Hey all! My name is Alisa and I’m currently on the Mandarin AY program in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Since I just passed the 10-week mark, I thought I’d share what my daily schedule:
I wake up at 7:20, get ready, and meet my host mom downstairs at 7:45. I’m really lucky because my host mom drives me to school; on the way we chat and grab breakfast. Classes don’t start until 9:10, so I sit on a bench outside, reading and waiting for my fellow NSLI-Y classmates.
Our first class is just us 8 NSLI-Y students. We have 3 different teachers who come on different days of the week who are also students at the university. In this class, we learn new vocab, practice speaking and writing, and our teachers answer questions we may have about daily life or our regular Chinese classes.
Our second class is our Chinese class and it’s from 10:10-noon. We’re all split into different levels and different classes. Since Wenzao University specializes in foreign language, the CLC (Chinese Language Center), where we take language classes, attracts many foreigners. My class of 8 represents Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, and the USA. Everyday we follow our textbook, which was written by a CLC teacher, and learn new vocab and grammar while also practicing reading, speaking and writing. I like this class because my teachers are amazing and it’s a very interesting classroom setting.
My afternoons vary everyday. On Mondays I have a reading and writing class, on Tuesdays I don’t have afternoon classes, Wednesdays are tutoring, and Thursday is my longest day since both my electives are on Thursday. A unique part of my program is that we all choose 2 electives, ranging from intro to computer science to classical literature. These classes are regular university classes, so they’re taught entirely in Mandarin! Even though I’m at school from 8-5 on Thursday, I really enjoy my electives since they’re a phenomenal opportunity to pick up new vocab and converse with Taiwanese students. For my electives I’m working on a final project about air pollution around the globe and a midterm assignment on how news has affected my life.
On school nights I get home around 6:30 and my host family and I eat around 7. Sometimes my host parents cook, sometimes they get takeout and sometimes we eat out. Kaohsiung is a great place for foodies because there are many Korean, Japanese, Thai, and even Western restaurants. We’ll talk over dinner until 8:30 or so, and then I’ll either watch TV with them for a bit or I’ll go up to my room to do my homework.
On Friday nights my NSLI-Y group likes to hang out together. On weekends I love exploring Kaohsiung, doing homework in coffee shops and traveling around Taiwan with my host family!
光陰似箭！ Here’s to more amazing months in this beautiful city.