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SIT-Summer Institute in Taiwan
Academic Exchange & Cultural Experience in Taiwan
Category
Comments and Suggestions

Activity

Score(Max:5)

Pick-up

4.81

Campus Tour

3.62

Orientation

4.75

Food Making

4.31

Language Course

4

Welcome Banquet

4.75

Calligraphy

4.81

Hakka Village

4.81

Keynote Speech

4.37

Yingge Ceramics Streets

4.75

Sanxia Old Street

4.56

Night Market

4.62

The Lin Family Mansion and Garden

4.43

National Palace Museum

4.25

Farewell Party

4.56

Foot Massage

4.5

Culture Industries Visit

4.87

MOST Farewell

4.43

Meals

4.5

Accommodation (NTHU Guest House)

4.62

Accommodation (Hsinchu)

5

Accommodation (Taipei)

4.81

Average

4.55

 

Comments on Pick-Up & Arrival:

Ø   Janny did an excellent job meeting me at the trainstation

Ø   There was miscommunication, but it wasn't anyone's fault. Janny and Peggy helped guide me (by facebook!) to the correct bus, and were very concerned that I arrived easily and safely.  I really appreciate their concern! I wasn't actually expecting any pick-up, so it was totally ok : )

Ø   It was fine. Signs are nice though : )

Ø   I would have liked to have known the accommodation location so I could go directly there instead of waiting at the front gate.

Ø   I had to message someone to pick me up, but it was probably due to the fact that I arrived from Japan and not USA.

Ø   Thanks Janny for hanging out with me for a bit while we waited for our other pickup!

Ø   Rodney is the man! Oh, and the driver was pretty good too!

Ø   Got picked up, no problems

Ø   Actually I got here early so I didn't need to be picked up.

Ø   It was great! Janny was so nice to pick me up from the train station.

Ø   Thanks for picking me uuuuuuuuup!!!

Ø   It was great that you were able to come get me at the train station very helpful

Ø   Perfect, I saw Jacky right away and he everything went smoothly.

Ø   Thanks!

 

Comments on Campus Tour:

Ø   I think this would be more worth while for students who are actually attending NTHU as opposed to everybody

Ø   Beautiful and interesting campus, lovely tour guides!  The only problem was the heat, but you guys can't control that.  We are all super jealous of your beautiful library.

Ø   It's hot.

Ø   Hot. Still good.

Ø   Campus is pretty. We had adequate water and rest times and tons of pictures!!!

Ø   It was ok. I really liked the orientation.

Ø   The tour was really cool. I liked the four special buildings and the library!

Ø   The tour was really cool. I liked the four special buildings and the library!

Ø   Nice to be able to get a very basic lay of the land.

Ø   I don't think the library likes us...The campus dogs are pretty great though!

Ø   Incredibly hot. But necessary. Maybe more indoor breaks?

Ø   Campus DOGS ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

Ø   It was hard to hear the guide at times

Ø   I missed this section. Campus did look interesting, but it didn't feel very relevant.

 

Comments on Orientation (Casual):

Ø   I was a little self-conscious about having to dance lol but overall it was good!

Ø   This was a really fun way to get to know everyone. I really enjoyed learning all of the staff personalities and sense of humor through your introductions. 

Ø   Still hot.

Ø   Good.

Ø   It was a lot of staff, so it took a while to introduce everyone individually. Then we played a game to see if we remembered.

Ø   Very cute-- you guys were awesome! Was a tiny bit awkward because we didn't know you yet, so that's normal, and there might have been some cultural differences that might have made some things misinterpreted, but the introductions overall are great. I remember there being way too much food the first day, and I worry that there was a lot of food wasted :( maybe go without some of the snacks, or move the snacks to a different activity/day? One suggestion for an icebreaker game is 2 Truths and a Lie: each person says three things about themselves, but one of the statements is false, and people have to guess which is the lie.

Ø   Brian was hilarious and the game was really fun (sorry Jackie for tackling you!).

Ø   Good fun

Ø   It was great first getting to know everyone

Ø   Loved it! Too many staff meetings.

Ø   That was fun, but I think people who are shy won't enjoy it!

Ø   Fun way to get to know everyone.

