more I’m drinking coffee, with some learning on the side. So if the teacher says…Continue Reading Tianxia in Tainan: Lessons in Learning, and Other Adventures
  • Chapter One: 8,765 km (continued)
    Part Three: The Purpose Being a language exchange, we of course have Chinese language classes at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), Chinese Language Center (成功大學華語中心). I was originally placed in H class based on a test done prior when I was still in NZ, but after discussing with the teacher, I decided to move down into G class. One of the main reasons was my apprehension around traditional Chinese characters,…Continue Reading Chapter One: 8,765 km (continued)
  • Mind the gap
    Tainan is a beautiful city with architecture hailing from multiple different periods. However, it has forced me to recognise and think about another aspect of civic beauty we often neglect – our footpaths. Despite the time we spend admiring the skylines above us, we take very little time to look down at our feet. Tainan’s footpaths were initially jarring and disorienting for me. The city’s footpaths are privatised and often…Continue Reading Mind the gap
  • A Winter(?) Christmas in Tainan!
    I don’t know about you but when I imagine celebrating a Winter Christmas, my mind immediately goes to snow, hot chocolate by the fire and ice skating, however Winter Christmas in Tainan was definitely not that! First of all, Christmas isn’t widely celebrated in Tainan and isn’t a public holiday so in the days leading up I almost forgot that it was happening! With being so busy exploring the city,…Continue Reading A Winter(?) Christmas in Tainan!
  • Chapter Two: Dorm Life, Uni Life, Shopping Life
    After being used to single rooms, living in a dorm with someone else has been a new experience. I am grateful to have a great roommate (shout out to Tessa), and so far so good! The first good thing about moving into the school dorms was finally being able to wash clothes, especially because it was getting cold and I wanted (needed) my hoodie that was still airplane dirty. After…Continue Reading Chapter Two: Dorm Life, Uni Life, Shopping Life