Through the eyes of… Feng Chien Kao (Connie) from Taiwan: Clean Air and Small Classes

After 13 hours flight, I arrived at Schiphol Airport. It was the first time I visited to Europe. Everything was so new and fresh. I was surprised that the Dutch were so tall. I seemed like a child in the crowd.

I will never forget when I came out of the train station in Leeuwarden in January. It was a super cold and windy day. A small group of exchange students stood outside waiting for the people who were coming to pick us up. Everybody just froze. At that moment I realised that I needed to do everything by myself. I came here to experience different cultures. I wanted to learn something new and to improve my English speaking. To be honest, I don’t regret that I came to the Netherlands, to Leeuwarden. I even started to love this country and this city.

I am very happy that I don’t sneeze anymore. The air is so clean and fresh which is totally different from Taiwan. We have a serious air pollution issue. Especially in winter and spring, all people need to wear masks to protect their face when they are going outside. Leeuwarden is like an open zoo. I can see some birds, ducks and cats every day and they are relaxed and they enjoy themselves just like me.The only bad thing is the weather. Rain is fine, but when it rains with wind, it is like a typhoon, which is the typical natural disaster in summer in Taiwan.

The educational system is so different. Here, they don’t use the bell to remind people it is time to go into class or finish class, which I am really surprised by. In Taiwan, the course schedule is fixed and we use the bell as a reminder since we were primary school students. Besides that there is more, like being in a small group of students instead of big group. We used to have a lot of students in one class, normally from 70 to 100. And so it is hard for a teacher to take care of every student. I like the education here. Though in the beginning I was afraid of answering the questions, because in Taiwan most of us just listen to the teachers rather than speak out our opinions and answers. I appreciate that I have chances to practice. No matter if the answer is right or wrong, I step forward to speak out.

People are friendly here. It is common they say hello to you on the street even you don’t know them. If you need some help, they will try their best. I am glad to be here and explore new things in my daily life. It is my second home now!