2019 AID Summer
志工感言 (Reflection) >> Maryland
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Zieleman, Alison (李睿慈)
This year's AID was overall a great experience. I came to appreciate Taiwan and all her beauty as well as build great relationships with my teachers, fellow volunteers, counselors, and students. I learned a lot about teaching in engaging and fun ways. It was really hard, but it was also really rewarding when I saw how happy my students were. I appreciate my own teachers a lot more now because now I know how exhausting it is to be one. The kids were super sweet and for the most part well behaved. I still talk with them on LINE and Facebook and I plan to go back and visit sometime. The staff at the school also treated us really well. They bought us cake and bubble tea and took us out to dinner. They even bought a washing machine for us! The counselors were also saints for putting up with us. They worked so hard and even though they must have been exhausted they always greeted us with smiles. During tour week I saw so many beautiful places and enjoyed shopping and hanging out with my fellow volunteers. Taiwan truly has such amazing food and culture and the scenery is out of this world gorgeous. My one complaint is that the food at Chientan was always cold! But really it's not a big deal.

This summer was awesome! Thank you!
Ho, Kacie (何開妍)
My experience during this program was a memorable one. I am so thankful for the fantastic counselors that were present during the camp that made our stay at Chientan enjoyable and tour week fun. Teaching at Fuan Elementary School opened my eyes to be more appreciative and grateful for the things I have. Though the school was in rural parts of Taipei with a lot of beaten up buildings around, the school itself had smart technology. Such as touch screen boards and computers. I was able to incorporate interactive games that were relevant to my lesson plans and engage all my student. The interactive games helped captivate my students' attention and allowed them to learn while having fun. In the short amount of time teaching my students, I got to know my students personally and helped them individually grow as a person to reach their full potential. While teaching at the school, I really got to know my group mates. I found out that for most of my group mates, it was our first time in Taiwan. Getting together at night working on lesson plans for the following day or just hanging out together was a fun bonding experience. We all worked hard during the week and played hard during the weekend. The school took us to a lot of fun places throughout our stay, such as amusement parks, well-known tourist attractions, and scenic trails. By the end of teaching, my groupmates, my students and I formed a strong bond. We weren’t just teachers to them, but friends. I hope that my students will try to incorporate English in their daily lives and not forget the stuff I taught them. After two weeks of teaching may be tiring however it was worth the hassle. Tour week was enjoyable because we went to a bunch of places in different parts of Taiwan and had downtime to do whatever we wanted. However, most of the time was spent on the bus, and it was always rushed. The counselors were all friendly, and they all tried to make the trip entertaining. Overall, this program made me view the world in a different light, meet lifelong friends, and explore Taiwan. AID was definitely a unique once in a lifetime opportunity that everyone should do.

Huang, Harrison (黃心華)
I cannot describe how incredible these past few weeks with AID have been. Having the opportunity to meet new friends and work with them to teach english in rural communities was amazing. The first week was full of both stress and anticipation for my first class. After I finally met my students, I saw their energy and cheerfulness, everything a teacher wants. I learned a lot through the two weeks of teaching. I realized the real importance of this program is to have fun with the kids and expose them to american culture. This included a water balloon fight, fortnite dances, singing american songs, making our own sports trickshot video, and having a schoolwide halloween. My class had a very large skill gap, so balancing content was important so the weaker kids wouldn't be confused, and the stronger kids would still learn new content. I learned that balancing the class is really important to keep students engaged. It's ok sometimes to split the class, but you have to pull them back together for activities and competition. The bond between teachers is crucial to success. My AID and Donghai partners would share ideas and activities for our topics, making planning and teaching more efficient. I also had tons of fun. A combination of hanging out with students after class and watching vines and horror movies with my teammates made this a memorable trip! I will never forget these adventures in the AID Program.

