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Pre-departure Orientation Seminar for Scholarship Winners & French Language Assistants for the 2023 Academic Year

Lu Mei-Chen, the director of the Education Division at the Taipei Representative Office in France, welcoming the scholarship winners & French language assistants

On June 16, the Education Division of the Taipei Representative Office in France held a pre-departure orientation seminar for winners of Taiwan Scholarships, and Huayu Enrichment Scholarships, and French language assistants who are starting their degree or language studies, and their assistantships in Taiwan in the 2023 academic year. Fifty such people participated in person and 28 participated online. In addition, there were three French guests and speakers: Jennie Burke, Deputy Director of the Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Exchange Program of France Education International (FEI), Bernadette Thomas, Asia-Pacific coordinator of the French Ministry of National Education—both of whom attended in person—and Aurélie Jobert, Attaché for French Books and Sports at the French Office in Taipei (Bureau Français de Taipei), participated by videoconference.
Director Lu Mei-Chen welcomed everyone and opened the seminar by explaining the devotion of Taiwan’s government to enhancing mutual understanding between people from different backgrounds and cultures.  She expressed her hope that the number of students going to each other’s country will continue to grow and that they will discover and understand each other’s language and culture. She also hoped that the French students and assistants will make the most of their stay in Taiwan, something which might change their life. 
Aurélie Jobert gave the first presentation, providing general information about the French language assistants’ stay in Taiwan.  Following that, Jennie Burke spoke about the French language assistant exchange program in the world, and specifically in Taiwan. The Taiwan-France language assistant exchange is a cooperative program between the Taiwanese and French Ministries of Education, operated with close collaboration between the Education Division of the Taipei Representative Office in France, France Education International, and the French office in Taipei. For the 2023 academic year, 21 French language assistants are going to Taiwan, and 21 Chinese language assistants from Taiwan are going to France. All were selected by committees with members from each of the governments. 
This year’s applications for 2023 Huayu Enrichment Scholarships and Taiwan Scholarships were similarly reviewed by the Education Division, and French government officials and scholars. Five people were awarded Taiwan Scholarships to undertake degree programs at a university in Taiwan, and 68 people were awarded Huayu Enrichment Scholarships to undertake language studies there.
The last presentation outlined the rights and obligations of the scholarship holders and the French language assistants, and the administrative procedures to be completed before and after their arrival in Taiwan. After the presentations, Dr. Wu Chih-chung, Taiwan’s Representative in France warmly welcomed all the students and assistants and then gave a brief speech about the political situation, the quality of life, and the beauty of the traditional Chinese script used in Taiwan. The attendees then enjoyed Taiwanese lunch boxes and interacted with each other. They thanked the Education Division for the very informative seminar and are all looking forward to their stay in Taiwan.