【Interview】ACT Global Program：Mandy Chao（IBMBA）
Mandy Chao, IBMBA 105 student, had just finished the ACT Global Program and returned to National Sun Yat-Sen University this May. She smiled and replied that she could not imagine the transformation and impact that ACT Global Program brought to her in the past year. Despite participating in the professional courses, Mandy told us that she also made lots of friends all over the world and had unforgettable cultural experiences. Here are the abstract of the experience that Mandy shared with us：
1. Motivation and expectation for ACT program
One of the major reason is the economical perspectives, since with the tuition fee of National Sun Yat-Sen University, I could study abroad in Canada and Austria and have the chance to obtain two degrees. For myself, I’ve never left Asia before participating in the ACT Global Program, so living in a native English-speaking country would be a huge challenge for me, but I also believe that I would gain lots of rewards during the process.
2. The most remarkable thing in terms of academic aspects during ACT program
The loading of courses is heavy in University of Victoria in Canada, so it took me quite some time to adapt to the learning environment and teaching style of professors there. Uvic gives high degree of freedom to students, and the public facilities are fabulous. Therefore, when we are having group discussion or chatting with friends, I always find the atmosphere enjoyable.
There are lots of company visits in Taiwan module in National Sun Yat-Sen University, and as a Taiwanese, we are used to the Taiwanese business environment and corporate culture. However, we could still learn from the perspectives of our foreign classmates, and to observe how they feel or think about Taiwanese industries. I think it’s a precious experience to have different aspects of analysis from multiple nationalities toward the business environment that we are used to.
The focus of Austrian module is consulting projects. During the time is Austria, we need to consult in designated companies. Luckily, the company that we’re assigned to put lots of efforts in Asian markets in the recent years, so as Asian students, our analysis are highly appreciated by the managers, and they value our feedbacks very much.
3. The unforgettable experiences in terms of cultural aspects during ACT program
The most impressive experiences in Canada is the high price of commodity. We barely eat out, and even if we do, we only go to bars for some drinks. Mostly, we cook by ourselves, so this is also the time in my life that has the highest frequency to visit supermarkets. As an Asian who are used to warm food, we are always surrounded by European and Canadian students during lunch break because our lunchboxes smell terrific after being microwaved.
While living in Austria, I felt that deep in the soul, Austrian are somewhat familiar with Taiwanese in terms of communication with people, so I found it comfortable to interact with Austrians. In addition, cultural trips, such as visiting con centration camp from WW2 in Europe are also very important. Being able to be personally in the scene of certain historical remains is beyond description, and being able to conprehend what actually happened in the past in the perspectives of Eastern German fasinates me as well.
4. What are the challenges or difficulties you encountered during ACT program
Academic writing is the biggest challenge for me, since it’s completely different logics between writing in Mandarin and in English. Writing in Mandarin has always been my advantage, so I never really worry about it. However, English writing, especially in terms of academic writing, is my stumbling block because I find it hard to fluently express my thoughts in English. Therefore, when I was in Canada, I spent a great amount of time practicing and adjusting my abilities of expression.
5. What are your self-improvements after ACT program
Respect toward different cultures and introspect ours are the major improvements that I acquired after ACT Global Program. We used to think foreign things and styles are better and cooler, but when you personally get in touch with those cultures, you will find that actually there are huge differences among each country regarding cultural backgrounds and educational styles. Now, I could hold equal attitude toward every culture, and get along with people from various backgrounds more easily.
6. How would you advise students who look forward to joining ACT program?
First, you need to clarify what you really want, and how motivated are you to join ACT Global Program. If you do not have strong motivation, ACT Global Program will be tough for you, since you need to fly around, move around, relocate again and again, take care of yourself, adjust to different cultures, get used to language barriers, and handle schoolwork stress. I would say that if you are looking for rewards, you need to step out your comfort zone and be open-minded to embrace the world.