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First month of studies at NTNU completed

One month is quite an arbitrary period of time to expound on, but almost five weeks should be enough to have settled in and to have gained some sort of general impression of what’s going on and what my future studies here will be like. I arrived in Taiwan on September 11th, and the semester started a few days later. In this post, I’ll try to express my feelings, impressions and thought about what’s happened since then and also what I think about the future.

The start of this semester was shaky, to say the least (I was honestly pondering if it was worth it or if I’d better just go home again, but decided to stay and give it a chance). Since I’ve already written a fair amount about that, I’ll move on. If you’re interested to read more about my arrival, kindly check the Taiwan category for September 2009.

A month has now passed and no bureaucratic problems remain, all registrations, selections of courses, filling in of forms, etcetera, have been taken care of. I have somewhere to live, I know my schedule and I’m familiar with my classes. There might be new things popping up later, but I’m quite sure what I’m experiencing now is what everyday life will be like for a while.

Starting with the university itself, I’ll first refer to the post I wrote after one week, in which I outline more general information. Superficially, nothing much has changed since then, although I have cancelled the Chinese Festivals class and the English, although the latter is substituted by two hours of teaching English instead, which suits be fine. The courses are fairly hard to keep apart, since they all cover roughly the same texts and in a similar manner. The name of the course seems to bear no resemblance whatsoever with the actual content (we might do more conversation in our reading class than in the conversation class, and more reading in the integrated class than in the reading class, and so on).

Overall, I think the education as such is okay. It’s not brilliant in any way, it’s not as good as I hoped it would be, but it is enough to keep me satisfied, at least for now. The two main problems are lack of opportunity to actually speak Chinese, and the amount of time spent on things which has nothing to do with Chinese (such as endless meetings to give out information everybody should already have or that should be obvious, often asking people to stay even though the information doesn’t even pertain to their respective situations). The first problem I can probably alleviate on my own, and the second can be endured, I suppose.

More importantly, my situation outside school has improved. I have settled in in my new apartment, I have things to do and i have reestablished contact with some people from last year. I still feel a little bit under-stimulated, but I’m sure that will take care of itself gradually. I and Vanessa seem to be on the way to figure out how, when and where to meet, which is a great relief (although I shouldn’t say that until it’s actually been proved to work in reality and not only in theory). Maintaining a good relationship with her is probably the single most important factor to my well-being here now that the problems with the university and the apartment seem to be settled.

I could dwell more on details, but I don’t see that it would benefit anyone very much. Things will of course appear in the future, in which case I’ll write more about them. As usual, if there is anything you think I ought to write more about, just say so and I’ll consider it. I have a number of reasons to write about my life here and one of them is to keep interested people up to date.

To put it briefly, I have settled in properly and I know I can manage life here as it is now, so barring big changes, I’m sure I can be happy here. Exactly how much I like my life here and how worthwhile I think studying at NTNU is will of course change over time, but I’m satisified at least for now.

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  1. Xhakhal’s avatar

    I don’t think this was a meaningless entry, I might add. I think it’s very meaningful to know things are going all right, even if not perfect – and I also think it’s interesting to know how things are in general for you on the other side of the world.
    Even if it is a little more boring perhaps to write ‘things in general’-posts rather than posts on specific subjects, I still, as said, don’t find this meaningless. If nothing else since this is a rather uncommon sort of entry for this blog.


    1. Olle Linge’s avatar

      Okay, great. :) I realise that some people also have a far better grasp of what’s going on. Even though I’d neglected to keep you updated, I think you are one of those who are most familiar with what I’m doing. So… if you find it alright, I suppose others might as well. :)