Taiwan Seed Funding Scholarship Students in Austria have Wonderful Memories of their Semester at the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna
“Before coming to Vienna, I never imagined that my life would be so exciting. It took a lot of courage to decide to become an exchange student, and I really appreciate that I was able to step out of the comfort zone. During the semester, I have seen lots of new and interesting things and been in different learning environments, I not only learned a lot of knowledge but also broadened my horizons – all thanks to the support of a scholarship from the Ministry of Education in Taiwan. This experience has really given me unforgettable fantastic memories.” - Liu Yu-Fan
The Taiwan and Austria Higher Education Science and Research Seed Funding was established by the Ministry of Education as part of a government-to-government cooperation with Austria in order to enable outstanding students to experience an international exchange. This year two students from National Taipei University of Technology (Taipei Tech) received the associated scholarship funding and were able to go abroad to gain international experience in Austria.
The two students from Taipei Tech are spending the final semester of their bachelor’s degree programs in an English program at the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna. One student is studying in the Department of Electrical Engineering; the other is studying in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. Choosing to spend their last semester at a university overseas is something quite out of the ordinary but both students were eager to take advantage of this scholarship opportunity and experience a stay abroad for an extended period of time.
When they landed in Austria in February they were initially subject to numerous Covid-19-related measures and restrictions, but they had been planning this exchange visit for a long time and so they didn’t let the Covid-19 pandemic and the related regulations stop them. Austria and its higher educational institutions were following a 2G rule under which people had to be vaccinated or recovered to access public places. The exchange students were both pleased to find out that access to vaccinations was well organized in Austria, and they were easily able to receive a third Covid-19 vaccination without any problems. This allowed them to move about and live without worry in Austria, and also to travel more freely to other European countries.
Initially some courses at the university were still online, but there was a switch later to face-to-face classes. The Taiwanese students were then able to meet numerous other exchange students, and being in programs taught in English, they were able to interact with students from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. The International Office of the University of Applied Sciences also organized a visit to the UN in Vienna, and various other excursions, for example, to the Austrian mountains.
“Frankly speaking, every day living abroad feels like an adventure. Whether it is a class at the university or planning a trip, there are many unprecedented situations that you have to dealt with by yourself! But, I feel very lucky that I was able to get out of my comfort zone at this age, still full of dreams and without many commitment burdens. I’ve been able to gain a broader perspective and meet friends with different worldviews.” – Jenny Chen
During a meeting with Dr. Wang, the head of the Education Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Austria, both students emphasized that they felt very comfortable in Austria and said that they would definitely recommend Austria to other Taiwanese students to come to on a study exchange visit. Austria was definitely the right study destination for these two Taipei Tech students.