Taiwan, 2017

“If you don’t do this, you’ll regret what could have been”, I told myself and I’ve felt that pang too many times already so I jumped into the unknown and travelled with some other students and teachers from my university to Taiwan to teach English to high school students at an English summer camp, and to experience another culture.

As we arrived late at night to the university campus in Tainan and I saw the tiny dorm room with which I’d be sharing with three other guys for three weeks, and felt the stifling heat of the Taiwanese summer, I questioned if I had made the right decision. However, by the end of the three weeks, I was sad that I had to return to Australia.

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After settling into the campus and Taiwan itself we met the Taiwanese TAs, and the other international students (mostly American, but also one from Canada, and one from Singapore) who were here doing the same program as us. Just like an Argentina asado barbeque slowly cooking all day, I take awhile to get to know new people and explore my surroundings, and as such, the three weeks we were there didn’t feel as though it was enough time. Yet, although it was only three weeks, it felt at the end as if we had been there for three years due to how much we did in that short time.

We participated in numerous cultural classes, such as indigo dyeing…

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Cooking…

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Language classes…

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Pottery…

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Tea making…

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Calligraphy…

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Martial arts…

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And many more.

On the first weekend we took the fast train up to Taipei. The view from the Taipei 101 tower was beautiful.

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At the summer camp where we taught the high school students, it was nice to see some students who were initially super shy and reluctant to socialize with other students or speak English, to then have made friends at the end of the week and become more confident in speaking English. Teaching can be rewarding but it can certainly be stressful too.

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You can’t step in the same river twice. When I return to Taiwan in the future, it won’t be the same, and I won’t be the same, but I’m glad I was there during this time.

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As I returned to Australia and stepped off the plane, it felt unreal. Travel is a transformative experience and you can’t go home again the same person.

This entry was posted in Chinese, Languages, Study, teaching, Thoughts, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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