TCUS- NCHU Take Me High, Let Me Fly with an Equation 3X + A.G = D
By Võ Nguyễn Thị Minh Trang
(Masters Students of International Master Program of Agriculture, NCHU.)
As a fan of Chinese historical dramas (古装剧), I grew up memorizing a quote from the Book of Rite (禮記): “to put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; to cultivate our life, we must first set our heart right.” (古之欲明明德於天下者，先治其國；欲治其國者，先齊其家；欲齊其家者，先修其身；欲修其身者，先正其心). While wandering around in many places looking for a direction of what my life goal should be and how I can contribute to build the world a better place, I found a place that was willing to expand my horizon, nurture my knowledge and set my heart, thanks to the 3X factors which are the 3 “Xīn”: 欣 joyful (experience), 心 heart (sincerity), 新 new (direction). Surprisingly, that place was not in the United State or United Kingdom, but in a heart of a small island country called Taiwan.
欣 (Xīn) : joyful (experience)
Can someone who has only academic background in international marketing adopt well in a top national research university specialized in agriculture? Can someone who has lived in a Western country for almost a decade fit well in Taiwanese culture? Can someone who has never learned Chinese survive in where Chinese is solely used everywhere? Despites those doubts and uncertainties of “Can I” or “Can’t I”, NCHU and Taiwan have proved me that everything is possible, and you never know if you never try.
As one of the top national research universities, NCHU has broadened my horizon through interesting elective classes in the fields I have only a little knowledge about, such as crop science, pest management, rural development, genetics, meteorological data analysis, food preserve treatment, food waste treatment, geographic information system mapping, smart agriculture, etc. Besides, as one of the regional research hubs, NCHU has hosted countless international conferences to connect world class researchers from well-known universities such as UC Davis, Texas A&M, Tokyo University, Chulalongkorn University, etc., around the globe to solve the current issues in agriculture and other fields of science together. Being NCHU student means I have access to attend those exclusive conferences, learn more about the world current issues and how researchers are tackling those issues. In addition, at NCHU, researches and collaboration are always its top priority, therefore, students are encouraged to sow fully as future researchers. Therefore, if students have ambition to showcase their researches in international conferences, NCHU will give its best to support the potential projects with no discrimination over races or nationalities. Last year, my lab mates and I who were all international students from 3 different countries were also granted funds to present our works in the Food Distribution Research Society in Seattle, U.S.
Moreover, opportunities to learn and grow is simply endless in NCHU as NCHU has a wide range of networking, providing an advantage from receiving news about workshop and competition events from its partners. Thanks to this advantage, I have been lucky enough to apply and participate in both domestic and international programs such as Hands Together (focused on cultural engagement between international university students and students from all grades in Taiwan); Rural Up (designed to connect domestics and international students with local farmers), Taiwan in My Eyes (sponsored by CTCI corporation to educate students about sustainable development goals; CSR (Corporate Social Responsible), Living Lab, and YSEALI (Young Southeast Asean Leader Initiative, sponsored by the U.S Embassy in Laos).
Last but not least, NCHU is part of Taiwan Comprehensive University System (TCUS) alongside with other 3 outstanding national universities from the country’s central and southern region: National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU), National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), National Chung Cheng University (CCU). This exclusive cooperation has brought tremendous benefits to students including having access to the integrative research resources and collaborative activities between those 4 universities. Cultural and industry visiting fieldtrips offered frequently every semester throughout Taichung, Changhua, Tainan and Kaosiung which have given me more insight information about industries in Taiwan and engraved more beautiful memories with my friends during my university time here.
心 (Xīn): heart (sincerity)
Once the heart is set, everything just seems to be right. If I was asked what I would miss the most after I leave NCHU later, I would say it’s the people I have met. From school staffs to the professors, from country-mates to roommates, from people I have worked with to people I have talked to during all the conferences, workshops, events and fieldtrips I have attended, from department-mates to lab mates, everyone has treated me so kindly and whole-heartedly. Without them, I would not have been able to do what I am doing right now.
新 (Xīn) : new (direction)
Switching from marketing to the field agriculture was surely not an easy task to do. However, despite my lack of knowledge, NCHU has provided me generous support and essential education resources as well as competition events to help me grow and fulfill the gap. From someone who has lots of doubts about the future, I have gained more curiosity in many fields relating agriculture as well as empathy toward farmers, and have more desire to study further to look for a way to help farmers and create a more sustainable system in farming.
The equation of Destination: 3 Xin + A Gut = Destination
During the time I am in Taiwan and study at NCHU, I started to believe that destination is what we have to create by our own. Waiting for destiny to happen without having a gut to make any action would not help in bring us to our destination. I sincerely send my appreciation to NCHU, NCHU OIA, NCHU staffs and TCUS for all the resources and fieldtrips. And I especially would like to thank all my professors and friends who have lend me your supports and care. They have been a tremendous source to me during my time in NCHU.
Time could past,
But what have happened will surely last.
We will someday be apart,
Life will also get hard,
But, what won’t change is our heart!