Taiwan—a favorite working holiday destination for many French young people

French young people have many choices when it comes to destinations of working holiday, but some of them are most interested in Taiwan

French young people have many choices when it comes to destinations of working holiday, but some of them are most interested in Taiwan. (By Central News Agency)

French young people have many choices when it comes to destinations of working holiday, but some of them are most interested in Taiwan.

To some French young people, their impression of Taiwan is limited to products “made in Taiwan,” but after a more thorough research of the country, they found Taiwan is multi-faceted and couldn’t wait to apply for Taiwanese working holiday visa.

After several years’ negotiation with French authorities, Taiwan and France finally agreed on a mutual working holiday scheme this summer that allows young people of each country between the ages of 18 and 30 to apply for a working holiday visa to enter the other country and stay for up to one year.    

Taiwan has signed similar mutual working holiday agreements with many countries. For more details,  please refer to http://www.boca.gov.tw/lp.asp?ctNode=783&CtUnit=80&BaseDSD=7&mp=2

Most of the time, more Taiwanese young people applied for the visas than the other way around.    

France has signed mutual working holiday agreement with 13 countries, including Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong, Chile, and Mexico, so French youth have many countries to choose from.

French young man Anthony Lemaitre said, “I chose Taiwan because it is a versatile island.”

Lemaitre, 22, is a vegetarian who is very concerned about issues of ecology. Taiwan’s forests, beaches and mountain ranges are a great attraction to him, who studied sanitation, safety and environment in school.

In his imagination, Taiwan is a place that “blends Chinese and Japanese culture together.” In order to have more exchange with Taiwanese people, he has bought a language book to cram before he goes.  

To Lemaitre, the meaning of working holiday is more about gaining experience than making money, so he said the main purpose of his upcoming trip to Taiwan will not be to work. “I simply want to live over there,” he said, adding that he would like to learn waste stabilization ponds, which are large, man-made water bodies in which blackwater, greywater or faecal sludge are treated by natural occurring processes and the influence of solar light, wind, microorganisms and algae. He said he would also like to learn how to message.  

Lemaitre will not be alone during his trip in Taiwan because his girlfriend, Marine Gaillardon, will join him.  

Gaillardon has studied design in Shanghai for two years in a school that cooperates with France’s Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique, during which she spent six months in Hong Kong for practical training, so she has some knowledge of the Chinese language.  

She not only earned her master’s degree in the two years, but also fell in love with traveling. After she went back to France, she had been looking for oversea job opportunities and decided to start with working holiday. Therefore, she found that Taiwan has just been open to French youth this summer.

After deciding that Taiwan is her working holiday destination, she has been collecting information about Taiwan, and now she thinks Taiwan has kept more Chinese tradition than Hong Kong and Shanghai, and at the same time is very modern and has a great variety of natural landscapes. She said she will not be bored in Taiwan because it is a very versatile country.    

She said that after she finds a job, she would like to visit neighboring countries if her budget and time permit. “I have been to Mainland China, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and next would like to go to South Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Mongolia, and Myanmar. There is still a greater part of the world waiting for me to explore,” she said.