Ø   So funny

 

Comment on Language Course:

Ø   Advanced course was PERFECT for what I wanted - however I know the basic level wished that they went over more food and survival phrases than a full on Chinese language lesson

Ø   As a linguist, I especially appreciated this part of the orientation. I can tell that Wendy worked very very hard to provide us with the best material in the advanced class. I learned a lot of helpful things that I have been using on a daily basis.  For such a short amount of time, she provided a ton of useful information, and it was presented in an interesting and engaging manner which helped me to remember it. I was really surprised to find out later that this was her first time teaching Chinese! 

Ø   This was very helpful and a lot of fun. Maybe everyone should get a copy of the basic level book. It doesn’t have to be fancy but having a copy is helpful.

Ø   Would like more practice reading, writing, and speaking foods.

Ø   The advanced didn't have books. I think it was too advanced for me. There always seemed to be a debate about the pin yin for words. This may be due to the fact that the teachers would not have learned Chinese in that way, whereas Americans did.

Ø   There was a lot of focus on the basic things to learn the language, which would be fine if I was planning on taking a full Chinese course, but I wish there was more focus on "survival" phrases.

Ø   I think for practical purposes, it might be best to go straight to daily use Chinese (i.e. ordering food). I doubt anyone really had an opportunity (or have the confidence) to introduce themselves or have a conversation with anyone, and I think getting by in day-to-day activities is most important; otherwise people end up going into restaurants with menus that have no English or pictures and ordering random stuff. I think recognizing at least basic characters like , , , etc. is most useful. For people that have none or very little background in Chinese, grammar is going to be near impossible to remember without daily practice, but it's much easier for the brain to match an image (characters) to words/ideas. The odds of getting people to functional proficiency (especially because tones are so hard for Americans to learn or even hear the difference) in just 3 days is basically impossible, so it's better to get low-hanging fruit and aim for word recognition at best.

Ø   The language course was great. We focused on really real-world relevant material.

Ø   The language course was great. We focused on really real-world relevant material.

Ø   A lot of stuff and most of it was useful.

Ø   Almost perfect, it would have been nice if the course focused a little more on practical words to know.

Ø   I really liked it, but it was incredibly fast in the beginner section. It would have been great to have a summary sheet of key phrases.

Ø   A great crash course

Ø   These were helpful, but it felt like too much too fast and I was really struggling to retain any of the information I was learning

Ø   There wasn't much content for the advanced speakers.

Ø   Too fast. It would be better to pair up with a native speaker and learn fewer words to memory.

 

Comments on Orientation (Formal):

Ø   no issues

Ø   Informative and helpful. Janny was really helpful to me - she paid my rent directly for me, so everything was taken care of. 

Ø   It was great! No complaints here. AC was great!

Ø   Even better.

Ø   Everyone loves money.

Ø   #money

Ø   The games went on a little long, but otherwise fine.

Ø   Money is always good! And the games we played were really entertaining.

Ø   I know there arent many options but walking around with that much cash made me a bit nervous.

Ø   It was great first getting copious amounts of cash

Ø   Very fun. The game was great.

Ø   Thank you for money!!!

Ø   Great that you were able to take care of all the paperwork for us, really appreciate it.

Ø   I thought it would just be logistics but the games were fun.

Ø   Drawn out.

 

Comment on Keynote Speech:

Ø   Surprisingly very interesting!

Ø   The lecture was really interesting. Although I had some background knowledge about US-Taiwan relations, I feel like I learned much more during the lecture.  I learned some interesting details and in depth information that I didn't have before. This was something I really wanted to learn because I plan on continuing to do my research in Taiwan (hopefully for the rest of my career) so understanding the history of our two countries is really important to me. 

Ø   It was difficult to listen to a speaker after a full day of fun. Maybe put this earlier so we're more awake.

Ø   Good.

Ø   It was too late in the day. It was really hard not to fall asleep.

Ø   I was so tired during the speech that I think I fell asleep, it was not his fault.

Ø   Very interesting, and not at all any propaganda or overtly political overtones, which was refreshing. Taiwan is not really ever mentioned in US history courses so a lot of fellows' knowledge of US-Taiwan relations is probably basically zero, so having a neutral, factual speech like we had was very good. Politics are a delicate subject anywhere, and Taiwan's are especially complicated because of all the history (that is also not covered in US history classes), so it's good to have facts presented to fellows without necessarily imparting any particular opinions.

