Taiwan strengthens Partnership With Student Exchange Programme

Ambassador Tsao and Lady Tsao

Lesroy W. Williams

The Republic of China on Taiwan continues to strengthen its partnership with St. Kitts and Nevis in many areas, but a key area of focus for both countries is education, which is the basic pillar of growth and development in any society.

With the introduction of a student exchange Programme between both countries, the importance of the role that education plays in development is underscored.

Six students along with a professor from Southern Taiwan University of Science and Medicine are presently involved with students from the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) in three days of cultural exchange.

At the opening ceremony at the CFBC to welcome the Taiwanese delegation on 18th July, Taiwan resident ambassador, Miguel Li-Jey Tsao, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to assist in providing educational opportunities for people of St. Kitts and Nevis, especially youth.

Krystal Glasford of the CFBC performing a dance

“All the students are here to showcase their talent, to introduce Taiwanese wonderful culture in different areas, but I think the most essential part for them is to mingle with the locals and to learn the Caribbean culture,” Ambassador Tsao said.

The ambassador encouraged students of the CFBC to apply for scholarships to Taiwan’s many universities through the Taiwanese scholarship fund. He told the Taiwanese students to take back the warm local culture to Taiwan and to share it with others.

Vice President of Academic Student Affairs, Delores Stapleton- Harris, said that the CFBC appreciates the partnership of support and commitment with Taiwan in the area of education.

“Certainly, it is our aim to activate our partnerships not only in research, in grants, endowments, joint academic programmes but also social and cultural exchanges. We strongly believe that the network would help prepare our students to be our future leaders by providing them with learning experiences, global opportunities for international exposure with excellent universities and at the same time improve our academic quality here at CFBC,” Stapleton-Harris said.

She added that one of the key strategies of the CFBC “is to position itself as a partner and an affiliate in developing knowledge and providing a lively and social atmosphere for students to interact and learn.”

Taiwan Youth Ambassadors Performing Dragon Dance

Speaking on behalf of Taiwan’s youth ambassador delegation, Dr. Tiffany Hsu, said that the youth ambassador programme was started in 2009 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to promote Taiwan’s multi-culture and to afford promising university students the opportunity of cultural exchange with Taiwan’s partners.

“Our young people’s creativity and energy are the well-spring of our country,” Dr. Hsu said.

The opening ceremony was punctuated with performances from the MOFA youth ambassadors from Taiwan and the students of the CFBC. Also in attendance were Taiwan scholarship recipients for the upcoming academic year. One of the outstanding performances done by the youth ambassadors was the famous dragon dance.

The dragon dance originated during the Han Dynasty and was started by the Chinese who had great belief and respect towards the dragon. It is believed to have begun as part of the farming and harvest culture, also with origins as a method of healing and prevailing sickness. It is performed in festive celebrations.

The youth ambassadors will continue their cultural exchange with local students by embarking on island tours, games and other social activities.

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