Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Introduction, placement, and host family!

Hi Everyone,

My name is Michelle. I live in CT, USA. I'm 18 years old.

I went to a magnet high school called, The Center for Global Studies. It's focus is Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic. I took a year of Japanese history, two years of formal Japanese, and hosted a Japanese exchange student.

My goal has been to do a study abroad in Japan. But I don't necessary have a lot of funds to do so. If you've looked into it at all, you'll know going to Japan for a year is totemo takai (very expensive)!! Finally after years of searching for the right program, I found one that met my needs.

Let me explain, it wasn't just cost. I believe in things being a certain way. I needed a program that wasn't going to put me with international kids. I didn't want to go to an international school, etc. Those things set you back. I wanted to live as the natives do. And I wanted to know once I was in the country, my program still had things to offer me and that they would move me to a new family if one didn't work. It needed to be for a gap year. And it needed to not cost over $9,000.

Rotary. Everything I wanted... with one catch: Your country isn't guaranteed. Japanese was my life. I thought I needed my host country to be Japan.

How rotary works is you pick your top five countries and they try to get you one of those. They really try their best but nothing is guaranteed.

For when I applied, they didn't have Korea. So my second choice was Taiwan. It didn't really occur to me I might not get Japan. I didn't get Japan.

BUT, this isn't a sad story. It's a great thing I got Taiwan. I'm already pretty good at Japanese and now I can learn Mandarin! Mandarin will open up totally new doors for me and in college I can study abroad for a year in Japan.

Overall, I'm happy. If you want information on anything with Japan and my feelings, or how I learned Japanese, please ask. I may do a post on this soon.

Moving on. I leave to D3480 (Taipei, Taiwan) on August 20. In fact, I just received an email from my host mother today. I'll show you what she wrote and my letters to her, as well as my school website at the end.

I will be going to Taipei Kai-Ping Vocational and Culinary School! I'm very excited about this. I was afraid I'd get placed into a strict school where kids only had time to study. But I do hope there are uniforms. I love to cook, so it's really nice. The school seems laid back and very modern. They don't even teach from textbooks.

I hope my host mom and I can be on good terms and cook together.

My letter to Host family:

Hi, I'm Michelle.

I'm very excited about meeting your family and seeing Taiwan for the first time.

I live in a suburb of Connecticut . Connecticut is very close to New York . What kind of area do you live in? Is it city-like? You live in Taipei, right? It must be somewhat city-like. I like the city and country. The city might be more fun though, right.

I read I am going to Taipei Kai-Ping Vocational and Culinary School. Do you know what the school is like? I'm very interested to know!

As for Chinese... I took Japanese for two to three years and I'm pretty good at it. But I don't know any Chinese. I know "ni hao, ni hao ma, xie xie, wo shi Michelle" but that's all. Sorry! When I am in Taiwan,  I'll try my best to learn! Please help me learn!

You have a 12 year old daughter? I have two brothers. I've always wanted a sister, I think we'll be able to get along well.

I'm interested in traveling, shopping, learning Chinese, and learning how to cook Taiwanese food.

What should I call both of you? Please let me know.

I can't wait to meet you! Please write back soon!


My host mother wrote:

Hi, Michelle,
Im Olivia XXX, your host mom.
I look forward to have you here in Taiwan , so do my 12-year-old little daughter Demi.
Im an air traffic controller, it is rare to hear about the profession, right?
My husband, your host dad, Hank now is working as a commercial airliner pilot in Mainland China . He flew a lot in Mainland China and he come home Taipei taking a week off per month.
We live in the center of Taipei city, near Sunshan Domestic airport in Taipei . Maybe you can search the site from google earth.
As a matter of fact, we just look out from my apartment window, it can be seen clearly that the airplanes are taking off and landing, as I am working in the air traffic control tower.
It is very convenient to every place from our home.
Your Chinese looks good. Any way dont worry, Ill ask Demi to teach you learn Chinese. Will you teach her English?
If you want to know more information just email me.
Keep in touch
Olivia XX
Email: XXXX or XXXXX

My response:
Hi host mom!

I'm so happy for the quick responce.
That job is rare!
I would love teaching Demi English.
Your English is so good! How did you learn?
I eat everything, so don't worry about that kind of thing, by the way. My favorite types of food are meat and seafood. I really want to try sukiyaki in Taiwan. It's more of a Japanese dish so maybe you call it hotpot?I love dumplings also. And I like to cook, maybe I can cook you something American.
Do you have any pets?
If you have any questions, please ask!
Xie xie,Michelle

She never told me what to call her. -_-;;;;;

My school:



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I'm really happy you'll be keeping a blog. I'll be following it everyday and leaving comments!

    I'll also be checking how many guys are following your blog. Just warning you.

  3. Why are your host parents names Olivia and Hank? Shouldn't they be Zhi Shu or Xian Qing???

    I'm very jealous of you, btw. Your host mother at the very least seems exactly like the ones from those Dramas that you watch, which sounds like it is going to be a LOT of fun hanging out with her and the twelve year old daughter when you guys go to the city.

    I'm suprised that you're going to a culinary school as well! I would have thought they would put you into a normal middle school with the 12 year old, possibly even a high school. Maybe when you stay with another family you'll be able to go? Anyways, this means you won't be having to endure any more math when you go!!! I mean as much fun as it sounds to learn math in Chinese.....>.>

    when you get back I better be showered in lots of Taiwanese food that you've learned how to cook, not to mention daily pictures every day of your students and the school. Your family also seems really interesting, especially seeing that their jobs are so out there. But I'm pretty sure that's a good thing, since maybe you'll be able to talk to them about traveling around China, and even other places like Japan!

    Please keep posting pictures along with your blog, as visuals of Taipei would be really interesting and I need to approve of the people that you're going to stay with for a year. Don't forget about those of us who may miss you back here in wonderful east-coast America!!!! ;D

  4. Those names are their American names. I cannot post their real names online. They do have Chinese names.

    And the culinary school IS a high school. XD Look it up, it's a little famous. ^_^;

    Zacky, you wrote such a nice comment. I'm really going to miss you. I'll post a lot of pictures. And send you gifts.