In the past few weeks, I had been doing some enjoyable volunteer work teaching kids English and socializing with them. The sessions were conducted through skype as the kids were in Hsinchu while I am in Taipei. This skype session was done as part of the International Companions for Learning Programme at Taipei aka ICL. This programme was created mainly as an outreach programme, allowing school kids in Taiwan to meet-up with international students to help improve their command of English and also to socialize with an international audience. The main point of the programme was to have fun, make new friends, and share human warmth.

the skype session

It was fun getting to know these kids. In our skype sessions, I shared about my life experiences and more about Singapore. Singapore’s culture and Taiwan’s culture are very much alike in the Chinese traditions. In Singapore and Taiwan, there are a population of people who speak Taiwanese/Hokkein/Min-nan language, so there is a cultural lineage that is common to both of us. The food we eat is also similar. There’s oyster omelettes in both Taiwan and in Singapore, just that the style is different, the Taiwanese oyster omelette applies a thick sauce while the Singaporean oyster omelette does not apply the thick sauce. It is in these skype sessions that we share the similarities and differences of our cultures.

I shared more about tech and arduinos. The kid were pretty fascinated about the things that I did pertaining to code. I thought it would have been a good opportunity to expose the kids to code. I made a simple gadget with the arduino kits I bought. It was a potentiometer hooked up to the buzzer which is controlled by the arduino. I felt that this was a pretty simple demonstration that illustrated key principles of the arduino. I think the kids liked it alot. Here’s the simple demonstration. Essentially, this is a musical instrument.

Meeting with the kids

This ICL experience was really enjoyable, I’m still in contact with the kids. I hope that the time spent with the kids was fruitful and I hope I inspired the kids to experiment with tech and create new things. This experience had been really memorable.


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