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Filipino students look forward to learning in Taiwan

48 Filipino recipients of Taiwan scholarships arriving this year

Nikka Marie Sales (front right)

Nikka Marie Sales (front right) (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) —A total of 48 Filipino scholarship recipients are expected to either learn Mandarin or pursue master’s or doctoral degrees in Taiwan this year, and they are thrilled by the opportunity, CNA reported.

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Aug. 20 approved three categories of foreign students to study in Taiwan, paving the way for the entry of 13,000 people.

They include degree-seeking students, students awarded with Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) scholarships, students with Ministry of Education (MOE) Huayu Enrichment Scholarships, and students who fall under the auspices of government bilateral benefit and special policy programs.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines reported that after the CECC’s announcement, Filipino recipients of Taiwanese scholarships said they were looking forward to coming.

The office pointed out that the 48 students include recipients of the MOE Taiwan Scholarship, MOE Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, and Taiwan ICDF International Higher Education Scholarship.

One student looking forward to returning to Taiwan is Nikka Marie Sales, who graduated from UP Diliman and is currently working at Phivolcs, a Philippine national institution dedicated to analyzing volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other phenomena. She is set to arrive in Taiwan this month to study in the doctoral program of National Taiwan University's (NTU) Department of Civil Engineering.

Sales told CNA she was deeply impressed when she visited Taiwan during her college years to participate in a scientific competition called "Introducing and Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering Research in Schools."

Another student, Joshua Philip Suarez, will study in a master’s program at NTU. He said he is interested in transportation engineering and that he chose Taiwan not only because the country possesses excellent public transportation but because it is near the Philippines.

Of a previous visit in 2018, Suarez said, “It made me realize how much I love Taiwan, because I had the impulse of visiting again.” Suarez said he loved the nation's night markets and pearl milk tea and was deeply impressed by its high-speed rail networks.

Ian Samuelson studied at a Chinese language high school, but not until he began to work did he realize that the tremendous influx of Chinese into the Philippines has made Mandarin an important tool for customer communication. Therefore, he decided to study the language in Taiwan.

Samuelson said he had visited in 2014 and missed the delicious stinky tofu after he went back to Manila. In the coming half-year, besides learning Mandarin and sampling night market delicacies, he will also explore Taiwan’s natural beauty.