2019 AID Summer
志工感言 (Reflection) >> Atlanta
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Hung, Christina (洪慈心)
These past two weeks of teaching have been surreal and an once in a lifetime experience. From stepping into the classroom on day one to tidying up the classroom on the last day, there wasn't a time I wasn't smiling. I’ve grown up quite a lot on this trip, and I've learned a lot from teaching as well as from the kids themselves. These underprivileged children have such beautiful hearts, innocent minds, and such big dreams, and I just want to do so much more for them.

I taught in Nantou, and although compared to other schools, 中峰國小 wasn’t as rural as some of the schools I’ve heard my AID friends talk about, it’s rural enough that the kids don’t have access to much of the privileges children from America have: computer labs, air conditioning, etc. However, everyday you go into class seeing wide and bright smiles plastered on kids’ faces, and it’s such a heartwarming and beautiful sight. Every kid has so much potential and willingness to learn. It's made me want to do so much more for not only then, but the world around me.

Throughout my time teaching in Taiwan, I had one main goal (aside from teaching them English and boosting their confidence on speaking the language): to make them question and have their own opinions on things. I think questioning and knowing where you, personally, stand on an issue it important. It’s also something that I didn’t quite see in these kids at first. They’re just so used to memorization and repetition.

I now look back and am very grateful for this opportunity in attending this program. Knowing that there are so many more people out there that deserve so much more, this program has not only made me into a person that's more aware of the world around her, but also someone who's found what her heart wants to continue doing. This is a very beneficial program for not only the students, but also the volunteers. I’ve made lifelong friends and unforgettable memories in Taiwan this summer, so thank you to everyone that's made this possible, and hopefully this program will continue for the years to come.

Chan, Elizabeth (​陳詠怡)
My experience at the AID summer program has taught me enormously about myself, cooperation with others, organizing and planning, and most importantly, teaching young students. I signed up for the program only knowing as much as my sister could recall from her experience a few years ago, but I could not have imagined how remarkably different it would be especially in a primarily Mandarin-speaking place. Originally, I felt extremely concerned with the language barriers due to my low level of Mandarin proficiency. Fortunately, my partner could assist without throughout our two-week stay at Xinhai Elementary.
The students had ranging English proficiency levels, which made the teaching process quite challenging. I also taught fifth and sixth graders and found it tough to get their attention on me rather than on their phones. Over the past two weeks, I have gotten stricter with the students in order to make sure they learn and fulfill the objectives of this program.
Besides the teaching experience, I made some incredible memories and grew close with my other team members and host family. We spent a lot of time exploring Taipei together and could relate to each other when there were any classroom management issues. Furthermore, I truly value all the conversations I had with my host family – they were so kind and helpful in accommodating me and my roommate. They also took us to try delicious food and shop for stationary and clothes. Because of them, I ventured out and tried braised food for the first time, went to a famous shaved ice store, went canoeing, and so much more.
I am incredibly grateful for the experiences I have had here. They extend beyond just teaching the students but includes all the friends I have made, places I have seen in Taipei, foods I have tried and will look for back home, and the opportunity to stay with a lovely host family.

