University in E. Taiwan launches agriculture program for Indonesian students

Hualien's Tzu Chi University, Sinar Mas offer 4-year, tuition-free program to young Indonesians

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New agriculture program for Indonesians at Tzu Chi University. (CNA photo)

New agriculture program for Indonesians at Tzu Chi University. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In line with the Taiwanese government's New Southbound Policy, Tzu Chi University in Hualien has partnered up with Sinar Mas, one of Asia's largest conglomerates, to launch a 4-year agriculture program for Indonesian students, covering both their tuition and housing fees.

More than 500 Indonesian high school graduates applied for the program, and after interviews and testing, 25 were chosen. Sinar Mas covered the students' tuition and miscellaneous fees while Tzu Chi University offered them free accommodation and a living allowance, reported UDN.

Students accepted into the program will have the opportunity to apprentice in Taiwan during their senior year before returning to Indonesia to find jobs in the agriculture industry. Mandarin and digital marketing courses are also part of the curriculum, and the university has partnered up with local farms to provide the students with hands-on experience.

One student enrolled in the program, Nur Fatwa Muhammad, expressed gratitude to the university and promised to be a diligent student, reported SET News. Another, Olivia Khosuma, said that the traditional Chinese characters in Taiwan were more difficult to memorize than the simplified ones used in her hometown.