Day1: Welcome Party
By Tina Tang
What event includes a little bit of nervousness and a lot of excitement?The answer is the CIEE welcome party. The welcome party marks the beginning of meeting new people and having new experiences.
This semester, we were very lucky to have Chris Gould, CIEE’s Regional Director of Operations for the Asia-Pacific region, join us at the welcome party. Chris himself had been an exchange student in National Taiwan University for an year and he kindly shared his own experience of learning Chinese in Taiwan. He encouraged CIEE students to step out of their comfort zones and make the most from this precious experience.
Because there were many students and ambassadors from diverse backgrounds, the ambassadors came up with two games to help participants get to know one another better. The first game was to pass a cushion around while the music was playing. When the music stopped suddenly whoever has the cushion was to introduce the two people sitting next to him or her and answer a question asked by other participants. The second game required participants to cooperate with one another. The two teams’ tasks were to fit everyone on a piece of newspaper. And the newspaper only got smaller and smaller in very round. We all had a great night at the welcome party.
Day2: Maokong (貓空)
By Maggie Sun
After a week of intense rain and unusually low temperature, it seemed to be the perfect day to the visit our nearby shangri-la, Maokong. Out of the various ways of getting to Maokong, we decided to take the gondola as we’re allowed to enjoy the view of the mountain simply by looking out the window of the cable car.
Despite the fact that holding an orientation was our primary reason of bringing the students up the mountain, we decided to do something else first. Maokong is not only famous for its tea, but also for this grand field of Apricots. Therefore, before the dinner, we went to this Apricot field which was just across our dinner place and took some beautiful pictures there. Afterwards, we had some traditional pot-stewed vegetables and rice for dinner. Some students did not get used to the taste and ended up craving for meat. The dinner soon ended up with a nice cup of hot Tieguanyin tea.
What followed up was the orientation which was broken down to several parts by different ambassadors, each responsible for a particular event. We quickly introduced the upcoming events to the students, including three one-day field trip and a three-day excursion.
Day3: Shida Night Market (師大夜市)
By Stephanie Chien
One thing that is so troublesome of spending the night in a night market is that we never know where to start. There were so many clothes, shoes, accessorizes and all kinds of night market delicacies. I took me along with 6 others some time to decide where to start, and we were like kids in the candy store. To start with, we went to a Korean restaurant. We sat around two pots of kimchi chicken, chatting over music and artists. It was such a fun moment when I can join in their conversation. It’s been a long while since I last have this kind of feeling.
It was already half pass nine when we stepped out of the restaurant. Yet, the best thing about night markets is that they don’t close that early. We still manage to find places to shop afterwards. I have to say that night markets are heavens for girls. You can always find a hidden gem in one of those shops along the street. It’s been a long while since my last visit, and I’m glad that I went along that day.