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Scholarship recipients can’t wait to begin their study adventure in Taiwan!

Scholarship recipients can’t wait to begin their study adventure in Taiwan!
PHOTO: Director General Louis M. Huang (front center), Director Sophie Chou (R1), and Consular officer Chen Wei-ling of TECO in Houston (L1) with scholarship recipients

It’s always a very exciting moment to receive notification that you’ve won a Taiwan Ministry of Education scholarship. And the excitement grows as you count down the days until you leave for Taiwan and your study adventure abroad. And there are also lots of many practical details to take care of and questions you want to ask. So each year, the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Houston arranges an orientation meeting to provide scholarship awardees all the information they need about scholarship rules, visa application requirements, and what life might be like as a foreign student in Taiwan. The meetings also give the attendees a chance to meet other students who share their interest in Taiwan.

This year, 26 people were selected by the Education Division of TECO in Houston to receive a Taiwan Scholarship or a Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, and ten of the recipients were able to attend the orientation on June 15, 2016 at TECO in Houston. Some were already out of the country or living in other states. There’s a well-known saying: “Everything’s bigger in Texas”! And indeed even some of the recipients living in Texas - like Andrew, Saba, and Nathanial - had to leave home early in the morning so that they could make it to Houston in time for the two-hour meeting in the afternoon. To make their long trips worthwhile, the Education Division worked extra hard to make sure every little detail was well-arranged.

Ms. Sophie Chou, Director of the Education Division, began her welcome by warmly congratulating the scholarship recipients. She pointed out that in recent years Taiwan has earned the reputation of being the second safest country in the world, so foreign students should take advantage of that. They shouldn’t be afraid to step out of their classrooms, meet local people, and immerse themselves in the local language and culture during their stay in Taiwan. Sophie then invited Louis M. Huang, the Director General, to say a few words and he presented each student with a souvenir gift from the Taiwanese government.

Three former Study-in-Taiwan students provided welcome luggage packing tips and suggestions about living in Taiwan. They enthusiastically shared details of their joyful, eye-opening and unforgettable Taiwan experiences as well. On top of that, they challenged the students to try out “stinky tofu”, a “famous” local delicacy in the popular night-markets in Taiwan. The meeting was very cheerful, and the room was often filled with laughter. Everybody came away with lots of useful and practical information, and by the end of the session, people had exchanged contact details and had already started planning getting together again in Taiwan.