How many students do I know? Many. I know them personally. I teach in a university. And unless they have all been lying to me about it over the years, it’s basically the norm. I have asked my neighbors and colleagues about it, and they have confirmed it. I have Taiwanese friends who are now professionals and they said their parents forced them to study medicine. How many university classrooms have I been in? A lot, and for a long time.
Can I move with you when you return home?
Sounds like there’s zero to no traffic accidents, food that everybody loves, no pollution, all kids go to school with no pressure from parents or peers, no Chinese tourists or investment, and everyone is makin’ babies.
Unless your home is the North or South pole, count me in!
I can understand some of your points but i dont get it…how does how other parents govern their kids concern or affect you?
Almost no one I know chose their major because their parents “forced” them to, and I study in a university as well. Sure lots of parents would suggest them to study this or that, but the norm is more of a suggestion than an order, at least according to my circle. After all what can the parents do if the kids don’t listen? Smother them with a pillow while they are asleep? I don’t think so.
As for the doctors. ALL medicine majors/doctors I know chose to study medicine because they wanted it. They probably don’t want to be a doctor by heart, but they want the privilege. Not that I’m questioning your friends/students/colleagues/neighbours, I’m sure that there are parents that force children to study medicine, just that I definitely don’t think it’s the norm.
As for the classroom dynamics, it varies from school to school a lot. In my school the students are usually pretty responsive, at least when the lecturers/instructors don’t suck. Usually when the lectures are not that appealing, people just skip the class.
Btw the faculties of humanities are struggling in plenty of geographies around the world. See:
Social sciences and humanities faculties ‘to close’ in Japan after ministerial intervention
Ranlee, just because I say that driving in Taiwan results in road rage (it does, and if you disagree I can only guess that you don’t own a car) that does not mean that the extreme opposite is true where I come from, that’s it’s paradise on the road. But actually, compared to Taiwan’s traffic, yes, it’s almost blissful by comparison. Your reply post consists of childish exaggerations.
Firehopper50, how is it of concern to me? I think it carries over into the culture and the overall look and feel of Taiwan. Dull, bland, uninspired.
Pretty sure he’s from Iceland.
Like anywhere, there’s pros and cons.
Personally I disagree with @Sanchez about the food, but that’s personal taste. My GF is Italian and also dislike many Taiwanese cuisine, I had to beg her to let me eat stinky tofu the other day on our stroll through the night market But she’s found plenty of food she enjoys here if you know good places. And it’s no easy task with her, she’s one of those kids that have more money in her bank account when she turns 18 than most people make in her lifetime if you know what I mean and can be quite a princess when it comes to food.
i have no issue with the way people drive here as I drive equally as crazy and it’s fun if you have a nice vehicle that can handle nicely. But I do miss the open flat roads of Texas where I used to live where you can speed like crazy to one place to another because you can spot the police a mile away on the long flat and straight road.
I agree traffic is bad, but you really make it sound like where you come from and all other parts of the world do not have similar traffic and/or issues as Taiwan.
Can I borrow your space ship for a year…or two. I’m short on frequent flyer miles. However, I really want to see what it’s like over there.
All good if that Starlord dude is using it though, I understand saving the universe trumps a trip to utopia.
So majoring in law medical or accounting makes a whole country bland and boring?
So…do you know Bjork???
I count both New York and Manila as my homes away from Taipei, and for me, Taipei has always been a happy alternative. There are many things I enjoy about those places, but Taipei is my home now because of the healthcare, the proximity to family, and its laidback atmosphere.
My wife and I came back to Taipei from Shanghai so she could give birth here. We are pretty happy with the quality of healthcare and its affordability thanks to the national insurance programs. I miss living in Shanghai, and I would like to live there again, too. Comparing the 2 cities, for me, Shanghai is a more extreme version of Taipei both good and bad, but without the relatives. Shanghai also has a sense of danger to me that Taipei doesn’t have - as a father of a young kid, I am happy to be without it, but before I became a parent, it was why I enjoyed being there.
My kid sister is raising 4 kids in Berlin. They have a wonderful life there, and she swears by her children’s education (she and her husband are academics as well). So I can appreciate the high quality of life they enjoy there - but I do not feel Taipei lags behind there very much.
Back here in Taiwan, I also like that since the time I first came here (1993), life has become consistently better, easier, safer. Can’t say that about Manila, Shanghai, or New York.
I also know quite many Taiwanese that are "forced’ to study law, medicine or any of the big things. Parents hold purse strings, affection. There are other worse cases: children sent abroad to live and study on their own, so they can get the passport/foreign degree. During the Martial era/more active wartime times/fear of invasion after losing UN seat it was understandable, but nowadays one wonders is it hopelessness or just habit? Like giving birth in the US/Canada.
I feel pain as I see it as a waste of time and resources and something that drives wedges within families, separating them physically and mentally. Many of those kids, the ones who do not lose their way, hand in the degree to their parents and then go to open their own cafes or drink stands or anything else. Many people say that is better than working for a boss who will pay 20k and treat you bad. One feels sad though if it is a doctor’s degree that’s in the closet, but it would be even worse to do something one does not feel is one’s calling.
