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An Enthusiastic Gathering of Taiwan Alumni & Recipients of Scholarships to Study in Taiwan

Participants in the awards ceremony and orientation session for recipients of the MOE Taiwan Scholarships and Huayu Enrichment Scholarships, hosted by TECO in Houston

The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Houston organized a scholarship awards ceremony and an orientation session for this year’s three recipients of the Ministry of Education’s Taiwan Scholarships, twenty-four Huayu Enrichment Scholarships recipients, and two Huayu BEST Scholarship recipients who will all be heading to Taiwan this year. This event was held in combination with hosting the annual meeting of the Southern US Taiwan Alumni Association—known as the TAA Houston Chapter. The scholarship recipients and alumni live in different cities in the southern part of the United States and some alumni are in Taiwan, so the event was held in hybrid style, giving everyone the possibility to take part in-person or virtually.

Mei-Chi Piletz, Executive Director of Global Education at Mississippi College, Hsu Wei-Li, a Mandarin instructor at Rice University, and Nicole Hsiao and Therese Chen from the Mandarin Center of the University of St. Thomas and Wenzao Ursuline also happily attended, to support the students and promote Mandarin learning opportunities in the US.

Andrea Yang, Director of the Education Division and her colleagues at TECO in Houston began the meeting by providing the scholarship recipients with details of their scholarship regulations and visa requirements. Scholarship alumni Krystal Turner, Hazem Saleh, Jamahl Bonds, and Noah Weber then shared details of their experiences studying in Taiwan and provided practical information and advice. Their advice included bringing enough money for the first two months and getting American-size clothing before going to Taiwan.

They advised the scholarship recipients to take good advantage of their time in Taiwan by visiting as many places as possible and suggested that keeping a journal would provide a great record of their experiences while studying abroad. They also encouraged the recipients to go out in the community and meet with local people, saying that the Taiwanese are very hospitable and willing to spend time helping people they don’t know. The alumni also talked about how their scholarships had helped them complete their studies and enrich their future.

Robert Lo, Director-General of TECO in Houston, arranged for pineapple cakes, other Taiwanese desserts, Boba milk tea, and some Taiwanese-style fried chicken to be served to welcome everyone and to give the alumni association members a reminder of their good times in Taiwan. He congratulated the scholarship recipients and wished them the best of luck with their studies.

A congratulatory proclamation from Jack Cagle, Commissioner of Harris County Precinct 4, celebrating with the TAA Houston Chapter at their annual alumni meeting, and wishing members of the community who are furthering their education much continued success, was presented by Bradley Mushinski, community relations coordinator of Harris County Precinct 4.

The meeting room was filled with laughter and the aroma of tasty Taiwanese treats and the scholarship recipients left looking forward to their new experiences in Taiwan.