There’s nothing like jumping into student life to get acquainted with a new culture.  Here’s what Kayla Whittington had squeezed in just the first  two weeks of her study abroad at FuJen University in Taiwan.

Day #19

I have been here for 2 1/2 weeks already! I can’t believe it. It seems like I have been here for so long, but that I still have so much time to go.

Wednesday for out culture class we did some hands on cultural cooking! We made a dessert called a moon cake that is made in the harvest time to celebrate the moon festival. They are made of red beans that are covered in a sweet dough. They are kind of sweet and very good! We also made meatballs that were covered in rice and then steamed. I of course could not eat this since I am a vegetarian, so they made me and Shauna (our graduate student/TA who is also a vegetarian) ones that were made from tofu and vegetables. It was very nice of them! I had my first test of the term on Thursday, we do not have grades back yet, but I am pretty sure that I did well. On Thursday I also did something very exciting, I joined a club on campus! I bet you can all guess what kind of club… dance! It was so much fun. It was more of an aerobics class, but I still enjoyed it. I am not sure if I have ever sweat so much in my life though, it was 90 degrees in the room to start with, then 100 people started dancing around in it! But it was such a great time. It was weird walking into the group and sitting down because everyone looked at me (more like stared) and smiled. They were all so excited that I was part of the group. Another thing that is interesting, is that when I see people here working out, they are wearing their regular clothes. I am pretty sure that I am the only person aside of the instructors that was dressed down for the dance class. I can’t imagine doing anything like that in everyday clothes! I don’t get to perform with them because they do not do that until December when I am gone, but it will still be great to hang out!

Friday night was so much fun! I finally got to eat sushi! I have been waiting to eat sushi ever since I have arrived here. The place that some of the Taiwanese students took us was great! There was a little conveyor belt that went all around past the tables and you just picked what you wanted off of it. It is so inexpensive compared to at home. I paid a little less than half for just as much sushi as I would get at home! I am going to go there, (or another place some of the girls found that is close by) at least once a week! After dinner we went to see the movie “Burn After Reading.” I was not exactly what I thought it was going to be…. but the movie theatres are so much different here! They are about 1/10 of the size! There is so much less seating and the screens are so much smaller. The street that had the movie theatre that we went to was called “Movie Street” by the students here. It had many different movie theaters that each played 2 or 3 movies. It was so different.

Some of the girls and I were going to head out to Maokong on Saturday. There is a zoo, hiking trails, gondola ride, and beautiful tea houses on the side of a hill. But because of the stinkin typhoon we are stuck inside again. It is more serious this time, it is equal in strength to a category 5 hurricane. There are parts of Taipei that are flooded, but we are safe here. Just lots of wind and rain, like last time. But I don’t mind that class is cancelled tomorrow, I just don’t want to have to sit inside again all day long. I am getting cabin  fever!

Kayla in Taiwan Kayla Whittington is a senior in HDFS and Education. She studied  in Taiwan in Fall 2008 on a College of Health and Human Services study abroad program at FuJen University.  Read more about her adventures on her blog: