It has officially been a little over 2 weeks since we landed in Taiwan. We got an amazing cultural tour of Taipei, Jiufen, Nan’ao, Taroko, and Kaohsiung by Matt. Each place that we visit showed me how beautiful Taiwan is. We saw waterfalls, huge mountains right outside our window, and a great coastal view. There was a lot of walking and bike riding involved so future MHIRT students be prepared. If anything, that was probably one of the biggest cultural shocks that I experience since landed in Taiwan. I have never walked so much in my life, and don’t get me started about the stairs in Jiufen, haha. When we moved into our dorms at Kaohsiung Medical University, the first thing that came out of my mouth was “Is there an elevator?”. Which there is not, and I was placed on the 5th floor (can someone say leg day).
In regard to my research, I am in the sports medicine department working with professor Guo. First off I am a microbiology major, aspiring to be an Epidemiologist. Since I am unsure what I want to specialize in, I am very open to learning more about other fields such as bioengineering. But, I was not prepared for the work that I already have to do in this lab. Dr. Guo needed some help researching patents for a project. I have never looked up patents before and had to learn fast. It’s a lot of work, but I am very grateful for how patient and nice everyone is in Dr. Guo’s lab. Today I got a more detail explanation of my project and I am so excited. I will basically be creating a prototype for the elderly. By the end of the summer you can officially call me an engineer ^-^.
Overall, everyone in Taiwan is really nice. Sometimes you get some curious stares but that is normal since we are foreigners. Oh I forgot to mention, Dr. Guo took his lab on a field trip to a bike and golf company. I really felt the culture shock because the whole tour was in Chinese. Allen, one of Dr. Guo’s research assistants, tried his best to translate as much as possible. This only motivates me more to practice my mandarin. With all this said, it is going to be a challenging summer, but I am always up for a good challenge.
– Veneese Brown