2018 AID Summer
志工感言 (Reflection) >> Denver
# Center
1 Houston
2 SF-Milpitas
3 New York
4 Toronto
5 Orange
6 Chicago
7 Maryland
8 Seattle
9 Vancouver
10 Los Angeles
11 Boston
12 Atlanta
13 Denver
14 Miami
15 London
16 Cape Town
17 Sydney
18 Hawaii
19 Queensland
Wu, Phoebe (武敬荺)
Looking back on this experience, I realize that there are no words that could perfectly summarize all the experiences and the emotions that I have endured in the past month.
Starting from the beginning, I was nervous to meet my teammates. Though I had met one girl, Jenny, prior to the program, and we hit it off well, she was only one of the seven others. First introductions are always the slightest bit awkward, so I didn’t want to make assumptions on how our group would bond from the first night, and I’m glad I didn’t.
The first week of training provided a stable schedule for us to learn more about each other and to learn to work with each other, both necessary for a successful next two weeks. Our group bonded so well over slow speaker sessions and attempting to make posters look decently presentable.
Though training week was a drag, it only got better from there. Upon arrival to Yu De Elementary School, we were greeted with signs and smiles of the teaching assistants. Jack, Rebecca, Eva, and Ryan immediately took us eight teens under their wings. They took us out to local hot spots, yummy restaurants, and teaching supply shopping. We practically spent all our waking time with at least one of them for the first three days.
Teaching was difficult, but being able to make connections with the kids and see them enjoy learning was all worth it. The students were the ones that motivated me to wake up at 7:30 every morning and to stay up late to prepare class materials. Out of everything the past month has presented to me, the students are the one piece of it that I miss the most.
This opportunity is one that I will cherish for a lifetime. All the friendships that I have built, all the connections with the students I have developed, make all the hardships and the time spent listening to presentations, worth it.

Chao, Jonathan (趙泰誼)
AID Summer 2017 has been an unforgettable experience. Although there has been many high's and low's during this program, but overall, I am grateful for this experience. To me, the most memorable part of AID was teaching the children for two weeks. Even though the children were filled with too much energy, it was rewarding to teach them English. Seeing that most students improved a bit every day for two weeks made my teaching experience more worth it. Plus, at the end of two weeks, I felt more confident in my teaching and leading abilities. When two weeks were over, leaving the kids and the school was bittersweet.
Plus, having an amazing group made AID an enjoyable experience. When I saw the list of my teammates, I was a bit worried because we were all from different parts of the United States. But, after that first week, we grew really close together, which allowed our teamwork to grow stronger. It was hella sad on the last day, as we know that we probably won't be able to see each other again.
But I just want to say thanks for this program for giving me the most memorable summer and allowing me to make new friends.
Connell, Anna (劉毛毛)
Sun, Jenny (孫家怡)
I've gotta say, reading the reflections from last year made me scared to do the program this year. The living conditions described sounded horrid and the children sounded like demons. In comparison to the experiences described last year, I'd say mine was a lot better and not at all as dramatic as described. The first week fine, except for the lectures and the food. It was nice meeting new people and being able to talk with people from all over the country and the world. The lectures were a bore, if not useless. I get that they were meant to "prepare" us for teaching the kids, but all they did was repeat information that most people have already learned through their own educational experience. It would've been nice to learn more about how to control kids or gain their respect rather than focus on the material needed to teach the kids since we figured most of that out with the teacher at our school. The food at Chientan was mostly cold and slimy with little to no flavor unless it was an explosion of sugar. The best thing there were the chicken nuggets.
Since my school was in New Taipei, we were still extremely close to civilization so we had the leisure of walking to 7/11 whenever we wanted. The classrooms weren't air conditioned but the auditorium and offices were, so it was fine. The kids were sweet, slightly rowdy, but incredibly adorable. The two weeks zoomed by and before we knew it, we had to say bye. Although I didn't really connect with most of the kids, there were select ones that I'd become fond of and didn't want to leave behind. From reading the reflections from last year, the thing I dreaded most was tour week. As expected, it was probably the worst part of the entire experience. Everything seemed rushed and time was not planned well. We barely got any time in the actually interesting places (and there were not many of those) and we seemed to spend hours in places where there was nothing to see.
I think the best things out of this entire experience was the fact that I was able to spend two weeks getting to know kids in a foreign country and teaching them English and being able to meet seven new people that will take a lifetime to forget. I felt as though our group dynamic was one of the best, if not the best. The people I've been able to meet through this program made the entire experience a lot less stressful and I hardly got homesick. They're some of the best people I've met and I'm glad I was able to spend a month with them.