2019 AID Summer
志工感言 (Reflection) >> Hawaii
# 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 Melbourne
Wei, Winston (魏大為)
The AID summer program was overall a fun and gratifying experience for me. It gave me a lot of valuable memories and helped me better understand the challenges encountered by teachers in the workforce everyday. While there were parts of the program that weren’t as fun, such as the rushed nature of the tour, or some of the mandatory teaching classes in the first week, the joy of interacting with the children as well as meeting so many wonderful team members more than made up for these rather lackluster portions. In fact, my favorite part of the entire AID summer program was being able to establish connections with other second generation Taiwanese people from all across the world. Thanks to the AID summer program, I was able to make a lot of friends that I still converse with, months after the program’s end. Another thing I really liked about the program was how it allowed us to more closely associate with Taiwanese people that lived in the countryside rather than the cities. After all, most of us second generation returners never really ventured outside of Taipei or the other large Taiwanese cities, so being sent to the countryside and experiencing life there was an unprecedented and fun experience for many of us. I would highly recommend this program for anyone that wants to pursue a career in teaching, likes to work with children, or simply wants a fun, expenses-paid adventure.
Wen, Anne (温静萍)
Through the AID summer program, I learned the value of friendship and the innocence of children. Initially, I was quite hesitant about applying to a program overseas. In fact, the website itself seemed rather skeptical looking and the constant deadline extensions scared me. Once I arrived in Taipei, however, I soon developed a strong affinity for the city. I had grown up on an island my whole life, and seeing the tall skyscrapers and dazzling lights marveled and amazed me. That fascination continued in the next four weeks.

I was assigned to volunteer for the Xinhai Elementary School program in Taipei, Taiwan. Seven other students from the US mainland were also assigned to me. In fact, AID groups people of the same interests, ages, and grade levels. That extra level of care fostered within my group a unique environment for open conversation, especially about our fears for college freshman year and our experiences with the college application process.

Fortunately, my group and I were assigned to host families. My host parents spoke eloquent English and valued education, as evidenced in the tall stacks of books adorning their living room wall. Through regular Mandarin and English engagement, I learned about iconic attractions in Taipei. For instance, night markets and braised food were Taiwan customs. Luckily my host family also took me to Ilan and other regions in Taiwan.

The following two weeks included daily teaching lessons to elementary kids. Those fourteen days were some of my hardest but most fulfilling. I remember announcing, "I hated kids" after my first day of teaching. By the end of the second week, however, I felt unwilling to leave these children—noddy kids who fooled around for attention, often unwarranted from their parents. To these kids, overseas teachers acted more as peers than as scary authority figures. I wished I had discovered that understanding sooner.

Today I want to take courses in education studies. I still have my doubts about teaching elementary kids, but I truly wished I had received more professional training and accompanied these elementary kids in their educational pursuits. Students in Taiwan and many East Asia regions need teachers who actually speak good English—professionals who don't mix up their "Vs" or their "Ws." If given the opportunity to volunteer again, I will do it in a heartbeat.
Wang, Jinny (汪姿利)
This summer was one of the most memorable summer’s I’ve ever had. Although the first week was extremely tiring, I still had fun connecting with my roommates and teammates.
Chang, Sidney (張心怡)
The summer AID experience was beyond enjoyable. From the get go, I learned a lot from the students, counselors, and fellow teachers. It was a journey to prepare and work together to put our lessons plan together in a way that both completments each other and encourages interest in the English language. While the main goal was to teach English to our students, I was delighted to find that merely being in Taiwan and surrounded by the language has allowed my Chinese language abilities to truly improve. Furthermore, while we taught the kids English, they, in return, taught us the Taiwanese culture and some traditional Taiwanese phrases. Being with and teaching the children’s was both a gift and a source of stress. On one hand, we wanted to bond with the students and,age classes more enjoyable, in the other, we had to keep the students at arms length and restrict ourselves to struggle in communicating in English. However, we found that in the end, it was the overall experience that truly fosters curiousity and passion. It was a struggle to leave the kids, but a delight to know that we made an impact on their lives in the mere two weeks we remained at their school.