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Study abroad with a scholarship: We speak to Jieh-hen about his time overseas | ISIC Thailand

Jieh-hen from Taiwan won a study abroad scholarship in 2016 and is currently studying scientific illustration in the Netherlands. In this blog, he talks about his vision of using art to make complex medical topics understandable for anyone – and how he won one of the Global Study Awards with it.


1. Why did you decide to study abroad and what were your expectations?
The subject I wanted to study, scientific illustration, is taught only at a few schools in the world. I had to go abroad to pursue my goal of becoming an illustrator working in natural science.

2. Why did you choose your study destination?
The program at Maastricht, Netherlands is one of the best in the world. Additionally, there are many original masterpieces in the museums around Europe. By studying here, I can easily travel around and learn from them.

3. Were there any difficulties you had to face when applying for your studies abroad?
Ooooh MANY! I was rejected by schools and scholarships, and when all that happened I already quit my job. It was very scary, but I left myself with no option of turning back, so I got up and kept on applying. In the end I landed in the 5 star situation with studying at the best program and winning The Global Study Award.


4. How do you finance your stay? I have savings from working 2 years as a psychiatric research assistant. However, that alone is not enough. It is lucky that I won The Global Study Award to help me with my tuition. My parents also help me financially.


5. The Global Study Awards are scholarships that are given to students who have a vision how to contribute to society and intercultural understanding. What’s the vision that drives you and made you win one of the Global Study Awards? My application focused on my vision to use visual art as the means to make health science accessible for everyone. Visual art is very good at breaking through language barriers, because it can visualise abstract ideas and can speak for itself without words. I aim to create the kind of medical illustrations that can be understood by anyone, regardless of their cultural and educational background. To me, it is an important right for everyone to have sufficient information to make the most suitable health related decisions for themselves.


6. How do you experience the Dutch culture? What are the most remarkable differences between the Taiwanese and Dutch culture?
Dutch are very direct in communications, and I absolutely love it. I can cut to the points in requests and discussions without feeling the obligation to do small talks. It is very liberating and makes things efficient.

7. Do you speak the local language and how do you overcome language barriers?
Dutch generally speak good English so I have not experience much language barrier. Nevertheless, I do plan to start learning Dutch from december on.

8. How different is studying in Holland compared to studying in Taiwan?
My program is pure project based learning, so we only have assignments but no lectures. It is heaven for me not to sit in classrooms and actually do stuff. The teachers are very friendly and approchable as well. They give indiviual advice to each student, which is extremely nice.

9. What was your biggest challenge so far?
I am working a lot on my professional portfolio so as to start making a living as an illustrator. Being a starving artist is not really something I can handle.

10. What advice would you give other students who think about studying abroad?
It will be an amazing opportunity to not only explore a different part of the world, but also to discover the strength within yourself. There will definitely be many obstacles before and after going abroad, but after overcoming them all and reaching your destination, you will realize how strong you actually are.

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global study awards , isic , student , student life , study abroad , TGSA , Travel

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