In the ol country it is worse, as social pressure is terrible in terms of mentality, from dress to proper social position behavior. We have the Latin American destiny and lack of control over one’s life. I feel such pain when one of my cousins writes how unhappy they are because they must bear a child -I mean, they discover they are pregnant when they did not want to -especially if married. And everyone tells them just to grit their teeth as it is God’s will.
We have the advantage of being foreigners here so many of the social norms do not exactly apply to us. People sort of understand we are different and do not demand/measure us with the same “ruler”. They do hold us to some sterotypes, but that is another story. We are also “free” from our own society’s strictures, as we are too far away. And that is why many furriners go wild.
Gain, I would never in a million years use the word “engaging” to describe my students, and nor would any of my colleagues say that about theirs. I have worked at two different universities in Taiwan and there was not much of a difference. If that is your experience -and I take your word for it- then I envy you that!
Other problems and issues: astronomically expensive “homes” (concrete boxes in the sky with very thin concrete floors which allow you to hear your neighbors walking around and through which water will soon begin leaking). Really, how many of you can afford to buy a house in Northern Taiwan? Forget about downtown Taipei. And if you did, you are probably in deep debt and will remain so until the end.
And then there’s the other big problem -citizenship. You will never, ever have it. They don’t want to give it to you, probably because they’d rather you weren’t here (why else?). Unless, of course, you’re dumb enough to surrender your home country’s citizenship. What a joke.
Anyway, fortunately teaching is not my only job and I am out of here!
[quote=“Sanchez, post:34, topic:155194, full:true”]
Gain, I would never in a million years use the word “engaging” to describe my students, and nor would any of my colleagues say that about theirs. I have worked at two different universities in Taiwan and there was not much of a difference. If that is your experience -and I take your word for it- then I envy you that! [/quote]
Have you been teaching them English? That would definitely make a difference as university students usually don’t speak that much English. The responsive lectures I was referring to are all in Mandarin.
Teaching English, yes.
I get where @Sanchez is coming from. There are def. cons of living here, and I was planning on packing up and leaving for LA this year but decided to stay and use my talents to do build something here, and I have time on my side being in my 20s. I taught English part time for 2 years for a guarantee monthly paycheck and worked with sporting and entertainment companies and modeling industries for things. Projects came some months where I made like 30k doing one event, and I made over 200k one month and some months I had no projects and just relied on my 24k monthly teaching income.
I felt like leaving after I stopped doing jobs with the entertainment industry to spend more time with my mother who had stage 3 cancer during the time. I became somewhat depressed as people who I worked with, and you can guess partied with being in that field of work never called or anything. Pretty much I made not so good friends that go out and drink and had chemical dependencies if you know what I mean. I really felt like leaving.
But at the end, i found some new friends and a steady girl friend thats good to me. And I used my skills that I learned and have to partner up with someone to start a business of my own instead of always working for the man and working for a pay check.
There are still struggles, I don’t really have local friends, i’ve become too westernized, but the thought of living check to check in the US is just not for me. I live comfortably with a comfortable lifestyle here. I don’t know what it is with working in the US, yes I had offers that make more. But like it seems you need 2x as much money to live happy there compared to here.
The_boss_of_who, I guess you don’t read very well. I have mentioned twice that I am leaving Taiwan. I am not miserable and bitter, I am realistic. You sound deluded. “Flamboyant” birds? That’s funny. No hornbills in Taiwan, no gibbons or langurs, just macaques, which are basically the rodents of the primate family. Giant orb spiders are very common and can be found throughout Asia, they are not unique to Taiwan (and neither are macaques). Yes, you can get out and hike…when it’s not raining, but you wont’ hear gibbons and hornbills, there’s no chance of encountering an elephant or a tapir. Taiwan ranks very, very low in Asia when it comes to wildlife and nature.
Sorry, buddy, when are you leaving again? You’d better get busy if you want to be back for Feðradagurinn!
Well then your assessment on the responsiveness of students definitely makes a lot of sense. The reality is that those who attend English classes in universities usually have very little intention of improving it. They tend to feel like it’s a waste of time. The students that are responsive in English usually have opted out the English courses prior to their first year, as schools usually offer such option.
If the lectures were in English and are about a specific topic, then I’d expect that the students would perform like actual human-beings. In my first three years in a Taiwanese uni I only took like 2 courses conducted in English and they were both reasonably lively. One was Latin and one was something about law and human rights blahblahblah. I think the reason behind this is that only students that know English well enough would choose them and therefore would be more confident in “engaging”.
Obviously I don’t know the details of your situation. Maybe you also taught other stuff in the unis you worked in in English and the students were equally dead. These are just my two cents.
I could definitely see this happening and it’s probably not uncommon at all, but it’s definitely not the norm either. The ratio would probably be like 1 or 2 out of 10 kids were “forced” to major what they parents wanted, the rest either chose what they wanted or had no idea and just went for whatever/what they parents suggested. Let’s face it, what does a 18 yo know about what they want to do with their life? I know I didn’t, and after 4 years in college I still don’t have a clue.