Published: July 20, 2023

As part of a Tang-funded global seminar this summer, a group of 14 undergraduate students from CU embarked on a three-week program immersing themselves in Taiwanese life, culture, politics, and history. We'll be showcasing a series of blog posts from these students to share what the experience has been like in their words.

Post # 9 - Emmeline Nettles

I am writing this blog post with still a week left of this seminar, but I am already mourning its end. This trip has been a whirlwind of cultures, histories, and what it means to be Taiwanese in today's increasingly globalized society. 

theatrical performance

Having never traveled to anywhere in Asia before, my experience in Taiwan certainly makes me want to return. Even with my limited Mandarin skills, I have engaged in meaningful experiences and activities that have allowed me to learn directly from the peoples living in Taiwan, from the Aboriginal Tayal people to the Hakka and others. I have seen past the news headlines that have Western readers on alert, and witnessed how the realities of daily living do not often reflect the doomsdays presented in media, which does make me wonder how my own country is characterized outside of the US.

street sign made of wood

Although it may seem odd that this realization only came after traveling far, far away, this program has encouraged me to feel pride of my own cultural roots. Where I am from may not be how I call myself in every introduction, but the upbringing I was given is what has allowed me to engage with the more-rural norms and lifestyles in Taiwan. I am grateful that what used to make me feel self conscious has now become my greatest asset in cross-cultural connection.

no swimming flag on a beach