Please note: The Grinnell Corps: Macau program has been retired, with the final fellows coming from the class of 2009.
Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) is a sleek, modern, and new campus on Taipa, the larger of Macau's two outlying islands. 3600 students currently attend MUST, which offers a four-year bachelor's degree and some graduate programs. MUST is a young school, but has already built up an impressive number of academic programs, has a strong student body and faculty, and is poised to undertake a massive expansion program that will see the university and its student population triple in size in the next four years. The university is largely built on "reclaimed land" from the South China Sea, so it is right near the water (though anyone picturing waves and sandy beaches will be disappointed). Next door is the new Macau Venetian casino and hotel complex.
Fellows will teach conversational English, mostly to first and second year college students. About half of MUST's students are Macanese, while the other half hails from mainland China. These students have all studied English for a number of years in primary and secondary school, but this study has been almost exclusively on paper, with very little opportunity to learn to express themselves orally in English. Additionally, most MUST students have never had a native speaker of English as a teacher. English is required of all MUST students for their first two years, and the goal is to have English spoken exclusively in third and fourth year classes.
Class sizes can vary greatly, from small classes of 15-20 students to large classes of 40+. The students sit at desks in rows, two students to a desk. The classrooms, as with the rest of the campus, are modern and clean. Classrooms have a white board at the front of the class, with a slightly raised area for the teacher to stand on. Classrooms also all have nice windows, an overhead projector, and are air-conditioned.
There are several native English speakers from the US, UK, Australia, and Canada on staff who also teach English, and classes tend to be pretty free-wheeling. Classes are long - 1:45 each - but the time goes by relatively quickly, and the students did not seem restless as they expected this length of time for classes. Teachers usually take a 5-10 minute break in the middle of class. Homework is not usually assigned for the oral English classes. Teachers are given a range of books and materials to each select from as a group at the beginning of the year, which the school then purchases. While there is a set course outline, the speed and method of following this outline is left up to the individual teacher.Fellows will be expected to teach 16 hours per week, plus hold 10 office hours per week and attend the weekly English Corner. The Macanese workweek runs M-F, plus Saturday mornings. Fellows will be provided with an office, computer, and Internet access, though these will may be shared between the Fellows.
Fellows will depart in late August in order to arrive in Macao several days before classes begin in early September. Classes end in late June. Fellows will have vacation time when MUST is on break, which usually includes 1-2 weeks at Christmas/New Year's, three weeks for the Chinese New Year, which is usually in February, as well as other shorter holidays throughout the year. Macao offers marvelous opportunities to travel in Asia, as China is easily accessible just over the border, and the Macao airport offers flights to many other countries, including very cheap (as low as $40 roundtrip) fares to Thailand. There is also a ferry that goes directly to the Hong Kong airport, from which Fellows can fly throughout Asia.
Fellows will be housed in an apartment building located in downtown Taipa. The building is about 5-minutes' drive from MUST, and a shuttle bus (free for teachers) runs every 15 minutes between MUST and the apartment building. If the two Fellows are of the same sex, they will share an apartment; if not, they will need to share with another faculty member or a graduate student, an arrangement that will present its own challenges and rewards. Apartments are small but livable, and include a sitting room, small kitchen and bathroom (the bathing arrangement is a bathtub and sprayer on a hose), and two bedrooms. There is a washing machine on the small deck, but Macanese do not use clothes dryers. While parts of the apartment are very compact, the building and apartment are clean and will be more than adequate for recent Grinnell graduates. Fellows will have several options for dining, including cooking for themselves (a grocery store is nearby), eating in MUST's cafeteria, or dining out at one of the many, many delicious and inexpensive restaurants in the area.
Fellows will have all of their reasonable expenses for the year covered by either MUST or Grinnell College. This includes transportation to and from Macao from the US, a stipend of 10,000 MOP per month (equivalent to approximately US$1,300), housing, health insurance, office space, a pre-Fellowship medical check, and a return to campus in the fall of 2010 to give a presentation. Fellows should not plan to lose money nor profit financially from this year (both statements will be true as long as the Fellows can resist the lure of Macau's many casinos). Fellows will find their finances stretched if they try to use the stipend to pay for vacations and travel outside of Macau.