One month before leaving for Portland to attend the summer Teacher Training Institute, all ALLEX Teaching Associates attended a full-day Orientation session, held in Tokyo on May 12 and Taipei on May 19. The sessions covered a variety of topics organized to prepare the students for their departure to the US and their future lives as teachers and students. Topics included visa procedures, preparing for the course at PSU, how to handle the dual roles of being both a teacher and a student at the host university, and we even tackled the impossible—health insurance in the USA!
The students were also very interested to hear from one of our recent ALLEX graduates, Rita Jhu-Cin Jhang, who taught Chinese at Texas Tech University while she earned her M.A. in Applied Linguistics. Rita is returning to the U.S. this fall to begin a Ph.D. program at the University of Texas at Austin. After that, it was time for tea and cakes at a local café, where the students continued the process of building friendships, which will continue over the summer at PSU, and for many years into the future on Facebook.