Sun, LeeSan (孫立珊)
This path month has served as a really special memory for me. The children I met and taught are all treasures-- their enthusiasm and welcoming personalities all allowed for a more enjoyable experience that can't be experienced from those in the US. Although my students were the oldest in the program at school and were hard to get motivated about learning during their summer break, we learned to work around it and actually incorporate their technology-based interests into teaching, such as playing Kahoot (an online education custom quiz game) which explored a lot of the topics they learned throughout the two weeks. Not only does it involve the students' favorite thing -- their cellphones -- but also incorporated elements of fun and competition that allowed them to get excited about learning English and be involved with the rest of the class. Alongside the students I taught, I also met an unforgettable group of friends. I was lucky to be in a group of seven people who all got along with each other very well and had amazing personalities. It was very fun to live with them and interact with them for an entire month, and I am sad that it wasn't for more. We had grown so close that saying goodbye was difficult and considerably tearful. The fact that we'll never see each other in person in the future is something that is still hard for me to fully grasp and wrap my head around, but I will definitely not forget about the memories we all made together. Thank you, AID, for allowing me to have an unforgettable summer and experience.
Chien, Iris (簡薇芯)
AID this summer was an unimaginable experience that I am so lucky and grateful to be a part of. I have made so many new friends from around the world who share the same Taiwanese-American heritage I have. I had trouble finding Taiwanese-American teenagers like me where I am from, and so I didn't realize there were so many of us, which was really exciting! Connecting with people who shared part of my identity was the most meaningful thing I could have ever received from any summer program. The first week at Chientan was kind of repetitive and disengaging, but it was somewhat helping in giving us teaching aids and ideas. My group of 4 (a small number) were sent to an elementary school in the mountains with the guidance of a very sweet teacher. Chientan's rooms were really nice compared to our situation at the school, so it was a little bit of a shock when we arrived at our school. We got used to it though. We were two hours away from civilization and the drives up and down the mountains made me a little carsick but I also got used to that, too. My group of four became super close since it was only us in the mountains and I appreciate them so, so much. Our two weeks of teaching were long and tiring, but our kids were so lovely and eager to connect with us. They did not use much English to communicate and saw learning English as a burden, but we tried our best to make the two weeks as engaging and fun as possible. I miss my kids dearly and still talk to some of them online now! The fourth week, tour week, was a good time. I really wish we could choose which bus we were on/who our roommates were but it was understandable why it was organized the way it was. My friends and I (we were on different buses) would meet up when we got to destinations. Most of the time on tour was just location-hopping. The most memorable trip on tour was when we got 3 hours in a night market, which was really fun. We had dinner, explored, walked around, and overall, it was really nice to have time with friends I'd just met in the middle of Taiwan. I could go on and on about this experience, but the main idea is this: I am so grateful for this program and cannot overstress how much I recommend it (despite its faults).
Yen, Catherine (閻明潔)
After all the annual visits to Taiwan and hearing my sister’s past AID experience, I thought I had a good idea of what to expect out of the program. Little did I know how wrong I was. Walking into Chientan Youth Activity Center on the first day of AID was completely nerve-wracking. I felt overwhelmed and underprepared. However, those feelings quickly faded after meeting all the friendly faces. The first week at Chientan felt like forever with the constant lectures and the strict regulations. The teaching week, however, was completely different. Those two weeks at Yuchih Elementary School in Nantou passed by way too quickly. Although teaching a large class of first graders was mentally and physically draining, teaching the students was worth it. The kids were always energetic and eager to learn what they could from my teammates and I. My teaching partners and I had a great bond which made creating and teaching our plans fun and fairly easy. While the living conditions were rough, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything else. Overall, the four weeks at AID was an eye-opening and humbling experience that made for a memorable summer. Thank you to Yuchih Elementary School, my teammates, my friends, my counselors, and AID for giving me the opportunity to experience Taiwan in a new light.
Leng, Charles (冷嘉暉)
The 2018 Overseas
Youth English Teaching Volunteer Service Program in Taiwan was a certainly interesting experience. I must concede that I was initially very skeptical of this entire enterprise. I was pushed to apply for this program largely by my parents, specifically by my mother. Therefore I entered this program under the assumption that it would be very boring and pedantic. The first week did prove to be boring and pedantic, as the training was terribly interesting or amusing. However, once myself and my fellow students got to the rural school in question things changed significantly for the better. I have spent most of my life in suburban or urban areas, and rural areas were markedly different. The children at the elementary school were very enthusiastic to see us, which was quite gratifying. Teaching them English proved to be a rewarding experience, as they were willing to learn and we strived to make class fun. We played plenty of games with English review content incorporated, which helped keep the kids interested and engaged. The kids were very interested in us in general as well, and wanted to hear about our lives and what life in our respective homelands was like. Through this program I met new people and had new experiences, and I would support others attending.

