Blogs from Taichung, Taiwan, Asia

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Asia » Taiwan » Taichung August 23rd 2015

Hey everyone! After a hectic week of tests, presentations, and retaking the crazy difficult placement test we took at the beginning to evaluate our improvement, the Tunghai program has come to an end. On Friday, we retook the placement test. I think it was a different version of the same test, but the listening portion this time felt more difficult, as the topics were less familiar and used more of the newer vocab we learned, and they spoke faster. The recordings were also only played once, with the actual question at the end, which definitely didn't make things any easier! Having the question first would have given more context to the dialogue; for some of them I had no idea what was even happening until they got to the question, by which point the entire dialogue ... read more
All of us with Molly laoshi
Farewell dinner
With our certificates!

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung August 19th 2015

Hi everyone! I promised that if I were to post different posts on the Alliance blog, I would link them to you all. I'm not sure how else to do that then add a separate blog entry. So anyways, here is that post: http://blog.allianceglobaled.org/blog/katie-mcgee/nervous-jitters I will still write another post this weekend! Until next time!... read more

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung August 15th 2015

Hey everyone! First of all, I can't believe that this coming week is my last week of classes here! WHAT?! It seems like no time at all has passed, and on top of that, this week is definitely going to go fast! Anyways, as I mentioned last week, this week was pretty stressful. We had two tests, calligraphy, and a presentation (which Yu laoshi FILMED. I'm pretty sure she intends to send them to Sun laoshi, the Chinese professor back at UPS that set up this program, but knowing that you will be filmed for a presentation is horrifying!) But I'm getting ahead of myself. Besides the tests, on Tuesday Bai Laoshi (our calligraphy teacher), cooked us dinner. Have I mentioned before that he's good at everything? Using only the few things in the CLC, the ... read more
Bai laoshi taking the perfect picture
Our group (plus a few) with Bai laoshi
The center of Taiwan during Japanese colonization

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung August 9th 2015

Hi everyone! I'm not sure how many of you were aware of this, but on Friday the biggest typhoon of the year hit Taiwan. Because Taichung is protected by mountains to the east, we didn't feel the effects of the typhoon until Friday night, and even then they were weakened by having to go through the mountains first. Weakened maybe, but still ferocious in their intensity. Our teachers warned us of the typhoon, so we prepared by buying food in preparation to stay in all day Saturday. Instant noodles, chips, and other snacks were very popular at the convenience stores as students around campus prepared for a weekend inside. On Friday afternoon after class, I joined three other girls on a trip to the bookstore (one of the girls wanted to find a book in case ... read more
This courtyard is usually very clean
Aftermath
Significant damage

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung August 8th 2015

Wow, I think it's been about a month since I've written a blog post. I think it's time for an update. So much has happened since I've last written. Right now I'm experiencing my first natural disaster! It's pretty exciting, but more on that a little later. I think I'm going to start with my most recent adventure, our trip to Kenting. Let me say that I can't believe we went to a vacation spot and got to call it school. It was the greatest thing ever! If you can picture those screen savers or backgrounds of the tropical beaches that come with your computer, that is what Kenting looked like. It was so beautiful. The water was a clear blue and the temperature was luke warm. We were only there for three days, but I ... read more

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung July 18th 2015

Hi everyone! It's crazy how fast a week goes by here. This past Monday marked our first real day of classes. We now have four different teachers: Yu laoshi, Wu (Molly) laoshi, Hong laoshi, and Bai laoshi. We also got our textbooks on Monday, and have been speeding through the chapters. Admittedly, we already know the grammar points from each chapter, but with each chapter we are learning tons of new vocabulary. Last Friday, Yu laoshi had us start with the fourth chapter of our textbooks. Yesterday (Friday), we ended class a little over halfway through chapter 6. Even with four hours of class each day and two hours of study hall/tutoring, we are going at an alarming rate. We will probably slow down soon though, because we chose the more difficult of the two textbook ... read more
Bai laoshi's modification of Trini's calligraphy
Fish and a flower
Casually painting bamboo

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung July 12th 2015

Hi everyone! Tis the season for typhoons here in Taiwan. This means rainy, cloudy weather, with lots of wind and grey days. Luckily, here in Taichung we are protected by the mountains that run through the middle of Taiwan, so we don't have it nearly as bad as Taipei (because I am enrolled in the STEP program I got an email from the government that they closed the American Institute in Taiwan on Friday due to the bad weather). In fact, the wind is actually quite nice, because it lowers both the temperature and the number of mosquitos. Regardless, we tend to try and stay in on the evenings there is a typhoon warning in effect (three so far). On one of the days, our challenge was to translate three recipes, then trade with another group ... read more
Our dinner, made on two camping stoves with two pots
Colorful Iron Man at 彩虹村
Trini and Annastasia at Rainbow Village

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung July 6th 2015

I've settled into my dorm room here in Taichung. There are definitely some differences between the dorms here and the dorms in the US. I think I'm starting to get used to them, but it's been a little hard. Let's just say they don't appear to be as clean as the ones in the US, however it is nice to have a permanent place to live for the next 7 weeks. We started class on June 30th, but we've mostly been doing outings (will talk about those more) and group projects/presentations. Tomorrow we take our placement test, I'm kinda nervous about that. Tunghai University is REALLY big compared to Puget Sound. They own about 345 acres of land. They even have their own dairy farm on campus! I heard they make ice cream... I haven't tried ... read more

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung July 4th 2015

Hi everyone! Happy 4th of July! I can't believe it's already been a month since I left home! That's crazy! Anyways, I've successfully found my way to the university where I will be studying for the next two months. For the first few nights we stayed in the Alumni House on campus, which is basically a hotel and was very nice. We had wifi (which we don't have in the dorms - we have to connect using ethernet) and air conditioning (which we have in the dorms but have to ration because it takes credits, and once we run out, we have to pay for more). When we first arrived, we checked in and got ourselves situated before meeting Yu Laoshi (our teacher) for a welcome dinner. She brought us to this little soup dumpling (more ... read more
Taichung Lake
Luce Chapel
More soup dumplings

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung February 19th 2014

Its Day 2! After a good night's rest its off to Tian Ma Farm. Trip took around 45mins from Tai Chung. Looks like a wild life park. Its basically a Llama wildlife park with other minor animal species. There is a newcomer to the farm, its a 160-year-old tortoise (claimed by the keeper). Looking at him makes me think that in his current lifetime he had lived through 2 world wars and more. Among other animals is this cute ground hog. There are many other animals like snakes, birds, camels, ostriches etc… Next we went to one of the most beautiful attraction of our trip. (Zhong She Hua Shi). Also known as "Hua Hai". Its like the beautiful flower meadows in Holland. They even had a wind mill there. Lol. After that, we travelled to a ... read more
Tian Ma Farm
Tian Ma Farm
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