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Dynamic Cultural Exchanges: 16 Scholarship Students Receive an Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Sadia Rahman with students at WHSH where she introduced them to Indian culture as part of the 2018 MOE Global Mobility, Hands Together Program

The Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and Ministry of Science and Technology established the Outstanding Graduate Student Awards for graduating Recipients of Taiwan Scholarships and Huayu Enrichment Scholarships to recognize the on-campus and off-campus achievements and contributions of particularly outstanding students, during their stay in Taiwan. 

485 scholarship students from 72 countries completed their programs and graduated in the 2020-21 academic year. A panel of experts selected sixteen from among many of the scholarship students who had been nominated by their university to receive an Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Ten of the sixteen were MOE Taiwan Scholarship winners, and the other six were MOFA Taiwan Scholarship winners. Brief details of three of the award winners are given below.

Sadia Rahman, a MOE Taiwan Scholarship student from India, who completed a post graduate degree in the Graduate Institute of International Politics at National Chung Hsing University is very grateful to have been selected to receive an Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Sadia participated in the MOE Global Mobility: Hands Together Program as a Taiwan–India cultural ambassador and introduced various aspects of Indian culture to senior high school students in Taiwan, including Indian foods, languages, and religions. She also introduced Masala chai to visitors to the 2020 Nantou Global Tea Expo. Sadia encourages international students to study in Taiwan, which she describes as a democratic country full of energy, and as a beautiful island with many cultural sites worth visiting. Sadia will now undertake a doctoral degree program here in Taiwan. 

Elon Bar Lev, a MOE Taiwan Scholarship winner from Israel, completed the Master of Business Administration Program in International Business at National Sun Yat-sen University. Elon was extremely interested in the history and stories of dragon boats and so he joined the university’s dragon boat team. This deepened his enthusiasm and after specialized training, he went on to become assistant captain of a dragon boat team. Elon describes Taiwan as his second home, and he greatly cherishes the time he spent studying here. His experiences dragon boat training and taking part in dragon boat races in Taiwan will be special memories.

Jonelle Renelcia Irish is from the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, a country which has diplomatic relations with Taiwan. She was awarded a MOFA Taiwan Scholarship and completed the Bachelor’s Program in Global Financial Management at Tamkang University. Jonelle’s academic performance was excellent. She achieved the highest results in her program and she worked as a teaching and research assistant for her department at the university. Jonelle presented a research paper at the 2018 Tamkang World Forum for Youth Leaders, and one at the Taipei Model United Nations Conference, which earned her a Best Position Paper Award. Jonelle described coming to study in Taiwan as not only offering her educational opportunities but also valuable experiences of becoming an independent learner and growing up.

The MOE established its Taiwan Scholarship Program to attract more outstanding foreign students to undertake degree studies in Taiwan and established the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship Program to attract more such students to learn Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan. The MOE hopes that the scholarship students from different countries will gain a better understanding of Taiwan’s academic environment and at the same time interact and engage in friendly competition with local Taiwanese students and interact with local people. This will expand local students’ global outlook and enhance friendly international relations. After completing their courses and graduating, the scholarship recipients will serve as important bridges fostering further cultural, academic and other exchanges between Taiwan and their home countries.