Taiwan-Belgium working holiday to kick off March 29
By Joseph Yeh, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan and Belgium have reached a reciprocal youth working holiday agreement that will allow a total of 200 Taiwanese youngsters per year to travel to the European country under the scheme starting from March 29, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced yesterday.
March 13, 2013, 12:15 am TWN
Under the program, both sides will each provide an annual quota of 200 visas for young people between the ages of 18 and 30 for a period of up to one year, Hsu Mien-sheng (徐勉生), director-general of MOFA's Department of European Affairs, said at a regular news briefing yesterday.
The program allows Taiwanese youths to visit Belgium for tourism, work or privately funded studies and is expected to broaden their international horizons through learning foreign languages and gaining an in-depth understanding of foreign cultures, societies and lifestyles, he said.
The project is also expected to broaden and boost closer exchanges between Taiwan and Belgium and will foster a long-lasting friendship between the youths of both countries, MOFA said.
Belgium is the ninth country around the world — the fourth European nation — to sign a working holiday agreement with Taiwan, after New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, Germany, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
For Belgium, Taiwan will be the fourth to participate in its working holiday program, the first in Asia, joining Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
Bordering France and Germany, Belgium is a small, densely populated country (30,528 square kilometers) relatively smaller in size than Taiwan.
The Western European country has three official languages: Dutch, French and German. Its capital, Brussels, also doubles as the capital of the European Union and the location for the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
To apply for the working holiday scheme, one can log on to website of the Belgium representative office in Taipei at http://www.beltrade.org.tw/chinese/download.php to download the required application form.