“ Taiwan and Austria Higher Education Science and Research Seed Funding” Scholarship Students Travel to Austria to experience learning exchange during the epidemic
The Ministry of Education (MOE) and Austria cooperated in a government-to-government (G2G) approach to set up “Taiwan and Austria Higher Education Science and Research Seed Funding” scholarship, in which the Republic of China (R.O.C. Taiwan) students went to Austria for exchange from September, 2020 to February, 2021. Through classroom and after-school activities, the R.O.C. (Taiwan) students learned and communicated with both local students and international students from all over the world, and experienced different teaching modes and cultural impacts.
The MOE explained that although most of Austria’s schools have been converted to online remote education due to the impact of the Coronavirus 19 (COVID 19) and border controls, there were still two students from the R.O.C. (Taiwan) who have successfully obtained entry visas issued by Austria and went there to exchange and experience a different learning environment. During this time, the two students from the R.O.C. (Taiwan) went to the Fachhochschule Technikum Wien (FHTW) and the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (FH Salzburg) in Austria to exchange. The characteristic fields of the two schools include design and product management, tourism innovation management, international business research, technology management, global sales and marketing research, which are all in line with the original professional backgrounds of the R.O.C. (Taiwan) students.
The student named Mr. Wang, from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management of National Taipei University of Technology, who went to the FHTW to exchange for one semester, indicated that in order not to regret anything in the future, in September, 2020, despite the severe epidemic in Europe, he was still determined to go abroad for exchange. Although the teaching mode has been converted to online, the diversified teaching methods of faculty (flipped teaching and self-learning) as well as the online active speeches and frequent interactions of students, made the class atmosphere lively and easy for students to engage in, and thus preferable to traditional learning modes. The student named Mr. Chen, from the Department of Visual Communication Design of Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology said that he could talk and discuss with teachers with rich industry experience in class, and he could directly understand the current market trends and the required abilities. In addition, the class time was not fixed, and a lot of readings and reports were required during the period, so it was a test of students’ self-discipline and time management.
From the frustrations encountered during the exchange period, students learned to solve problems, actively learn, internalize and reflect again. The adventure, after stepping out of their comfort zones, allowed students to experience the impact of different teaching modes and cultivate a broader vision. In the future, the MOE will continue to strengthen the cooperation foundation of the exchange network between the R.O.C. (Taiwan) and Austria, and strengthen the cultivation of the R.O.C. (Taiwan) outstanding youths’ experiences in international exchange.