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NCKU - JOHANNA

Johanna Owen
Johanna Owen

All my Taiwanese friends they say 成大 - the status of 成大 is higher in Taiwan.

A 29 year-old Canadian who also holds American and Norwegian citizenship, Johanna Owen is finishing her IMBA at NCKU. Now nearly fluent in Chinese, she described what brought her to Taiwan and her experiences so far.

As to why Taiwan Johanna mentioned three main goals: “adventure; to learn Mandarin fluently; to learn more about the culture and get ingrained in society.”

Johanna noted a life-long love of languages. Having lived in Vancouver she was able to pick up rudimentary Chinese. She described the nearly unanimous wonder her Chinese ability elicited and the way knowing another language can have a nearly magical effect on other people. She made the decision to enhance her Chinese language skills by taking a degree in Taiwan.

In describing why she chose NCKU she noted her focus on business and that NCKU’s rigorous business program “fit my…needs”. Further - “All my Taiwanese friends they say 成大 - the status of 成大 is higher in Taiwan.”

Johanna Owen
Johanna Owen

Tainan is the cultural capital of Taiwan – and so it’s a great place to learn a lot about the culture.

Before coming to Taiwan Johanna worked as a regional accountant and then controller for the franchise region of a well-known Canadian restaurant chain. After rising so high in just 3 short years, and having just completed her certified management accountant designation, Johanna decided it was “Perfect time to have a change in my life.”

In describing Tainan Johanna noted that – having spent time in both Taipei & Taichung before she choosing a program – she was looking for the part of Taiwan where “I like it best.”

Elaborating further on Tainan Johanna extols the city’s rich history: “Tainan is the cultural capital of Taiwan – and so it’s a great place to learn a lot about the culture.” As the capital of Taiwan dating back to the 1600’s, Johanna noted much of the oldest culture is still preserved. The historic nature of the city translates also into a cleaner environment.

Johanna Owen
Johanna Owen

My goal is to find a job in Taiwan - continue as a controller, hopefully. Ideally I would find a job here in Tainan. I like Tainan a lot.

When asked what impressed her the most about NCKU’s program so far Johanna described the school’s commitment to helping international students learn Chinese. Then, she described the program’s flexibility. “

We can go into all of the departments and take classes if they interest us. And so I got to have classes with all Taiwanese students. Some of them were in English and some in Chinese and so I get to experience going to school in a Taiwanese program as well – get to know more people.”

 

GOAL

“My goal is to find a job in Taiwan - continue as a controller, hopefully. Ideally I would find a job here in Tainan. I like Tainan a lot.”

Johanna Owen
Johanna Owen

For me I’m very happy I chose 成大 and I chose Tainan, because I enjoy it as much as I do here.

 

TELL ME SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT TAIWAN

“How much the gods in the temples are a part of Taiwanese life. It’s something I really, really enjoy. For example, like, in the intersection, if there’s been a lot of car accidents and how they put up a god there to hold down the ghosts…. And just, those, how, its everywhere. Its not just in the temples. It’s everywhere – in the homes and how every 1st and the 15thof the month you know you put out the table, burn the money and its just like really much a part of every day life and its everywhere its not just like, yeah like I said its not just in the temples…Yeah, so….. Especially just that - it is so much, it is so much more than just the temples…it is like in the intersections…it is it is everywhere.”

 

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

Johanna explained that in her 3.5 years in Taiwan she has had the opportunity to be on television, and was even cast as an extra in a Taiwanese horror movie. In addition to her strong academic achievements Johanna is clearly an artistic talent, enjoying hip-hop culture and break dancing. You can see a video of her dancing here. Her flawless skin and elegant beauty make her a natural for the screen.

 

TAINAN

“The weather is better. Taipei – it’s like its so gray and rainy all winter, and then summer is so hot…Taichung is good but really - Tainan’s weather is better than Taichung, as well.”

“Why?”

“It doesn’t rain as much in the winter. It is very sunny. And then – Kaohsiung is just a little bit too hot. Tainan is good.”

Johanna also noted that the cost of living was vastly lower in Tainan than in other areas, and that Tainan was close enough to the ocean to satisfy any longings for the sea.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

For me I’m very happy I chose 成大 and I chose Tainan, because I enjoy it as much as I do here. There are professors that I have really, really enjoyed. And so, I’m really happy that I’ve had the chance to be here, meet them and study under them.”