As one of the members at Accreditation Centre, I was responsible for the receptionist; specifically, I handled Japanese journalists and photographers. My duty was to ask the name of each person and distributed their ID cards for this event so that Japanese visitors were able to get their cards quickly. Furthermore, when they needed any help, I just translated their requirements into English for my volunteer leader. I also made the ID cards. Although almost all the volunteers were Taiwanese, we worked well together, and we shared cultural differences.
What I learnt from this volunteer programme was the importance of “Keep Smiling”. Always, I had to speak English as a common language to communicate with Taiwanese people. To hold better conversations each other, it was very important to be relaxed. When we keep smiling, we are relaxed, and we can feel free to talk anything. Therefore, I realised that to keep smiling was a magical technique.
The difference between me and other Japanese volunteers is that I do not major in anything about English, Foreign Language or International Studies. My major is Network Engineering. Usually, everyone says that English is important to communicate with people around the world. However, I would say that it is totally “obvious”. The most important thing is the “purpose”. I will enrol in the master’s course, and I will be required to read English papers as the references for my research. Also, I will be required to give presentations at academic conferences in English. If my English ability is not so good, I am not able to make my research very persuasive and meaningful. What I mean is that English is essential for engineering major students. That is why I do study English.
Outside of the volunteer programme, I have got a time to hang out with Taiwanese volunteers, and everyone was friendly. If I tried to visit each place without them, I would not feel real Taiwanese culture and food. Volunteer is not sightseeing; however, I believe that to get to know the local culture might also be very important to understand each other.
If you would like to join this programme, you must have positive way of thinking and keep smiling. Sometimes, it could be physically demanding. However, other Taiwanese volunteers may help you to work effectively. I am proud to be one of the volunteers. When people ask me which volunteer I joined, I am very proud to say “It was ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships”. because it was one of the international events in the world. To become a Japanese volunteer, it is not a simple job or travelling, and you may face difficulties. However, if you have passion for meeting and handling new people, you will have amazing experiences!