I’ve a Feeling I’m Not in Massachusetts Anymore by Jake Runnals

Yesterday I returned home from a 10-day road trip from Boston to New Orleans, and tomorrow I leave for a week long vacation with my family around the Northeast. I feel as though time is flying by now, as September 5th inches nearer and nearer. Everyday I am trying to cram in quality time with the people I care about for the last time before I travel the world for nearly a full year.  Since, at this moment, the plan is to fly straight from Taiwan to Copenhagen and begin my second semester abroad straightaway, every moment is bittersweet.  However, I could not be more thrilled to study in Taiwan.

I visited Taiwan with my high school 6 years ago, after studying Chinese for a whopping 2 months. Obviously, that trip did not do much to improve my language skills since I did not really have any to begin with.  However, after 6 years of mostly enjoyable, though at times excruciating, study, I am confident that this visit will yield much more tangible results in the form of speaking and writing skills.  I am most excited to meet not only the local Taiwanese, but also the various other internationals that I will be living with. National Taiwan University is supposedly a very international school, so I am anticipating meeting people from all over the world.

I have been reviewing my Chinese textbooks from past semesters to refresh a little bit before being dropped into the middle of a Mandarin-speaking country.  From everything I have read, it seems that English is not all that prevalent in Taiwan, so this will truly be a test of my speaking abilities.  I am confident that I will be able to make my way through the semester, but I am definitely a little nervous about whether or not I will be capable of conversing with the locals.  All in all, I wish I had some more time before disappearing to the other side of the world for a year, but I am eagerly anticipating this unique opportunity.

Zai Jian,



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