U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative

U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative

The U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative is aimed at expanding access to Chinese and English language instruction, while safeguarding academic and intellectual freedom. Specifically, the Initiative highlights and enhances Taiwan’s critical role in providing Chinese instruction both to Americans and to people around the world. We welcome you to explore opportunities to become a Chinese language instructor or to study Chinese in Taiwan.

Events about the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative


AIT and TECRO officially launch the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative

Date: December 3, 2020

Description: As AIT Director Christensen explained: “The Initiative is aimed at expanding access to Chinese and English language instruction, while safeguarding academic freedom. Specifically, the Initiative will highlight and enhance Taiwan’s role in providing Chinese language instruction to Americans and to people around the world. …Universities around the world have been closing Confucius Institutes because of their role in censorship and malign influence campaigns by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). However, interest in Chinese language learning remains strong among American and international students. Taiwan can and should play a key role in addressing that interest.”

The launch included a virtual dialogue by representatives from the U.S. Departments of State and Education and their Taiwan counterparts to discuss ways to expand cooperation on Chinese and English language instruction. It also included the signing of an MOU laying out our shared goals in this area.

Director’s remarks: https://bit.ly/3lzYfrh

Press release: https://bit.ly/36z7qUx

MOU: https://bit.ly/39Crs2c

Fact sheet: https://bit.ly/2KWUwqR

Event: The U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative Working Group Meeting

Date: December 23, 2020


AIT, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Education, and the Overseas Community Affairs Council kicked off the first U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative Working Group Meeting, co-chaired by AIT Deputy Director Greene and Deputy Secretary-General of the National Security Council, Dr. HSU Szu-Chien. Representatives from both sides shared updates on efforts to expand existing English and Chinese language exchange programs and explored ways to support Taiwan’s Chinese language teaching as well as bilingual education policies. If you’d like to learn more about the US-Taiwan Education Initiative, check out the Talent Circulation Alliance website for all the exchange opportunities.

Event: The U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative activity – Teaching Chinese as a Second Language Symposium

Date: January 16, 2021


In collaboration with the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange, AIT is pleased to kick off the first U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative activity-Teaching Chinese as a Second Language Symposium for 200 Taiwan Chinese language teachers. AIT Director Christensen delivered the opening remarks, along with Deputy Secretary General Szu-Chien Hsu, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, Education Minister Wen-Chung Pan, and OCAC Minister Chen-Yuan Tung to support the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative at the Taipei International Convention Center. This symposium provides an opportunity for the teachers to learn about a variety of resources that U.S. and Taiwan have to offer and to talk about ways to enhance Taiwan’s Chinese language education.  Director’s remarks is here: https://bit.ly/3bgrlK8

Event: U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative – Bilingual Education Symposium 

Date: March 29, 2021


AIT Director Christensen is pleased to visit the National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) and deliver opening remarks with Education Minister Pan Wen-chung, NSYSU President Cheng Ying-Yao and Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chi-mai at the “U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative – Bilingual Education Symposium. This symposium brings more than 200 English language education experts together to discuss ways to promote Taiwan’s bilingual education.

Read Director’s full remarks: https://bit.ly/2P80JD6

If you’d like to know more about the State Department’s English language programs and resources, please visit the Talent Circulation website: https://bit.ly/3fmOvRr

Event: “U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative – Forming Global Partnerships in Education” Symposium

Date: November 30, 2021


AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, and representatives from the British Council, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada participated in the “U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative – Forming Global Partnerships in Education” Symposium, hosted by AIT in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Chung Cheng University in Chiayi.

Read Director’s full remarks: https://bit.ly/2P80JD6

Exchange programs about the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative

National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)

The U.S. Department of State’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program provides critical language study overseas for U.S. high school students through full, merit-based scholarships to participate in intensive summer and academic year programs. Participants study a language while immersed in the culture and day-to-day life of the host city. NSLI-Y is part of the National Security Language Initiative, a multi-agency U.S. government initiative launched in 2006 to improve Americans’ ability to engage with people from around the world. NSLI-Y plays an important role in preparing U.S. students for the 21st century’s globalized workforce, increasing American competitiveness, and contributing to national security. NSLI-Y participants also serve as citizen ambassadors, representing the diversity of the United States abroad and building lasting relationships with people in their host location. This program partnered with Tamkang University (Taipei) and Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages (Kaohsiung) in Taiwan. Learn More

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship 

The Gilman Scholarship Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is an undergraduate program for U.S. undergraduates of limited financial means to enable them to study abroad, thereby internationalizing their outlook and better preparing them to thrive in the global economy. The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries or areas and world regions. The program also encourages students to study languages, especially critical need languages (those deemed important to national security). Learn More

Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS)

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to ten weeks abroad studying one of 15 critical languages. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. CLS, a program of the U.S. Department of State, is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. CLS plays an important role in preparing students for the 21st century’s globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness. This program partnered with National Cheng Kung University (Tainan) and Tamkang University (Taipei) in Taiwan. Learn More

