Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, people’s mobility is restricted, schools are closed, and most of the physical meetings are shifted into online activities. As nations around the world close their border and limit flight from and to other countries, citizens must refrain from traveling abroad. Following the government’s social distancing policy, higher educations across the globe are also canceling or at least suspending many inbound and outbound programs. This situation might look bleak especially for those who want to study overseas. However, one’s dream to pursue higher education abroad should never cease.
Enrolling in a university and winning a scholarship for studying in other countries is by no means an instant and easy process. Long preparation and numerous steps must be taken, but first of all, students need the right information. In this current state when a social gathering is prohibited and students could not meet directly, online-mode conferencing, such as webinars, emerges as an alternative.
To provide information for the academic community of Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana (UKDW) who are interested to continue their study in Taiwan, UKDW’s Office of International Affairs joining hands with Taiwan Education Center (TEC) Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) organized a webinar titled “Studying and Winning a Scholarship to Taiwan”
on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
Andi Rizal Ramadhan, the manager of TEC UMY began his presentation with a brief introduction of Taiwan which is also known as Formosa Country. The country whose capital is Taipei has a population of nearly 24 million, with 35 provinces, seven islands, and enjoys four seasons, he mentioned.
According to Rizal, Taiwan has academic resources and quality, diverse culture, reasonable and affordable tuition, high standard living quality, better opportunity for further study, various scholarships, and opportunity for seeking jobs, making it a considerably desirable country for pursuing higher education. Easy public transport is another of its excellence. Taiwan has a great reputation for its public transportation. Expats, as well as locals, agree that it is safe, clean, reliable, and competitively priced. Moreover, Taiwan is a paradise for food lovers. A variety of delicious street food at the local night markets will make your mouth water.
Moving to the education topic, Rizal said that Taiwan education systems have a similarity with Indonesian education systems with four years study period for undergraduate, two years for a master’s degree, and 4-5 years for a doctoral degree. He further talked about the requirements and steps for international students to apply to a university in Taiwan.
International students need to meet a certain language requirement to study in Taiwan. TOCFL (The Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language) is a set of standardized language proficiency tests developed for non-native speakers of Chinese. Prospective students need this to enroll in a program taught in Chinese. On the other hand, an international degree program or English-taught program does not require a TOCFL certificate. In this case, English language proficiency such as TOEFL, IELTS, or TOEIC is required.
It is also important for those who want to study at a university abroad to plan for the financial aspect – is the study is self-funded or with scholarship. As Rizal pointed out, there are many scholarship opportunities for studying in Taiwan, among them are Taiwan MoE (Ministry of Education) Scholarships, Taiwan ICDF Scholarship, and Taiwan International Graduate Program (TIGP) Scholarship by Academia Sinica. Besides, most of the universities in Taiwan (private and public included) have scholarships offered to international students.
The presentation session was then followed by the question and answer session. Besides questions related to scholarships, some participants also asked about the regulation regarding part-time jobs for international students and student support or community for Indonesian students in Taiwan.
From this webinar, The Office of International Affairs UKDW hopes that despite the challenge we face during this pandemic, we can stay positive and motivated in achieving the dream of pursuing higher education abroad. [drr]