Chinese New Year
Last week, the whole of Taiwan slowed down to enjoy the annual Lunar New Year holiday. As the break follows the lunar calendar, it is different each year, and this year it provided many with nine days off in a row. Students across the country were already on their winter break, but with parents receiving some much-needed time off, families were able to spend some time together.
For some, this break meant an overseas trip. Airports heaved with holiday passengers taking advantage of what for many would be the only extended vacation of the year. Popular destinations for travelers include Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and other Asian countries.
For other vacationers, the break was spent relaxing at home, visiting relatives, or traveling within Taiwan. With so many people off at the same time, travel within the country can be trying. Highways are usually choked with traffic, and train tickets must be booked well in advance or risk them being sold out. Still, with beautiful weather throughout most of the island this year, some would say the headaches are worth it once the destinations are reached.
However, for almost everyone, the holiday meant a chance to be with family, often for large feasts either at home or in restaurants. With hectic work and school schedules, Taiwanese families don’t get enough chances to enjoy each other’s company. The week-long break offered a chance to reunite with parents, children, grandparents, and other family members. Whether they were eating, shopping, sightseeing, or watching TV, the respite from usual schedules was welcomed by all Taiwanese.
After five weeks off, students at CTBC International Academy will return to school to begin the spring semester. CIA has a unique attraction for students in that they are able to select their own classes according to individual interests and goals. The first week of the semester will be spent surveying classes. After that, students must make final decisions about what classes they will attend for the rest of the semester.
CIA students have regularly expressed how much they like having choices in their studies, as opposed to other schools where the institution decided what they would study. The system forced those inclined toward certain subjects to also spend a lot of effort learning other fields they had little interest or ability in and with no regard for their future goals. The tailored schedules at CIA allow the pupils to focus on their interests and thus help them be more motivated to learn.