What’s a typical day like for a Taiwan ETA?
The life of a Taiwan ETA can definitely vary depending on your school and region, but most days start pretty early because school starts at 8. Mornings are usually a combination of preparing for classes, teaching, and lesson planning for the next day. Lunch is extra long because the students clean the whole school after eating and then we all have nap time! Many teachers will get comfortable and hunker down at their desks to nap. We also sometimes practice for English competitions during nap time. The afternoon is more classes and lesson planning until I leave around 4. For dinner, I usually eat out with other ETAs, get takeout, or cook at home. In the evenings, I try to take on new activities like art class or I explore the county on my scooter by doing things like finding the flowers that are currently blooming.
What are you doing for community service?
In the school community, I’ve tried to involve myself as much as possible! I help train students for their English competitions by helping with their pronunciation and tone. I give my students a question of the week that they can answer for candy to give them extra speaking practice. I really want to help my school get the most out of having a native English speaker around.
Outside of school, I’ve also tried getting to know the community, from dancing with the aunties in the park to taking an art class at a local community college. Food is such an important part of the culture here so I’ve tried exploring as many new things as possible, such as the many night markets that offer a wide variety of food. My favorite night market in my city is a more local one that offers a lot of traditional Taiwanese food. The vendors often don’t speak English so I get to practice speaking Mandarin, and even Taiwanese sometimes!
Any advice for future ETA applicants?
Fulbright ETA applicants should be adaptable because ETAs can be put in a wide variety of school situations. They should be ready to work with the local English teachers and prepared to teach students with varying English levels.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Taiwan is an insanely beautiful country filled with extremely kind people! It’s also so safe that people can lose their wallet and expect that someone will find it and return it to them. It has been an awesome host country and I’m excited to visit again in the future!