2 Weeks in Taiwan

The January Term Taiwan Global Business experience provided a first-hand cultural and professional perspective of a country that few University of Rhode Island students have the opportunity to travel to. Through the program, I had the honor of working with other URI College of Business students and students from the National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU) as we delved into the Global Supply Chain Management course. Several of the Taiwanese students were taking the fully English class for the first time in there college career. Group work came naturally as URI students and NTOU students worked with their strengths, connecting the information together in the fast track business course. For two weeks, I studied in Keelung, taking busses outside of the city to visit various businesses and companies, observe warehouse management practices and immerse myself in the beauty of the country. 

This was my first time visiting Taiwan, but not my first time outside the country. However, travel guides can only prepare you to a certain extent. My first experience with the country was a rainy day, and while I was initially disappointed with the weather, mountains of forestry rose above each building. It was similar to the feeling in a Miyazaki film when urban and forest landscapes intertwine (and yes, I did visit Jiufen Old Street which inspired the animated film, Spirited Away). The entire experience left me in awe as handsomely decorated temples seemed to populate every neighborhood and rich history enveloped the cities. 

The emersion of the experience reached great heights when I took an elevator to the top floor of Taipei 101 which was the tallest building in the world from 2004 to 2010. The Taiwanese students showed us the nightlife of the city and, to my immense pleasure, cat themed cafes. 

Participating in the Taiwan Global Business program lead me to recognize the importance of international relationships which are essential for supply chain management, creating a global outlook for businesses and understanding cultural difference. I cannot praise my team (Danny and Kelly) enough, but I can say that working with them was one of the greatest group experiences I have had in college.  I look forward to seeing everyone I met on the program again, and to use my limited Chinese to say: “hao jiu bu jian.”

Long time, no see.