Taiwan’s Agricultural Reputation Attracts Indian Student to Study in Taiwan
“I hope to help farmers back in India increase their crop production by controlling pests and diseases with the knowledge that I have acquired from my study of agricultural biotechnology in Taiwan.”—Sushanthi Poovendhan.
Ms. Sushanthi Poovendhan is a recipient of the Taiwan Scholarship provided by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in entomology at National Taiwan University (NTU). Poovendhan believes that Taiwan’s agricultural technology has the potential to become the best in the world and therefore chose to study in Taiwan. Poovendhan also hopes to pursue her Ph.D. in Taiwan in the field of agricultural biotechnology once she has obtained her master’s degree.
Poovendhan graduated from the well-renown Tamil Nadu State Agricultural University in India. During her bachelor studies, she applied for a three-month internship at the World Vegetable Center in the Intergovernmental Organization (IGO), headquartered in Tainan, where she acquainted herself with Taiwan’s agricultural technology. At the same time, Poovendhan also got in touch with Taiwan’s customs, climate, and environment, which made her fall in love with Taiwan. This also drove her to apply for the Taiwan Scholarship provided by the MoE to pursue her master’s degree in Taiwan.
After coming to Taiwan, Poovendhan has highly valued the teacher-student friendships in Taiwan’s educational environment. She stated that Indian teachers mainly focus on lectures in the classroom, and generally do not interact with students outside of the classroom. In Taiwan, Poovendhan feels she is not only constantly encouraged by her teachers but is also provided with resources and support during her experimental studies. She further mentioned that Taiwanese teachers also provide opportunities for students to meet with them outside of class and talk about their needs. Poovendhan also expressed her gratitude and appreciation for Dr. Tsai Chi-Wei, one of her teachers in NTU. When Poovendhan arrived in Taiwan, she had no language foundation in Mandarin and therefore she chose courses and lectures mainly instructed in English. However, Poovendhan was faced a big challenge because one of her compulsory lectures, “Ordinary Entomology”, was only taught in Mandarin. Dr. Tsai, the teacher for this course, offered Poovendhan additional one-on-one lectures in English, which for Poovendhan, was unheard of in India.
After living over one year in Taiwan, Poovendhan, as a travel enthusiast, has traveled throughout the island and expressed her love for Kenting’s beauty. Poovendhan’s hometown is located in southern India and is an eight-hour drive away from the coast. Thus, she is particularly fond of the ocean and seafood, especially Taiwanese stir-fried seafood. Poovendhan is also impressed by the friendliness and enthusiasm of the Taiwanese people. For her, some of the friendships she has formed here are even stronger compared to those in her home country. Her Taiwanese friends also accompany her on most of her travels. Poovendhan additionally shared the fascination she felt during a cultural experience when she was invited to her friend’s home to celebrate the Lunar New Year together.
Taiwan Scholarship and Huayu Enrichment Scholarship Program Office