Exploring Taipei

It has been ten years since I have been overseas. In the summer of 2009 I went to India with my family to visit my distant relatives.  I knew that this out of country excursion would be much different than the last. I was alone. Unlike many of the students attending this study abroad program, …

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Confronting Expectations

While I have only been in Russia for two weeks, I already feel like I have been living here for months. My Russian has already improved, but, more importantly, my understanding of modern Russian culture has drastically changed. My experience with my host family has given me the opportunity to directly and indirectly ask questions …

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Academic Overview of AC’s Taiwan Intensive Summer Language Program

Introduction Hello everyone, My name is Alex Tran, and I am currently a participant of American Councils Taiwan Intensive Summer Language Program (TISLP) of 2019.  From what I have heard, TISIP is a relatively new program (established in 2016), so the things I talk about may change as the years go by.  This blog post …

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Living in a Dorm in Russia

Living in a dormitory with Russian students is a fascinating experience. As with many other situations in Russia you are surrounded by busy and enterprising people with stern, serious expressions on their faces. With all the people hurriedly bustling about to and from class or off to a night out, it is easy in such …

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Experiences and Expectations

Currently, I am studying Russian language abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Russia has always been an interesting country to me, and because of that I wanted to learn the language.  When I arrived in Russia I was ready to get used to new cultural experiences and expectations, and even excited to learn the differences between …

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My Time so Far in Taiwan!

This will mark my third week in Taiwan at TISLP and I feel like time has flown past. This is my second time to Taiwan, the first trip was last year when I volunteered to teach English at a bilingual camp in smaller, more rural districts. I grew up in the States in a Cantonese-speaking …

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First Impressions

Coming to Taiwan to study Chinese has been such a wonderful experience! People from all over the globe know Taiwanese people to be exceptionally friendly and lead very hardworking lives, and my experience in Taiwan would definitely confirm that people in this country are exceptionally nice and committed to those around them. The people in …

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A Kazakh Engagement Party

Before coming to Kazakhstan, I read a little bit about Kazakh culture. I had learned about how Kazakhs often drink tea from bowls or “pialas”, that they eat horse meat, and of course, that they are very hospitable. Little did I know that I would be bombarded with all of these things almost immediately after …

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