Chien, Ingrid (錢美婷)
Friendship is such a powerful statement. Yes, to have a friend is to have someone to talk to and spend time with, but to a have a friend who you worked with for weeks on a journey to better the lives of disadvantaged children means so much more. Friendship began to mend when six hundred young, inspirational people gathered as strangers not knowing what was coming their way. In fact, in my own head, I had no idea what I was expecting. Never did I expect to connect with my seven group mates so well as I did. Never did I expect to be loved so much by the most wholesome group of children at my school. Never did I expect to cry so many tears as my journey came to an end. And yet, these things became reality, making departure day the toughest goodbye of my life. My time during training played a great part in building my knowledge and confidence in teaching. It taught me the importance of hard work, dedication, and teamwork. I was fully prepared to meet my students in Yunlin District thanks to the inspirational speakers and coaches. During the two weeks at school, I bonded with my group mates like never before. We met tough times, but we held each other up and traversed through all the hardships. Along the way, we became the brothers and sisters of the sweetest group of elementary students. The widest smile spread across my face as I packed their letters of appreciation for our teaching into my suitcase. In just two weeks, the amount maturity that developed in both the students and teachers was exceptional. Tour week was the perfect closure to three weeks of exhausting work. Not only did I see beautiful sights, but I also learned more about the beauty and culture of Taiwan. And to do that with my group mates made the pictures and memories even more meaningful. At last, it was the night of the closing ceremony. So many emotions stirred as the counselors entered the stage with their arms on each other's shoulders. The lights were dimmed, the six hundred volunteers put their arms around each other, and the whole room sang the AID theme song for one last time. The first to cry was my counselor. We immediately surrounded him and comforted him while giving each other hugs as more and more people started to cry. And that was when I knew we were a family. Never did I expect AID to bring so many amazing people into my life, and yet that is exactly what it did. From strangers to friends to family, the memories we made at AID 2018 are unforgettable.
Gauvin, Arisa ()
Coming into this program, I was very worried about my lack of Chinese skills and how organized the program was going to be. With the help of my fellow group peers, I was able to effectively communicate and understand the teacher's expectations and advice. Meeting people from different states was very interesting, and I liked how the AID program usually organized the groups into similar grade level, so the group had subjects in common. The strong bond created during the month was filled with unforgettable memories, inside jokes, and irreplaceable friendships, and I did not expect to meet and gain such wonderful friends. Because my class had the most energetic, rebelling students, keeping a strict, yet not too constricting management style was an ongoing challenge. Using several techniques such as changing the students’ seats, calling the administrator, and using a lower, more serious voice, students became more well-behaved and took the English camp more seriously. The students’ concentration span was very short, so having extra review game ideas was beneficial. Overall, the program was an eye-opening experience towards other cultures and different lifestyles. My students taught me many things that cannot be learned even though there was a huge language barrier.
Wen, Mark (温思泉)
This past summer has been the most memorable summer of my life, and I can never be thankful enough to my good friend Emily Zhang for informing me of this amazing opportunity. I was blessed to have her and many other fantastic individuals in my group. This program has given me the opportunity to perform wondrous service in Taiwan with the results of my efforts being directly reflected in the children's' delight. The time I spent making lessons and having simple fun with my fantastic group will always live on in my memory. Having this opportunity to dedicate my time and effort into working with the team and making lessons for the children has been the most rewarding work I have ever done in my life. The bonds I made with my new friends and my wonderful students over the course of July will stay in my heart. The most wonderful aspect of this program was having the opportunity to see the wonderful culture and environment of Taiwan first hand. Despite the extreme heat and insect bites, I found Taiwan to be a truly wonderful country made of people filled with generosity and wondrous sights such as Fo Guang Shan. The people and sights of Taiwan have truly touched my heart this past summer, and I can never be thankful enough for this stellar opportunity to explore overseas.
Hung, Natalie (洪佳音)
I didn't really know what to expect coming into this volunteer program. But I did know that I didn't expect for me to fall in love with teaching the kids on day one. Since day one, the kids blessed me with their joy, laughter, and eagerness to learn. And as the two weeks went by, I found myself dreading saying goodbye to the kids and my teammates. Every day seemed to pass by faster and faster, and I tried to hang onto every moment with my students. There were definitely a lot of challenges while teaching, like motivating the unmotivated students and not speaking in Chinese by accident. But my teammates championed and encouraged me in every step of teaching, and the kids gave me energy every single day. I'm so thankful for this experience, for the opportunity to teach and get to know the students. This experience not only confirmed my desire to keep pursing my education major, but also it gave me more aspiration and passion. The kids' eagerness and longing to learn English made me more excited to teach English, and I have no doubt in my mind that they will go far. I learned on this trip that teaching is not only a career choice but a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a blessing that provides unforgettable memories.
