Tue, Mar 05, 2013 - Page 3 News List

MOFA launches 2013 exchange program

Staff writer, with CNA

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Vanessa Shih, left, shakes hands with ultramarathon runner Tommy Chen at a launch event in Taipei yesterday for this year’s Taiwan youth ambassador program.

Photo: CNA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has launched this year’s iteration of its annual exchange program that sends young adults to promote Taiwan in 41 countries.

The ministry will select 40 teams composed of college and post-graduate students in various fields, such as environmental protection, food culture and sports, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Vanessa Shih (史亞平) said yesterday at the youth ambassador program’s launch.

A number of the teams will promote woodball, a Taiwanese game derived from golf and croquet, Shih said.

“We hope to promote the sport in the international community,” she said.

Now in its fifth year, the program provides an opportunity for Taiwanese young adults, aged between 18 and 35, to spend up to 14 days in countries around the world to expand their horizons and increase the world’s understanding of Taiwan, the ministry said.

Unlike in previous years when the program focused on art exchanges, the ministry said it would expand the scope of the program this year to include computer science, public health, kung fu and Chinese-language teaching.

Yesterday’s launch event was also attended by Taiwanese ultramarathon runner Tommy Chen (陳彥博), who has participated in several international races.

Citing his experience in introducing Taiwanese food and traditions, such as giving red envelopes during the Lunar New Year, to runners from other countries, Chen encouraged Taiwan’s young adults to take advantage of the program and promote different elements of Taiwanese culture.

Six students from National Taipei University of Technology who visited Saint Kitts and Nevis as part of the program last year, also shared their experiences promoting Taiwan’s Aboriginal and Hakka culture there.

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