Courage, passion, Internet take Frenchman to Taiwan


Courage, passion for Chinese culture and a simple search on the Internet took Jean-Baptiste Buffeteau from France to Taiwan to learn Chinese not once but twice and he plans to come back for a third time.

Buffeteau, 30, caught a lot of attention in a ceremony organized by the Ministry of Education (MOE) Tuesday to mark the conclusion of an MOE-sponsored summer Chinese learning program. Almost all the other members of the program are university students.

Spending a year in Taiwan was not enough for Buffeteau, a politics major.

He worked in a bank after returning to France and kept thinking about coming back to Taiwan. One day he discovered through the Internet that the Taiwan government offers scholarships to foreigners wanting to study in Taiwan.

Buffeteau quit his bank job enrolled in Fu Jen Catholic University on a one-year program.

He also expressed preference for Taiwan’s Chinese learning program and claimed it is better than using the simplified Chinese characters used in China.