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Taiwan Scholarship Recipient’s Amazing Journey to Harvard Doctoral Program

Noah and friends at the 2023 World Baseball Classic game in Taichung

Noah Weber 蔚寧 was awarded a Ministry of Education Taiwan Scholarship in 2021 and undertook a master’s degree at the Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature at National Cheng Chi University (NCCU). After graduating with an M.A. in February this year, he qualified to undertake a doctorate at Harvard University, where he’ll continue his research in the field of modern Chinese literature under the guidance of Professor David Wang 王德威, the Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature.
Noah began his Mandarin studies with the four-year Mandarin program at St. Louis University High School. His teacher, the late Dr. Tai Ching-ling 戴慶玲 from Taiwan, helped guide him onto a path of lifelong learning. He then took the undergraduate Chinese program in the East Asian Languages and Culture department at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Many of the courses were extremely difficult, but Noah was confident enough to take them and proved to be an excellent student. One of his instructors at the university, Prof. Robert Hegel, expressed his strongest support of Noah's intention to study Taiwanese literature in Taiwan.
Noah participated in the scholarship award ceremony and briefing session organized by the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston in 2022 and shared details of his experiences as a current student in Taiwan. He described his courses at NCCU’s Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature as rigorous and intellectually challenging and told the scholarship recipients how the names of Taiwanese writers such as Chiang Wei-shu 蔣渭水, Lai Ho賴和, and Yang Kui 楊逵 filled his notebooks. He stressed that Taiwan is the best place to study Taiwan’s history, literature, and culture because the whole island serves as a classroom. 
As well as frequently conducting fieldtrips across Taiwan, Noah visited landmarks such as the National Museum of Taiwan Literature, the Farewell 886 – Cultural Park of Taiwan Military Veteran Village, the historically rich Dadaocheng area in Taipei, and Taroko National Park, and he came to deeply appreciate Taiwan’s cultural heritage. His favorite city in Taiwan is Hualien, where he lived for several months while writing his master’s thesis; he cited the pleasant climate and stunning scenery as the factors which won him over. Among his favorite memories is that of cheering on the Taiwan baseball team at the 2023 World Baseball Classic in Taichung.
After learning that he had qualified for Harvard University’s doctoral program, Noah thanked his advisor, Professor Fan Ming-ju 范銘如, the director of NCCU’s Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature, and all the people who taught him Mandarin in the past. He also expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Education in Mandarin, saying “感謝教育部” and adding in English, "without which none of this would have been possible."