Ø   The speaker we had was very good.

Ø   He was an amazing speaker. I was pretty jet-lagged so staying awake for the whole thing was kinda tricky!

Ø   Very good choice of keynote, this topic was brought up later in conversation with Taiwanese people and i had an idea of what was going on.

Ø   Excellent. The speaker was pretty funny

Ø   He was very interesting. I really liked this one.

Ø   Insightful!

Ø   Really interesting, was able to learn a lot about the relationship between the countries

Ø   Very interesting

Ø   We were all very tired then.

 

Comment on Calligraphy

Ø   Loved it!

Ø   Even though I wasn't very good at it, I enjoyed this activity! I really like artistic cultural type things, and it was fun to get a lesson. 

Ø   A lot of fun. but difficult. but fun.

Ø   Good.

Ø   I wrote my name a million times!!!!

Ø   ~ fun!

Ø   Would have been nice to get the fans back sooner, but otherwise no other comments

Ø   I really liked this. Especially when babahaima started doing it with his toes! LOL

Ø   Interesting

Ø   I'm putting mine on my wall.

Ø   Liked this one too!

Ø   fun!!

Ø   This was a lot of fun, and it was interesting to learn a little bit about the history of it and how the characters evolved over time.

Ø   Very fun, but maybe it was too unstructured by the end it "degraded" into chatting time

Ø   Fun.

 

Comment on Welcome Banquet:

Ø   Good

Ø   We were all blown away (shocked in a good way!) by the banquet. I wish I brought something nicer to wear! The food was fantastic and the performances were really fun. In the US, academics don't get treated like this! We felt like we were being spoiled, treated like royalty. It was also fun to get to know the staff members at our table better. 

Ø   Delicious.

Ø   Great food. Excellent performance. Spectacular!

Ø   Yoyo and dollshow were the highlights for me. The fried bread was good toom

Ø   ~fun

Ø   Food was amazing (especially the fish, which was probably too expensive!! :xxxxxxx). Only suggestion is to have pitchers of water in addition to the juice; Americans are used to drinking a lot of water with meals and will almost definitely ask for it anyway, so may as well just have it out. I think the yoyo guy didn't really have enough room on the stage, but you're limited by the ballroom so probably nothing you can do about that.

Ø   Food was great and the entertainment was amazing! I liked sitting next to Maggie too as she is very entertaining to talk to!!

Ø   Good food and performances.

Ø   The Guzheng was astonishing. Also the yo-yo guy was super sweet!

Ø   Food was awesome!

Ø   Excellent. The food and performances were exquisite

Ø   Food was fantastic, the show was amazing, it’s great to see you have so many talented students at your school.

Ø   Delicious and fun performances, although not every table had a VIP

Ø   Staff was very nervous.

 

Comment on Food Making:

Ø   Delicious but a little disorganized with some unclear directions (my group didn’t know we weren’t supposed to eat lol)

Ø   I love cooking, so I really enjoyed this event. I thought it was delicious! I wish we could spend a whole day learning different kinds of Taiwanese dishes. 

Ø   Fantastic.

Ø   Yummy.

Ø   I like learning about food making.

Ø   ~fun

Ø   Very tasty! I'm not a fan of red bean so I didn't have it, and my impression was that people weren't crazy about the butter cream filling; maybe this would have been a good time to bring in Mr. Donut xD

Ø   Very fun and delicious! Wish I could have gotten one more haha

Ø   Food = Good

Ø   Maybe have a bit more? My table ran out of things pretty quickly.

Ø   I think the tasting game in this was more fun than the food making. Hilarious!

Ø   DELISH. I like the bean cakes with that cream inside.

Ø   Very tasty

Ø   Could have been more food for us to make our own spring rolls....we ran out of meat.

Ø   OK

 

Comment on Hakka:

Ø   Very interesting

Ø   This activity was really fun and delicious! It's nice to learn about the different groups in Taiwan. It would be cool to learn some Hakka language too. 

Ø   Loved it.

Ø   Fun and good. I enjoyed it very much. The fireworks were wonderful.

Ø   It was a relaxing day and we had fun.

Ø   ~fun

Ø   Fun day!