Luo, Katherine (羅翊羚)
At first during training week, I was very skeptical of this camp. The lessons we had were very basic and my group wasn’t very close yet. Chientan had very strict and unnecessary rules that made me dislike the camp. The first week of training went by so slowly. However, the two weeks of teaching was better than anything I had ever imagined. I was stationed in Pingtung, Taiwan Wutang Elementary. The school was very quiet, peaceful ad beautiful. The school gave us everything we needed and more. I taught third graders and they were so hardworking and cute. When we taught the words “bathroom” and “water,” the students would write them down in their notebooks. Every time they needed to go to the bathroom or get water, they would practice on the side first to make sure they know it, and then come to us to say it. Or, they would ask their friends. Their worst nightmare was to make us think that they didn’t want to learn or that they didn’t work hard. They couldn’t understand our English and we were not allowed to speak Chinese. This created a barrier between us and the kids. But once we were allowed to speak Chinese, the teacher- students bond strengthened immensely. During breaks, the students would talk to us and ask us about our lives back in America. They would tell us about themselves, thing they like to do, and everything they could think of. On the last day, we teachers gave a speech during the closing ceremony and I was the MC. Although I had to do it in Chinese, I was more than happy to do it since it was for the kids. For the speech, I cried before I even started my speech. Seeing my students cry just made me cry harder. I was allowed to wear their traditional beaded vest which I found amazing and beautiful. Every night, the 8 teachers would meet and do lesson plans. We had so much fun talking about our day and fooling around. I will never forget the guidance teachers that helped us along the way, the students that made our experience incredible and my peers whom I now consider my best friends. I miss my friends so much and we even meet in Taiwan after AID ended. I have lost count how many times I cried because I miss my kids and friends. Thank you AID for giving me this opportunity. I have learned so much and made so many amazing friends.

Finucane, Brendan (洪布蘭德)
AID Summer 2018 was truly one of the most unique and exciting experiences in my entire life. Not only was it my first time in Taiwan, it was also my first time traveling alone. Of all the vacations and international places I have been too, Taiwan is truly the best so far. The friends I made and the experiences i had were unique and cannot ever be recreated. I met hundreds of people and I liked all of them. I came in as a shy Half-Asian Boy who seemed to barely speak a lick of Chinese, and exited as a new man with a newfound love for Chinese as a language and life skills to sustain one’s self. It was practically a journey of self-discovery and i have to thank AID for giving me this opportunity.

I came in a day early and after I exited the plane I maneuvered my way through customs and eventually to an airport hotel to stay one night before the early arrival Chientan check in. I knew a decent amount of Mandarin but was too shy to use it or be able to structure sentences in any situation. After the first week I made tons of new friends and everyone. It was one of the most welcoming experiences I have ever had and everyone was practically on the same boat. Almost everyone I met was nice and encouraging and open to new things which is why the program clicked so well, and then it also prepped me for the next two weeks in which we taught.

I was at Jhong (Zhong) Liao Elementary School in Nantou Country where I had the pleasure of teaching 16 5th graders. My group and I were timid at first but the children truly made the weekdays when we taught them. They respected us ads friends or even treated us like siblings outside of class, but in class they were attentive and ready to learn. Though there was a broad range of language levels, it didn’t stop us from continuing to help them to spark an interest in the English language. As soon as we left them it left a hole in my heart that slowly healed as soon as we got ever the fact that we impacted their life with a single language.

The irony in teaching English and trying to spark students’ interest in English was that it ignited a spark for me to go out and learn even more Chinese. Sure AID helped me be more outgoing with Chinese and actually got me to start to use the language, it also sparked a fire in me to learn more. I was actually trying to use Chinese as much as I could at the end of the program and realized how interesting and cool of a language it was. Also another highlight other than a passion for Mandarin was the night markets. To anyone who reads this, Shi-Lin and Feng-Jia are amazing, and any other night market out there is as well, go and try the food even if you’re scared, it’ll surprise you.

Thank you AID and everyone I met for an unforgettable experience.

