Pic : Dormitory buildingPic: Chien Tan located just accross from Taipei Grand Hotel.
This summer, KK was sent by us to a summer camp at Chien Tan Overseas Youth Activities Center. R have been dreaming of sending his son to this camp for years! When he was younger he always wish that he can be one of the children/teenagers who is lucky enough to be enrolled into this summer camp and since now he is way too old to have a chance (haha!), his next dream is to send his kids to this camp. Well, he gets his wish now.
To enroll KK to this summer camp we have to start pretty early, I think around February this year. R emailed the headquarter in NY first, money was wired to NY at least before April if I am not wrong. For a 5 weeks program, we spent about US $1100, the fee is different for other people depending on how many weeks you wants, or if you want your children to stay in the dorm, and off course if you want the kids to go to out of town trips over the weekend or night trips for the teenagers. So that 1100 is pretty basic actually. Most of the kids in KK class only stays for 2 weeks, I guess because most of their parents can only take 2 weeks off from their job in overseas to come to Taiwan for summer holiday. That 1100 also already included with lunch and snacks. Water dispensers are everywhere so don't worry about the drink and plus they gave the children juice boxes too.
On the first day, the children are sorted into age group, my son fall into the youngest group from 6 to 9 yrs old maybe. Then they were sorted again into several group based on their ability to speak Chinese. Then it's an orientation for both children and parents too. And after that the kids are sent to their classroom to get to know each other. Later for lunch, parents are invited to join in with the kids to have a picnic lunch at a garden but we have to decline it because we have to go back home since LL started to get cranky, this girl wants to nap a lot! Twice a day !
This summer camp introduce to overseas children to Taiwanese' culture and language. The headquarter is in NY and that's why most of the kids who attend this school are from US, but you can see children from around the world. Most of them ( like 90% ) have Taiwanese parent but not always. The teacher speak to them in Chinese, but first the children are grouped based on their ability to speak Chinese. All of the teachers are bilingual ( English and Chinese ) but they will encourage the children to speak Chinese.
The daily schedule are always different. Once a week ( every Wednesday ) they will take the children for a trip to museum, fairground, amusement park, pottery factory ( they will have the chance to make their own pottery ), zoo, Science World, Planetarium etc. There is also a weekend activities. For this we need to pay extra and parents certainly can pay to join in too. They will arrange everything from transportation to accommodation. Actually we were interested to go to Taiwan Sea World, it's few hours trip and one night stay over in that town but we did not have time. This summer camp is located at Chien Tan, but there are many other summer camps available in Taiwan. Every single one of them are offering unique courses and activities. My son even learn Kung Fu, cooking Chinese food, baking Chinese dessert/bread, play Taiwanese yo-yo , making lots of Chinese hand craft, learning how to paint in Chinese style etc.
For older children, they even have a great dormitory and convenient store. Wood flooring too ! Also 3 Restaurants to choose from . The teenagers have even more activities to go to. Shopping is one of them. They have night and weekend trips too.
The location of this place is even perfect. In the middle of Taipei, very near to Subway system, and just 5 minutes walk to the biggest night market in Taipei that sell so many delicious traditional food, very cheap souvenir, cheap clothings, toys, shoes, etc.
Pic: Playing on the grass at Chien Tan.Pic: We bring her with us on the first day of orientation.
If you can read Chinese, you can see for yourself the direction to go to this place below:
Some websites that can tell you more about Chien Tan Summer Camp:
- Chien Tan 1996 ( A Diary of an alumni , it has a lot of photos)
- Overseas Chinese Youth Language Training and Study Tour to Taiwan
- China Youth Corps.