The Taiwan Studies program at the University of Alberta is an interdisciplinary project that seeks to encourage greater understanding of Taiwan’s social, political, and cultural transformation since the 17th century. The program promotes student learning through courses on Taiwan, lectures by visiting scholars, documentary film nights, conferences, student research grants, and study abroad programs. Affiliated scholars have conducted research on Taiwan’s history, literature, and popular culture; democratization, national identity, and political reform; national security and foreign relations.
"Noureddin Zaamout, a Master in Political Science student at the University of Alberta, was selected to join the prestigious Mosaic Taiwan Fellowship Program 2016, which is run by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). The fellowship is a prestigious 3-week program in which 30 emerging North American leaders (25 from the US, and 5 from Canada) wishing to gain firsthand experience of the Taiwan are given the opportunity to explore the country and meet with the country’s top diplomats and politicians. The program ran from June 5 – 25, 2016."
2nd year student majoring in Chinese Language and Culture, and minoring in Political Science
"I honestly wasn’t expecting my Mandarin to develop so much in such a short period. With the way the Mandarin Training Centre structured the classes and material, I was able to retain more material and actually use it to communicate with locals. It also helped that everyone was very friendly and encouraging with my efforts to speak Mandarin.The exchange trip to Taiwan was easily one of the most enriching experiences that I have had so far in my university career. Not only did I have an opportunity to improve my Mandarin, but I also was able to experience a completely new culture and lifestyle."
"My exchange trip to Taiwan was…. an experience that I will never forget, because I was thrown into a new country/culture/language/life. But, I loved it. Going on vacation with friends was easily accessible/affordable, allowing me to see more of Taiwan, and really understand the country beyond what I learned from books back in Canada."
"Before coming to Taiwan I had little understanding of the vast difference between this small island and its mainland brother. I assumed because Chinese was still the main language that Taiwan could not be very different from the mainland. Because I had lived in Beijing for two years I thought that I had an idea of what to expect in Taiwan. I could not have been more wrong. To my surprise Taiwan was an extremely modern island with amazing infrastructure and hardly any pollution! Completely different from the Mainland. My Chinese language ability grew along with my knowledge of the Taiwanese people and their way of life. This 4 months will be an experience I will never forget. Taiwan left an unforgettable mark me as a person and I cannot wait to return!"
"The most surprising thing about my experience studying in Taiwan is how much I learned about Taiwan in just a few months. Before this study abroad, I knew little to nothing about Taiwan but after coming back to Canada, all I could talk about is the country, the people, the culture, and of course the food. Everyone must try papaya milk at the night markets."