Splendid Time in NTNU

Tze-Shiuan Yang / MA Candidate
Graduate Institute of European Cultures and Tourism

Throughout these nearly seven years of studying at NTNU, I have broadened my horizons and stepped out of my comfort zone. I studied in the Department of Education and minored in the Department of English for my bachelor’s degrees, and studied in the Department of European Culture and Tourism for my master’s degree. I would say the time that I studied in NTNU was a great period of transformation from the role of a receiver to the role of an analyzer, and also from the role of an analyzer to an executor. 

The Role of Receiver

The word “Receiver” put into the learning context isn’t hard to understand; however, it could be categorized into the passive or the active one, especially for me. Recalling my high school years, I put more focus on studying and getting higher scores. The purpose of high schoolers is to get high grades and get into a good university. Students’ attitude toward studying is to keep absorbing knowledge as much as they can, ignoring the fact that we should put it into practice as we learn is more effective and important. This I would categorize as the passive receiver.

Moving on to my university years, I discovered that NTNU has a gran-variety of learning resources and excellent faculty members. Such as establishing the NTU triangle, setting up a wide variety of cross-disciplinary programs and courses, international exchange programs, and more. Furthermore, there are all sorts of attractive extra curricula such as clubs, service teams, department activities and events, and more to explore. I found myself turning to be more knowledgeable and becoming an inquirer through these rich and appealing resources. My curiosity was aroused, and learning and trying gradually became self-motivated. Since the course’s content and living style were distinguished and brand-new from the past, I found myself like a sponge absorbing every detail I received from my five senses. However, I believe this is what an active receiver will do.

The Role of Analyzer

A good analysis needs a combination of many skills and data, which needs a lot of practice and time. Coming up to University, students have to learn how to write research papers and make presentations, which are big differences from high school. This was when I started to sharpen my critical thinking and my analytical skills. 

Writing a good paper wasn’t an easy task for me, it involves clear and reasonable critical approaches, so to enrich the content; just by copying and pasting cannot reach it, and it isn’t a good idea either. Thus, many courses guide us on how to be a good critical thinker, and also a good researcher, inspiring us to be aware of our society and any issues that come about. Often the training enlightens us to think about “Why does it happen?” and “What can we do about it?”. Both situations prompted me to be an analyzer who organizes the information systematically and clearly.

Studying at NTNU has not just inspired me to cross-disciplinary learning and take the educational path, but also given lots of practical opportunities. From the university school course and programs, I get to know the broader view of the educational system and teachings. Then, I went to Vancouver for an internship and also got a chance to teach at a junior high school for remedial classes, which I realize what I am lacking. In my master years’ training, greater international perspectives are brought to light and prompts me to be a keen analyzer. 

The Role of Executor

The role of analyzer and executor actually depends on each other. As Karl Max said, “Practice without Theory is blind, Theory without practice is sterile.” In addition, not only had I improved my thinking and research skills, I had also sharpened my reflective skills through attending a lot of extracurricular activities. Throughout my bachelor’s four years, I attended all kinds of activities such as the Student Association’s activities, Fellowship club’s staff, winter and summer camps, such as counselor of Now The New You for freshman students and team leader of APFST for international junior high school students. Moreover, I have part-time jobs at school and became an English teacher and a tutor for a wide range of students. I also got a chance from school to Vancouver as a pre-service teacher intern and got the most impressive memories I ever had. 

To conclude, analyzing all these experiences, I gradually discovered what I want and what I like. Besides accumulating academic skills, I also improved my social skills of how to collaborate and communicate better with others. From these growths, the more I get in touch with the teaching environment and learn how to be an instructor, the more confidence I have. Whenever I hear anything about teaching, it triggers my interest, and sparks me about how I can do better in the future when I have to stand on the stage to teach. I hope in the future I could motivate students to be active learners step by step, from good receivers to good analyzers, what’s better to be to executors.

I am grateful to NTNU for giving the students such a great learning environment, where I found my future target. My learning style has also been modified every time I grow in this environment. More specifically, becoming a more active thinker who always wants to improve the situation, a risk-taker who is not afraid of failure, a principled person who respects others and fights for best, and an open-minded person who is full of agape, “education love”, that never gives up anyone, just like NTNU strives for cultivating each student that no one would left behind.