Being in the second-to-last week of the Taiwan Intensive Summer Program has been a very beneficial experience for me. For example, I was able to learn so much in a short amount of time, raise my level of Chinese proficiency, and being able to be more open towards others. I really like learning Chinese in this program because the teachers have a very good way of teaching, they are very supportive and never belittle your ability. They give you encouragement, helpful advice, and good examples that you understand. It’s interesting how in the beginning, everything seemed a bit too much to handle but as the weeks go on, my memory isn’t as bad as I thought. Now I remember a lot of what we learn because each day the first two big classes cover the material so well that it’s glued in your mind by noon.
The other great aspect of this program is that we get to go on excursions! Our first excursion was in Tainan and it was fun because we were able to see a traditional drum show and check out different traditional places in the city. Tainan is known for their culture and history because it was originally the center of Taiwan. I thought it was very educational because we were able to learn about the culture and history of Taiwan while having fun. We also went to Ten Drum Culture Village. This culture village was a Taiwanese culture and history park that introduced and showcased Taiwan’s traditional drum shows, activities, and beautiful sites. It was exciting to see a live drum performance and we enjoyed our free time to explore the park’s other activities.
The second place we were taken was the Sicao Green Tunnel. The Sicao Green Tunnel was a boat ride that allowed us to take a view of the trees, different species of animals, and most importantly, the tree tunnel that famously represented the name given to this place. The third site we were taken was the Anping Historic Site. I thought this place was the most interesting because it was a creative industry’s rehabilitation of old houses. The plants that grew inside of some of these old houses were quite beautiful as well, the way that this place was structured was unique and special. This area was rich in both historical buildings and natural ecology and I found that fascinating. There was also a street market nearby this site and I was grateful that I was able to visit and get Anping’s most famous dried fruits and plums in this street market. It smelled amazing and I can’t wait to try it when I bring it home for my family to share.
To conclude, the excursions in this program were well planned out and really filled the requirements of “You haven’t been to Taiwan yet if you haven’t been to these places” and learning a lot about Taiwan’s history and culture.
By: Adriana Choi
Program: Taiwan Intensive Summer Language Program, Tainan, Taiwan
Term: Summer 2019