Natasha Liberto

 Taiwan

Hometown: Palm Harbor, Florida
School: Tarpon Springs
Sponsor District : District 6950
Sponsor Club: Tarpon Springs, Florida
Host District: 3250
Host Club: Chiang Kai-Sek Memorial


My Bio


Hi! My name is Natasha and I'm 17 years old. I live in Palm Harbor, Fl with my mom, dad, younger sister, and golden shepherd. I'm a senior at Tarpon Springs High School in the Leadership Conservatory for the Arts as a member of the color guard and orchestra. Being part of the music program, I've been able to have many amazing opportunities, from preforming in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade to winning the Grand Nationals Championship. When I'm not at practice (which is rare) I love to volunteer at a local elementary school teaching orchestra. Occasionally, when the teacher is out, I get to run the class by myself. As a result of handling thirty, third through fifth graders, my patience has grown exponentially. I also have taken part in my schools NHS club, Mu Alpha Theta, and Academic Team. I really enjoy taking challenging classes, particularly in math and science, though I still enjoy social studies and english too. When I've been graced with free time, I like to go shopping with my friends. I enjoy the feeling of a bargain, and I'm usually found hovering around the 'Last Chance' clearance items. I've been wanting to experience being an exchange student for years and I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunity I have to live and study in Taiwan. I'm excited to experience all the Chinese culture has to offer and developing my fluency in Mandarin.

Chiang Kai-Sek Memorial

Chiang Kai-Sek Memorial

Arriving with another RYE student from Idaho!

Arriving with another RYE student from Idaho!

The view from my room

The view from my room

Taipei 101

Taipei 101

So many characters

So many characters

With the other exchange students on the first day!

With the other exchange students on the first day!

Journals: Natasha-Taiwan Blog 2017-18

  • Natasha, Outbound to Taiwan

    Click HERE to read more about Natasha and all her blogs

    So in the two months I’ve been here I’ve been through a few different school schedules. The average Taiwanese student, the classes for exchange students at my school, and now my schedule with Chinese class everyday.

    My school is one of the top schools in the area, so the students study a lot. School is from 7:20 to 5:00 (Wed. And Fri.) or 6:00 (Mon., Tue., and Thur.) Each class is 50 minutes with a 10 minute break in between. The classes taken vary day by day, with some classes happening once a week to twice a day. The teachers switch class rooms, which I was expecting, but what surprised me is that all the teachers use microphones! Another thing that is very different from American school is that everyday, the students have a 20 minutes break in the afternoon where they have to clean. They also have a nap time after lunch everyday, which I totally understand because their days are so long! They don’t get to pick any of their classes, even electives, and every day they have tests. A lot of students go to cram school after school is over or on the weekend to take extra classes. Tests are the most important thing here and your scores are the largest determining in where you can go to college.

    Because the other exchange students and I have absolutely no idea what’s going on, the school was very helpful in offering us other classes to take. There is a community college across the street from the high school so we were able to take calligraphy, Chinese dance, and TA an English class. We also have Chinese painting and Home Economics with the middle schoolers. Everyone is very nice, but the average age for the classes I’m in is either 15 or 50, because the seniors study too much to be in a class with them.

    Now my schedule is a different from the other exchange students at my school. They are all from a different district than me, so they have Chinese class twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, while my district has classes on Tuesday and Friday afternoon. I switched out of the regular class for the Rotary students because I have already taken Chinese for a year and I wanted to take a class that was more my level. My club was very helpful in calling the school and getting things worked out so now I have class everyday from 1:30 to 4:30 with college students. I really like the class and I feel like my reading and writing of Chinese characters has progressed a lot since switching. There’s more homework, but when I’m at school my teachers let me study Chinese during the classes that I can't understand.

    Overall no matter what class I’m in the people are very nice and I’m enjoying the opportunities to learn new things about Taiwanese and the culture (even if I don’t always understand what’s going on)!

  • Natasha, Outbound to Taiwan

    Click HERE to read more about Natasha and all her blogs

    So, it's been a little under a month since I have come to the island of Taiwan, and while everyday isn't an epic adventure, I have been immensely enjoying my time here. After traveling for nearly a day I was greeted at the airport by my my families, exchange students and other Rotary members. I thought my Chinese was pretty okay, but after being surrounded by it constantly I realized I have much to learn. My listening comprehension has definitely improved the most since arriving, but I have had A LOT of practice speaking as well. My second day here I went with my host mom to Taipei 101 and the Chiang Kai-Sek Memorial. The memorial is absolutely beautiful! It reminds me of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. One thing that really surprised me is that by the memorial there are concert halls, and there were several groups of students dancing in from it. Street dancing is really popular here and there anywhere there is a large free space, the re are groups that meet up to dance.

    One of the things I absolutely love here is the MRT (subway) system! I've used the subway in New York City, but I was always pretty confused and it was my parents who always made sure we were going the right way. In Taiwan, after one use of the MRT, I was able to use it myself. Everything is in Chinese AND English, so I'm able to read the maps and the signs. I have an easy card, so every week I put some money on it and I'm good to go! It helps that my apartment building is directly above one of the stations, so I don't need to take buses very often. I love being able to go anywhere I want whenever I want (with my host parents permission of course) and it's really great to be able to meet up with the friends I have made here!

RSS Feed