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Matsu festival, food leave European students smiling

TAIPEI--A festival in honor of Matsu, the Chinese goddess of the sea, and local delicacies have made a lasting impression on three European students who will soon be finishing an exchange program at New Taipei Municipal Panchiao Senior High School.

Antony Weiss and Clara Kruse from Germany and Alexandra Lilgova from Slovakia have been studying at the school since September 2012 on Rotary International's Youth Exchange program.

The exchange students recently shared their reflections on the year-long exchange and thanked their classmates and teachers for a memorable year, according to the school.

They were especially thankful for the great friendships they had formed with local students, who supported them through the initially awkward stage following their arrival in Taiwan.

They took classes with local high school students and traveled around Taiwan, citing Sun Moon Lake, Kenting, Hualien, and Taitung as their favorite spots.

The Taipei MRT also ranked high on their list of things worthy of praise because of its convenience.

The European students were most captivated, however, by the fervor shown during the Dajia Matsu Festival, which they said was very different in form from religious activities in Europe.

Taiwanese dishes also made a lasting impression on the students, who cited dumplings, beef noodles, and bubble tea as among their favorites.

Local students and teachers were impressed by the work ethic of the three exchange students and hoped they would stay in touch.

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From left, Antony David Weiss and Clara Sohpie Kruse from Germany, and Alexandra Lilgova from Slovakia hold completion certificates at New Taipei Municipal Panchiao Senior High School, yesterday. The three students have been studying at the school since 2012 as part of Rotary International's Youth Exchange program.

(CNA)

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