Day 2 (Gigi)

GigiIt is a special experience for me to do the cultural immersion trip with all the American classmates because Taiwan is my home country. I have been studying in MU for two and half years. Before the trip, I was very excited to introduce my mother country to all my friends from MU and how great it is. I believe that it will benefit my own cross-cultural knowledge learning as well. After being away from home for years, I missed it and wanted to relax from the heavy studying prior to this trip. However, after being in Taiwan for few days, I have not felt the expected exciting moment. Reversely, I miss a little bit the studying life in the U.S. I am still trying to figure out why I feel strongly this way. Some outside factors that I can think of so far are related to environment, such as air pollution, people crowds, and limited space. It seems that I have reverse cultural shock which indicated the uneasy feeling coming back from another new culture to my original culture. For me, it is unexpected and confusing process, even though I had several happy and positive interactions with family, friends and other professions. I have been in Taiwan for two weeks before the CCIP started. Although I have reverse cultural shock as mentioned above, it is still great to see family and friends. I am able to eat a lot of delicious and familiar food.

Delicious food in Taiwan

Delicious food in Taiwan

The most important thing is the closeness and warmth to get together with people who I love, care and have known for many years. Staying in my hometown is relaxing and enjoyable. It is a fishing village and producing the best seafood in Taiwan. My parents cooked fresh seafood and tried their best to feed me every day. I felt very blessed. In addition, I created several connections with professors in Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Department of Special Education in NTNU through this visiting opportunity. These professors are so welcoming and even try their best to build other connections for me. I did my best to promote what School Psychology is and what I learned from School Psychology Program these two and half years. I am glad that it received very positive feedback and that those professors assure its importance and needs for public schools in Taiwan. I feel strong responsibility to share what we do in American public school and start to think of adopting the best practice in Taiwanese public school to assist more children’s adjustment.

Gigi Lecturing in Taiwan

Gigi Lecturing in Taiwan

This is so exciting and makes me feel real happiness. Lastly, I think it will be a continuing process for me to explore my reverse cultural shock and process it to see how it impacts the rest of my trip as well as life returning back to the U.S. Currently, I attribute these uneasy feelings of being in my own culture to the environmental factors. However, it seems to include more internal thoughts and perceptions (or comparisons between) of both cultures behind the uncomfortable feeling. Somehow, I may blame myself “Why am I not comfortable?” “I should feel good because I speak the language and know the culture so well comparing with my classmates.” “I can do … in the U.S, but I can’t do … in Taiwan.” These thoughts may make the situation worse. I hope that the rest of the journey can assist me to be more aware of my real state and to learn about my unique cultural immersion process.

-Gigi