回憶在聖瑪莉森林學院的交換學生生活                鄧安茹An Ru TENG 2009-2010 

The Best Experience ever -- Strolling in the Woods


The summer in 2009, it was humidly hot in Taiwan. The ten girls from the

Providence University gathered at the spacious hall of Tao-Yuan Airport, excitedly

chirping their anxiety about the coming long flight and what they were going to

encounter in a foreign country. Some of them shared information they collected

from other former students, and some awed at what they heard. Girls’ faces all

glittered as if they expected their luck in the USA. They all knew it was

a precious chance and they would remember it in entire life. I now confirm the

fortune is huge, the precious experience is worthy great appreciation.




SMWC’s the most beautiful campus by four seasons








As soon as we arrived, we joined the ten-day orientation with other freshmen

in SMWC. It was a friendly, interesting, well-organized effective training to learn

about the campus and the Woodiers! What a cute nickname for the girls

who study or studied in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. SMWC is the

Nation's Oldest Catholic Liberal Arts College for Women established back to

1840, it has been offering prestigious education programs for women during

the long period of a hundred and seventy years, since then the limestone

buildings have been standing tranquilly and saintly in this campus surrounding

by the beautiful nature. I was and am proud of being a Woodier, with the

privilege of indulging myself in the peaceful academic atmosphere, and of

inhabiting in the over one-hundred-year-old luxurious buildings where were

 always warm during the freezing wintertime.


讓我們了解校園和WoodiersWoodier 是聖瑪麗學院学生的可愛的綽號, 就是住在森林裡的人。



At the rear area behind the campus, there were a cherry orchard and

horse stables where the famous horse-riding course drilled. It was a

beautiful path from the dormitory to the stable and to the lake, I

called it 康莊小道。In summertime before November, the sun

lingered later than nine o’clock. I usually spent an hour after supper

strolling on 康莊小道; beholding trees, animals, and fair high sky,

my stress diminished as the wind blew it away.


Autumn, I stroll in the woods;

Eyes are never so greedy,

Heart runs crazy.


Who says autumn is cool

I say it’s hot

So cool.


There, the blaze

of burning bushes amazes my eyes;

Nature is bold,

Not shy at all.


Trees, I long to know your name,

For I’m a pilgrim of yours without shame.


When the harvest autumn just came, the trees grew boldly colorful,

multiple-green, yellow, orange, red, burgundy, etc. tangled with

each other contending in the beauty competition. Meanwhile, the

student committee would hold Barn Dance. It was such a

cheerful occasion in which students from nearby colleges would

come. Students were all done up with American West cowboy

style – checked shirt, jeans and boots. Boys and girls met one

another and then practiced folk dance on the sand ground

together. We enjoyed the western country songs and lined up

dancing folk dance. There was also a machine bull; some students

dared ride the machine bull and the audience was cheering up as

the rider was being flung off the back of the bull. It was so fun.





都打扮成美國西部牛仔風格 - 格子襯衫、牛仔褲和靴子。男孩


排列式舞蹈, 還有機械牛, 勇敢的學生騎上機械牛,然後牛會開

始瘋狂的扭動, 當選手被牛甩下, 觀眾大聲歡呼起來, 非常有趣。




Awesome Harvest


Royal burgundy, quiet brown-red

Cheerful orange, flamboyant yellow,

And ever green here too.

Five colors weave into thousands of possibilities.


Take pictures!

The woods would never the same;

In a minute leaves already falling, trembling

In the wind.

Wind is now the proudest, happiest guy

It sings every day and night

Rapping about the harvest.

The girl fell in the spring

She smiled as the buds popped out

Within the summer someone broke her heart

She cried burning hot.

Burning hot; but

Thank God,

She’s cured by autumn’s hue

Gazing the richness of the nature

She lets her last tear drop.


Autumn has warmed her ever

She kneels down to God

Holds up her heart.



Elite Education  


The tuition for one semester in SMWC was around fifteen

thousands US dollars. For four-year-tuition, it was a huge

amount. I would not take the chance for granted but

appreciated the benevolence of SMWC, in which the

school provided international students this rare opportunity

without paying their tuition. What does the elite education

look like? Notably, this education is designed to suit individuals.

The classes were well conducted in small class -- the

maximum of the number of twenty students. I had several

courses that only contained about 5 students. Students had

plenty of chances to speak up their thoughts and teachers

noted comments for each student frequently. The learning was

solid and sound to work out individual progress. In my opinion,

for succeeding in the class, preview text was crucial, and

students would feel bewildered and embarrassed if they didn’t

read the book following the syllabus.


是個驚人的數字。 感謝SMWC對國際學生提供這個難得的機會,


種教育是為了滿足個人。 進行小班制 - 最多二十位學生。我有


們的想法, 老師也會對每個學生的意見做出评論。這樣學習了堅


的, 如果沒照著教學大綱預習, 學生上課時會無法瞭解和感到尷尬。

Secondly, professors didn’t give long lecture in classes;

students were the ones who were in charge of speaking.