Ø   Educational and entertaining. Food was great too. Loved the hands on aspect of it with the rice smashing, rope weaving, and tea making!

Ø   Was very nice to get out and see the "countryside" a bit.

Ø   So much fun! Also the fireworks were the best!

Ø   This was my favorite!

Ø   REMEMBER THOSE PUPPIES??? SO CUTE. Also, this was a great cultural experience!!

Ø   Great visit, making the rope was a lot of fun, and the food we made was also really good

Ø   More fun than I expected.

Ø   OK

 

Comment on Yingge Ceramic Art:

Ø   LOVED it!

Ø   I really enjoyed making my bowl (even though I failed the first time). I thought this activity was fun and relaxing, and we all get to keep the thing we made, which is a cool memory to have. 

Ø   I would have loved to stay longer. Maybe provide some ideas on what we could make a little bit before to help us. I had never done pottery before and had no idea what I wanted to make.

Ø   Excellent except I don't recall making poultry... :P

Ø   I liked that it was a museum and a ceramic class. It was really cool.

Ø   Fun

Ø   The store was great; only suggestion is maybe to announce beforehand so that people know to bring enough money. A few people ended up going back to Yingge because they wanted to buy more souvenirs, so it might be nice to know in advance that it's a shopping destination as well.

Ø   I was having too much fun and lost track of time!!

Ø   Very fun, was something i had never done before.

Ø   Free pottery?! How can you lose?

Ø   I think they modified mine to make it look better.

Ø   I loved the experience of making the bowl!!

Ø   Love doing pottery, i have shown my mug to everyone and they like it as well. Great event.

Ø   Maybe the best souvenir from the summer

Ø   OK

 

Comment on Sanxia Cloth Painting:

Ø   A little disorganized with the directions of what we were supposed to do but overall really fun.

Ø   This activity was especially fun for me because my mom studies this kind of cloth dyeing, so I'm really excited to give her the one I made. Since we had a chemist in our group, we learned even more about how the dye process works.  I also got a lot of help from the staff when I spilled dye on my favorite shoes (don't know why I wore them to this event) so I really really appreciate everyone's help - my shoes are safe!!

Ø   Very interesting.

Ø   Excellent. I liked the mosquito competition and the fact that I didn't get bit by one.

Ø   There were tons of mosquitoes but we still had fun.

Ø   It was a little stinky

Ø   I think people got distracted by the mosquito zappers but otherwise it was great. Walking around afterward was just too hot ;___;

Ø   Was a nice activity. Maybe I can give it to my momma!

Ø   Quite the smell but was fun.

Ø   Also going on my wall.

Ø   They turned out great!

Ø   This was awesome, and we even had personal mosquito guards equipped with lightning rackets.

Ø   Another fantastic event.

Ø   It was OK

Ø   OK

 

Comment on Shilin Night Market:

Ø   Good

Ø   The only thing I regret about this event is that we somehow missed Jeremy Lin and Wang Leehom (they were there on the same night!!). Night markets are something unique and awesome that Taiwan has, and I think this activity is a must. 

Ø   I'm so happy the SIT staff showed us where all the good and famous foods are and to be able to try so many things. I eat some of it now but I don't search for some of the famous stuff anymore so I'm glad I tried it.

Ø   Nice.

Ø   I ate loads of yummy foods and played games.

Ø   Fun

Ø   Awesome! Only thing I noticed was that people would have preferred to go back to the hotel between the Yingge Old Streets and Shilin, but I understand there were logistical reasons for going directly. Might it be possible to arrange Shilin and National Palace Museum on the same day since they are closer together/people won't be gross and sweaty after visiting the museum?

Ø   Food was great and so were the PIJIUS!!!

Ø   Went back here later it was so much fun.

Ø   Super fun, but a little stifling for those of us that don't like mass amounts of people.

Ø   I think we may have eaten too much beforehand.

Ø   A great introduction to Taiwan night markets!

Ø   Fun to go see a night market, and try lots of the different food they have at them

Ø   LOVE NIGHT MARKETS.

Ø   It would have been nice to have a break before the night market.

 

Comment on National Palace Museum Tour:

Ø   Too much stuff to see in too little of a time :/

Ø   Even though I have been here before, I learned many new things on this trip.  Norman was an excellent tour guide (better than many professional tour guides I've had!).  And I got to see some new exhibits that I didn't see last year. 

