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Aug 7, 2017

Taiwan hands out twenty-six scholarships to young Belizeans

Twenty-six Belizeans prepared to embark on the journey of a lifetime to the Far East to pursue educational opportunities with the support of the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan). They were awarded scholarships in various disciplines by the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund and Taiwan Scholarship Program respectively, including airfare, accommodations, tuition, textbooks and monthly allowance lasting up to five years. The undergraduate and graduate students will be asked to put their education to good use when they come back home. Orientation took place on Saturday in Belize City and Aaron Humes has a report.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

With scholarships few and far between and reserved for the best of the best, these twenty-six young men and women should feel lucky and honored to be off to Taiwan to pursue their studies. But Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize, Charles Liu, says they should not forget their primary purpose – which is to serve the Jewel on their returns home.

 

Charles Liu, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize

Charles Liu

“Every year, we offer twenty-something scholarships for the young inspiring students here, from Belize, to Taiwan. We want to give our best experience, our best knowledge, to these students. So when these students finished what they have started in Taiwan, they can come back and serve Belize, to make Belize a better country – this is what we want. So this is why we encourage all the good, young students to learn to their best for their studies in Taiwan, and make sure to come [back] to serve their beautiful country, Belize.”

 

Sharing the excitement are undergraduate in educational psychology, Amador Castillo, and graduate in business and teacher, Victoria Pixabaj.

 

Amador Castillo

Amador Castillo, Scholarship Recipient

“It’s kind of a surreal experience at the moment; I haven’t felt it until today when it is actually happening. It is a very great opportunity; it’s something that I would have never imagined and it’s an experience to widen my opportunities and widen my education and in turn be able to help Belize when I return.”

 

Reporter

“Talk to us about choosing this program, why?”

 

Amador Castillo

“I majored in psychology and sociology at St. John’s [College] Junior College; and I’m very interested in changing how the education system works here in Belize. And in regards to psychology, we don’t have a lot of that offered other than St. John’s, so I would want to change that when I return. So that’s my choice.”

 

Victoria Pixabaj, Scholarship Recipient

Victoria Pixabaj

“This opportunity is definitely one that I have mentioned to many that I am not going to let go of – this opportunity now, because it’s something I have been working for several years now and it’s definitely one of my biggest dreams, so I need to better off my career, my education, simply because I think that I can make a big difference here in Belize. Currently I teach at Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College, and so I think that this is definitely an opportunity for my institution to also see some form of development.”

 

As they and their colleagues jet off, the local alumni association president says they should be focused on their studies, but much more will await them when they return.

 

Antonio Coyoc

Antonio Coyoc, President, Belize-Taiwan Alumni Association

“When going there, just be safe, take it easy; just do what you went there to do which is study, come back with your degree, and at the same time I want to advise them to come back and be part of the alumni association. Because we tend to have a lot of people coming back and they came back from Taiwan, we got our degree and that’s it. But come back, join the association and make us stronger, because there’s a lot of opportunities when you get back that the Taiwan Embassy offers as well.”

 

Reporter

“Tell us about that.”

 

Antonio Coyoc

“They have different projects that they offer where they offer finance; for example those who came back with a business degree and they want to open a business on their own – there are different opportunities like that that they offer.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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