Chu, Wei Chen (朱薇臻)
Having not been back to Taiwan for eleven years, I had a wonderful experience this summer teaching English through AID. Training during the first week gave us an idea of what teaching English in Taiwan would be like and activities we can use to enhance our lessons. On the first day of teaching, we weren’t sure what to expect of the students and our students didn’t know what to expect of us. Fortunately, after our performance and introduction during the opening ceremony and the outdoor activities we designed together, the students became more open and comfortable with us. Our relationship got better and better after that. By the end of the second week, they even got too rowdy and difficult. I kept reminding myself that this is a summer camp and it is supposed to be fun and exciting for the kids and for us, so we decided to have more activities and games that would allow them to use their energy and have fun. We had a good time chasing after each other in the hallways and dancing and listening to music during breaks. For the quiet students, we found it important to have have student write and hand in reflections each day for us read. At first we were worried about the closing ceremony performance, but our students made us proud and enjoyed showing what they learned and watching each other’s performances. It was also a bittersweet day because it was the last day of camp. We all cried during the closing presentations as we made our speech and listened to the students cheering us on. Overall, it was an unforgettable experience and I hope we can keep in touch with the students and continue inspiring their interest in English.
Yang, Lydia (楊君瞳)
AID was a great experience that I'm really glad I got to be a part of this summer. Teaching middle school kids at Pingtung was an incredible time, and I would go back and do it all over again. It was definitely difficult, especially since our kids ended up being much more advanced than what we were prepared for. This forced me and my teaching partner to come up with new activities and lessons, often last minute. I definitely think we should have had more time at Chientan to work on our lesson plans. Some of the lectures at Chientan were helpful, but most of it could have been condensed. However, we made it work during the teaching weeks. My kids in my class were great, and I started to miss them immediately after we left. The faculty and teaching assistants at 中正國中 were also fantastic. They were really helpful and accommodating, and we got really close to our teaching assistants and teachers. The host homes we stayed in were also extremely welcoming and kind. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with the families and their kids.
Tour week was alright. With 300 people on the tour, things definitely got disorganized and a the tour seemed to consist of mostly driving around and stopping for just 15 minutes at attractions. However, my group got closer during tour week and we were also able to meet people from other schools which was nice.
Overall, those teaching weeks in Pingtung were some of the best times I've had and I wish I could go back and visit everyone. I appreciate AID for giving me the opportunity to meet these people and spend a month in Taiwan.
Kutsche, Hope (楊龍)
Volunteering at the school was such a wonderful experience. I loved getting to know the students and inspiring them to learn English. At my school, we weren't allowed to let them know we understood Chinese, which was tricky. We had to be creative with how we communicated. Our school also provided two Taiwanese teaching assistants for each classroom. These TA's were our age, and we connected well and they helped us translate when absolutely necessary. Making the lesson plans with my group was so much fun. Sure, it was stressful at times, especially during the two teaching weeks when we had to tweak things to fit the class better. When class ended, we would meet in our work room and discuss what went well in each classroom. We talked about what patterns we noticed worked better with each group of kids, and what strategies we should alter. Then we would take the lesson plan we had for the next day and edit it to work better with the things we noticed. I think this really helped us keep the students engaged, as we adapted the plans as we got to know them better. We found that they really enjoyed playing games, and we came up with a lot of fun review games for them to play. We also took them on some field trips planned by the school, and we had them apply the English they learned to the real world. This helped them see how they could use English outside of the classroom. We really got to know each kid and connected with them over the two weeks. I miss them a lot and I know they were sad when the camp ended, but this just shows that we did our job well and left an impact on them. They will remember these two weeks and how much fun they had learning and using English with us for a long time.
Zhang, Alyssa (張子璇)
I loved every part of my experience in Taiwan and am missing it very much right now. Going into this journey, I was upset at the lack of privilege that I would be experiencing in Taiwan: I was placed in a rural city in the middle of nowhere, my groupmates seemed awkward, the weather would be too humid and there would be no air conditioning, the kids are annoying, etc. But I fly to Taiwan and begin meeting other apprehensive, young, Chinese-Americans, and we click instantly. Everyone is so kind, and we all have similar backgrounds to each other, even though we are from across the country. Although I know that the chances of seeing my new friends again are very slim, I will never forget any of them as time goes on, and will always miss them and remember my memories in Taiwan with them.

