It’s getting exciting!

Some time has passed since my last post here. By now I finished my exams at university for this semester – Time to get excited about Taiwan!! During the exam period my brain was way too busy studying to think much about Taiwan, it seemed still very distant. Now I realize that in 13 days I will get on a plane to Taiwan! 😮

I imagine that the organizers of the homestay program have very much work organizing everything for us. I luckily don’t need a Visa to travel to Taiwan but many other participants do, this makes things even more complicated for them. But I trust that the organizers will make everything work out perfectly. Now here is what happened since my last post:

  • A new video showing some participants was created
    (this time also featuring me ^^) – see below for the video
  • I received my official invitation letter
  • I received my booking confirmation for the flights!
  • My host family contacted me! 😀

The official invitation letter is mainly for participants who need to apply for Visa. It is stating that I am invited to visit Taiwan. The booking confirmation is more important for me. It is not the final e-ticket which I will hopefully receive soon, but at least I already know when my plane will leave! I will leave Germany on the 11th of August on an 11 hour flight to Hong Kong. There I change  plane to a short flight to Taiwan. I will arrive there at 3 pm on the 12th of August (local time). I generally don’t mind going by plane, but I am a bit scared of that 11 hour flight to Hong Kong. I haven’t had such a long flight for a while and I hope that I will be able to sleep and cope well.

The best thing on my list above is that my host family contacted me 🙂 I am really happy now! It is a couple with a 21-year-old daughter. They seem really nice and it is great that the daughter is about my age. I think it is awesome that they are planning to travel with me in Taiwan! They send me a schedule suggestion that i agreed to.

According to the schedule we will start with local sightseeing in Keelung (please find more information on Keelung below) and the northern coast. Then we will visit ChungHwa Telecom, a company sponsoring the Homestay program. Also my host is working there. Afterwards we will travel to central Taiwan, focusing on the Sun-Moon Lake and Taichung. In Taichung I want to visit the Providence University Taichung, it is a partner university of the German university where I do my master’s degree. If I like the university I could spend my semester abroad there. After that there is a gap in the schedule, allowing for additional plans. During that time I will probably focus on exploring Taipei, the main city of Taiwan (only 20km from Keelung). The last days in Taiwan are reserved for official events like the Kinman Peace day and a Farewell Banquet. This means I probably won’t be travelling to the south of Taiwan at all. But I already knew that it is not possible to see all of Taiwan in two weeks.

After I heard that I will be staying in Keelung I immediately checked my travel guide-book for information on this city. Unfortunately the book only includes two pages about it… Some basic information: It is a port city located in the north of Taiwan. I read that it is very rainy in Keelung. Luckily August is one of the months with a little bit less rain. According to Wikipedia it had 387,207 inhabitants in 2010. My guide books says that there is excellent sea food in Keelung and a night market! 🙂 I am sure that I will be able to tell you much more about Keelung after my stay in Taiwan! On the following map (screenshot from google maps) you can see where Keelung is located:

Here is the video showing some participants. It is mainly about our reactions and feelings of being chosen to travel to Taiwan. You can see me at 01:32 😉

As you might have seen already I updated my Blogroll on the right to include some blogs of other participants. I will keep updating it as soon as I find further blogs.

Have a nice weekend everyone! 🙂

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