2018 AID Summer
志工感言 (Reflection) >> Vancouver
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Chu, Yuhsin (朱宥欣)
The past 4 weeks have zoomed by incredibly quickly. The entire experience was like a roller coaster ride, during which we (the 8 volunteer teachers) shared the highs as well as the lows. We laughed, walked precariously in the school at night with little light, dealt with the countless insects, faced the frustration of teaching, endured the boiling heat of Taiwan, embraced the mosquitoes together, and had the fun of our lives.
Out of 434 volunteers, there were eight who were randomly assigned to Feisha Junior High located in Yunlin county of Taiwan. Fate, as it seemed, was in the process of connecting strangers with friendships that will last a lifetime.

On Day 1, we realized that the English level of these middle school students is lower than expected. We had to repeat sentences numerous times, add exaggerated hand gestures, and speak a lot louder and slower to get our message across. The teachers all did better as we progressed into our lessons.I and my fellow colleagues lowered the level of our teaching material. I discovered that their reading comprehension is quite good but their listening and speaking lacks severely.

We took the kids out onto the field regularly to let them have fun, be kids, engage their interest, and avoid from falling asleep. It was a good tactic because some of the boys became alive once we exit the confinement of the classroom. In the afternoon we usually take the kids out of the classrooms and lead rounds exciting games such as capture the flag, relay races, duck, duck goose, and soccer. We gave students routined water break under the shade to stay hydrated. The kids had tons of fun and that made all of us teachers felt worth it to have endured the boiling heat of southern Taiwan.

The kids also taught volunteers martial arts since it is one of the special features of the junior high school. They were all so excited to show the teachers their moves. Those who taught me were patient and those that learned along side with me were sweet and encouraging. Giving these students an opportunity to teach us teachers allowed them to interact with teachers in ways that differ from their traditional way of learning.

On the last day, we handed out an award for each of our students. We put in hours for all these individually unique paper plate awards in the hopes that every one of our students feels special.

Overall, AID Summer Camp was a unique, educational and fun activity. I am glad that I signed up for this program and will recommend it.

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Juan, Yi-Jen (阮以任)
I think it was a great learning experience. I made a lot of new friends and gained an experience that I would've never if I didn't go this summer.
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Chou, Brian (周鉑恩)
Aid Summer 2017 has got to be one of the most rewarding experience I ever had. I went into the program not really knowing what to expect, except to teach kids in rural areas about English. What I gained from this was so much more. I learned about what it was like to be a teacher, and it was phenomenal. Knowing how difficult it is to be a teacher surprised me greatly and allowed me to appreciate teachers more. Teaching could be hard and tiring, but also very rewarding. Learning to lead a class and to get the students to listen is a valuable skill which could be carried on to future uses. After two weeks, it was very hard to leave the students behind as in just mere two weeks, we have deeply attached ourselves with the students. The students were very passionate about learning. Even more so, after knowing our fun and interactive ways to teaching English. I wish that the students at Yan Chao was inspired by this summer camp and will wish to continue their study of English in the future~
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Lee, Alice (李嘉軒)
Throughout the long month I spent in Taiwan, I made many unforgettable memories.
However, the two weeks spent teaching are definitely the most memorable. Before arriving at my school (竹田國小), I was unsure of what to expect. From my experience working with children in Vancouver, I was scared that the students would be rebellious and wild since I would be teaching the oldest in the school (students going into 6th grade). After the two tiring but rewarding weeks, I came to know these children as the kindest and most caring group of youngsters I have ever met. Even though the first few days were chaotic, after knowing the students as individuals, I discovered that even the most challenging student has a warm side. I was surprised and touched by how hardworking the students are. For instance, my teaching partner and I handed out word search worksheets around ten minutes before class ended. When the bell rang, no one got out of their seats. Instead of running out of the classroom like I expected, the class was silent as the children focused on completing their work. Confused and shocked, my teaching partner and I repeatedly explained to the students that they could take a break and there would be time to finish after the break. What surprised me even more was that even after some students finished the work, they began helping their peers. In Asia, education is very individually based, as one compete with others for the highest mark. Seeing the children willing to help each other was very inspiring and encouraging because it made me realize the importance of teamwork even in a competitive environment.
Additionally, I will never forget the many inspiring people I met and the new friends I made during my time in Taiwan. I joined the program expecting to develop friendships with individuals similar to me, with whom I have a lot in common. However, after meeting many different people, I came to discover and appreciate that differences can make life more interesting and that different perspectives can broaden one’s perceptions of the world.
My only regret would be the limited time I had with my students. I believe that a longer timeframe would definitely benefit the students in many ways as the students were beginning to know the teachers better and were more willing to try new things as the camp progressed.
Throughout the time I spent in Taiwan, I learned many things about the places I visited, from the people I met, and through the problems I encountered. I will always be grateful for what I gained throughout this trip.
Thank you for making my trip a memorable experience.