Project Global Officer (Project Go)

Project Go, a Defense Department initiative sponsored by the Defense Language and National Security Education Office and administered by the Institute of International Education, provides grants to U.S. colleges and universities with large Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) student enrollment. In 2019, “Project Go”scholarship recipients from Norwich University, studied in Soochow University in Taipei for 7 weeks. According to the “Project Go” website, the following American schools offer summer language programs to study in Taiwan, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Indiana University, Norwich University,the Citadel, University of Mississippi and Virginia Military Institute. Learn More

Taiwan’s Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL)

The MOE has been actively promoting TOCFL across the US and US government recognition of TOCFL certification as an educational qualification. In 2019, 49 TOCFL rounds were held across the US, drawing a total of 2,114 candidates—a 15 percent increase from 2018. TOCFL has been adopted as an important reference in applications for the MOFA Taiwan Fellowship, the MOE Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, jobs that require Mandarin proficiency, and Taiwan’s universities and colleges. Learn More

MOE Huayu Enrichment Scholarship (HES)

The MOE established the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship program in 2005. HES recipients can study at one of Taiwan’s Mandarin learning centers for two, three, six, nine, or 12 months. Each student receives a monthly stipend of NT$25,000 (approximately US$830). In 2019, 925 people from all over the world received the HES, including 187 recipients from the US. Learn More

Global Ambassador Scholarship Program

Since 2010, the MOE has collaborated with the Taiwan-United States Sister Relations Alliance to establish the Global Ambassador Scholarship Program. Each year, around 55 students are given the opportunity to study Mandarin in Taiwan during summer break on a monthly stipend of NT$25,000 (approximately US$830). Learn More

American Councils for International Education Taiwan Intensive Summer Language Program

In 2016, the MOE signed an MOU with the American Council for International Education to establish the Taiwan Intensive Summer Language Program and the Tradition and Modernity in Taiwan program, which enable dedicated students of Mandarin to complete a year of academic study in eight weeks. Over the last five years, the number of students applying for the two programs per year has grown from nine to over 50. Learn More
Foreign Student Short Term Chinese Study Group

MOE subsidies are available for groups of Mandarin students who wish to study in Taiwan. In 2019,there were five student groups came to Taiwan through this program. Learn More

Mandarin On-the-Go in Taiwan

Half-day, one-day, or longer Chinese courses created by universities in Taiwan combine travelling with Chinese lessons and unique culture experiences. Learn More

All Language Programs

The U.S. government offers diverse programs that can help U.S. citizens learn foreign languages. You may use the filters to find a federally funded language program that meets your needs. Higher education institutions can also apply to host some of these language programs. There are more about the personal and professional impacts of government-sponsored language programs for you to find out. Learn More

Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program

The Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program places early-career teachers of English at U.S. colleges and universities to serve as teaching assistants for U.S. students studying Mandarin. Twenty to 30 FLTAs are offered work as Mandarin teaching assistants in the US each year. In 2021, this number is expected to increase to 60, largely due to the suspension of the Fulbright programs in China and Hong Kong, plus five additional FLTAs sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). FLTAs also take academic courses in English teaching pedagogy and U.S. studies, and return to their teaching role in their home institutions with improved English teaching skills and a deeper understanding of American values.The Fulbright Scholar Program is also offering research awards in the United States to Taiwan scholars in a variety of fields. Learn More

Sending Mandarin Language Teachers and Teaching Assistants Abroad

The Ministry of Education has formulated regulations on financial aid for teachers and teaching assistants teaching Mandarin overseas, consisting of round-trip airfare, a monthly stipend of US$1,200, and a one-time teaching material allowance of US$300. Under this program, the U.S. host university pays for visa fees and health insurance and provides salary and accommodation. In 2019, the MOE sent 19 Mandarin teachers and 36 teaching assistants to the United States. Learn More

Mandarin for Overseas Teachers of Chinese

The MOE offers subsidies for groups of foreigners who teach Mandarin in US schools,colleges or universities to visit Taiwan for further professional training and observation. Learn More

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries and areas. The Fulbright Program provides participants from other countries and areas with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Taiwan participates in a number of Fulbright Program activities, which are administered by the Fulbright Commission in Taipei, also known as the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (FSE). Learn More

Fulbright Master’s Degree Program — National Dong Hwa University Award in Ethnic Relations and Cultures

In August 2020, the FSE signed an agreement with National Dong Hwa University to establish the National Dong Hwa University Award in Ethnic Relations and Cultures. The program provides one US student with the opportunity to study in Taiwan for a three-year master’s degree. The recipient will spend the first year studying Mandarin to the level needed for the program, and then study ethnic relations and cultures in pursuit of a master’s degree. MOFA, National Dong Hwa University and U.S. State Department are joint sponsors of this program. Learn More

