My first week of courses at Feng Chia University

Chinese course

I want to use the opportunity that I am here in Taiwan to learn some Chinese. The courses of the Chinese Language Center of Feng Chia University have a different schedule than business courses: They each take 3 months instead of a whole semester. As I am an exchange student from a partner university, I can take 3 months of Chinese classes for free. Theoretically I would be allowed to take up to 14 hours per week. 14 hours would be too much in addition to my business courses I think. What I did instead was to check which of the elective courses from the Chinese Language Center fit into my schedule. Unfortunately I didn’t really get a choice: Only one course fit into the schedule: 4 hours “Listening & Speaking” practice. This is the first year that we are so many exchange students at Feng Chia, therefore the offers of the language center don’t really fit to our needs. Theoretically we would have been in this listening and speaking course together with students who study Chinese 14 hours a week. But luckily in my course there are only exchange students. This way the teacher can slow down the speed for us. Still we didn’t really practice pronunciation or reading Pinyin (the transcription of Chinese characters into Latin script). We just started straight away with sentences and dialogues. The good thing is that with some practice we can quickly use Chinese to talk on the street. We don’t even start reading or writing Chinese characters which surely is a lot of work. My teacher here is called 何芬芬 (He Fenfen). She is really nice and jokes a lot. Today she offered us to try pineapple cake.

My partner student agreed to do a language exchange with me: She will study German this semester. I think I really need her help to practice the difficult pronunciation. With her help I hope that I can talk a bit at the end of my semester here.

Business courses

(picture taken NOT during a class, but during a welcome event for all IMBA students 😉 )

I have three business courses this semester: Technology Marketing, Marketing Management and Management Information Systems. These are all courses from the International MBA at Feng Chia University. This master program actually only offers a small range of courses each semester. But besides that there are many more courses tought in English. If you want to study at Feng Chia I suggest you figure out the online course selection quickly: If you miss the online course selection you can still get into some courses by asking in the relevant departments. But it might not always work. The best way I think is to in the beginning select a bit more courses than you actually want to take, and then later drop some in case you got accepted to all of them. I really wanted to take “business psychology” but even though I tried it from the beginning, I didn’t get a place in that course.

In the three courses I mentioned I have many group assignments. At least two in each course. Also part of my evaluation will be attendance and participation in class discussion. In Germany attendance usually does not affect the grade, but here we can fail a course by not showing up often enough. I think we can miss around 3 classes in each course – more might be a problem.

Right now I am reading a case study (yes, we work a lot with case studies here) for my first assignment in Management Information Systems. It is a complex case I think but very interesting.


Typhoon coming

This weekend there probably will be a typhoon in Taiwan. I had planned to travel to Kenting in the south of Taiwan this weekend. But with a typhoon here that makes no sense. So I will just stay here and study, read and write my blog. And if the weather is not so bad I can still do something in Taichung.

This is a screenshot from the Typhoon News page of the Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan.

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