Ø   It was cool to see. I like the jade cabbage.

Ø   Good. So much to see and so little time to see everything.

Ø   The outside of the museum is beautiful. Once we got inside, we were herded around like children. I did not like being watched and followed. It was really irritating.

Ø   Fun

Ø   Crowds are probably unavoidable...

Ø   Really cool. Wish I have maybe another hour to look around! Norman was a great tour guide!!! I loved his commentary haha

Ø   So much to take in that i had to make it back and look again.

Ø   That was one sweet cabbage...

Ø   Maybe move this earlier? I think we were all a bit too tired to really delve into the history and culture displayed at the museum.

Ø   I was so tired by this point that I may have been dragging a bit.

Ø   We were all very sleepy at this point, but this is a beautiful museum. I love the landscape paintings with mountains.

Ø   Norman's tour was great, i love going to museums and being able to learn about different cultures and history

Ø   Not enough time

Ø   My favorite activity. I would have preferred to tour the museum by myself the entire time.

 

Comment on Farewell Party:

Ø   Perhaps make this optional or a for fun thing rather than an actual structured event. I am ~very~ uncomfortable in environments like that and I realize other people were having fun and I don’t want to stop it for them, but that type of is definitely not for me at all (and some of the others that I left early with) so I would’ve felt better if I could’ve stayed back and just let everyone else have their fun.

Ø   CRAZY. I haven't had that much fun since college. I only wish it lasted longer, it was really fun dancing with all you guys. Aside from the fun drinking and dancing, I really appreciate all of the effort the staff put in to their performances for us. Your guitar, singing, and dancing were beautiful, and we felt really touched that you guys would do that for us. 

Ø   Amazing! So hot but amazing.

Ø   Not my cup of tea but it was still awesome. I went back to the hotel early.

Ø   The party was fun and the dancing. The food was not tasty. 

Ø   The best

Ø   I accomplished my goals for the night so I was very pleased.

Ø   Absolutely, ridiculously awesome. 'Nuff said.

Ø   I should be able to give this about 6 more stars.

Ø   SO GREAAAAAT! At least what I remember.

Ø   This was such a blast. Wouldn't change a thing.

Ø   I'm pretty sure they will cancel the Taiwan EAPSI program after that :P

JK... what a dance party hahaha! The floor was covered in sweat........................................

Ø   Food was good, and it was great to see you guys get up and dance and sing for us. You are so talented.

Ø   More proper dinner food first?

Ø   OK

 

Comment on Foot Massage:

Ø   I really needed it lol. I didnt think it hurt at all :)

Ø   At first I thought it was silly to have a foot massage at the beginning of the day, but after dancing all night, this was perfect! 

Ø   This was a great experience!

Ø   Wish I had a longer foot massage and forgot to ask if I had any problems for different parts that hurt as they massaged.

Ø   Foot massages are painful and it was super early in the morning.

Ø   Fun

Ø   I loved this so much - does that make me a masochist?

Ø   Hurts but it's part of the experience.

Ø   I fell asleep

Ø   Interesting experience.

Ø   This was PERFECT after the dance party.

Ø   Very painful, but felt good afterwards

Ø   We ran out of time :(

Ø   OK

 

Comment on Cultural and Creative Activity:

Ø   Love Love LOVED it!!!! 10/10!!!!

Ø   This was really peaceful and relaxing. I liked learning about the traditional way of making tea. The setting was very beautiful. 

Ø   It was fun.

Ø   Cool underground room with a cute river to carry around the tea.

Ø   It was really cool and fun.

Ø   Fun

Ø   Delicious

Ø   Great way to wind down the week.

Ø   Awesome atmosphere.

Ø   Tea is the best! Also Floating things down the mini-river was fun.

Ø   I had the nicest demonstrator.

Ø   This was one of my favorite things. So relaxing...

Ø   Very fun

Ø   Pretty cool

Ø   OK

 

Comment on MOST Farewell Event:

Ø   Good

Ø   I'm still embarrassed that Brian's video made me cry. He clearly put a lot of effort into it (which is why he never slept for the whole week) and it was really beautifully done.

Ø   It was so nice and very heart warming

Ø   Wonderful video by Brian!

