Internship feedback for non native-level Mandarin students

✿Nl worked with us from US.

"I interned at TAHR in the summer of 2021. My experience at TAHR was very rewarding but coming to the internship with advanced but not native-level Mandarin did have its challenges. First, all of the trainings and workshops take place in Mandarin. There was definitely a steep learning curve in picking up the specialized terms specific to the human rights NGO context and terms and jargon specific to Taiwan. There are also discussion groups with other interns, who are all Taiwanese. That can be intimidating if you are not completely confident in your oral Mandarin, but you can get more comfortable over time. Finally, the substantive work mostly involves conducting research and writing in Chinese. The opportunities for foreign language work is probably not sufficient for a whole internship workload. I also participated virtually due to visa restrictions, which worked since TAHR was operating virtually at the time. But it may be less ideal if TAHR returns to person and only one intern phones in virtually. If your oral and written Chinese is already advanced and you are somewhat confident you can get by in a Mandarin work environment, then this would be a great opportunity to improve your Mandarin significantly. But anything less than advanced might be overwhelming."

✿Vn worked with us from Canada.

“I hope anyone interested can join this accountable, inspiring, faith-based humanitarian NGO - TAHR. I cannot say enough how much I have learned and experienced from my remote internship with TAHR. The staff, volunteers and internship students are friendly, knowledgeable and patient. That said, I also wish there were more presentations in English with certain degrees. As a native English speaker, it will be challenging to be involved if one has no Chinese language background. Although I speak English, I learnt Chinese writing and Cantonese until 11. Hence, my limited Chinese understanding has been a great help in my internship experience. However, I still found difficulties in expressing myself and understanding others sometimes. Among all the communication, interaction, webinars, and discussions with TAHR and other NGOs we (internship students) attended, 99% of the time were in Chinese. Hence, having a certain degree of Chinese language background is essential for the success of an internship/volunteer experience with TAHR.”

✿MI worked with us during 2022 winter vacation

Starting an Internship at TAHR was the most meaningful thing I did during school break. The staff in TAHR is like a big warm family that everyone is kind and willing to help you whenever you encounter problems and difficulties. As an intern, you get to learn more about the human rights issues in Taiwan and have a chance to investigate them. You may also do the filed survey or go to the court with staff for the issues you are especially interested in. However, being fluent in both English and Mandarin will improve your working experience, but don’t worry because most staff speak English. Another thing I like about TAHR is its location, where it is very easy to get around by public transportation. Moreover, you can have a food haunt during lunchtime at a nearby local market to enjoy the most authentic Taiwanese Cuisine! In sum, an internship at TAHR allows you to learn more about Taiwanese human rights situations and enhance personal growth.

✿Adam worked with us during 2023 spring.

Interning at the Taiwan Association for Human Rights is a wonderful experience to become more knowledgeable on current issues in Taiwan that even local people are not too familiar with. TAHR's history of fighting for the freedoms of expression contributed to creating the democratic environment that Taiwan is known for today. Sadly, human rights issues still persist in Taiwan, as they do in any other country; however, TAHR does it's best to educate people on these issues, discuss solutions to pressing human rights matters in the country and abroad, and directly help people in need of human rights assistance. Currently, TAHR focuses on The Right to Assembly, Internet Freedom and Privacy, The Right to Residence and the issue of forced eviction in Taiwan, as well as immigrant, refugee, and stateless people's issues, among others. TAHR's emphasis on education and awareness allows more people to understand human rights issues in Taiwan and what to do to push for positive change. Interns at TAHR can expect to gain a greater understanding of Taiwan's history and current human rights situations, practice communicating in Mandarin, and work on advocacy-related projects. Those interested in interning at TAHR should be able to collaborate with others, have basic technology skills, be comfortable communicating in and reading Mandarin at an at least semi-advanced level, and, most importantly, a passion for human rights advocacy work. Though the work might seem daunting, it is most definitely fulfilling and meaningful to fight for what’s right.

✿Zoe worked with us during 2023 Q2

A Note to TAHR Internship Applicants