Unforgettable memories and wonderful friends

I wanted to study abroad for the opportunity to learn things that I would not otherwise learn here; to experience new things and to challenge myself. I wanted to broaden my knowledge and perspectives of art.Art student studying abroad in Taiwan

NTUA is a university with departments of a range of creative fields such as dance, theatre, film and media and while there I was a student of the Fine Art Department. First and foremost, I was looked after by everyone at the University; I could not have felt more welcome - and this is a kindness and generosity I often received beyond the university. The often friendly and honest curiosity people expressed towards me allowed me to meet so many people and to learn so much through talking and exchanging our stories and perspectives; my experience was so rich.

While on exchange at NTUA I had the opportunity both to pick up technical skills with art and to learn some fundamental eastern history important in understanding Eastern cultural traditions. As well as this I was able to learn some Chinese language, the class scheduled only for four Western exchange students who knew next to nothing of Chinese language before venturing to Taiwan - one example of how accommodating NTUA was.

Such was the confidence that I was given by those that I had met while in Taipei that I was able to travel around Taiwan independently and visit a number of cities, learning more things at every point along the way. I was able to visit landmarks in the country's beautiful nature such as Taroko Gorge in Hualien, and also cultural landmarks in the cities such as National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts which was hosting the 2013 Asian Art Biennial.

It's still difficult to describe the impact that studying abroad has had on me. I have made some truly unforgettable memories and made some wonderful friends. I think as a result of my experiences while studying abroad I have an increased openness to the new, different and scary which will lend me towards further opportunities for learning and personal growth here in my everyday surroundings as well as abroad. I am also more competent in my ability to communicate well with others; an inhibitory shyness seems to have worn off. I've developed a clearer sense of what I want for my own future.

Deborah Olakigbe, BA Art and Psychology

National Taiwan University of the Arts (NTUA)

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