Leaving for Taiwan

We were intending to settle in Surrey, BC for the year to finish up that last year of grad school. There’s plenty of opportunity to study Chinese culture and language in greater Vancouver, and it was relatively close to the university. We planned to work part-time while we finished our studies and continued preparing for language school in Tianjin, China in February 2007. We’re still doing all that, except we’ll be in Taiwan instead of Vancouver.

When we committed to an extra year of full time graduate study we never dreamed that we’d get to complete it in Asia! We are overwhelmed with the ways in which we’ve been blessed. Taiwan may not be the Mainland, but it’s about as close as you can get.

Soon after arriving in Surrey Joel applied for a Teaching Assistant position at his old high school, Pacific Academy. P.A. came back with an offer for both of us to work as elementary school English teachers in a satellite school P.A. is opening in Taipei, Taiwan this January. We hadn’t even unpacked our bags yet from our sojourn in the Untied States, but after prayers, interviews, more prayers, and more interviews, we accepted.

The upsides are numerous. Aside from the cultural exposure, our total costs for the year will consume less than one of our two salaries; we’ll be able to save much more than we could have in Surrey. Our employers are accommodating our schooling requirements, flying us back for our June session in California and providing us with computers and high speed internet to do our distance learning in Taiwan. In the summer we’ll return to BC with some of our Taiwanese students to teach in P.A.’s international student summer program and take about three weeks of vacation with family before returning to finish out the year in Taiwan.

There are some downsides, too. Having much less time than we anticipated with family and the SBCC is the biggest – we leave January 4 and we just got here at the end of November! That, and balancing full time English-speaking jobs with 9 credits each of grad work per semester leaves little time for formal language study and running wild in the streets (two of our favourite overseas activities). We’ll be diving into the local culture less than we have in past overseas experiences.

We leave for California January 4, and Taipei, Taiwan on January 13. Our contract ends in mid-January, 2007.

12 thoughts on “Leaving for Taiwan”

  1. Wow!!! That’s great. Isn’t our God amazing!

    Do they need another teacher ???? :P

    Tonight is my graduation. Now I’ll be free to go like you guys. But I have committed to spend one more semester here to teach a Portuguese class to a group from Highland.

  2. It is amazing. We weren’t interested in the usual English teaching gigs, and weren’t really available anyway because of school. But our family knows the people personally (co-workers, former principals, kids in the same school, etc), and because of the way it’s set up, they were flexible enough to work with us. For us it’s culturally and financially better than staying in BC while we finish school.

    They will need more teachers – soon if they grow like they want – and you’d do well with them with all that formal teaching experience you’ve got. They’ll have to replace us in a year anyway.

    It’s not exactly a satellite school. A certain Society associated with Pacific Academy has gone into partnership with a Taiwan businessman to market an afternoon school… one of the schools that the kids go to after their regular school is done for the day. Our guys want to provide sort of an alternative to the regular afternoon schools that is more fun for the kids and puts less pressure on them while providing superior English exposure.

    We start work on Monday (in Canada) trying to build and adapt the curriculum (they don’t have that put together yet).

  3. No kidding! re: geeky uniforms

    Yeah, they are thinking about developing a uniform for the employees of the Taiwan school – polo shirt liks P.A.’s only with a different crest. I was all for it, but it will take them half a semester to develop the design and get it made.

  4. We’re working on curriculum right now, trying to get something hammered out before we leave. We’ll definitely keep in touch! The new blog should be finished this week, and then we’ll send out the invites to you guys.

  5. NO FREAKIN’ WAY!!!! THAT IS SOOOO STINKIN’ COOL!!!

    man is GOD GREAT OR WHAT?

    i am sooo pumped for you guys.

    “what may seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.”

    love.

  6. Yeah, we weren’t so bummed about doing an extra year of school when we found out we could do it in Asia! Taiwan’s not the Mainland, but it’s as close as you can get. We’re really excited.

  7. Joel, that’s great. When we are open, opportunities come to us that we can not even imagine. You want to learn Chinese, there is no better way to learn than with the Chinese. That reminds me of a time when our congregation was going to send our minister to Taiwan. He took Chinese at Portland State, and his class included Wednesday evening. When people who came to church would ask where he was we would tell them that we were sending him to school to learn to speak in tongues – there was always a nice long silence and then a change of subject.

  8. Dudes I just got on for a sec. I’m using a computer I’m not suppose to be on. I’ll give more info later. Dude your sight rocks the lord is blessing you two.

    Love
    Sean

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