#DawningInTaiwan: The World in Your Classroom

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TWIYC.tw is a platform that connects foreign volunteers with high school students in Taiwan. In the project, volunteers living in or traveling to Taiwan are welcome to sign up to be our guest lecturers. We offer an opportunity for foreign volunteers to teach Taiwanese students about various aspects of their home countries such as culture, language, economy, history, geography, and current affairs. Through the interactions between guest lecturers and students, we expect Taiwanese students to explore and to be more curious about the world. As for the volunteers, being our guest lecturers will be one of the most unique experiences during your stay in Taiwan.

Last Saturday, I came all the way from Taichung to Taipei on a tiring three hour train ride. As exhausted as I am, I powered through to attend to the training day with TWIYC.tw. Arriving Taipei Main Station, I hopped on the MRT and went down Guting station.

It was a rainy evening and already 18:30. The schedule of the training is supposed to start at 18:30. I’m late, I know. I hate being late. But, I briskly walked through the rain carrying my huge backpack. I have no idea where National Taiwan Normal University is. Pulling out Maps.Me, I spotted its location which is very near the exit I came out of.

While I was across the university, I received a call from an unknown number. Answering the phone, “Hello! This is TWIYC (pronounced as tweek) Taiwan. I just want to remind you about our training today. Are you on your way? Do you need help with getting here? Just let me know.” I was glad that they checked if I was about to come.

Finally getting in the venue, I thought the NTNU campus was beautiful. Its structures were interesting. Similar to my university (CYCU), it also has a vibe that is relaxing to students like me.

Entering the room, I was given a lecture copy and flyer that introduces the organization. Just in time! They were starting the program with an ice breaker. Given the card that says, “Why do you want to join TWIYC?” Lisa Ueno approached me introducing herself. She’s a Japanese student who studies in the other university in Zhongli. What a coincidence! I was surprised when she said that her favourite city is Taoyuan. I didn’t hesitate to ask, “Why Taoyuan!?” That’s how we discovered that we live in the same area. Making a new friend, I told her that we should go to my favourite dessert place near CYCU since she always goes to the Chung Yuan Night Market.

Switching partners, I met Summer, a Taiwanese teacher who’s also volunteering. She’s a really nice woman who speaks good English. I was amazed by how she spoke. As our activity ended, we started the lectures. For the foreigners, we transferred to another room for the English lecture. The lecturer shared her experiences and taught us on how be good lecturers.

Finishing the training, we went back to fill up evaluation forms and eat more pizza + dessert! I then talked to Maria who’s a teacher in an international school in Taipei. I discovered that she goes through Asian countries that need teachers. Coming from South Pennsylvania, she started teaching in countries and living there for a couple of years. It was actually amazing how she also became a teacher in a rural part of South Korea! I was inspired by her experiences as a teacher traveling around the world.

Meeting people, learning techniques, preparing for volunteering, and eating lots of pizza – it was a perfect event! Thank you, TWIYC.tw for warmly welcoming us with open arms. I’m looking forward to my lectures with the three schools I matched with! (Also, thanks for the take home pizza.)

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