Atughonu, Naomi (洪懿美)
This teaching experience was one of a kind. My group taught at Chihpen Middle School in Taitung. Our group was a little awkward during the first week at Chientan, however, during the two weeks of teaching we became very close. Planning each day’s lessons and activities, eating out, weekend trips, and staying up late together allowed us to become good friends.
During the two weeks at the school, I realized that there was more to teaching than just standing in front of a group of children. From creating lesson plans/power points, trying to come up with new activities for rainy days, staying up late creating/perfecting those lesson plans, it taught me that teachers deserve more credit than they are given. It was hard to come up with different activities for each day, however the kids seemed to enjoy whatever was planned.
The kids were very shy at first, although after a few ice breakers on the first day they started to come alive. Many of them were very excited to learn English, they would ask us to translate different words all of the time. The first week they were mostly well behaved, however because they were more comfortable with us during the second week, they were harder to control. On the last day, it was bittersweet, I was happy to be done with teaching, however I didn’t want to leave the kids.
I was on the Central Tour; some of the places they took us were beautiful, however some of them were not interesting. Overall, this whole AID summer program was worth it, I was able to form new friendships and see the beauty of Taiwan.

Wei, Lauren (魏若恩)
Reflecting on my journey through AID summer, vivid images flash through my head. I remembered the first day in Jiantan when everything was new to me and I knew no one around. I even doubted myself a lot on whether I can become a good teacher in the beginning. However, after a week of intense training, I felt confident about teaching and making lesson plans. I also felt passionate about teaching and was very excited for the teaching week in kaohsiung to come. As soon as we arrived in Kaohsiung, our team had more time together and bonded with each other more. Starting with preparing for the opening performance, making lesson plans for the coming two weeks, and preparing materials for class, we put all our heart into insuring the best for our incoming students. During the teaching week, we had to adjust our plans constantly according to students' reaction and response. Everyday was loaded with work from teaching in class in the morning to preparing for class the next day in the afternoon and writing reflection at night. Although it might sound a little cheesy, whenever we see the smile on our students' faces during the day, it felt like everything was paid off. On the last day, I felt a strong sense of accomplishment but at the same time I was sad that I had to say good-bye to all our students. Although two weeks were not long, we have already created strong bonds with each other. And as we said on the closing ceremony, thank you to all our fellow teachers and students for making our time in Taiwan worthwhile and endearing. This is an experience we wouldn’t find anywhere else. We love you and will miss you as we continue our lives, knowing that we will never be the same people again.
Yu, Derek (游康為)
I loved this opportunity to go to Taiwan and teach students English. This was an incredible, eye-opening experience that I am very glad I had the opportunity to participate in. My favorite part was meeting new people and making lifelong friends. I had so much fun spending time with my teammates during these six weeks. My mentor Leona, and the staff at the school made us feel incredibly welcomed and were extremely supportive throughout the whole process. I could not have asked for better mentors or friends. I learned so much about how to teach, make lesson plans, and interact with children. I have a newfound respect for teachers and what they go through to teach children on a daily basis. I believe that I have also gained a new perspective on what growing up is like in Taiwan and their approach towards education. They take education much more seriously than I am used to. I respect how hard Taiwanese children work starting at such a young age. I also loved the weeklong trip at the end. We saw some of the most breathtaking sights that Taiwan has to offer and also had incredible street food. I would do it all over again if I could.