The children and school I taught at offered me a whole new perspective on the world. Although it was so humid that I would sweat buckets everyday and thousands of ants invaded our premises, it was all worth it for the children. They were all under the age of 11, and although some of the boys were naughty, their laughter was contagious. At the end of the day, when they lined up outside, bowed their heads in respect to the teachers, and said "Thank you, teacher" in unison, I often found myself tearing up. It's beautiful to see the liveliness of so many kids and be able to inspire learning and achievement in them. I know they will learn from this experience and remember it for the rest of their lives, just as I have.
Huang, Brian (黃柏恩)
AID Summer has been a new and exciting experience for me. Because I had no real idea in what I wanted to do when I grew up, this summer teaching has opened new paths for me. Not only, I got to go back to Taiwan and meet my family members, but I also made many great friends. It was awkward when I first met my group mates but soon we all got to know each other and got along. AID has allowed me to make new friends from inside and outside of my group. The first week of training was full of great tips, however, it was difficult to put them into the use considering the short amount of time we had for planning lessons. The teaching plan my group made grossly underestimated the kids’ knowledge and we had to reevaluate our plan. However, this didn’t stop us and we still had a great time teaching the kids. The kids were fun to interact with and I had a fun time teaching them English. The tour at the end was amazing and made me appreciate the beauty of Taiwan. Many of the places I have not gone to before and were breathtaking.
Livingston, Shannon (李湘寧)
The 2018 Aid Summer Program in Taiwan was one of the best experiences of my life. There were definitely some aspects I think can be improved upon, but overall the purpose of the program was commendable. Personally, my favorite experience was my host family in Pingtung. I could not imagine a more welcoming and considerate family to spend my first time in Taiwan with. I know only a few schools got to stay with a host family and I feel so fortunate to have been assigned to one of them. Another amazing experience that was brought about because of the AID program was meeting good friends from all over the world. I got to learn about other cultures, countries, and languages by such a unique and diverse group of people my age. The AID program did an excellent job at really bringing people together who would have otherwise never been able to learn from each other. I also commend the program on helping me personally see what it would be like to be a teacher as that is my future career.
The biggest aspect of the program that could be improved upon is organization. No one ever knew what they were doing that day or where to go, especially during tour week. A lot of volunteers dressed inappropriately for the activities. I also feel that tour week could be a lot more efficient if we were not driving for longer than we were at the event (driving over an hour to Taipei 101 to be told that we could spend 10 minutes inside). A lot of time was spent lining us up under the sun and counting or driving to destinations and not enough time actually learning about the culture or exploring.
Ng, Catherine (吳佳佳)
AID has been one of my most memorable experiences in my life. It has taught me so many things about myself, other people around the world, and a new culture. Before this program, I saw myself as more of a shy, introverted person, but teaching in front of elementary school children has made it easier for me to talk in front of people when I'm the center of attention and communicate with other people in a more effective way. The program has also made me realize how hard a teacher works to ensure that their children learn the required material and how their job is not as easy as it seems to be. I got to witness this firsthand. Teachers should be compensated more; they are underappreciated. It takes a lot of energy to keep up with all these kids, especially since they are so energetic. They never seem to tire. I made some great memories with my kids and I will miss them. Even though, I was supposed to be the one teaching them, they also taught me a lot in return. At the beginning, the kids were very shy and rarely raised their hands and rarely spoke to my partner and me, but over the two weeks, the kids really opened up to me and I got to know who they really were as a person and what passions they had. AID was a truly eye-opening experience for me and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Goh, Ema (吳寶蓮)
