This year’s vacation: on the 12th day of July, many lives began to change. They walked side by side. They burned with crimson passion. They wore black and gold uniforms looking indestructible. The pre-service teachers from Cebu Normal University (CNU) dauntlessly took flight to a foreign land.

            Through intricate processes that evaluated aspects ranging from competence, experience to personality administered by Mrs. Venus Cortes, third year student’s adviser , 19 students from the College of Teacher Education (CTE) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) were chosen for the internship in Taiwan.

            In an interview with Ang Suga,  Angeline Altarejos  (BEEd General Education IV), one of the interns shared, “I had a great memorable learning experience during my student teaching internship in Taiwan. It gives me the taste on what it’s really like to be a teacher. I learned many things from this experience which will shape me the way I teach for years to come. It had its ups and downs, but I became a better person by working to make the most of my experience and looking for opportunities to learn.”

MAN-TO-MAN. A glimpse into what the student interns do on a daily basis in Taiwan. They handle eight classes lasting an hour and 30 minutes each with different students from different age groups. The subjects that these interns teach are Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.

            Amidst all the enthusiasm and the excitement, pressure was also one of the concerns. They were the pioneering set of students that CNU sent for an internship outside the country. Their performance in the internship would greatly affect the relationship of Cebu Normal University and Aletheia University in the coming years.

            The years of theories, pedagogies, and lesson planning were now put to the test as they witnessed the reality that awaits them in the real world. Like all other meaningful journeys, the internship was full of jolts. Karmina Marie Pusta, another intern said, “Before I started my internship in Taiwan, there were things I considered and prepared. First, I prepared all the required documents. Preparing those documents was a bit strenuous and challenging since we were the pioneering batch and we had a busy schedule at that time. Second, I prepared the financial needs for the processing of the documents and for my stay in Taiwan. Lastly, I prepared myself for all the possibilities that would happen during my internship in Taiwan. I searched about  Taiwan’s culture, language, people and Aletheia University, the place where we stayed.”

Time played a vital role in soothing the heart that’s been away from home. Adjustment to the different environment and different culture enhanced the pre-service teachers in becoming flexible and adaptive; traits that a globally competitive teacher possesses. Feelings of weariness and dread were relieved as Aletheia University of Taiwan witnessed how they transcended to excellence.

            There is no doubt that CNU is the training ground for teachers. Presenting opportunities such as this, instilling skills, techniques and strategies to future teachers, and of course, proper guidance and facilitation from excellent and renowned mentors and professors molded pre-service teachers to a version that they can all be proud of.

            Aside from their teaching experiences, the journey would be incomplete without sights to behold and food to consume. From the night market that offered a variety of snacks, street food and especially milktea–the lingering creamy taste that they cannot forget–hidden adventurous attitudes were also unleashed as they wore their travelling pants to explore Taiwan’s Taipei 101 Mall, Taiwan Zoo, Miaoli Rose Garden, and Shilin Night Market.

A WHOLE NEW ADVENTURE. The students and teachers from Camp C enjoy precious moments at Miaoli County Taiwan. The teachers immersed themselves with their culture along with great experiences.

            Above all, friendships made travelling more meaningful.

            In the making of whatever future they may have, CNU’s pre-service teachers are already equipped to overcome any challenge laid against them.

            The equipped pre-service teachers include:

            Angeline Altarejos (BEEd General Education), Roxanne Faye Ardaba (BEEd General Education), Jessa Louise Cabahug (BEEd General Education), Rhea Mae Genilla (BEEd General Education), Keith Mervin Villasin (BEEd General Education), Jay Gusto (BS Tourism), Shaina Jane Sampayan (BA Communication – Journalism), Jessica Ungab (BA Communication – Journalism), Ana Lou Pudalan (BEEd General Education), Analou Broñola (BA Communication – Journalism), Edilyn Nahid (BA Communication – Journalism), Mohammad Aljaberi (BA Communication – Journalism),  Juvie Junio (BA Communication – Journalism), Karmina Marie Pusta (BEEd General Education), Louise Marie Nuñeza (BEEd General Education – Alumnus), Anthony Bandivas (BA English Literature), Arthur John Dale Yap (BS Psychology), Ryan Carlo Pelaez (BSEd English).

A DAY TRIP WORTH REMEMBERING. This is the first day trip for Camp A at Luodong Forestry Garden at Yilan County Taiwan–the day where the teachers got to know each of the Camp A students personally and deeply which strengthened the bond between the students and teachers.

Words by Zainon Yaun

Interviewees were Angeline Altarejos and Karmina Marie Pusta

Photos by Jessa Louise Cabahug and contributions by Jim Lin ( Lin Ya Ying)