Program introduces Taiwan to students, young professionals

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 - Page 3

A group of 43 young professionals and students from all over the world are in Taiwan under a program aimed at increasing awareness of Taiwan and its politics and culture.

The participants, all aged 20 to 40 and from 20 countries across Africa, Europe and Central America, are traveling around Taiwan until Aug. 30 as part of this year’s annual International Youth Culture and Study Tour, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Aside from visits to government agencies such as the Legislature and the Environmental Protection Administration, participants will also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with local culture by visiting night markets, tasting Taiwanese specialties and learning more about local music, glove puppetry and tea, the ministry said.

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Vanessa Shih (史亞平) expressed the hope that after the visit, all participants will go home and share their experiences of Taiwan and be proud of being a good friend to Taiwan.

Victoria Hasson, a 30-year-old Briton who lives in South Africa, said she is looking forward to “examples of good liberal policymaking” in Taiwan.

Hasson, an advisor for South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance, said the country is at a crossroads where it will choose between becoming more liberal or more socialist.

“I would like to have examples of how beneficial it will be to become more liberal,” she said.

Leano Monagen from neighboring Botswana said he hopes to get a better understanding of Taiwan’s economic development.

The 32-year-old, who works in property development, said he is also looking forward to sampling the nation’s cuisine over the coming days.