AID was very rewarding and was a wonderful experience. The first week was a bit boring and everyday felt like forever, but we had a lot of time to meet people and get to know each other as all of us were stuck at Chientan all week. Then we were sent to our assigned school. My group had a fairly long bus ride to Puli, where we were met with ants and mosquitoes as soon as we stepped off the bus. The teachers and faculty at Chungfeng Elementary were so accommodating to us; they made sure our two weeks living at the school would be as comfortable as they could make it. After the first few days of teaching, we realized the content we had planned earlier at Chientan for our lesson plans would not suffice. Every night, we worked on lesson plans and prepared materials for the next day. I never thought I’d be teaching English, especially not in Taiwan and to elementary schoolers, but these kids made the experience so much fun. They opened up to all the volunteer teachers quickly and by the end most of us knew not only our class but many other children by name. This year was the first year our school participated in this program, and I know the next groups of volunteers that are assigned there will have an amazing experience. Tour group was a lot of time on the bus, but during this week I was able to meet and hang out with not only my group but other people in the program as well. It was interesting to meet so many people in this kind of environment; the kids I taught were a great group and I met lots of wonderful people & made countless lasting memories.
Wu, Alissa ( 吳艾莉莎)
Teaching the children seemed very intimidating at first but after a day of bonding everything flowed right. My weeks of teaching gave me a sense of fulfillment and joy. i never was in a position to be a leader or role model until i started this program. i also was able to explore more of taiwan and shared that experience with others like me. This trip allowed me to get a deeper understanding of my roots. I got to meet many new people, all different but very much like me. I made friends that’ll stick with me for a long time. The experience of volunteering and helping other made me grow as a person and reminded me the the world is big and i am just a small part of it. the kids that i taught did more of the teaching. they taught me acceptance and friendship stronger than any language barrier. i got to know what it felt like to do something purely out of the goodness of my heart and i think it’s the more rewarding task ever. I came into the program not knowing a lot of chinese but i left with an increased vocabulary and i am now able to communicate with my family better which i am ver grateful for.
Lopez, Feliza (張怡)
Overall, I had an amazing time at this camp everyone was really nice and outgoing. There was not a time where I felt alone or not included in a activity. During the first week we all felt nervous and didn’t expect what was coming for us but,after a couple hours and settling in I realized that this place isn’t going to bad at all during this wee I’ve met so many new friends from all over the continent. After, training week my group C3-6 and I were very excited to actually get to teach at the Kaohsiung district I’m taiwan. Although it was rural the team provided a comfortable staying for us and we gladly appreciate that. We took the next two week teaching at Juiqu elementary school and even thought the conditions were not what we expected we had to overcome it and still had a great time teaching with all our kids I would never forget this moment everyone one of the kids were so welcoming and cute I loved them all. There behavior might get a little out of hand but, being the best teacher I could possibly be we tell them to follow rules and treat everyone and everything with respect. I think teaching them English is definitely a challenge since English obviously isn’t their first language they had hard time pronouncing the first few days but, as the days passed they spoke better and better and by the end of the two teaching weeks they could have already say something in a whole sentence. I worked with 1-6th graders so their levels would be different and so we had to write working journals every day to keep our team coach and ourselves updated about what we plan to teach the kids the following day. After a long two weeks of teaching it all finally came to an end and we were all very sad to leave each other all of us started breaking down in tears, hugging, and taking a lot of pictures with them but we knew that we both knew that we would never ever forget this precious moment teaching them.
Sung, Erica (宋翔悦)
I loved my experience with AID, from meeting so many new people from around the world and making to new friends to being able to help kids by teaching English, everything was exciting and new. I can’t believe that the group that I got to work with are from all across the States, and also from Canada and now are good friends as we’ve laughed, played, and taught together. Especially meeting the kids and the great teachers and parents at Wanfeng Elementary School, I was very blessed to be able to meet so many great people. This experience has also allowed me to gain a new appreciation for teachers because working with kids was definitely not easy, and everyday we would all go back to our dorms and collapse at the physical and mental toll it took on us to keep up with the kids. Sometimes it was definitely frustrating when the kids don’t cooperate with us or they are struggling, but you still have to sit down with them and explain rules and lessons in English slowly. However, it was all worth it in the end to see all the smiling faces of the kids and the sense of pride that I get when they are having fun or manage to remember the lessons we taught. In addition, tour week was so much fun because although my relatives are in Taiwan, I don’t get to come back often so this was such a great chance to learn a lot more of the culture in Taiwan that I don’t usually get to learn or experience. There were so many sights to see and new foods to eat, it was such a great culture experience for me and the kids by expanding the world view for both.

