2023 selection of French Teaching Assistants
Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, France Education International (FEI), and the French Office in Taipei have been organizing the Taiwan–France Language Assistant Exchange Program since 2008, to strengthen educational cooperation and language education exchanges between Taiwan and France. Outstanding Taiwanese university students and French university students are selected to travel to France and Taiwan respectively to assist in the teaching of their mother language in universities or high schools for 12 to 15 hours a week. The selected students can gain a better understanding of France’s and Taiwan’s and language and culture respectively.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Education provides the visiting French language assistants with a monthly allowance, and the French government provides the Taiwanese language assistants in France with a monthly allowance. And each government subsidizes round-trip air travel for its participating citizens.
This language assistant exchange program is now in its 16th year and since last year, the number of teaching assistants selected each time has increased to 21.
The Ministry of Education and the French Office in Taipei selected the 21 Taiwanese language assistants for the Taiwan–France Language Assistant Exchange Program for 2023 earlier this year in Taiwan. The selection of the 21 French teaching assistants took place at the French International Education Center (FEI) FEI on April 21. The selection committee comprised: Ms. Lu Meichen, Director of the Education Division of the Taipei Representative Office in France; Ms. Hsu Lihtien Hsu, Secretary of the Education Division; Program manager Arnaud Le Gall, at the Taipei Representative Office; Deputy Director Jennie Burke and assistant Leslie King of the FEI Foreign Language Assistant Exchange Program, who attended in person, and Program manager Aurélie Jobert and assistant Sibylle Neouze from the French Office in Taipei who both participated in the selection online. The committee reviewed 47 applications before selecting the 21 French language assistants.
Immediately afterwards, Nicolas Idier, the General Inspector of Chinese Teaching of the French Ministry of Education took part in a discussion with the committee members, focusing on the 2022 implementation of the program, the problems that were encountered, and the program outlook for 2023. Following their discussions, Hervé Ferrage, another deputy director of FEI, hosted a lunch for further exchanges on this program.
This language assistant exchange program is highly appreciated by both governments, by the language assistants, and by the students they interact with, and it is an excellent model of practical citizen diplomacy.