For a person like me, making friends has always been hard. What I should say and how I should act are always big problems that disallow me from making friends. Maybe some of you have the same problems too! But being on the campus tour with people from all around the world today was a great experience for me, being unlike no other that I had ever experienced. Slowly I was able to warm up to the group and make friends, but for the first forty-five minutes or so I probably didn’t say more than 10 words..
My advice to you: be open to making friends, smile more and let them know that you want to be friends with them! I’m still working the logistics of it out, being the antisocial person I am, but I’m really glad that I was able to (by some stroke of luck) make friends with many of the international students by the end of the day! Being a good listener and hearing their stories really opened my eyes to different cultures, and how we are able to find differences even in the smallest details of our lives. Just like David Tao’s lyrics once said: “Being different is just that; being different-so what?” We as humans can’t claim to all be the same, because it’s plain to see that we aren’t. But what we can all claim as humans is a right to be able to be different; to have equal dignity and acceptance, no matter where we go, and how we choose to live our lives. Being on exchange and making friends with people from different parts of the world also helps a lot in allowing people to banish this concept of ethnocentrism(thinking your culture is the best), while understanding how others live.
It's been my dream since I started getting to know more about Chinese music to be able to live in Taipei, and now I'm finally going to be able to! Starting from the 11th of February, I will be staying in Taipei for 139 days and hope to share parts of my experiences that may be helpful with readers everywhere! (Feb 2014)