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2004 Seminar Program on Taiwan Studies For International Youth

A Welcoming Address By Vice Minister Lu Mu-lin

Good afternoon.

This occasion offers me an opportunity to extend to you, on behalf of the Ministry of Education a warm and personal welcome to Taiwan and to the 2004 Seminar on Taiwan Studies for International Youth. I would also like to express my appreciation to our co-host the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the hardworking staff of the China Youth Corps. for their cooperation, assistance and support of this year's seminar.

Over the last several years, the Ministry of Education has been providing more attention to youth issues and to those organizations that help to support and bridge gaps that may exist that relate to continued international and intercultural understanding. We feel strongly that young people have many talents and resources to offer to our societies and to the world, especially in the areas of leadership, new perspectives and for the building of strong alliances, between nations.

Therefore, a Taiwan Scholarship Program has been set up to provide foreign students with opportunities to pursue their studies in Taiwan and to increase their understanding of Taiwan's development, cultural heritage and customs. Also, it is hoped that this scholarship program will help Taiwan to broaden its foreign relations, strengthen its international friendships, especially with its allies, enhance educational and cultural exchanges and be actively supportive in fostering cooperation with foreign governments, institutions, cultural and educational organizations.

There are three main types of scholarships. There is a scholarship for studying Mandarin Chinese, an undergraduate studies scholarship, which allows foreign students to study at Taiwan colleges or universities and a postgraduate scholarship for students studying in masters or doctoral degree programs.

The monthly stipends for students studying Mandarin Chinese are NT$25,000 per month, for one year, students studying in the undergraduate program, will receive NT$25,000 for one year, while master and doctoral degree students will receive NT$30,000 per month for a two and three year period, respectively.

We hope that through this special scholarship program, students from all over the world will have the unique opportunity to see and learn more about Taiwan from many different and positive perspectives.

Taiwan has a lot to offer to international students and visitors.

It’s warm and friendly society is one of Taiwan's most frequently cited "treasures". Other "treasures" include its democratic system, and open society.

Taiwan's promotion of tourism has resulted in strong international interest in Taiwan's cultural heritage. Traditional Chinese culture can be found in its history and art museums, its architecture, its orchestras and operas and regional crafts, to name a few.

A new "golden age" is awakening in Taiwan. Our open society is encouraging the creation of new cultural perspectives, especially in the areas of music, art and theatre.

With the assistance of the IT industry and higher education, new opportunities are being made available every day. Our advances in the areas of technology are assisting and supporting our efforts for taking better care of our natural resources and the beauty of Taiwan.

Discovering these things and many more about Taiwan will make your visit an exciting and memorable one.

This year's 2004 Seminar Program on Taiwan Studies has participants from 25 different countries. For the next few days, you will be meeting and sharing your own culture with other students from Japan, South Korea, India, Vietnam, Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Turkey, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Spain, Portugal, Luxemburg, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Italy, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Republic of South Africa, the United States, Australia, Belize, the Republic of Guatemala, the Republic of Costa Rica, the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Panama. This is truly an impressive gathering that is rich with opportunities.

As you may be aware our goal for hosting this 2004 Seminar Program on Taiwan Studies is to continue to promote an authentic view of Taiwan through several perspectives and a variety of activities. We hope that though this seminar you will become more aware of Taiwan’s current political, economic and social status within the international community. We also hope that this seminar will offer many opportunities to exchange ideas and to share experiences from your own countries. In this way can we, in Taiwan can further support the efforts to strengthen international friendships and cooperation among young people of the world.

Therefore, I would like to offer my sincere best wishes for a positive cultural exchange and learning experience.

Thank you.