I’m about to start my alternative military service soon and had a few questions regarding the whole process. Namely, do they offer an English exam at training (成功嶺) and what service units are available? I’ve also scoured the forums and other sources to do my due diligence and avoid asking anything duplicative.
A little background:
- Born in Taiwan (1993) and moved to the US when I was 4; I have dual citizenship and lived most of my life in the US
- Returned back to Taiwan at 11 to finish up grade school at an international school, which disqualified me for the overseas Chinese status (so I’m told)
- Completed university in the states and have been working state-side
- My Chinese is conversationally okay, but reading and writing is rather difficult
In doing my research, I found out there is an exam at the end of basic training (成功嶺). I’m quite nervous about it since my Chinese comprehension is low. Some friends who have done the service stated the exam dictates whether I’ll get my first choice of service unit I elect. Do they offer an English version of the exam or any assistance for individuals like me? I’m positive I’m not the only case they’ve encountered. I’ve also been told by the military office (兵役科) that basic training is only two weeks since I’m in alternative service. Is this accurate?
Furthermore, what service units do they offer and what are other people’s experiences in them? I’m rather unclear as to what is available and what to select. Some sources have told me education service is no longer an option, and I’ve been told the police, firemen, and correctional officer services are much more demanding and less preferable. Anything else I should expect for basic training (things to bring/not bring, general tips)? Based on research, seems like it’s best to just follow orders from above, be generally nice and friendly to everyone, and ask for help where needed and I’ll be able to get by without much issue.
Lastly, once I’m out of basic training, how do vacations work with alternative service? My girlfriend is wanting to visit from the US while I am in the service and I’m not sure if vacation days can be accrued. Any information is greatly appreciated!