Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Advice from Andrew

Andrew Portnoy, an EAPSI Taiwan alum, writes:

Most important: Keep an open mind and use this opportunity to try and learn new things.

Travel advice:
You've probably already heard about how quickly time will pass for you on the island. My advice here is to be especially proactive about planning activities and trips. As soon as possible get your calendar and devote a weekend for a trip to Taipei and/or Kenting (south end of the island = beaches). That itself is a major step toward making it happen. City to city buses can be very convenient as well as the High Speed Rail system. Your hosts will be great for travel partners, giving advice on destinations and how to get around.

You will undoubtedly improve your communication skills particularly in areas of determining what's really important and breaking down complex ideas into their basic elements. Using analogies and metaphors will be helpful when vocabulary is a problem. (Example: A boat is a car for the water.) I know very little Mandarin, but this was not a problem at all. You may want to carry a card with your address/directions or other important places unique to you because they won't be in the standard travel dictionary.

More info: (my blog posts from the summer are here as well as links to some pictures)