TAIPEI, Taiwan — Five students from St Kitts and Nevis, who dismissed the thoughts of Taiwan being too far away and the study period too long, were among their fellow classmates this graduation season celebrating their academic achievements.
The students are among hundreds granted scholarships by the then governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) Government during the near 20 years under then Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF).
Finch, Flemming, Brookes and Francis can be seen in the group photos with then Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, then Minister of Education, Sen. The Hon. Nigel Carty and then Taiwan’s Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Miguel Tsao and Mrs. Tsao in 2011
Donya Francis, one of the graduates reports that four of the students each spent four years in order to obtain their bachelor’s degrees, while one spent two years for her master’s degree.
The five students and their awarded degrees are:
- Ketricia Finch, Bachelor of Science in International Business and Trade from Ming Chuan University
- Miguel Flemming, Bachelor of Science in Tropical Agriculture; with a focus on Plant Science from National Pingtung University of Science and Technology
- Bevis Brookes, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Kun Shan University
- Donya L. Francis, Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from Ming Chuan University
- Kerdis Clarke, Master of Science in Counseling and Clinical Psychology from National Dong Hwa University
Clarke was highlighted for being the top student in her area of study throughout the two years she spent at her university.
Speaking about her journey, Finch said that over the four years she was able to develop herself and through working in different groups for many of her assignments she has learned how to embrace people of different cultures.
“Throughout my four-year stint at Ming Chuan University, I have been further grounded into resilience and have also learned how to embrace different cultures, particularly when group assignments were allocated,” she said, adding, “…the International Business and Trade program in my year consisted of students from all over the world, coming from more than 25 countries.”
When asked what advice they will give to others who are thinking about studying in Taiwan, the five answered collectively, “It is simple — it is an opportunity of a lifetime; seize the opportunity it’s worth it.”
The students expressed their heartfelt thanks to everyone who assisted them in seeing a phase of their lives successfully accomplished, especially the scholarship organizations, professors and families.
“We wish to extend heart-felt gratitude to both governments in St Kitts and Nevis and Taiwan, Taiwan ICDF and MOFA (Taiwan) scholarships for choosing us and for affording us the opportunity to further our studies. Their offers have not only allowed us to pursue degrees that suit our interests, but allowed us to become immersed into a culture far different from ours.”
“We cannot forget to thank our professors, classmates, the Embassy of St Kitts and Nevis in Taiwan, the Association of St Kitts and Nevis Nationals in Taiwan and most of all our families for everything they have done for us.”
The students feel that the time spent in Taiwan has prepared them well for their return to the federation, as they aim to assist in its development.
A graduation dinner party was held by the Embassy of St Kitts and Nevis in Taiwan and the country’s representative Ambassador Jasmine E. Huggins.
Huggins also attended the graduation ceremonies in support of the students and was a guest speaker at the ceremony held at the Kun Shan University.
There are presently over 45 Kittitians and Nevisians living in Taiwan.
Finch, Flemming, Brookes and Francis can be seen in photos with then Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, then Minister of Education, Sen. The Hon. Nigel Carty and then Taiwan’s Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Miguel Tsao and Mrs. Tsao in 2011.
Individual photos are courtesy of Francis who indicated Flemming did not submit one