Study Abroad Program: The “Riel” Taiwan

Posted: May 31, 2013


When the Innovator, FEU Tech’s official student and associate publication, asked Riel A. Gomez about his experience studying abroad at National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan, the first thing that sprang to his mind was “incredible.” The second thing was “really good food.” The third was the rather mysterious statement, “Small crazy monkeys.” Keep reading to learn more “Riel” details about his adventure in Taiwan.

Riel A. Gomez is a 4th year Computer Engineering student at FEU Institute of Technology. In 2012 he got to spend 4 months studying abroad at National Sun Yat-sen University, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, under the College’s Study Abroad Program. Thanks to Student Coordinating Council and an SM Foundation Scholarship, Riel’s experience was not only awesome, but free!

“SCC shouldered my tuition and living costs. My SM Foundation Scholarship took care of the rest.”

According to Riel, studying in Taiwan was an incredible experience. He was able to take a Ph.D course and two Master courses. He even took a course in Mandarin. But, most impressive of all, Riel got to study iOS Programming, the same programming for iPhone and iPad apps.

“I was one of the pioneer students. This was the first time the university was going to teach iOS programming, and I got to be a part of it. I even helped create an iOS app.”

But Riel didn’t just study like a champ. He found plenty of time to have fun and indulge in eating at street carts, one of his favorite pastime activities.

“Street food is the best in Taiwan! I love tea eggs and katsu pork. Oh, and everything is cheap.”

When asked about culture shock and language barriers, Riel simply shrugged them off. “Yeah, a lot of people don’t speak English in Taiwan, but there are plenty who do, and they’re friendly. Also, there are many foreign exchange students just like me. I made friends with people from Europe and Canada, too.”

Finally, when asked about any real difficulties or challenges while being in Taiwan, Riel answered mysteriously, “Small crazy monkeys.” We didn’t press him too much for more details, but he did say that, if you live in an on-campus dorm near Mount Chai, a scenic spot famous for Macaque Monkeys, keep your windows shut.

Many of iTamaraw students have similarly incredible stories about studying abroad. Find your “Riel” world experience too!