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Spotlight on Give Backs: Gardner Davis (Taiwan '19)

Spotlight on Give Backs: Gardner Davis

Ambassador Gardner Davis shares a video diary of a "day in the life" in Taipei, Taiwan.

Without the Phillips Ambassador’s program, I wouldn’t have been able to embark on the most fun – and most personally enriching – journey in my life so far. I’m not exaggerating when I say that being afforded the opportunity to live, study, and work in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city is one of the luckiest moments in my life. There’s simply no substitute for that kind of experiential learning.

I discovered in my time there that, apart from enhancing my language proficiency, I grew more adept at giving others the benefit of the doubt, at empathizing with complete strangers and foreign customs. There are few more valuable experiences in one’s life than when an individual throws themselves headfirst into something that is totally out of their comfort zone. Luckily for me, I got to do that every day living in Taipei, whether the comfort zone I departed from was social, cultural, or culinary.

My “Day in the Life” video is a great resource for what the day-to-day of school and work look like, but prospective students should be very excited by all that it leaves out: the quiet joy of a walk through a well-kept nature park, excursions to remote parts of the island where aboriginal groups throw massive celebrations steeped in centuries of history. The small beef noodle stand tucked away in an alley that my language partner insisted we visit before I came home. These small moments make up some of the most enriching elements of my time in Taiwan, and I’d encourage everyone to look at for those moments in every day, both at home and abroad.

– Ambassador Gardner Davis (Taiwan ’19)