Towner, Aileen (陶天觀)
To say the least AID has been an experience. I think that a lot of people had all round wonderful experiences with living space, team members and students which ins't necessarily a bad thing. However, for me at least it was the challenges that were presented to me on this trip that impacted me the most. The first week was hard to say the least- sub par food, jet lag, and fatigue was not a good concoction. During this time I learned a lot of valuable lessons and made some friends outside of my group. As I interacted more and more with my group the more I realized that there clearly would be some personality conflicts but also some tight bonds. Paired up girl boy to teach classes with Gordon, who'd later become one of my best friends and saving graces on the trip. The second and third week were full of ups and downs. Our group laughed until we cried at some points but also battled cockroaches,crazy kids, and the scorching heat. Some of the bonds that I made with people during this time will forever be treasured, always to be showcased through various inside jokes and close nature of our group during tour week which was fun. I really enjoyed being immersed in the community which I later found out some other schools didn't do. We spent time with the people of Guo Sing and learned a lot about the culture in Taiwan than we ever could have squatting in a circle in an air conditioned room playing on our phones.Though a lot of this trip was hard and tiring but there was so much I learned through engaging with locals, students, teammates and friends. I don't regret my decision to join this program at all and it has been a life changing experience to be part of this month long program.
Liu, Alvin (劉建葳)
This has been quite an experience that I am thankful for receiving. I have learned that teaching is a really hard job and that kids are super mischievous. Overall, it has been really fun being part of the AID program. The kids that I taught were great, but hard to deal with. Everyone's' personality is totally different from another, so it was an interesting bunch. If I could change something, it would to be more strict with them in the beginning. I was too nice to them for the first week and on the second week, they got used to me and payed less attention to me, it was an extremely stressful second week. Luckily, I had an reliable partner who was a great assistant while I was teaching. At first, I thought that I didn't need to plan and that I would just wing it. Thankfully I did, but it was really hard coming up with teaching plans. Well...there's always a first time for everything. The funniest part of this program was hanging out with my group members. They're all different from each other so they are fun to be with. I honestly could've never done anything myself, having them around helping me feels reassuring. I'm glad and thankful to be able to meet and get to know them.
Fang, Bryan (方正博)
I really enjoyed the program, the kids at Chiao-Yi Elementary were lovely, and I wish i could go back. The Coordinators at the Elementary school helped us out a lot, but most importantly they took really good care of us with the housing and the food. The kids at chiaoyi were very studious and when they were off task sometimes, we could get help from the coordinators. Some people in my group were a bit hostile at times, but it was taken care off well and we were okay in the end. We were taken on tours as well and that was fun. This camp was a great way to make new friends and meet new people. At ChianTan I had a lot of fun as well, the counselors made my experience really fun. My tour with Alex was great, and it’s really awesome that I can keep in contact with them over social media. I love Taiwan and I love visiting there, but whenever I do I always end up going to the cities like Taichung and Taipei, so going to Changhua this time around was a cool way to understand more of taiwan. I wish I could join this program again.

