Looking South Episode #16 – Education – 2+i

In this week’s installment of Looking South, Eric Gau chats with Reza Ananda, a student from Indonesia studying at Cheng Shiu University under the 2+i program.

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Transcript below:

Eric Gau: Good morning, and welcome to Looking South on ICRT. I’m Eric Gau, and today we are joined by Reza Ananda, a student at Cheng Shiu University, to share about his time studying here in Taiwan. Reza, good morning, and welcome to the show.

Reza Ananda: Hi, good morning everybody.

Eric: Reza, start us off by letting our listeners know a little bit about you. Where you’re from, what you’re studying, things like that.

Reza: Yeah, sure. Hi everyone! My name is Reza Ananda, but you can call me Reza, and my Chinese name is Zhou An Da. I came from Palembang, it’s located in the Southern of Sumatera Island – Indonesia. Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Southeast Asia and Palembang is mostly known by many Indonesians for Ampera Bridge, the city’s main landmark. I graduated from the State Polytechnic of Sriwijaya in Palembang, Indonesia. I majored in Mechanical Engineering for my diploma and finished it last year. Now, I have the chance to join the 2+i program to continue my study in Cheng Shiu University for my Bachelor’s Degree of Mechanical Engineering. Why do I still choose to continue in Mechanical Engineering? It’s because I think after I got my diploma in mechanical engineering, I should still develop the knowledge I had before, by continuing my studies in mechanical engineering. Here in Cheng Shiu University, not only can I improve my skills and knowledge in my field, I can also become an engineer who is both reliable and competent.


Eric: How did you hear about 2+i program, and what made you decide to sign up for it?

Reza: The information about 2+i program was spread out to all the State Polytechnics in Indonesia and I was informed by our State Polytechnic director. What made me decide to sign up for it? Actually, after completing my diploma, I planned to work first. Because I think with my age at that time, I was quite ready to work and find some work experience before I decided to continue to higher levels of study. At that time, I thought two years of work experience was enough before continuing school, because in that duration, I was able to get experience and maybe I could prepare some money for school. But after I got the information about the 2+i program, I found it quite interesting, because with this program I can kill two birds with one stone. I can get both knowledge and experience in a shorter time duration than my previous plan. Yes, this is a good opportunity for me to continue my study to a higher level. And I think another thing that makes me interested in joining this program is because the classes are taught in full English, which can also improve my language skills at the same time.

Eric: What does this program offer that is different from similar programs that you could have gone to back at home?

Reza: In my opinion, the big difference is about the internship program. CSU provides an opportunity for us to study and then do an internship in the second half of the program. Which means that we do not only get the knowledge from campus, but also gain practical knowledge and experience in the form of real work from several large companies in Taiwan, especially Kaohsiung. Even though we also have the internship program in our country, but the internship duration is not as long as what this program offered. In Indonesia, the internship will only last for 1 to 6 months, while this 2+i program requires a longer duration for the internship itself. The longer period of internship means more practical hands-on experiences. And again, even though we also have the internship program in our country, but for some companies, they wouldn’t let us practice for hands-on experience. Maybe let’s say they only allow us to study from observation without directly jumping in to do it, or try to do the work. But that is based on my personal aspect. There might also be some companies that will provide direct work experience, but I don’t know yet.


Eric: How have you found life in Taiwan? Have you had any troubles getting used to life here?

Reza: So far I really enjoy it! It’s not too different from what I have in Indonesia, because we still can find the same food to eat… like rice. I discover many things such as cultural differences, habits, and many other things, and I also think Taiwanese people are so nice, helpful and also open-minded. It is not too expensive and very convenient here. How convenient is it? I can go anywhere just by using the bus. Yes, the public transportation here is very convenient. Have I had any troubles getting used to things here? As a foreigner, of course it’s all about the language barrier, especially in restaurants or when I’m going around Kaohsiung and want to ask for directions. Because being a Muslim, I could not eat pork, and I realized there are so many foods around Taiwan that are made with pork, so I have to be very careful. Sometimes I found it’s pretty hard to communicate with the seller to ask the information about the foods. I just try my best to use my eyes to check if there is no pork in the dish or food that I plan to buy. And also, as a Muslim, every Friday I have to worship in the mosque. And the distance between my university and my mosque is very close, I can bike or take a bus there. There’s one right away. It’s really convenient.

Eric: I believe the central government has been working to increase the number of Muslim-friendly restaurants. Have you noticed that in your time here, while you’ve been staying in Kaohsiung?

Reza: Yeah, I’ve visited many Muslim restaurants around Kaohsiung, it’s great.

Eric: So the Halal certification program is actually helping you as a Muslim living in Taiwan?

Reza: Yeah.

Eric: Would you recommend the 2+i program for other international students? What would you say are the best parts of it for you?

Reza: Yes! I would highly recommend the 2+i program for the international students, especially Indonesian students, who want to continue learning to a higher level and earn practical experience at work, because trust me, if we talk about work ethics and work experiences, I think the 2+i program with an internship here in Taiwan is a great choice. And also, like I said before, don’t worry about the teaching method. Because here in Ching Shiu University, they provide full English teaching, and also the professors here are professionals, who are well equipped with knowledge in their field. I think Taiwan has a good learning environmental, not just for professional skills, but also for improving our language skills, especially in English and Chinese.

Eric: Do you have fellow students already in the 2+i program who are from other countries in Southeast Asia?

Reza: Yeah, I have some friends from Vietnam and Thailand.

Eric: So you are all taking the same classes together, being taught in English, and you can all get these hands-on experiences at the same time?

Reza: Yeah, we do.

Eric: We’ve been talking with Reza Ananda about his experiences studying here in Taiwan. Reza, thank you for taking the time to join us on the air this morning.

Reza: You’re welcome, thank you for inviting me as well.

Eric: And that wraps up this week’s instalment of Looking South. If you want to listen to this interview or past episodes again, you can head on over to the ICRT Website, where it’s available in the Podcast section. You can also find it on the ICRT App. Tune in again next week as we turn our attention back to small and medium enterprises and how they are getting on under the New Southbound Policy. I’m Eric Gau, and I’ll see you again next week.

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