Chao, Jonathan (趙信智)
Being a part of A.I.D. was an interesting experience from start to finish. In the beginning, meeting new group members, being a part of the opening ceremonies, and participating in periodical lunchtime rituals made way for fun memories of running around the Chientan campus. On the first week, although the intense 3-hour classes were at times exhausting to partake in, the enthusiasm of my group made it bearable. I will say, however, that on the training week, the ever-changing schedules and the immense amount of waiting for ceremonies and classes to end were anything but fun. Either way, all bad things were compensated by fun activities such as visiting the local night market and eating ramen.

On the second and third week, although it was a little difficult to become accustomed to the different conditions of the elementary school, the kindness and generosity of the resident teachers, principal, and administrators made the experience a blast. On top of that, meeting new students, eating new foods, and coming up with new lesson plans were different every day, providing novel, stimulating work every single day. Although the work would at times be tiring, hanging out with the teaching group and going on the weekend tours made great and memorable moments.

On tour week, the schedules were very different. From morning to dawn, touring around to different locations was at times exhausting and was even irritating when, at some locations, we were only allowed spend 15 minutes before being pushed onto the next location. The week was also frustrating when all of the instructions were given in Mandarin. However, through all the problems, the rooming conditions were mostly immaculate and spending a last week with friends and touring new places was exhilarating and made unforgettable moments.

Although A.I.D. was very much unforgettable, both for its marvelous and shocking parts, I am glad that I was a part of the program as it made memories and friendships that I’m sure will last more than a lifetime.

Chu, Wei Shen (朱薇萱)
If I were told to explain my AID Summer experience using one word it would be, unbelievable. I would say this experience was unbelievable because of the huge difference between what I expected out of this program and what I got from it. This program completed changed my life and I am thankful for this wonderful opportunity to experience a month full of fun, adventure, and warmth.

One thing that I did not expect to take with me after the program was the unbelievable number of friends I gained in one month. I am an introvert, so I did not expect to meet so many new people and enjoy being in the presence of them every day. We all learned about each other's background, personality, and pet peeves in merely a month of time. We kept each other's contacts and social media, so we can maintain this friendship forever. My group of friends ended up talking to each other almost every day! Even now my phone is buzzing because of their constant messages in the group chat! I have a bad experience at a summer camp before, so I did not expect to make so many new friends and memories from this summer program. Friendship is one thing that I am happy to take back with me to the United States.

Another unbelievable factor was the children. I did not expect to become this close to them over two weeks of teaching. Like I said in the previous paragraph, I am an introvert, so I thought I would have a difficult time reaching out to the students when they needed help or when they wanted to play. This was one thing I was really worried about before I started the program. However, only in the first week, I became attached to them. I would play with them during break, make small jokes during class, and greet them goodbye as they went home. My focus was entirely on them and wanting to show them off to my friends and family during the two weeks. I got a bit emotional during the last day of school and I still miss them to this day-I'm sure even into the future.

The most unbelievable thing I experienced from this program was the consideration of changing my major. I am currently a nursing major and I thought this program would only further solidify my dream of working with children as a nurse. But I never thought this experience would lead me to consider changing my major to education. I have always been thinking about majoring in something else, but I have never wanted to become a teacher until now! I never thought about standing in front of a group of kids and talking in front of them until I actually experienced it in Taiwan.

I am really honored and thankful for this experience of teaching English in Taiwan through the AID Summer Program. I wouldn't have made so many new friends across the United States without this opportunity. I wouldn't have met so many wonderful students in Taiwan and still have contact with them through social media and/or mail without being the first training week and the help from Bailin Elementary School's Principal Chen and teachers Ginna, Michael, and Ginta.