Paraguayan students eager to promote Taiwan after completing study exchange

07/09/2022 01:57 PM
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CNA photo July 8, 2022
CNA photo July 8, 2022

Taipei, July 9 (CNA) Paraguayan students from Paraguay's Taiwan-Paraguay Polytechnic University (UPTP) expressed their eagerness to help promote Taiwan following a ceremony on Friday to celebrate their completion of a three semester-long Taiwan-based study exchange.

Sebastian Estigarribia Romeo (right). CNA photo July 9, 2022
Sebastian Estigarribia Romeo (right). CNA photo July 9, 2022

At the farewell ceremony held at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech), the tertiary institution that hosted the students for a year and a half since March 2021, close to 100 Paraguayan students celebrated the completion of their study exchange, which involved academic courses, business visits, and cultural events that allowed them to learn more about Taiwan' values and society.

On the sidelines of the event, a civil engineering student, 23-year-old Sebastian Estigarribia Romeo, told CNA the key point is to let people know that "Taiwan can help."

"Paraguay is also willing to accept that help and (we should) let other countries know that Taiwan is capable of helping. Taiwan has a lot to teach to the rest of the world," he said. "I really believe the world should learn something from Taiwan."

Estigarribia said civil engineering in Taiwan is really advanced as he has been able to witness during his time in Taiwan and he is looking forward to applying what he has learned when he returns to Paraguay.

Milko Gutierrez. CNA photo July 9, 2022
Milko Gutierrez. CNA photo July 9, 2022

Meanwhile, Milko Gutierrez, a 21-year-old computer science and information engineering (CSIE) student, said a large portion of his studies has been based on programming and artificial intelligence.

"I would love to keep researching about artificial intelligence models. I would love to work in that area in Paraguay, but if there are none, I would love to build one myself," Gutierrez said.

He says he will highly recommend to his home country's young people to study at UPTP and gain the opportunity to come to Taiwan.

Another CSIE student, 21-year-old Abel Ferreira Roig Ocampos, who is a wheelchair user, commended the inclusiveness of Taiwan's capital Taipei, which he says makes traveling very easy.

"It is a city that is easy to travel around in, especially with the MRT and the buses being very well prepared for my wheelchair," he said. "In my country, it was very difficult for me to go out alone, but here I could very easily."

He hopes Taiwan will continue to give Paraguayan students the opportunity to study here, Roig said, adding that he wishes the relationship between the two countries will continue to be strong.

Abel Ferreira Roig Ocampos. CNA photo July 9, 2022
Abel Ferreira Roig Ocampos. CNA photo July 9, 2022

"I, for example, am not 100 percent sure about where I will go for my masters, but maybe I could come back here to Taiwan," Roig said.

At the ceremony, Taiwan Tech President Yen Jia-yush (顏家鈺) congratulated the Paraguayan students from UPTP for completing their study exchange and said he believes that the knowledge and experiences they gained in Taiwan will help them with future challenges.

"I hope that you will find your dream jobs after graduation, contribute to your country, help build up Paraguay, but don't forget Taiwan and what we have achieved here together. I wish you a bright future and everlasting friendship between Taiwan and Paraguay," Yen said.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also attended the ceremony and said it was satisfying seeing young talents like the Paraguayan students on the study exchange thrive.

"Education has been at the roots of Taiwan's national development. By cultivating outstanding talent in science and technology, Taiwan and Paraguay are sowing the seeds of future growth, prosperity and friendship," Tsai said.

CNA video

In March 2019, the first UPTP entrance exams were held with 255 young Paraguayans competing for 109 spots, according to the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan.

With the aim of cultivating engineering and technological talent in Paraguay, UPTP admits around 100 new students annually with freshman and sophomore classes held in the South American country. The students' junior year and the first semester of their senior year are completed in Taiwan, with the first batch of students having arrived in 2021.

(By William Yen)

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