I’ve been in Taiwan for 7 days now. It’s nothing like I thought it would be but that’s not saying much since I didn’t know what to expect. The food is great; the cars are normal size; almost everything has an English translation; and people aren’t staring at me like I thought they would. I actually love my cohort. We all have very different personalities, but we work well together. So far, we have been to Taroko, Jioufen, Taipei and back to Kaohsiung. Of all these places… I can’t decide which one was my favorite! I loved the authenticity of the nature in Taroko and I love the overall vibe of Jioufen. Taipei just has it all. I can’t wait to keep exploring. I’m still a bit nervous for the research, but I think it’ll be okay.
As this will be my second long-term study abroad experience; everything I do reminds me of my time in France. All of these memories make me wonder where this experience will take me. Being in Taiwan makes me wish I had started learning Chinese a long time ago. We will check into the dorms tomorrow and I am both anxious and excited. I can’t wait to meet my lab mates and my PI. It seems like everything is happening all at once.
It’s our 2nd day living in the dorms. The dorms are very small. All the girls in the cohort are in different rooms. My room is a two-bed room and we all share a communal bathroom. I love my roommate; she is from Malaysia. We unfortunately didn’t get to meet all of our lab mates, but we met one named Jimmy and we got to meet Dr. Guo. Jimmy has been helping us adjust to KMU and he shows us where all the good food places are and makes suggestions for fun things to do. This week in lab, we are just reading science articles to get some perspective on our research. We will officially start the lab next Tuesday. I will be sharing a project with one of the girls in my cohort. We are supposed to be looking at exercise effects on pre-dialysis CKD (chronic kidney disease) patients. It is a little unclear exactly what our project design is supposed to be, but we will get more information next week.
We’ve eaten at a lot of good food places so far. The diversity in the food selection is unbelievable. For the past few days, it’s been raining heavily so we have been eating at the hospital food court. It’s not too bad, but there are very limited vegetarian options. On the other hand; I bought fruit from one of the street markets for the first time and it was amazing! I got some watermelon and some of the other cohort members got mangoes, which were equally delicious.