This teaching method was quite different from the ones

I’ve had in Taiwan. I must adjust myself to an active

way of learning; in other words, I needed to preview the

covering chapters carefully before class. How did this work?

In the first class, professors gave out the exact-detailed

syllabus and on the syllabus students were usually

assigned homework for each class. Therefore, students

had to read chapters or write a paper before class,

and then in the classroom, teacher would not go through

the full textbook but evaluated what you interpreted about

the content and context via your speech and your papers.

Yet, students couldn’t relax afterwards since there were

quizzes, presentations, midterm and final to require your

reviewing. It was so true about “No pain, no gain.”

Every class was indeed a great challenge but the

fruits were sweet. Besides, the professors were

respectful and friendly; they mastered what they taught

and how they best taught, and they respected students

and their individualities.

However, time seemed never enough because each

course required much more time of studying rather than

in Taiwan. The following was the formula: one credit

needed at least three hours for preparation, so 15

credits by 3 times equal to 45 hrs per week. Deducting

attending hours, the study almost occupied my entire

spare time. Anyway, there was always a way out; for instance,

energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster help students

to gain energy for their time-consuming, painstaking study;

I testified they worked well.



所以我修了15個學分,3倍等於每週 45小時。扣除出席上課,

讀書幾乎佔據我的整個空閒時間。解決方法就是喝能量飲料 ,

這種能量飲品非常盛行於學生,Red BullMonster非常有效,


For future international students, I would like to

suggest that you do not overload yourself with

too many courses, instead, take minimum requested

credits (usually twelve) and spend time to preview and

review. Consequently, international students could

gain confidence, catch up with the class and make

progress fast enough.




One more thing most valuable in this education system

was the internship; SMWC provided many prestigious

courses with internships such as psychology,

education, arts, law, music therapy, equestrians, etc.

This policy had succeeded students’ capability at

both job and study, and also helped adjust better in

society soon after graduation.


The variety of cuisine 多元化的美食

Many international students concerned whether

they would adjust to western food, however, most

of international students gained weight after months;

they seemed happy with the food but worries being fat,

and some would find their solution to cook by themselves.

Generally, Taiwanese students all enjoyed buying

ingredients in Asian markets and cooking by their own;

they felt fun and found themselves good at cooking.

Occasionally, they would hang out to Chinese restaurants

with other students from nearby university. In the states,

there were plenty of Asian markets and Chinese food

vendors here and there. Besides, instant noodle was

prevailing in their market not only cheap but convenient

and it was the best homesick comfort.  I myself felt satisfied

with diverse cuisines.



西餐適應良好而開始擔心體重增加太多; 有些人找到自己


亞洲市場購買原料,然後自己烹飪; 他們會很快樂發現自


中國餐館。在美國, 有許多亞洲超市和中國食品供應商。




Friends 交朋友

Another importance to live happily in the foreign

country was to make foreign friends. It would help a lot.

International students were often in need of help by

native students in daily life and in study. For example,

transportation! To get a ride will enhance the life quality much higher.







Culture 文化

There were much indifference between American

students and Taiwan students, thus it was not

difficult to make friends in the school. However,

there were some cultural gaps that may cause

misunderstanding. For example, within the holidays

American students would invite foreign friends to

stay in their house; once, a Taiwanese girl went to

an American house and found out she had to live

with some dogs in a same house, that she found it

unbearable and she decided to return school earlier.

She asked the American family to take her back to

school, but it was a two and half hours driving and

the American student would not return in two days,

so they asked the Taiwanese girl pay the gasoline

and then they drove her back. The Taiwanese girl

was unhappy about it and after coming back to school

she complained about how terrible their dogs lived

and slept with them and other stuff. Therefore,

I would suggest if you were invited to American

house, it was better to ask some details about the family.


Travel 環遊美國

Since we got the rare chance to come here, naturally

we would like to travel around during vacations.

American is a huge country, but the size “huge” is

abstract, let me measure in number. For example:

our school SMWC is in the so-called Middle West,

at the border of Indiana State near Illinois, three

hours driving to Chicago. Once, my Korean

friend Euyoung and I took American classmate’s car

for one hour to the nearest city where we were able to

take train to Washington DCfor next seventeen hours

non-stop train to DC. We were exhausted because

the Armtrek (American railroad company) was not

comfortable for such long hours. Another time, two

Taiwanese girls and I drove to Miami and we kept

driving for twenty hours only with brief stops for gasoline

and restroom. We had two drivers; I advice if you are

the only driver, you better not try to drive that far.

Anyway, the travel was worthy; we had a great time

on the way and Miami beaches. In addition, we did

learn much how to book hotels online and get a good bargain.














All in all, this experience of studying abroad had

changed my conception and my life. As now I’m going

to graduate in June and also start to write my résumé,

I found the experiences enhanced my capability and

confidence; still, it also get extra point as applying for

graduate school abroad.









Bridge to the World 橋接寰宇!!!

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