Taiwan, 好!

Hi everyone! My name is Angeline Peng, and I am a rising senior studying Marketing, Chinese, International Business, and Digital Media. I am also a member of the Asian Students Alliance, and the President of the Chinese American Students Association. I love being involved with extracurriculars and attending various events held throughout Pitt. I would describe myself as someone who is eager to learn more about the world that surrounds me.

This summer I will be traveling to Taipei, Taiwan to study through the CIEE: International Relations program. My parents are originally from Taiwan, so I feel like this will be the perfect opportunity for me to really connect with my cultural roots. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, I definitely feel a disconnect from my culture — I’m super excited to be able to travel back because I think I’ll be able to learn more about who I am as a person.

Traveling has always been a passion of mine because I love learning about different cultures, sightseeing, and eating all of the amazing foods that every different region has to offer. So far, I’ve visited Canada, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, China, and Taiwan. Although I have visited Taiwan for brief periods of time, I think that my experience there this summer will entail a completely different experience, providing me with a more in-depth perspective of the beautiful country. I hope to learn a lot academically, in order to further advance my career. I also hope to learn more outside of the classroom, as I believe this will make me a more well-rounded individual. I’m mentally preparing myself for all of the obstacles and challenges that I may potentially face while studying and getting around this semi-unfamiliar environment.

After my four-week program, I plan to stay for an additional two weeks to volunteer and teach English at a summer camp in a rural, mountainous region of Taiwan. I will be teaching elementary and middle school aged students from an aboriginal tribe. Aboriginal tribes are similar to Native Americans in the United States — and they too face a lot of inequity and mistreatment in Taiwan. I think this will be a great opportunity to serve this particular community with all that I have to offer, as well as see another side of Taiwan that many people may be unaware or lack knowledge about. I’m a huge advocate for ensuring that all children have the equal opportunity to attain an education and succeed, regardless of their backgrounds or where they come from. I hope that I will be able to make deep and personal connections with all of the students there.

This summer will definitely be a long one, and I’m hoping that I won’t get too home sick! I’m so excited for the summer to begin, as I believe that that I will return as a stronger, more confident, person. With whatever that I learn during my time in Taiwan, I hope that I can utilize it all to make more positive contributions to the world around us.