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John F. Kennedy School Group Visits Taipei Representative Office in Germany: A Morning of Exchange, Information and Discussion

Melanie Faber giving a presentation about study opportunities in Taiwan

On Friday morning, February 16, 2024, twenty-five students from the John F. Kennedy School Berlin, accompanied by Mr. Robert Bartz, principal of the German High School, Ms. Helge Martens, the head of the school’s Social Studies department, and three other teachers visited the Taipei Representative Office in Germany on an excursion which was part of the students’ geography lessons. The objective of the visit was to learn more about Taiwan, to initiate discussion among the students about the challenges Taiwan faces internationally, and to provide information about opportunities to study in Taiwan.
The John F. Kennedy School Berlin is a public school founded in 1960 that provides bilingual K–12 education for approximately 1,650 students in the local German and American community. The school's philosophy emphasizes fostering intercultural understanding and exchanges, and it is dedicated to helping its students to understand the world around them, develop independent thinking, and embrace tolerance. The school has maintained good relations with the Taipei Representative Office in Germany for the last 15 years.
Ms. Weng Chin-Ying, the director of the Education Division, welcomed the students, their principal, and the teachers in the Taipei Representative Office's Cultural Hall, which also hosts concerts and other cultural events. Melanie Faber, also from the Education Division, then spoke about opportunities for  the students to study in Taiwan where they can study Mandarin Chinese and traditional characters. Students in Germany who have a German passport can apply for two different scholarships offered by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education: Huayu Enrichment Scholarships to undertake language study for up to a year and Taiwan Scholarships to undertake a degree program. Taiwan has more than a hundred institutions of higher education offering various programs across an enormous range of fields and they now offer an increasing number of degree programs that are partly or fully taught in English.
Following Ms. Faber’s presentation, Prof. Dr. Shieh Jhy-Wey, Taiwan’s Representative in Germany, talked to the students. He discussed developments in Cross-Strait relations, his personal experience of growing up in Taiwan under martial law, and his political awakening after moving to Germany. The students then had an opportunity to ask questions and were provided with information material about studying in Taiwan. John F. Kennedy School Berlin and the Taipei Representative Office in Germany look forward to continuing to work together in the future.