Hwang, Corine (黃翊)
I thought my month in Taiwan participating in AID 2018 was very fun and rewarding. The training week was a little bit hectic at first because of everyone moving in at Chientan but I was glad to meet all my group mates and work with them to create our lessons. During teaching weeks I was nervous at first to how the children will react to my teaching and lessons, however over time, I felt comfortable with teaching them. My children in particular, being the youngest in the while school, did not understand much English. I found it difficult to communicate when them. But after using the skills they taught us during the training week with hand gestures and body language, they were able to somewhat understand what I was trying to teach them. The kids enjoyed playing games and I think that helped them with the learning. During the weekend, my group and I went hiking in Hsinchu and also an amusement park. I thought it was a very good and fun time. During our last teaching week I was sad that the program was starting to come to an end and the closing performance at Gaoyi was very meaningful to me and I will never forget about it. On the last week of tour, I thought it was fun because I had never gone anywhere in Southern Taiwan so it was interesting to see such places.
Liu, Alexander (劉以農)
Participating in AID was possibly one of the most unique experiences I've had. I went to AID thinking that it would be like any other summer camp, and I would simply spend a week learning how to teach English, the following two weeks on teaching kids, and the final week on touring Taiwan before returning home. What I didn't expect was the friendships that would be forged, the many conversations and interactions with the students that would happen, and lifelong memories that would be brought home.
When I first arrived at Chientan, I was a stranger in a foreign land, knowing little about the facility and absolutely no one around me. Through the time spent in classes and teaching group meetings as well as in our dorm room, I slowly got to know the people in my teaching group that I would be spending the next four weeks with, as well as those I would be seeing around during the first and last weeks. The first week passed by quickly and soon enough we were on our way to our schools.
The two weeks of teaching were full of their own challenges, from our students knowing much more English than we had planned for, to dealing with students that never seemed to be able to sit still and remain quiet for long. These issues thankfully did not turn out to be much of a problem. Teaching plans were updated, slight adjustments were made to seating charts, and although the problems still persisted they became much more manageable. With the enthusiasm of our students and the aid of our teaching assistants, the two weeks passed by quickly. Not only did our teaching group grow closer, we also befriended our TAs and had plenty of fun with the students both during and between classes.
The final week was spent on touring central Taiwan, a time to relax and have fun after the hard work of the previous three weeks. Although I had already visited most of the places before, the experience felt much more different due to being with friends I had only met fairly recently instead of family. Having to say goodbye to them and leave at the end of the program was perhaps one of the harder things I had to do.
Looking back, I cannot say that I regret attending this program. I went to Taiwan to with only teaching English in mind, but somewhere along the journey I gained new friends and made many memories, and learned a bit more teaching and life in Taiwan.
Luqiu, William (閭邱欣竹)
Teaching in Taiwan was certainly an eye opening experience on multiple dimensions. On one hand, the fresh minds, always eager to learn intrigued me, and on the other hand, the lack thereof was certainly an obstacle to overcome. Every child had something different to learn, and I certainly learned a great deal about myself and teaching in English. There were struggles, certainly, with our utter lack of knowledge about any of the curriculum being a major point of contention. We all had differing ideas, and it was difficult to turn it into a single cohesive viewpoint for how we would lead the class. I think Maria did a fabulous job creating the flashcards, and I want to give her extra praise for the amount of time and effort she put into the whole endeavor. It was certainly not required, but made the class run much more smoothly. Overall, the program certainly had its flaws, the cold food at the Youth Center and the lack of any apparent organization during the tour week. The rules were strict at times, to the point of unbearable. The extended bus tour around Taiwan would have been nice if we had actually stopped at places, instead of driving and stopping for a very short period of time. However, teaching was unforgettable, and the friends I met certainly will last a lifetime.
Hou, Lee (侯立宸)