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Wu, Amy (吳姍珊)
The AID summer program gave me a chance to experience a variety of cultures and encounter different people. When I first arrived in Chien Tan, I was really nervous since I didn't know anyone. However, I soon met my group mates and we soon became closer. During the first week, I learned different types of teaching methods and activities that involve English and can also be used to motivate students. After the first week, we traveled from Taipei to Kaohsiung to our respective school, Shan Ding Elementary School. On the first day of teaching, my group and I had to perform in front of all the students and to entertain them. The first day was quite awkward because we told the students that we didn't understand Mandarin. So, when we asked them questions there were no responses. As the time passed we all became closer. Throughout the two weeks teaching, I learned how to interact with children and how to help and encourage them to use English in their daily life. At end of the teaching week, we had a water fight between students and teachers. At that moment I realized my time in Taiwan and in this program would be ending soon. Later on, all these experiences will become memories. I’m glad I was given this opportunity to join this program.
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Lu, David (呂紹華)
Just as fast as this program was approaching, time seemed to go by even faster while I was in Taiwan. I walked into Chien Tan thinking what I have gotten myself into; little did I know that the best part of my summer was yet to come. Initially I was arrogant and selfish, considering myself to be above everyone else. I was naive and clueless to the diversity of different cultures.
Through this program and volunteering service, It made me realize how big the world actually is and the variety of different people that are just more than what I know in Vancouver. In addition, the school that my group taught at was a very rural location; I was very surprised at how carefree and innocent the students were, despite how little they had. Upon looking at myself, I am very lucky to live in North America.
If I were to recommend this program to my friends, I would give it a 9.5/10. This was definitely a very special experience for me and in the end, I had made many awesome friends and matured considerably. Thank you AID for the living and food expenses and most of all, for the unforgettable memories that I will forever cherish.

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Huang, Iris (黃冠蓉)
This summer, AID has given me an unforgettable experience. Through my volunteer service, I was not only able to give back to my home country, but I've also gained so much from this experience. During my time at Jianzhong Elementary School, I was so lucky to have met so many amazing teachers and helpful student volunteers that made my two weeks at the school enjoyable. I was so lucky to be able to form such good relationships with everyone there. Further, I am so blessed that I was matched with such a fun group of teammates. Many of who I still keep in contact today. The teachers at Jianzhong Elementary School were very kind and accommodating to any needs that we had. These two weeks were extremely memorable and definitely passed by too quickly.


However, the training week and the tour week were not as great as I had imagined. The training week was too draining and many of the presenters covered the same topics. During the tour week, one of the things that I was most disappointed with was the schedule. A lot of the destinations were rushed and this resulted in us not having enough time to look around. Furthermore, the food at Chientan Youth Activity Center was always the same and in the end, I just started buying food from the convenience store instead.

