CCU students make history traveling to Taiwan

Megan Shoop and Tiffani McNeil are preparing for their long journey to Taipei, Taiwan. 

Through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), Shoop and McNeil were awarded scholarships that earned them full tuition and expenses to study Chinese in Taiwan. Both earned the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship (HES).  

While Shoop has traveled abroad before this will be the first time for McNeil.    

“This is my first time going abroad so I’m very nervous but I’m also very excited,” McNeil said. 

Due to COVID-19, the girls will be in quarantine for two weeks upon arrival and afterwards they will be able to start classes at the university of their choice. Shoop said the scholarships they earned were just general money but they still had to prove they had earned admission to a university in Taiwan. 

Both McNeil and Shoop chose the National Taiwan Normal University where they will be studying in the Mandarin training center. Similar to a college application, the process of applying for these scholarships involves recommendation letters and writing short essays about why one wants to go there and how it will benefit them.  

While both girls are excited about this opportunity, each of them have some things they are worried about.  

“I’m nervous about the whole making friends aspect, we kind of have to do it all over again,” Shoop said. 

McNeil said she is worried about the kind of Chinese they will be speaking, for she has only studied Chinese in classes and has never heard it spoken authentically. They said they are thankful for their professors helping them find this opportunity and pushing them to go for it.