AID was definitely a trip. Every summer, I usually attend an annual one week long sleep away camp called WMACS. The feeling of leaving my friends at that camp was one of the most bittersweet feelings in the world, as these people have become a family within the one week that you have been there. That was the exact same feeling I felt when I left AID, except time 100. My group mates were the best, and we functioned as a literal family. Whether it was taking care of each other when we were sick, helping teach each other's classes, or doing each other's laundry, everything we did contributed to the team. This close bond was also helpful to our teaching experience. My group had fun making lesson plans with each other, and that translated into our teaching being fun for the kids. All of the teachers bonded with the kids from every class and all of the kids came to class with a smile every day. Along with the great teaching experience, the teachers we meet are also truly world class individuals. Our teaching support in Jianzhong Elementary School, Superintendent Kuo and teacher Lin, as well as our TA's, Abby, Alice, Kimo, Kiwi, Tiffany, Ula, Rick, and and Willie made us feel as if we had always been a part of the school community.Overall, this experience was truly once in a lifetime. AID 2018, thank you.
Chang, Jeremy (張仁傑)
This activity was by far the most wonderful, enjoyable, and interesting service I have ever been able to participate in. The students in the schools ended up being great friends, and the people I've met will surely become lifelong friends.
Tsai, James (蔡翰雲)
AID overall was a good experience, especially for people like me that had no prior teaching experience. The training week was very well coordinated and overall a great time, except for the same food experience the entire week. The classes were very engaging and working with my team created a great environment for the actual teaching weeks ahead. During the teaching week, the living conditions were very high quality, but that is based on my school in Changhua county, a rural area. Aside from the mosquitoes and hot temperatures, the overall teaching experience was very comfortable and not stressful. The kids, for the most part, were very well behaved, and managing them was made simple with the help of our teacher. Every day, the kids were eager to learn new vocabulary and they looked forward to the activities we planned for each day. Most of them liked to go outside, because sports is apparently a very big thing in Taiwan. I can't speak for other schools, but I believe that our school's students were very passionate towards the English language, considering many students decided to come back to school after the day ended and hang out with the teachers. Last but not least, the tour week was ok.
Shiao, Zaz (蕭端頤)
Having given the opportunity to travel to Taiwan to teach English to local students was one of the most eye opening experiences in my life. This has been by far the most important part of my life, as it really helped me look at things from different perspectives and be able to be open to new ideas. Being able to work closely with other volunteers from all around the world was also great, and building strong relationships with new friends expanded my own territories and my own mindset. Learning from others, working along with others, and teaching with others, really helps you be able to step out of your comfort zone and prepare yourself for the future. I really learned a lot during training week, and being able to make strong relationships with other people was also a great experience. Once we headed off to our own remote schools I was sad to leave old friends behind, but excited to be able to finally do what I came to do, teach English and work with my fellow teachers. The 2 weeks I spent at DaDong Elementary School were tiring, but every hour paid off. Working with the kids was great, and being able to understand the work of a teacher gave me a lot of respect for others. When we came back for tour week, that was by far one of the greatest weeks of my life. Being able to explore the country with close friends was so fun, and I had only wished that it had lasted longer. AID taught me so much, gave me so much, and for that, I will never forget my experiences here and I hope my memories live with me for as long as I live.
Chang, LeeYung (張立揚)
As I sit here writing, I wonder; it's been a while now, several weeks - just past a month - since we were there, since we taught at Nangang Juinor High School. I no longer think back to those days on a daily basis - rather, it is only a fleeting thought that sometimes appears in the back of my head. But sometimes I will see something somewhere, and be reminded, and brought right back.
I don’t much make use of pictures – I’m sure they’re out there and as a matter of fact I’ll have to find several soon – but at this moment I do not have much memory set in images. For me, they’re set into moments, moments like our sports days, our projects, the special events we ran – and how the students responded to them, from wonderfully brilliant presentations to clever solutions to English puzzles, or the admittedly clever phrases they constructed to bring up the England vs. Croatia loss (tragic, but at least they learned from it). Though less fond, I nevertheless remember our initial awkward moments, the painful silences that too-flat lectures brought. But the memories I hold far above those are ones of everyday interactions – saying hello to students, talking about interesting topics in class and out, and the lectures that just so happened to be in English (Jeffrey, economics?), and all those other little odd moments that add together to form a more clear memory than any single moment is able to.
But time has passed since all those now-long-ago moments. A new school term has started, and perhaps out students are on to new teachers, new levels of English, and a new stage of their lives.
So. Did we make a difference; were we able to bring something new? Did any of our teaching matter in the end if all even I can remember is disjointed fragments? Did it matter? It mattered to me, and that is all I can ask – and I can think – and that is all I can think – that it mattered to everyone else, too.

