Welcome back to my blog! It’s been forever since I’ve posted, but I have been living in Minnesota for the past year and a half after leaving Korea on December 31st, 2021. So much has changed since then. (Photos throughout this post are coming straight from the trip to Alaska/Seattle that I am currently still on.)
I began looking into going abroad again in the Spring of 2021. I started a lengthy application process for a new job. There was an opportunity to teach English at a public school in Taiwan through their government teaching program (TFETP). I thought this would be a great opportunity and very different from my previous teaching jobs, so I started applying. I submitted a resume, letter of intent, demo lesson, multiple references, an essay, and many other documents. I was so excited to learn that I had received an interview. I did the interview and met with 3 Taiwanese women over Skype to discuss myself and the position. It was an incredibly stressful interview (especially since it was at like 1am Minnesota time). After a month of waiting to hear, the news came that Taiwan would not be allowing those located outside of Taiwan to join the program because the borders were still closed. I was told that I had received a position and if something changed in the future, I would be contacted.
Later, while continuing to live in the US, teach English online, and work towards an MBA online, I started to realize that I didn’t want to go back to teaching English. This year, when they asked if I was still interested in coming to Taiwan to teach, I said no. It was time to find something new to do.
Throughout this process, and really since I left Shanghai years ago, I have been studying Mandarin on my own. I take some lessons online, work through textbooks, use apps, and practice as much as I can. It’s one of my favorite hobbies. This was why I had been looking into teaching in Taiwan originally. I wanted to be able to immerse myself in studying Chinese. In June this year, Taiwan announced that they would begin taking language student visa applications. Having looked into a program to study Chinese in Taiwan years ago, I thought I should try and apply. The school application was pretty simple, but then began the waiting game of seeing if the Ministry of Education in Taiwan would accept my application. After waiting half a month, I got my confirmation from them. Then, I had to prepare the visa documents, send off my passport, and again, wait. I finally received my visa just two days before leaving for a 12-day trip to Alaska and Seattle.
So here’s your official announcement: This fall, I’ll be going to Taipei, Taiwan to study Mandarin.
For those of you unfamiliar with Taiwan, it is an island just east of China and north of the Philippines. It’s nearly the same size as Maryland. I’ll be in the capital city, Taipei, located in the north.
I will be leaving around the 20th of August. I have a few visa things to finish and a flight to book before knowing exactly what my plan is.
I’ll be posting again before leaving so I can really explain what I’ll be doing in Taiwan and why I’m going.