A DELEGATION from Letterkenny recently returned from a major international youth conference in Taiwan which has further strengthened links between the two regions.
International Education Manager at LYIT, Ms Jill Murphy led the group comprised of St Eunan’s College students Dylan and Evan McCroary, along with LYIT student David Hegarty who is currently on an education exchange in Taipei and recent graduate Terence Heeney.
The Youth Development Association of Taiwan, and the Taipei representative office Ireland invited the Letterkenny delegates to take part in the conference entitled the ‘Seminar on Youth Participation and International Humanitarianism in the Age of Globalisation’ organised by The Taiwanese Ministry of Education.
The seminar gathered students from around the world including Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Israel, Dominica, Japan and Korea, to discuss youth participation in public affairs and voluntary service.
Speaking to the Donegal News Ms Murphy explained that the strong Donegal presence on the eight-person ‘Team Ireland’ was a great reflection of the links which have been created.
“The other Irish delegates were from Trinity College and DIT. However, it’s safe to say that LYIT has been at the forefront of forging links with China and Taiwan over recent years.”
During the ten day visit Ms Murphy also met with three major universities there to discuss the possibilities of signing Memorandums of Understanding which would open the doors for further collaboration between Ireland and Taiwan.
“We are in the process of having these signed with the universities in Taiwan and once completed this will get students moving in both directions.
Twins Evan and Dylan McCroary have been learning Chinese for more than three years and recently completed Level 4 evening classes at LYIT.
Evan said he found the conference to be an amazing experience. “I learned so much about Taiwan and met people from all over the world. It was particularly impressed by the use of technology for immediate translation which meant that the same speaker could be heard in a number of different languages.”
Dylan continued: “While the conference was really interesting, we also got to do a lot of sightseeing. I was amazed at how similar in some ways Taiwan is to Ireland. We left Taipei and travelled to Tainan which would be the same as going from Dublin to Donegal, they were very different.”
The recent visit to Taiwan is the most recent development in the ongoing work between LYIT and the Taipei Representative Office in Dublin. Currently a number of LYIT students are studying in Taiwan as part of a scholarship programme offered by the office.