Paraguayan students take home valuable study exchange experience

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Paraguayan students from the Polytechnic University of Taiwan-Paraguay expressed their desire to promote Taiwan following a ceremony on Friday to celebrate the completion of three semesters of a Taiwan-based study exchange.

The university, a joint venture between Taiwan and Paraguay, is located in the Paraguayan town of Luque.

At a ceremony held at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech), which has hosted students since March last year, around 100 Paraguayan students celebrated the end of their exchange, which included academic courses, business visits and cultural events that gave them the opportunity to learn more about Taiwanese values ​​and society.

Civil engineering student Sebastian Estigarribia Romeo said the key takeaway is that “Taiwan can help”.

“Paraguay is also ready to accept this aid, and [we should] let other countries know that Taiwan is capable of helping. Taiwan has a lot to teach the rest of the world,” he said.

Romeo said he looks forward to applying what he learned from Taiwan’s advanced civil engineering when he graduates in Paraguay in six months.

Milko Gutierrez, a computer science and information engineering student, said much of his studies were based on programming and artificial intelligence.

“I would like to continue researching models of artificial intelligence. I would love to work in this field in Paraguay, but if there isn’t one, I would love to build one myself,” said Gutierrez said.

He said he would strongly recommend young people in his country to study at the polytechnic and take up the opportunities to engage in the exchange program in Taiwan.

Another computer science student, Abel Ferreira Roig Ocampos, who is in a wheelchair, praised the accessibility of Taipei’s infrastructure, which he said makes getting around easier.

“Especially with the MRT and buses… [they are] 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.”

Taiwan will hopefully continue to provide Paraguayan students with the opportunity to study in the country, Roig said, adding that he hopes relations between the two countries will remain strong.

“I, for example, am not 100% sure where I will go for my master’s degree, but maybe I could come back here to Taiwan,” Roig said.

At the ceremony, Taiwan Tech President Yen Jia-yush (顏家鈺) praised the Paraguayan students for undertaking the exchange program and said he believed the knowledge and experience they had acquired in Taiwan would bring them benefits in their lives.

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

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also attended the ceremony and said it was satisfying to see the talented young students flourishing in the study exchange.

“Education has been the foundation of Taiwan’s national development. By cultivating outstanding talents in science and technology, Taiwan and Paraguay sow the seeds of future growth, prosperity and friendship,” Tsai said.

The first entrance exams to Paraguay’s polytechnic were held in March 2019, with 255 potential students vying for 109 places, the Taiwan Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education said.

In an effort to cultivate engineering and technological talent in Paraguay, the polytechnic admits around 100 new students every year, with first- and second-year courses held in the South American country.

The students’ junior year and the first semester of their senior year are ending in Taiwan, with the first batch of students arriving last year.

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