Photos by Sophie Gray (University of Minnesota) Student Correspondent CET Taiwan, Summer 2018 My first view of Taiwan as my plane was landing. I wasn’t able to see the island at all until we broke through the storm clouds, but the vibrancy of the greenery of fields outside the city took my breath away. I spent a couple of days wandering Taipei on my own before the program started. Although the picture seems simple enough (there are 7//11 stores on almost every street corner in Taiwan, after all), I think it captures the striking contrast of Taipei’s concrete apartment buildings with its balconies overflowing with greenery. The inner wall of The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. The first time I arrived was actually by coincidence as I had gotten hopelessly lost due to my lack of cellular service. However, I ended up staying for quite a while, watching school kids practicing martial arts, people walking their dogs, and elders exercising. One of many colorful street corners in Ximending. I’m always impressed by how lively and colorful Ximending is. Although the area is not particularly large, one could spend hours just wandering the same block and still not see everything there is to see. Many shops are located on the upper floors of buildings and can’t be seen from street level, so many have vibrant signs to draw attention. A peek through a metal gate at Longshan Temple. Although it was raining when we visited, the peaceful atmosphere and aroma of incense was very inviting. A delicious restaurant our CET group went to along with our Taiwan correspondents and staff. Being such a small program, we were able to bond and connect over common interests, life experience, and great food. The National Palace Museum is nestled in a valley near Shilin, making the scenery outside almost just as beautiful as the treasures located within. Since I hadn’t left the city center before our trip to the museum, it was great to see some of Taiwan’s natural beauty, even if it was just a small amount. Of course, is it really a visit to the National Palace Museum if you don’t stop to see the Jadeite Cabbage? I had no choice but to buy keychains and phone charms with smaller plastic replicas for my friends back home (and one for myself, of course). My first day at my internship I was given a tour of the facility and introduced to staff. Here I am pictured with the portrait of the founder of the organization, which is a non-profit that specializes in liver disease research and treatment. Taipei is a dog lover’s paradise (a.k.a. my kind of paradise). I saw this pretty girl with her hair done and promptly asked to take a picture. Unfortunately, I was unsure of how to ask to pet her in Chinese, but that’s a very useful and important saying I am going to have to add to my vocabulary. The outside wall of the Cloud Gate Theater was engraved with traditional Chinese characters. Although my knowledge of traditional characters is a bit limited, I hope that by the end of this summer I will be able to read the majority of what’s visible here.