When Portuguese sailors first set foot on the island of Taiwan in 1590 they christened it Ilha Formosa, the "Beautiful Island", because of the lush, mountainous terrain they saw stretched out before them. Today, all across the island ancient temples punctuate the landscape, and serve as popular social centers as well as places of worship for the Taiwanese people. Although there are three main religions; Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, they are all closely linked and share the same philosophy–aiming to live in harmony with nature by searching to strike a balance between the calm, feminine side of the body and mind (yin) and the active male side (yang).

As an ASSE exchange student in Taiwan you will have the unique opportunity of experiencing first hand the amazing contrast created by the beauty and serenity of the Taiwanese countryside, and the hustle and bustle of the rapidly growing city of Taipei, which over the last 20 years has been transformed into the modern high-tech capital of the island. Spend an ASSE exchange year in a land of such fascinating polarity, learning the language and immersed in the culture and gain a priceless insight into a culture so vastly different from your own.

 

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