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Lee, Eleanor (李樂曦)
This past month of July, not only have I taught, I have also learned unfathomable amounts. I am incredibly grateful to have received this opportunity to go overseas and potentially change my life for the better, because I know that I now have a new perspective and outlook on life, due to this amazing experience. The two weeks that were spent teaching were, in my opinion, some of the best weeks of my life. I loved bonding with my group members; in fact, we still talk on a regular basis - that is how close we have become in such a short span of time! What I loved even more than that was bonding with the children I was teaching. Looking back, they were all unbelievably timid the morning we met them, but at the end of that same day, we were all smiling and laughing. I have to say that I was quite surprised to see that the children had a much higher skill level of English than I had originally expected. My partner, Iris, and I did not have to use Chinese with our children at all in the span of the two weeks. Although they were not bad at the beginning, at the end of the two weeks, I could see so much improvement in them, and that is probably the proudest I have ever been in my entire life. I got to watch thirteen children grow intellectually and emotionally in the course of two weeks, and I do not think anything can beat that experience. These children grew on me so much, and they taught me more than I could ever have learned from sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher drone on. I do not think I can put those lessons into words, because it is something you have to experience to understand. I think about these children every day, wondering about how and what they are doing. It makes me so sad and sentimental to think that I might never see any of them ever again, but I will always keep them alive in my memories. I hope none of the people I have met through AID will forget me, because I will never forget them; they are what made this experience so memorable, so momentous, and so incredibly phenomenal.
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Chan, Caitlyn (陳暐靜)
I am incredibly grateful to partake in this program this summer. I was lucky enough to join 山頂國小. The first week was very helpful in order for me to get to know my team and learn how to teach children (something I have had little experience doing before) English. Not only that, we were also given a short tour around Taipei in order to get to know the environment better. Our trip to Kaohsiung was exciting, and all the teachers welcomed us very warmly. Our accommodations and welcoming gifts made me feel warm and very happy. The students were at first reluctant to speak English because they were afraid that it wasn't good enough, but they were able to open up after a few days with the help of common phrases and prizes. Our class decided to create a point system in order to keep the students out of trouble and inspire them to participate in class. After teaching vocabulary words and practicing them throughout the day we had physical activity every afternoon. The students were incredibly excited to come to school everyday and had lots of fun. Our weekend tour was super fun and I wanted it to last longer (but not cut into school time) The second week the students got too close and started not to listen to us. We had to lay down more rules and enforce them to keep classes in order. We were very sad to leave them behind the last day, when they came to see us off. On the tour, all the destinations were super fun but sometimes we wouldn't have enough time to take in all the sights. I'm extremely grateful to be able to come to AID 2017 this summer and be able to meet new friends, gain new experiences, and help the wonderful children of 山頂國小. I love you all!!
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Liu, Ruth (劉芳祿)
The AID program was an eye opening camp that challenged my self-doubt and gave me the accomplished feeling of helping the younger generation. At first glance, I felt quite overwhelmed and nervous teaching English in a foreign a country, with no friends, no family, not much prior language-teaching background. I felt vulnerable. It felt too burdening for myself, thinking about every task that we had to do-- planning an opening ceremony, planning our weekly lesson plan, doing our working journal, preparing kids to perform a closing ceremony. While I have taught children before in the past, the entire planning stage put me in confusion, without much direction because we were uncertain of the best way to approach this. The confusion made me pre-stress. The first day of class with my group teaching was disappointing, as we did not thoroughly plan enough, and were disorganized. From that day on, we vowed to work hard after school till the evening until we had a proper lesson.

It was a packed and busy 2 weeks. I believe that my strongest motivation to work hard came to the kids, when I gained a greater perspective into their traditional school teaching methods of homework, lectures and tests. I know that all these kids deserved only the best teachers, and a supportive, fun and friendly environment. It touched me that the impact as a teacher alone, can go so far into touching a child’s heart. I got over the worries that I initially had before I met them-- fears of doubt, fears of messing up when I knew I was confident enough. It took me this entire experience to realize how rewarding the teaching profession is, watching the growth of a child from the first day to their last. Of course I made great friends in my group, from the uncertain feeling of strangers to home. Thank you to the AID program for an unforgettable summer 2017.

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Hung, Leo (洪詩堯)
It was an unforgettable experience. I never expected to make such strong bonds with the volunteers as well as the students at our school. It was a great opportunity to enhance my leadership skills and i was really blessed to be paired with this particular group of volunteers, teacher, school and the students. We grew closer to the students more than any of us would have imagined. It was an emotional moment when we had to say good bye. Even though the class were loud and hard to control most of the times, we made many good memories and I will cherish and remember them forever. At the end of the teacher weeks, we were all really sad when we realized that there is a chance that we might never see these kids ever again. The best part about teaching grade 1 and 2s is that all the students are so pure. No cell phones, no internet, all they wanted was to have fun and interact with each other. I really missed that part of my childhood when me and my friends had no cell phones and we would just go on the playground and play, and the children at the school brought that back for me. The children were incredible and if I ever go back to Taiwan I would definitely go back and visit them. At the end of the two weeks, all the volunteers were proud because we all finished teaching the kids and all caught up to schedule. But it was really hard saying goodbye especially for me and my class since the students have no social media we cannot keep in contact with them. We all wish the teaching weeks would've been longer. But nevertheless, I was really blessed to have this opportunity to be apart of this program.
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Hsu, Hsin (許馨)
I had an enjoyable time participating in the AID program. I was able to get to know my team mates a lot better during our training week and we shared many fun experiences such as going to the night market and playing card together. After training week my teammates and I were sent to Kaohsiung where we would teach for the next two weeks. Unfortunately the first day of teaching did not go so well for my partners and I. The main reason for this was that the class was too quiet. We would greet each student as they entered the classroom, but they would not respond. Things did not get any better when we began teaching our first lesson. The students were unresponsive to our questions and refused to participate in the activities we planned. But after our students warmed up to us, things began to get better. Our students would chat with us, actually participate in class, and greet us in the morning. I have made many great memories with my teammates and students such as going to E-DA World and riding every ride, playing the fruit game in class with my students, and doing karaoke with my students. I will never forget my time in the AID 2017 program .
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