Chiao , Julian (喬越競)
I still remember the hectic first day at Chientan with the long lines, the suitcases, and the “blue shirts” that frantically guided the way to the check-in, which was in another hall where you were given a bag and handbook and told to go free as a bird to find your room. At that time, my group was still just names on a website with a location attached right next to it. At that time, the school I was assigned was just place that I only looked up on Google Maps. At that time, the 600 people that were in this program were just faces from around the world. However, amid all of that, something had yet to come, that something was experience which was waiting for me in the halls of Chientan, in the classrooms of Wutan (武潭) Elementary School , and among my group of 7 truly unique individuals.
As time began counting up, the experience that lay hidden from me slowly unraveled in the forms of memories. The first week was a time of meeting new faces from new places, some of which would be in my group, allowed me to sow the seeds of friendship that I cherish to this day. The long hours of lectures clogged my brain with info that could just as easily be learned as taking the derivative of sin x. The bus ride from Taipei to Pingtung marked a new chapter for it was just my group and I slowly (and very slowly) laying the stones that would build bridges of friendship. The “crops on the left and crops of the right” greeted my group as we arrived in Wutan Elementary School. As the days of teaching crept closer, I got to meet a wonderful group of people who took care of us like their sons and daughters to the point that I still to this day felt that I have not pay them back for their care and hospitality. I got to see and feel a new side of Taiwan in terms of its people, culture, and places. This new side is one that I would not have gotten if I just sat in an apartment in Taiwan’s second largest city. As the first day of classes began, I stepped out of my comfort zone by dancing in front of people (poorly one could say). As the days of teaching marched on, I got to form relationships with students that did not need any words. I experienced the true struggle of learning a language by teaching it to others. As I taught the students, I gradually began to realize what a teacher was truly like and thought about my teachers back at my school who probably go through much worse. Although being a teacher is tough, I got to see the happiness and similes on my students (3rd graders) faces as they learn English. It was through these smiles that I understood why I wanted to go down education. Besides the students, I taught alongside a partner who was truly an amazing person (capable, smart, and talented) that made me reflect on who I was and how I could become a better person. The long teaching days ended when the clock struck 3:50 and the vans that drove kids home pulled out of the front gates at 4:00, the school seemed eerily quiet, but that quietness was quickly overrun by my group and I who after closing the doors, turning off the lights, and talking about the day, went to eat and relax for the evening. If teaching was one half of the experience, the evenings were the other half. It was through these evenings where I truly got closer with my group. The endless joy and laughter they fed me and the countless things we did and talked about was like a second meal that I got besides actual food and it was something that I digested into my heart. By living with my group, all of us have formed a bond that was truly inseparable and we are always connected by it. These bonds grew stronger on our weekend trip to Kending and Kaohsiung and the tour week around Taiwan after we left (sadly) Wutan Elementary School.
On the morning of July 25th at 8:30am, the Central Tour was in Taichung ready to head north. I decided to leave the tour and my group and return to my normal life. The photos we took and the hugs I gave to each and every one of them created a deep hole in my heart. I knew that I was going to part away from these people and rarely see them again when I head back to the US. As I left the hotel, my thoughts pondered over the memories, faces, and personalities of each and every person in my group. I wished I stayed for those last three days, but instead I listened to my mind and not my heart. Looking back, I felt that by leaving early, my group felt a sense of “betrayal” that could never be made up (Don’t worry my group and I are still pretty close). I hope one day in the future, my group and I could meet again (back in the US) and take a seat in a cafe, Korean bbq, or hotpot and walk back to the summer of 2018 in Wutan Elementary School.
By being a part of AID, I truly got an experience that one only gets once in their lifetime. I learned so much about myself, others, and the world around me. I came out with joys, hopes, memories, as well as regrets. If you are thinking about doing AID and you are hesitating, DO IT! Just DO IT! It may seem scary and nerve-wracking, but if you open up, you can stand to get so much from it. If you are going to do AID, call me and let me tell you all about it whether that is over a cup of coffee or in front of a stove eating delicious hot pot.

Ko , Shanina (高若琳)
This month is one that I will never forget. Before leaving for Chientan, I had so many worry-filled thoughts running through my head Our week at Chientan was very busy but worthwhile. By the end of the first week, I got to know my group and my roommates very well. I thought to teach English at Shihyung Elementary was stressful but at the same time so much fun. When we arrived at the school, the teachers welcomed us with open hands. The first few days were difficult to get through because we taught for hours then did lesson plans for the rest of the day. It all paid off, in the end, to see all the kids gain confidence in their English and have fun. The kids were quiet at first but by the end week, they were trying to drag us out to play with them every day. Our host family and teachers were so kind and caring to each one of us. On the weekend, we got to visit Cijin Island and ride motorized bicycles all over the island. At night, we were able to see all the stars in the sky. I learned so much within this month and I am very thankful for it. Thank you to C3-2, teachers at Shihyung, and AID for this opportunity!