TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan representative in Italy Lee Sing-ying (李新穎) met Marlene Mancia, who represented the 16 recipients of the Taiwan-Europe Connectivity (TEC) Scholarship from the European country, on Wednesday (Sept. 8).
Sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the scholarship provides airfare and monthly stipends to European students seeking to learn Mandarin in Taiwan. The program evolved from one announced last September that was specifically designed for Czech students.
MOFA aims to promote academic partnerships between Taiwan and Europe through the program, encouraging universities in Taiwan to strengthen ties with foreign schools. It is also a way the ministry is working towards the government’s goal to make Taiwan a bilingual country by 2030.
At the meeting, Mancia said friends of hers had joined exchange programs in Taiwan and that she became interested after seeing their photos and stories, according to CNA. Therefore, when her school, Luiss Guido Carli in Rome, offered the opportunity for an exchange at Kaohsiung’s National Sun Yat-sen University, she applied immediately.
Mancia was excited to receive her visa to study in Taiwan, as she had been very anxious about her delayed travel plans, which had been pushed back nearly two years due to COVID-19, CNA reported.
At a press conference announcing the establishment of the TEC Scholarship program, MOFA said it provides subsidies to individual universities in Taiwan that offer the scholarship. The universities allocate the funds as needed, covering airfare, meals, accommodation, and other expenses and should give students at least NT$15,000 (US$541) a month in stipends.