1. English Language Fellow Program (ELF)

The English Language Fellow Program sends talented, highly qualified American TESOL professionals (with Master’s degrees) on 10-month Fellowships to academic institutions and ministries of education overseas. English Language Fellows teach English, and also facilitate teacher-training, assist with curriculum and materials development, and conduct outreach. Host institutions are usually universities but can also be teacher-training centers, ministries of education, and other English language teaching institutions. Learn More

2. Virtual English Language Fellow Program (VELF)

The Virtual English Language Fellow Program launched on July 1, 2020. Regional English Language Officers (RELOs) and Posts can request Virtual English Language Fellows (VELFs) to do direct online teaching for a regularly scheduled class, conversation clubs, webinars for students or teachers, Facebook events, and other outreach events related to English language instruction or TESOL professional development. Learn More

3. English Language Specialist Program

The English Language Specialist Program recruits top-tier American educators in the field of TESOL to lead short-term English language education projects ranging from two weeks to three months—with the average length of two-four weeks. Specialist project proposals are accepted on a rolling basis, and must be submitted to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at least three months prior to the project start dates. Since 2007, over 80 countries or areas have hosted more than 1,000 English Language Specialists. Learn More

4. The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program

The ETA program is a component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program that provides fellowships to U.S. college graduates to teach English abroad for one academic year. ETAs are placed in 70 countries or areas annually to teach English in host country primary and secondary schools,and universities— the majority in under served regions and schools. Learn More

5. American English Live Professional Development Program

The American English Live Professional Development Program is an online professional development program for teachers worldwide that is broadcast via Facebook Live. Presenters are U.S. TESOL professionals and topics cover a wide range of practical classroom ideas,up-to-date methodology, professional development, and introduction to resources. Participants attend both individually and in viewing sessions. Each session is recorded and made available on the American English for Educators Facebook page for those unable to view the session live. Learn More

6. Online Professional English Network (OPEN) Program

The Online Professional English Network (OPEN) Program (formerly the American English E-Teacher Program) is designed to improve the quality of overseas English language teaching with innovative distance learning technology. OPEN offers foreign English teaching professionals, learners, and other professionals the opportunity to take innovative online courses on a wide variety of topics for English teachers and learners. All course materials, including the courses themselves, are openly licensed, allowing teachers to use, revise, adapt, and share the materials with their educational communities. OPEN Program courses are offered periodically throughout the year through Canvas Network learning management system. They are either facilitated by TESOL university experts(Global Online Courses, GOCs), or self-directed (Massive Open Online Courses, MOOCs). Learn More

7. American English MOOCs

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses and are offered through University of California, Berkeley, and University of Pennsylvania. ECA/A/L offers a suite of MOOCs for a global audience of both learners and teachers of English. Course offerings include English Media Literacy, English for STEM, English for Business and Entrepreneurship, and English for Journalism, as well as TESOL Methodology and other pedagogical courses designed for teachers. Learn More

8. American English Website

The American English website is designed for English language teachers around the world and houses numerous resources, most of which are downloadable and all of which are free. Learn More

News articles on the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative

Houston university launches Mandarin-learning center (Taipei Times, September, 2021)

Education ministry unveils English language goals (Taipei Times, September, 2021) 


Taiwan Centers for Mandarin Learning Open Across US (Taiwan News, September, 2021)

Taiwan’s Chance to Become the Chinese-language Center of Excellence (Taiwan Business Topics, August, 2021)


U.S.-Taiwan ties closer as Taiwan fills gap left by Confucius Institutes: AIT Deputy Director (Taiwan Insider, April, 2021)

New Approaches to English Learning in Taiwan (Topics, March 23, 2021)


台美學術合作 UCLA宣告打造台灣研究重鎮 (中央通訊社, TVBS電視台, February 24, 2021)

UCLA to launch program for Taiwan studies in global context (Central News Agency, February 23, 2021 )

FEATURE: Local teachers eye footing for Taiwan at US schools (Taipei Times, February 19, 2021)

酈英傑倡台填華語教學缺口 教部研議進一步合作 (中央通訊社, 聯合新聞網, February 6, 2021)

大外宣OUT!台美研議推動華語教育 補孔子學院缺口 (Radio Taiwan International, February 6, 2021)

U.S. asks Taiwan to fill void as Confucius Institutes close (The Nikkei Asia,  February 2, 2021)

American Students’ Love Affair With China Cools as Political Tensions Rise (The Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2021)

台美教育倡議 16日首場說明聚焦美語人士學華語 (United Daily News, January 14, 2021)

台美簽署教育合作備忘錄 (The Liberty Times, December 4, 2020)

台美教育合作升級!美國關閉「孔子學院」 鼓勵學生來台學中文 (Apple Daily, December 3, 2020)

全球關孔子學院 美盼台灣成學習中文重鎮 (The China Times, December 3, 2020)