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English Camp Taiwan

About

English Camp Taiwan was established in Taiwan by David Harris, an American who came to Taiwan in 1995 to study the Chinese language. Yuanfanglai organizes western-style, short-term activity-oriented summer camps throughout Taiwan during July and August. During the remainder of the year, Yuanfanglai focuses on adventure sports & travel-education, including SUP, kayak, surfing, and kite-surfing.

Reviews

Puvi
Puvi
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime

The English Camp Taiwan experience was a rollercoaster ride in the best way possible. You'll have your bad days on camp, when the kid aren't cooperating, or the right materials for an activity aren't there, or worst of all, a typhoon hits the city. But the thing about ECT is that you're never alone. You can always count on someone to help you out, whether that be your directors, co-counsellors, or even the founder.

That being said, the majority of your days will be a blast. As long as you keep up with your camps daily game plan, take advantage of all the rest you can get after camp hours (because working with kids WILL drain all your energy), and build great relationships with your co-workers, you're guaranteed a good time.

Outside of camp, you get the chance to live with various host families. ECT does an amazing job at pairing you with the most compatible families so that everyone gets a rewarding experience. All four of my host families have been fantastic and to this day, we still stay in touch!

Finally, the best part about ECT (que the cheesy part), is that you'll make these crazy once in a lifetime memories with absolute strangers who become your bestfriends. You'll get every other weekend to plan trips with your coworkers and these can include staying overnight in mountains and temples, relaxing at beaches, trying out hot springs, eating your heart out in a night market, and so much more. The key is that you get as much from the experience as you put in.

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Ciara
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great opportunity

This was a fantastic opportunity to travel, meet new people, and experience Taiwan. As someone who did not have too much experience teaching, I learnt a great deal through the 4 camps. We were given a lot of autonomy in planning activities and lessons which really brought our teams together and allowed us to made the camps our own. I cannot overstate how fantastic the experiences with my fellow counsellors were, as well as the close relationships built with my host families. As a political science student and travel enthusiast, the ability to travel around Taiwan, meet locals, and experience the unique culture and history of Taiwan was incredible.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
One of my host dads put together an entire spread of 'unique' Taiwanese foods including but not limited to: chicken feet (nails still intact), stinky tofu, various intestines, pig blood cake, and duck tongue. He sat and watched me try every single one. And took pictures.
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Anonymous
3/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Beware of English Camp Taiwan

I would be cautious going into this program if I was you as a minor. I am a past participant and would have to say this camp was poorly organized. I felt that the leader came across as a generous older mentor with good intentions? How I was wrong, definitely inappropriate most often he would drink and get drunk with us. The more I got to know him the more I realized that he was not who he made out to be, a lot of fake promises and I would not put it past him to try and make a move on you or pay you in alcohol at the end of the camp.

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Ash
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful experince

Camp Taiwan gave me the ability to experience every day living in Taiwan in a 3 month period to decide if teaching overseas would be a realistic option for me it seemed like a comfy idea. As a post grad teacher I loved the experience and the host families brought me back to my exchange student days during high school. David was a fantastic mentor throughout the whole experience in ensuring the process was run efficiently and smoothly. I was able to be immersed in the culture the 2 week camps in city to city gave me an insight into Taiwan. As we were over staffed their was opportunity to take 2 weeks off to travel and explore Taiwan on my own was an option. I appreciated this time stepping away from the camps and other expats to again see more Taiwan beyond the camp. My recommendations for this camp is to be independent enough to explore Taiwan beyond the camp otherwise you will have limiting knowledge/appreciation.

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Bindi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer Camp Tour - An Unforgettable Working Holiday

As a director at the camp, it is really different from being a counselor. Even though Taiwan is my country, I still feel like that I had been through a lot of different experience, taking counselors to understand my culture, sometimes they feel odd for the thing that i take it for granted. I love the feeling of "create a camp" our camps are all designed by our self during the pre-camp meeting, from 0 to everything, it is very rewarding after camp!

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

Think Camp America, Taiwanese style. I chose English Camp Taiwan as it was a three month paid working holiday. I wanted something short term to gauge if teaching overseas would be a realistic option for me. Learning I would be co-teaching with other university students from around the globe whilst getting paid to teach in a fun camp-style environment was an instant selling point for me.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

From the initial Skype interview, David was immediately on-board and proactive. He gave out step-by-step instructions and direct links for visa information. Queries were answered within minutes.

It was a prerequisite for counselors to fund their own visa and flights. Once in Taiwan, David would take care of the rest. They provided us with accommodation, travel expenditure, outdoor activities, training, materials and sim cards for phones, and much more.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Be independent enough to explore Taiwan beyond the camp, otherwise, you will have limited knowledge or appreciation.

I made a conscious decision to fly to Taiwan a week before the camp started, and I will not recommend that you do so too. Give yourself time to transition into your new surroundings.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

You awake in the household of the host family you are assigned to for the two-week duration of the camp. A typical Taiwanese style breakfast consisting of fried egg, fruit and white fresh bread is prepared.

You and your host child will then travel to the camp together via foot or by car. Upon arrival at the school, you are greeted by your other co-counselors and students.

Leading up to the camps, a week is given for the organization and construction of how the day/week will run. This is a collaborative work with your co-workers. The camp will be from Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5PM. There is a different theme with different activities for each day.

In the mornings, camp songs and short warm-up games are done by the entire group together. The children will then be separated into age and English ability levels, and you will have to teach two hourly classes per day. Children have multiple breaks throughout the day including an hour rest time. A hot lunch is also provided for all.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Taking the plunge to go abroad to work for 3 months seemed like a good challenge. Knowing I would be supported and alongside other English speaking co-workers seemed like a comfy and easy transition.

The prospect of travelling by myself around rural and remote areas away from the city and public transport petrified me. I didn't have much confidence in my bearings, and usually relied on others because of my hopeless sense of direction. So when I had the option to take two weeks off the camp, I jumped on board the opportunity to travel down the east coast.

Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience! Yes, there were many times in the trip I spent frustrated walking around aimlessly, but I managed on my own just fine.

Many Taiwanese were so friendly and were ready to jump in and help if I approached them for directions. This was a great self-confidence booster for me – to know that I am more than capable travelling on my own without the reliance of others.