The semester is over, and with it I have safely tucked away all of the memories it has given me. It has been a time of ups and downs as with many other things in life. As I predicted at the beginning of the semester, I am a different person with a new perspective on the world.

Without a doubt the best part of the first leg of my study abroad year was the combination of many small events. These include the many times I was engaging with not only Taiwanese students, but others from all around the world. I went on many trips and joined a few groups, so I can confidently say that I got the most out of this semester. Focusing on studies as well as the entire international experience was challenging, but I welcomed it openly and used it to my advantage to gain a more solid foundation in achieving my goals.

Speaking of academics, classes were probably the hardest part of this journey. I took on a full load of engineering coursework. Although I am fluent in Chinese, I found knowing a language and being able to apply it are two almost entirely different things. Take the example of going to office hours. This is something I took advantage of while at OU, but having to explain your question about an equation in your second language really pushes language learning. However, this challenge has let me achieve a level of fluency that I could find through few other opportunities.

Looking forward and in reverse, I find that the next semester is approaching quickly and that thanks to my time in Taiwan I am all the more prepared to tackle new adventures on my bucket list. I’m sure I will learn countless new things on later trips, but this first one might provide the foundation I need to achieve a unique experience. My study abroad year might be almost halfway over already, but I feel like it has just started!