From India to Taiwan: A Journey of Knowledge, Culture, and Scientific Pursuit

From India to Taiwan: A Journey of Knowledge, Culture, and Scientific Pursuit

Arputharaj Emmanuvel from Tamil Nadu, the southern part of India. Currently, he is working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University. His research specialization lies in the fabrication of bio-polymer nanocomposites and microfluidic analytical devices. He has been in Taiwan for nearly five years, accompanying the journey with a Ph.D.

Brief Study Experience Sharing in Taiwan:

My motivation to pursue advanced studies stems from the significance placed on excellence in Indian culture and the inspiration drawn from Solomon in the Bible, who prioritized knowledge over wealth. This cultural foundation prompted me to pursue a Ph.D. in Taiwan, leading to a fruitful exploration of bio-polymers, nanocomposites, and microfluidics. In addition to academic achievements, I’ve had the privilege of guiding my lab juniors and students through successful scientific research journeys. This experience broadened my skills in cross-functional collaboration, team leadership, training, and mentorship.

Beyond academics, I found joy in extracurricular activities such as going to gym, hiking, teaching English to aboriginal kids, and participating in church activities. These pursuits provided a delicate balance between my research commitments and personal life, enabling me to engage with the local community and learn more about their culture.

Why Stay in Taiwan after Graduation? Why the Current Position?

From my childhood, I harbored a profound passion for contributing to communities through research and science. Inspired by role models from Indian institutions like ISRO and CSIR and remarkable individuals such as Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Sir C. V. Raman, Dr. Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi, and Kalpana Chawla.

Taiwan presented a golden opportunity as a postdoctoral researcher for me to pursue my passion after a PhD journey filled with prayers, support, and hard work. As a postdoctoral researcher, I have been able to challenge and enhance my technical, critical thinking, problem-solving and managerial skills. In this environment, I’ve not only developed professionally but also found inspiration, formed long-lasting friendships, and discovered endless possibilities. I am deeply grateful for the support and encouragement that have accompanied me on this journey.

Moreover, Taiwan’s cutting-edge research facilities, collaborative scientific community, and the country’s commitment to innovation have significantly contributed to my professional growth. The international exposure here has not only widened my research horizons but has also fostered a global perspective, preparing me for the challenges of our interconnected world and rapid technological growth.

Staying in Taiwan is not just a professional decision but a personal one. The warmth and hospitality of the people, the rich cultural experiences, and the seamless blend of modernity and tradition have made Taiwan a second home for me. Especially, being of Tamil Indian aboriginal descent myself, I’ve found a special connection to Taiwan’s aboriginal culture and its mesmerizing songs. As the renowned Tamil philosopher Kaniyan Poongundranar eloquently expressed, yaadhum oore yaavarum kelir (Tamil language) meaning the world is our homeland, and all its people are our relatives. This profound sentiment resonates with Taiwan’s core values, as the country actively embraces diversity and fosters an environment where individuals from various backgrounds can not only coexist but also thrive.

Encouragement or Advice for Prospective International Students or Those Looking to Work in Taiwan

To esteemed researchers from various parts of the world, including my fellow Indians who all are planning on coming to Taiwan for research or job. I humbly offer a small piece of advice: approach your journey with an open mind, be ready to learn, and embrace the richness of new cultures. Always bear in mind that knowledge is a wealth that cannot be stolen. Never lose hope; success will inevitably come at the perfect time through unwavering hard work and perseverance.

As the esteemed Tamil philosopher and poet Thiruvalluvar beautifully articulated

“Kettil vilunchelvam kalvi yoruvarkku

Maadalla mattrai yavai” (Tamil language,)

Knowledge is the best and indestructible wealth among all other wealth a person can have (English translation).

知識是一切財富中最好的、堅不可摧的財富(Chinese translation)。

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