Ø   The video that summed up the week was nice and getting personalized letters were sweet. I just wished there were light snacks and drinks.

Ø   The actual farewells might have gone on a little too long... having 30+ people say goodbye takes a long time lol plus it makes people cry `-`

Ø   Twas good. Wish the video was a little longer because I loved it so much!

Ø   Was a nice wrap-up to a really fun week.

Ø   A little sappy, but how could it not be?

Ø   Also fun!

Ø   OK, maybe don't play emotional music...Q_Q

Ø   It was interesting to see all the work everyone did over the summer, and it was great to be able to see everyone again

Ø   It was good

Ø   Drawn out and over-emotional.

 

Comment on Meals during Orientation:

Ø   Good - I can’t pick a favorite lol, the Hakka meal was really fun :)

Ø   All of the food was really delicious! I especially enjoyed the restaurant with the pork belly...it was fantastic. My only wish is for more vegetables!

Ø   So much food! I hope none went to waste. =)

Ø   Everything!!! I stuffed myself like a pig for too many days. I kind of wish we did not waste so much.

Ø   I like seafood!!! The cold chicken appetizers were unappetizing. I never ate cold chicken before. It was kind of weird.

Ø   good

Ø   Banquet was great, of course. One suggestion would be to have more local/street foods (e.g. breakfast) so it feels more "authentic", but I understand that would be hard to do; the fancy hotel breakfast made it seem like we were important people on a business trip lol but at least one meal of normal Taiwanese breakfast foods would be good so people can match the pictures from orientation ppts to real life before they have to order it on their own without SIT staff.

Ø   Oh man. All the food was soo good. Loved peeling shrimp for Norman and Eris!!!

Ø   Mmmmmmm

Ø   Spicy Beef NOOOOODLES! I forget which date...

Ø   Very tasty.

Ø   DELICIOUS. I loved everything you fed us...and i love milk tea.......

Ø   they were fine, i just wish there were more veggies in them

Ø   mostly great, but occasional issues of supply

Ø   The only meal thatI liked was the noodles on the 1st day.

 

Comment on Quality of the Accommodation in NTHU (Guest House):

Ø   Good

Ø   Much nicer than NTNU guest house!

Ø   All accommodations were fantastic!

Ø   It was good.

Ø   It was good.

Ø   great

Ø   Pretty decent!

Ø   Got good sleep.

Ø   Seriously, I think we all would have been fine in dorms, but you gave us the fancy treatment.

Ø   Nice enough.

Ø   Very nice

Ø   I thought I was going to be in a dorm so the accommodations were amazing

Ø   OK

 

Comment on Quality of the Accommodation in Hsincu (Royal Hotel):

Ø   Good

Ø   This is the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in.  I still can't believe we stayed in this place, it was ridiculous.  The breakfast was really good.  Academics NEVER stay at places like this for conferences.  I'll never live that well again, so thanks!

Ø   beautiful

Ø   I slept even better although we had trouble finding the light switch. Delectable breakfast! Clean, comfortable beds. Cool toilet. Nice facilities for swimming and exercise.

Ø   It was better.

Ø   great

Ø   Too fancy!

Ø   Loved the pool, the workout facility, and the big rooms. Definitely the best place we stayed!!

Ø   Loved the pool, the workout facility, and the big rooms. Definitely the best place we stayed!!

Ø   Very fancy and i got good sleep.

Ø   Oh So Fancy

Ø   Overly nice!

Ø   extra nice

Ø   I thought I was going to be in a dorm so the accommodations were amazing

Ø   Amazing

Ø   Wow so fancy!

 

Comment on Quality of the Accommodation in Taipei (Ambassador Hotel):

Ø   Good

Ø   Also nice!

Ø   Even more beautiful!

Ø   Wonderful!

Ø   It was the best. I felt like a millionaire.

Ø   Great

Ø   Nice room and good experience; not much other feedback to give

Ø   Really nice. Although hit my head a few times in the bathroom :(

Ø   Again got good sleep, which is mainly what i was looking for as we were out all day and i was pretty tired at the end of the day.

Ø   The Fancy continues

Ø   Overly expensive!

Ø   Superb.

Ø   I thought I was going to be in a dorm so the accommodations were amazing

felt just average after Hsinchu.

Ø   Wow.