Volume 15 Issue 5 - October 1, 2010 PDF
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Extended visit of NCKU-EE and internship at Delta Electronics by exchange student, Matthew Barga of Purdue University
Matthew Barga
Exchange Student of Purdue University
This article first appeared in EECS NCKU
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Photo taken in front of a statue showing a scene from the Dutch surrender to Koxinga forces, Chikan Tower, Tainan, Taiwan
My decision to come to Taiwan this past summer was not something that I had planned out well in advance. Back at the beginning of the spring semester, I was settled on finding some typical intern position in the States like all of my other classmates. But after attending a meeting on opportunities to intern abroad, I began to think about changing my plans. As the deadline for application approached, I decided to go for it and see what was available. After waiting for a week or so, I was told that there was one opportunity in Taiwan for EE majors. It caught me a little by surprise as it had never crossed my mind that Taiwan would be an option.

So I did a little bit of research on where I would be going. As I began to uncover more, I was yet again taken by surprise. As it turns out, Taiwan actually has a sizable market in the field of technology. But to most Americans this is not well known. Everyone has heard of companies like Apple or Dell thanks to their huge marketing departments, but what about the technology that goes into their products? In the end I decided that the best match for me was a possible opening at Delta Electronics through a partnership with NCKU. After seeing the company name a few times I realized that I recognized it, even from the power supply of my own laptop. Getting the chance at having a small taste of a university in Taiwan was also appealing on its own.

Matthew Barga (second from the right) with Prof. Britton Chance, Prof. Poo-Choo Chung and other lab members
Looking back on my summer now, I couldn't have been happier with my decision to go. I had such a rewarding experience working in Tainan. I need to give a special thanks to Professor Chung and the supervisor from Delta, Dr. Paul Ai. It was their willingness to work with me to find a suitable project area I could contribute to, as well as their urging of me to get out of the lab to open my eyes to Taiwanese culture that made my time spent there so rewarding. I also had a great deal of help from everyone in my lab. I would always go to them for advise on technical matters and in exchange I was glad to help them out in their English study. I found that this friendliness was not hard to find anywhere in Taiwan and I was always well taken care of.

All of my travels and experiences began in Tainan, and all of them began with a meal. I had heard before that Taiwan has one of the highest density of restaurants in the world, and this came as no surprise to me after spending a few days in Tainan. Even on the day I left Taiwan after spending almost 3 months there, my friend was still chiding me on not having tried a whole list of foods. I also had many chances to get out and see the traditional side of Tainan as I was living there after all. I saw more temples and statues than I can count. I can't find anything like that just walking down the street here in the States. The biggest trip that I ended up taking was up to Taipei. While I enjoyed all of the excitement that Taipei had to offer, my favorite part of the trip was the ride home. Dr. Ai had decided to take a detour on the way back to Tainan to drop by Sun-Moon Lake. Since I was spending the majority of my time within the Tainan city limits working in lab, I was so glad to have the chance to see some of the natural beauty that Taiwan is known for, and I wasn't let down a bit. Throw in some good food and some good car conversation and it quickly became a memorable trip.

What turned out to be a quick change in plans this spring has turned into more than I could have imagined. Not only did I take away invaluable work experience and plenty of traveling hours, but I got to meet so many great people that I hope I will be able to stay in contact with on into the future. It can be hard to find the genuine kindness that I received anywhere in the world today. I am even considering Delta's international branches or possibly even coming back to Taiwan for employment in the future. I think sometimes it pays off to take some risks and try out things that you never would have thought of doing before.

Design & Layout : Ivan Tarn, The Banyan Editorial Office
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