Accelerated learning of Mandarin,
through a Rotary Youth Exchange
Scholarship to Taiwan
A report from our present Scholarship recipient April 2016
For over 75 years, students and host families have broadened their horizons through Rotary Youth Exchange. More than 80 countries and 8000 students each year participate in the program. Rotary in Tasmania and Taiwan are both strong and this exciting new exchange destination commences in January 2016.
For obvious political and economic reasons Mandarin is becoming an important language lass in schools and colleges throughout Australia. We have received a strong expression of interest from our Rotary counterparts in Taiwan to undertake an exchange program.
This may appeal to Tasmanian students looking at taking a gap year in Taiwan to master Mandarin, and with a view to students focussing their academic studies thereafter. Extensive consultation has been undertaken with the Tasmanian Department of Education, the University of Tasmania and private schools, all concluding such an exchange will be beneficial to all concerned.
Taiwan is an island in the South China Sea, half the size of Tasmania and with the tallest
mountains east of the Himalayas. During the latter half of the 20th century, Taiwan experienced rapid economic growth and industrialization and is now an advanced industrial economy. It is one of the four “Asian Tigers”, with the 21st largest economy in the world. Its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy and is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, with a modern open and forward-thinking demographic society.
The educational system has been very successful in that pupils in Taiwan boast some of the highest test scores in the world. Courses are available for most popular subjects. Lessons are organized in lectures, reviews, private tutorial sessions and presentations.
Mandarin is the official national language and is spoken by the vast majority of the population of Taiwan. It is the primary language of instruction in schools.
The cultures of Taiwan are a hybrid blend of various sources, incorporating elements of traditional Chinese culture, attributable to the historical and ancestry origin of the majority of its current residents, Japanese culture, traditional Confucianist beliefs, and increasingly Western values.
The classical music culture in Taiwan is also highly developed. Chinese cuisine goes back to ancient times and achieves its present level of excellence through the accumulation of thousands of years of practical knowledge and experience in cookery.
Rotary Youth Exchange programs are open to students aged 15-18. To qualify, applicants should be above-average students who have demonstrated leadership in their community. Candidates should also possess qualities such as flexibility and a willingness to try new things that will enable them to fully experience life in another country and become excellent cultural ambassadors. All applicants must be sponsored by a local Rotary club and complete a written application and in-person interview.
Scholarship value and student contribution:
Rotary 12 month scholarships to Taiwan are valued at approximately AU$8,000.
• Local Rotary clubs generously hosting students and providing room and board with up to four families, sharing their lives and being involved in family, community and cultural activities.
• A small monthly stipend, school fees and uniforms.
Student / family contribution is $7,500.
• Round-trip airfares, insurance.
• Travel documents [such as passports and visas].
• Spending money, additional travel and tour fees.
This matches closely what it costs to maintain and educate a student in Tasmania for one year.
Contact: Rotarian Ian Shuey
Rotary District 9830 [Tasmania]
Youth Exchange Program
Phone: 03 6278 1198 0409 979 947
Closing date: Expressions of interest have closed and a student scholarship has been awarded for 2016. Further opportunities will be announced shortly.
Australian Rotary Youth Exchange http://www.ryea.org.au/
Rotary Youth Exchange Taiwan www.ryetaiwan.org
Taiwan Information www.taiwan.net.tw
Download a pamphlet (pdf)
- Youth Exchange in Tasmania Home Page
- Checklist for Tasmanian Clubs sponsoring Outbound Youth Exchange Students
- Previous Youth Exchange Students in Tasmania
- Rotex Tasmania on Facebook