TECO in Canada Education Division Meets with MOE Scholarship Students in Montreal
Most of the students from Taiwan studying in Eastern Canada on scholarships from the Ministry of Education (R.O.C.) are concentrated in two major cities: Toronto, in the province of Ontario, and Montreal, in the province of Quebec, in the French-speaking area of Canada. The largest group is located in Montreal.
Tracy Lang, Director of the Education Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada traveled to Montreal to meet with some of these Taiwanese students over afternoon tea at the end of February, hoping to gain a better understanding of their situations, both on and off campus. All of the students she talked with are studying on the same campus of McGill University, and most began their studies there in the same year. The coincidences don’t stop there: none of them had initially selected Canada as their study destination when they were applying for MOE funding, but they all decided to go there at about the same time, thereby making McGill their common home. Some already knew one another, but this was the first time they’d all gathered together and there was lots of lively discussion.
Most of the scholarship students have been studying in Canada now for over two years and adapted to the local lifestyle long ago. Despite it being in Canada’s French-speaking area, they don’t find anything particularly inconvenient in their day-to-day lives, and they all enjoy the urban lifestyle of this highly multicultural Canadian metropolis.
At the time of this cheerful gathering, cases of COVID-19 had already been confirmed in the western province of British Columbia. No cases had yet been diagnosed in Montreal, but the Education Division urged all the students there to take extra precautionary measures.
Unfortunately Quebec subsequently became the province hardest hit by the coronavirus, and Montreal was affected particularly badly, and in response to the worsening situation, in mid-March, McGill made the decision to close its campus facilities and present all courses in an online format. This arrangement is scheduled to continue through the summer term, and the fall semester of the new academic year, beginning in September.
Half of the students who attended the get-together have since returned to Taiwan, to take refuge from the pandemic. Everyone hopes for a rapid resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and looks forward to being able to once again safely get together in Montreal.