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Austrian Students Start an Important Stage of their Lives - in Taiwan

Valentina Wieser

Austria has many close links with Asia, and more and younger Austrians understand that familiarity with Asia is a very valuable asset that’s highly regarded by employers. Studying in Taiwan is a perfect way to develop such skills and each year, the Ministry of Education in Taiwan awards Taiwan Scholarships to a number of outstanding Austrian students to undertake a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or even a doctorate at a university in Taiwan. This year, two students from Austria—Josef Rössl and Valentina Wieser—were awarded a Taiwan Scholarship.

Josef Rössl will be doing a master’s degree at the Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies at National Sun Yat-Sen University. Josef completed a BA in Sinology at the University of Vienna and received a Huayu Enrichment Scholarship to improve his Chinese, studying at a university language center in Taiwan from September 2019 to February 2020, and he then continued his language studies there until August 2020 as a self-funded student. As he explains, his stay inspired him: “I spent a year in Taiwan learning Chinese, and life in Taiwan left a very positive impression on me; therefore, I decided to study a master’s degree program there. After obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Sinology in Austria, it makes sense for me to continue my studies in Taiwan. By studying at a Taiwanese university, I can learn about East Asian politics, economy, and law directly at the source, and further enhance my Chinese proficiency along the way.”

Valentina Wieser was an outstanding student at the Technical University of Vienna, and her MA thesis supervisor there encouraged her to apply for a Taiwan Scholarship. Her former supervisor is now back in Taiwan at National Taiwan University, where he’ll be working to set up a new laboratory. Ms. Wieser will join him there and work on her PhD degree. She described her feelings about taking on this new adventure:

“I am excited to join the Chemistry Department at NTU for the next 4 years with the support of the MOE Taiwan Scholarship and help build up a new laboratory for Single Molecule Interaction, Confinement Chemistry and Bio interface Chemistry. Apart from the scientific work, I aim to dive into the Taiwanese culture, while attending Chinese language courses and discovering the natural environment in Taiwan. This will undoubtedly be a different experience from life in Vienna but I am looking forward to this exciting chapter.”

After several weeks of initial uncertainty about whether or not they would be able to start their studies in the approaching semester, these two Austrian recipients were able to travel to Taiwan to begin another important stage of their lives. The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vienna wishes each of them success in their studies and a wonderful time in Taiwan.