Wed, Oct 10, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Ireland, Taiwan to start working-holiday program

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Beginning next year, Ireland is set to join seven other countries in establishing partnerships with Taiwan under the Youth Working Program, with each side providing an annual quota of 400 visas for young people to travel and work for one year.

The program, to be launched on Jan. 1, will allow young people between the ages of 18 and 30 of one country to spend up to one year in another partner country, where they may work during their stay to earn supplementary funds to support themselves.

A working holiday visa will enable young people to visit the partner country for tourism, work or privately funded studies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The ministry said that broader and closer exchanges under this program will foster long-lasting friendships between the youth of Taiwan and Ireland.

Ireland is the eighth country with which Taiwan has launched such a program, after New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, Germany, South Korea and the UK, the ministry said.

Taiwan is to become the seventh country to participate in Ireland’s working-holiday program, along with Argentina, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

An official who wished to stay anonymous said that there are negotiations underway on a working-holiday program between Taiwan and some other European countries, including Belgium.

According to the ministry, working-holiday programs have been well received by young people, with a nearly five-fold increase in the number of applicants, from more than 12,400 between 2004 and 2008 to the current total of more than 57,000.

This demonstrates that working-holiday agreements meet the desires of Taiwanese youth to take part in international exchanges, the ministry said.

The ministry hopes that Taiwanese youth will take this opportunity to travel overseas to make new friends, broaden their international horizons through learning a new language and gain an in-depth understanding of the culture, society and lifestyle of the host country, and to demonstrate their creativity and vitality to the world, it said.

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