When I say “I’m going to study in Taiwan…”

   Lucky me, thank to a college I had a chance to receive a scholarship to continue my education in Taiwan. When I told my friends that I was going to Taiwan, they expressed many surprise reactions. If you just think of congratulation, it is not enough.
Firstly, all of them congratulate me when I said I planned to study aboard. This is a normal reaction that we can foresee, because live and study in another country always are dreams of some people. This can be an amazing opportunity not only for career, but also for living experience. However, when I mentioned about Taiwan as my destination, there were some doubt in my friends eyes.
They said “Congratulation, but why Taiwan?!” or “ Are you sure?, why don’t you choose another place?!” and “Well, remember to be careful with some cheats”. Yes, it seems like Taiwan is not a favourable place. Here are some of them:

Taiwan- react #1: “Congratulation, but…. I don’t like Taiwan”
The first thing comes from the common misconceptions about Taiwan like “Taiwan is a part of China”, that means , with many Vietnamese, Taiwan is often understood as China which makes an impression in history as an invader. Many Vietnamese prejudice against China because they believe the Chinese are always selling low quality products (Do you know that “make in China” is considered as a mark of shame?) or kidnapping women and children in some remote areas. Their theory is reinforced by plenty of news with shock titles like “a Vietnamese 12-year-old girl is pregnant with a Chinese man” or “Chinese toys are responsible for some injuries in children”.
Despite the fact that Taiwan has its own government separating from China’s, you know, when you hate someone, everything relating to his/her is unfavourable as well. Just like love me, love my dog, but in this case, I think I should say, hate me, hate my dog. Right?!

Taiwan – react #2: : “Are you sure….I don’t believe education quality of Taiwan”
Talk about educational quality, top of mind may be US, UK or Singapore, Japan. The Vietnamese know about some developed Asian nations like Japan, Korea, Singapore. But they don’t notice to Taiwan, even though it is considered as one of the Four Asian Dragons (include Singapore, Korea, Hongkong and Taiwan).
With the spread of Japanese and Korean culture in Vietnam, the young just thinks about Japan or Korea when they decide to study overseas. While with Taiwan, the Vietnamese don’t research much about college programs, tuition fees, quality or university ranking. There are many agencies and companies, consulting working in Taiwan as a form of labour export. So that’s when I said I would go to Taiwan, the first thing com to their mind may be “Oh, she goes there to work”, I guessed.
Or should I say that the marketing of consulting companies is successful because it makes a brand phrase “go Taiwan = working” become top of mind.

Taiwan – react #3: “Be careful….You can be cheated”
Unfortunately, some people are cheated by fake labour export agencies which promise to help them go to Taiwan to work. Actually, these agencies request the labour send the amount of money and claim that after receive money, they will take the second step in the process of finding jobs in Taiwan for Vietnamese labour.
That explains why my friends alert me about the information of Scholarship in Taiwan. I understand that they have reason to do this. At first, I doubted about that too. I even imagine lots of negative perspectives. But we can choose to look at the bright side, can’t we?! And believe is my choice. Some information I collected really mitigate my worry. Maybe I’ll write about how I can believe in Taiwan !!!

P/s: I still have some friends encouraging me to research about Taiwan. Some of them even help me to contact with others who used to live in this island. Thank to their support, I think I made a great decision when pursuing my study in Taiwan.

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