Faculty of Business Baking and Pastry Management Chef, Douglas Smith, along with 3 Humber students studying at the National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality & Tourism (NKUHT) in Taiwan, share their experiences of the events that unfolded during the outbreak. On January 23rd, Chef Douglas ventured back to Taiwan to teach at NKUHT. Soon after, three students from the Tourism Management program joined him after the Chinese New Year. Before the semester began, the students traveled around the country with their study buddies after being informed that there would be a 2-week delay in commencing the winter semester due to a serious viral illness that was going around. Their semester began on 25th February. In March, Chef Douglas and the students were contacted by the Associate Director of the Faculty of Business informing them of the situation due to the pandemic and encouraged them to return to Canada while also allowing them to make our own decision. Ultimately, they decided to stay and continued studying and working – a decision they were glad they made, feeling safest in Taiwan.
"A Mind Is Like A Parachute – It Doesn’t Work If It Is Not Open." - Frank Zappa (1940 – 1993)
Taiwan has been very pro-active with precautionary measures of keeping this virus at bay. Shops, restaurants, and schools are all functioning normally with the added precautionary measures of mandatory face masks, sanitizing, and temperature checks. We have been going through this process since the beginning of March.
There were a few weeks where face masks and 75% alcohol were challenging to find with line-ups to pharmacies stretching at least a block or more to purchase the allowed amount. This situation has now subsided dramatically with alcohol being readily available and face masks being allocated more frequently.
Even though there have been reported cases of people having the virus, the school has been diligent in keeping the virus off-campus. Individuals who are not studying or working at the school are not permitted on campus unless it is a necessary service. There are two entrances onto the campus and both areas have infrared monitors for reading body temperatures.
There are also constant reminders sent out by the school and government to enforce the seriousness of the pandemic, avoid crowds as much as possible, and be diligent in wearing a face mask in public. It is mandatory to wear face masks, temperature checks, and sanitize prior to entering the premises for many restaurants and businesses.
Students, faculty, and staff all work together in protecting each other as much as. I am witnessing a true sense of the definition of collaboration. We’ve just completed week 9 of our mid-terms and starting off the second half of the semester on a positive note. Life is good here and everyone is safe.
Taiwan has been an experience, to say the least.
I decided to come to Taiwan as part of the exchange program that is offered through Humber, and it was the best decision I could have made. I've traveled around quite a bit through Central and South America, Australia, and Europe but Asia has always stolen my heart. I had friends who used to live and work in Taiwan and they absolutely adored it, so when I heard there was an opportunity to study there, I was emailing everyone trying to get more information - and well, here I am.
I wasn't sure what to expect since I know the culture is so different compared to home. The first thing I noticed was how welcoming and nice people are here, even if you don't speak their language. We each got a study buddy to help us out and to show us around. We got to see a few temples, major landmarks, and even headed to different cities not far too from Kaohsiung and it was all so beautiful. Once school started, everyone wanted to talk to us and soon became our friends. This was great because they also want to show us around and give us suggestions of things to do and see.
It's also been an interesting time being here with the pandemic going on. I talk to friends back home and they tell me how hard it has been for them, all while I still get to go to school and am not as affected by it. It's amazing being in a country where I feel safer than being home in Canada. Overall, Taiwan has been an incredible place to be and if you get to have the opportunity to come, you should take it. I can promise you that like myself, you will fall in love with the country and the people.
Dinner with Humber students, Jerry (2018 NKUHT student who studied at Humber) and Dr. Hsiaoi
Humber students and international students from Paul Bocuse Academy in Paris.
I have really enjoyed my experience so far in Taiwan and I'm happy I decided to participate in the study abroad program at NKUHT. Taiwanese cuisine is unique, and you can get it almost anywhere at any time of the day for a cheap price. Transport costs are also cheap as well and you can get almost anywhere in the city by public transit for only a couple of dollars (CDN). Unfortunately, because of the virus, I haven't been able to go to as many places as I would have liked, but hopefully, I will be able to when things get better later. Once you’re in a central location like East Asia flying across the region to visit other countries like South Korea, Thailand or Japan is quick and affordable.
My experience in Taiwan has been amazing so far. I’m enjoying the lifestyle, food, people, weather, and prices. At first, I thought it was going to be bad. I thought it might have been hot every day here but sometimes even at 32 degrees, it’s still nice to go out during the day. In my option, everything here has been better than my experience living in Toronto. Even with the experience of living alone in an unfamiliar environment that is completely different from the one I am used to, it's been wonderful.
Infrared monitor for monitoring body temperature when entering campus grounds.
NKUHT students returning from Humber and meeting Chef Douglas and Kimberly, the ICA Director on campus.