Taiwan to recruit youth ambassadors for exchanges in Pacific, Southeast Asian nations

The 2019 International Youth Ambassador Exchange Program is open for registration until Apr. 30

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Scott Lai, director-general at the Department of NGO International Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Source: CNA)

Scott Lai, director-general at the Department of NGO International Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Source: CNA)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is looking for Taiwanese young people with backgrounds in public health, science, and agriculture to join an ambassador program that will take them to Taiwan’s Pacific allies or to the New Southbound Policy partner countries for a 10-day cultural exchange.

The ministry plans to select 75 university and college students under the age of 35 for the International Youth Ambassador Exchange Program this year, with the theme of “Youth Diplomacy Brings Taiwan to You!”

The youth ambassadors will be divided into three groups and embark on a 10-day journey at the end of August to either the Solomon Islands and Kiribati, the Philippines and Malaysia, or Thailand and India.

Scott Lai (賴銘琪), director-general at the Department of NGO International Affairs, said at a press conference on Tuesday that the main purpose of the program is to equip students in Taiwan with an international perspective towards global competitiveness.

Student delegations traveling to Taiwan’s Pacific allies and Southeast Asian nations will also learn of the policies and projects Taiwan has been working on with the partner nations over the years, added Lai.

Although some English proficiency remains a requirement to qualify for the program, the ministry encourages those who are fluent in such Southeast Asian languages as Thai or Malay to join the program.

In addition to language skills, the ministry this year is especially targeting students specializing in health, science, information, technology, and agriculture, among different fields, to participate in the program.

The ministry are likely to arrange visits and activities that will provide more specific and substantive exchanges for youth ambassadors in the countries they visit, according to Lai.