Bandung—The Faculty of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (FTMD ITB) continues to support students in gaining learning experiences and global perspectives. Various schemes allow students to access international mobility programs, including student exchanges and double degree programs. One example is Nicolaas George Edward, a 2020 Mechanical Engineering student at ITB, who successfully spent one semester at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech) through the Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA) 2023 scholarship.

In an exclusive interview with the FTMD Media Team, Nicolaas shared his reasons for choosing Taiwan as his study destination. “I wanted to experience learning in an environment with a unique culture that I couldn’t get anywhere else, like Taiwan. Taiwan is unique in its history, and because they don’t adopt English, I felt challenged to learn Mandarin,” he said.

Nicolaas noted that many people choose English—or German-speaking countries for their studies, but he believes that if one only wants to develop English language skills, one could study anywhere, including Singapore.

Learning Experience in Taiwan: Culture, Society, and Technology

Nicolaas took various courses that significantly expanded his knowledge during his semester at Taiwan Tech. He delved into “Introduction to Engineering & Engineering Ethics,” exploring the ethical dimensions of engineering practices. The “Project Management” course equipped him with skills to manage engineering projects effectively. In “Brand Management,” Nicolaas deeply understood the complexities of building and developing brands. He also participated in the Mandarin language course, driven by his interest in learning a new language. Lastly, the “Sustainable Development and Society” course provided insights into various aspects of sustainability, contributing to his holistic understanding of the subject.

When asked about any new experiences or encounters he had during his study abroad, Nicolaas shared his unique experience. “I was scolded for giving motor vehicles the chance to keep going instead of crossing the road with other pedestrians. In Taiwan, the culture dictates that pedestrians have priority when crossing, and honking is prohibited when pedestrians are crossing.”

He also highlighted the cultural, societal, and technological differences in Taiwan. “In Taiwan, these three aspects influence and are closely related. The laws align with technological advancements, such as the strict implementation of gas emission checks.”

Benefits of Student Exchange for Academic and Professional Development

Nicolaas explained how the student exchange program benefits his academic and professional development. “From an academic standpoint, I have opportunities for internships and continuing my master’s studies there. I have met many people professionally, and if I ever need cooperation or collaboration, I already have a strong network there.”

Advantages of Being an FTMD ITB Student Abroad

As an FTMD ITB student, Nicolaas felt privileged during his studies abroad. ITB is a very internationally oriented, globally respected university. Many professors there have close relationships with professors at ITB. Many FTMD graduates become professors at this campus. This gives us a starting point to build new and broader relationships. Collaboration between FTMD ITB and Taiwan Tech also enhances my connectivity.”

Nicolaas George Edward’s experience in Taiwan serves as an inspiration for other FTMD ITB students to explore international opportunities and enrich their knowledge and skills in the global arena.