University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Asian-American Studies and Psychology
As I was checking my email, as I do everyday, I got the monthly newsletter from ITASA (a national organization for Taiwanese-American college students). I came across a little section of the newsletter, that anyone would scroll right pass, and that was when I was introduced to TASC. After visiting the website and seeing what the conference was about, I walked away with the decision to apply for TASC ... and that has been one of the best decisions of my life.
What was your favorite part of the trip?
This is very hard to pick ... Getting to know delegates from the USA and Taiwan and traveling all over Taiwan was very rewarding. We had a very well developed balance of exploring, having fun, and learning about Taiwan culture.
But my favorite part of the trip was probably when we visited one of the Taiwanese Aborigines Tribes. Despite being Taiwanese-American, I have never been told, taught, or known about Taiwanese Aborigines. When asking my parents, they only told me about the stereotypes of the people, so that was the only knowledge I had going in. However, due to the work I do with social justice, I learn to go into new environments with an open mind. As a result, it was a life changing experience. I have a lot of respect for the Taiwanese Indigenous People. They live in the beautiful mountains away from all the distractions we face with technology and just enjoy what the Earth has given to them. We got to enjoy food, desserts, and drinks all made from scratch and cooked over wood. It was all very impressive.
What did you take away from TASC?
TASC is a great opportunity for students to learn about Taiwan culture and also network. Leaving the conference, I can say that I have friends all over the beautiful island that I will keep in touch for the rest of my life and I have learned more about my Taiwanese ethnicity, which I would not have in America, through my parents.
Also, the new Taiwanese friends that I have made, have told me that they agree with me that it was very rewarding and educational. Although, they live in Taiwan, many of them do not get the chance to travel all over Taiwan like we did and they feel more connected with their country. I hope that through this conference, in the long run, US and Taiwan relations will revive eventually and that people that have not heard about Taiwan or know very little, like I did, get this wonderful experience.
Not only did this conference give me lifetime friendships, learning about Taiwan culture, but I have this authentic relationship with this island that I will forever embrace.
Alison attended TASC in 2016 and returned as an Executive Committee member in 2017.