BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
ACCORDING to three Solomon Islands students, studying Mandarin at SINU was boost and helped them a lot when they first settled in Taiwan.
Joseph Lefotoo, Robinson Minevaleke and Simon Tewa Tomasusu are ICDF scholarship recipients, currently doing their Post Baccalaureate in Medicine at I-Shou University in Kaohsiung which happens to be Ms Li’s hometown.
In June, they met up with their teacher Ms Kuei Mi Li who travelled from Solomon Islands to Taiwan for a break.
Moreover, upon their meeting in her hometown, Kaohsiung she asked them if her Mandarin class at SINU was helpful during their first few weeks in Taiwan.
Lefotoo expressed that it was very helpful but mentioned that he wished he had studied the language for about a year before travelling to Taiwan for studies.
Minevaleke said that the Mandarin lessons helped him a lot and he is grateful that he had attended the class before leaving for Taiwan.
However, he mentioned that learning Mandarin in Solomon Islands is much cheaper than in Taiwan.
“For instance, this summer I enquired for an extra mandarin class for only 6 weeks and found out the costs to be at least about $4000 SBD which is expensive for a student to afford”, said Minevaleke.
Tomasusu also found the Mandarin lessons really helpful, particularly in terms of ordering food and drinks as well as in basic communication with his classmates and teachers.
They also told Ms Li why studying the language is important.
Lefotoo stated that it is essential to learn Mandarin when studying in Taiwan because it is one of the global languages in this age of globalization.
“Pursuing further study in Taiwan, one should know how to write and speak the Mandarin language”, he said.
Sharing the same sentiment, Mr Minevaleke said that it is a “must” to know Mandarin given that Taiwan is a predominantly Mandarin speaking country.
He pointed out that although his studies are taught in English which helps him a lot, requiring some level of Mandarin is still essential in Taiwan especially when it involves things like communicating or socializing with the locals or when ordering food in restaurants.
“Knowledge of Mandarin language will make your life easier and you will get the best out from your stay in Taiwan. If you do not, then you will just miss out on a lot here”, said Minevaleke.