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An Introduction to Taiwan

09/20/2007

History

In the 16th century, Portuguese ships sailed to Southeast Asia and discovered Taiwan. Sailors aboard these ships were enchanted by the island's natural beauty and majestic scenery. They exclaimed "Ilha Formosa!" This means "beautiful island" in Portuguese.Ever since, the name has become synonymous with Taiwan .

Environment

People in Taiwan enjoy a free, democratic, and safe society International students usually find that it is easy to live and study in Taiwan. Taiwanese pride themselves on their hospitality, and are committed to creating a friendly and convenient living environment for others to study Mandarin Chinese and experience Chinese and indigenous cultures.

Most people in Taiwan speak basic English, are very willing to help new friends from afar. Even if one has just begun to learn Mandarin Chinese, there will be no problems obtaining the information and assistance required.

Geography

Taiwan is located off the southeastern coast of China, at the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, between Japan and the Philippines. The Central Mountain Range divides the east and west coasts and stretches from north to south. A wonderful variety of geo-graphical contrasts exist: mountains, hills, plateaus, plains, basins and coastline,All of which have a diversity of unique flora and fauna thrive.

With Japan to the north, China to the west, and the Philippines to the south, Taiwan has always been a location of strategic maritime importance since ancient times. It has played an important role in the development of Asia as well as in world history, politics and trade. As a result, Taiwan now enjoys a high level of openness and cultural diversity.

Society and Culture

Taiwan's geographical and historical uniqueness has given rise to a diversity of ethnic groups, cultures, and languages. There are 380,000 people who belong to twelve officially recognized indigenous tribes, each with their own social structure, language, and cultural traditions.

Taiwan has a population of 23 million people who still observe their culture and still speak regional Chinese dialects in addition to Mandarin.