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Two scholars receive commendations for supporting Taiwan-American exchange programs

In mid July, students from the Midwest who have studied in Taiwan gathered for the Second Annual Alumni Reunion Lunch, held at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago.

Director General Baushuan Ger took the opportunity to present awards to Craig Evan Klafter, Associate Provost for International Programs at University of Northern Iowa (UNI) and to Norman T. Moline, director of the East Asia program at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois thanking them for their contributions of supporting cultural exchange between Taiwan and America.

Also in attendance were recipients of the Taiwan Scholarship and Huayu Scholarships who had previously studied in Taiwan, this year's recipients, and professors and administrators of international exchange programs from colleges and universities in the greater Chicago area. Several recipients of the scholarships enthusiastically shared their experiences of studying in Taiwan with the group.

Since 1974, Dr. Moline has taken a group of Augustana College students to visit Taiwan every three years. He estimates that over 2,000 students have now participated since these trips first began around forty years ago.

Jake Gill, president of the Taiwan Scholarship and Huayu Scholarship Alumni Group enthusiastically recounted some of his experience of studying in Taiwan. Jake remarked on how friendly and welcoming Taiwanese people are. He was particularly enthusiastic about how amazing Taiwanese food is and he strongly encouraged students who study in Taiwan to avoid eating at places like McDonald’s. Instead, he advised, students on such an adventure should open their minds and try a bit of everything.

The Education Division of TECO Chicago explained that the Taiwan Scholarships are designed to assist American students study for Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in Taiwan, and provides funding for up to 5 years.

The Huayu Scholarships provide funding for short-term language study in Taiwan, ranging from three months to a full year. Students from ten states compete for the places offered by the Chicago office. This year, four students received the Taiwan Scholarship and twenty-one received the Huayu Scholarship.