The Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan, a nonprofit organization that aims to aid collaboration between local and overseas universities, recently released a series of YouTube videos encouraging foreigners to study at local institutions.
Hailing from countries around the world, the students gave candid testimonials about studying in Taiwan. They talked about the benefits of attending local schools and how groups and programs help foreigners adjust to life on the island.
Ksenia Savitskaya, from Russia, studies at National Cheng Kung University in southern Taiwan’s Tainan City. “We have a department [called the] Office of International Affairs, which is in charge of us international students, and last year they helped set up the United International Student Association,” she said. “If we have any problems at the university, we [can] have a meeting almost every month.”
Erna Sulistyowati traveled to Taiwan from Indonesia to study for her Ph.D. at Kaohsiung Medical University. She said that she chose the school in the southern city because of its cutting-edge equipment and research capabilities.
Sulistyowati also praised the school for its welcoming atmosphere. “KMU is a respectful campus,” she said. “For Muslim students like me, they provide a convenient prayer room, even though there are only two of us here.”
One of the videos features Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, who is studying at National Chiao Tung University in northern Taiwan’s Hsinchu City. “I really like the facilities in the school, such as the arts center, library, gym and pool,” the Vietnamese student said. “Everything you need is right here.”
According to Ministry of Education figures, there were over 110,000 international students enrolled in universities and colleges across Taiwan in the 2015 academic year, a record high for the nation. FICHET was established by the MOE in 2005 in cooperation with more than 100 universities around the island. The organization’s Facebook page has attracted more than 140,000 followers.
In the 2015 academic year, there were roughly 25,500 students from 16 South and Southeast Asian nations enrolled in classes at Taiwan’s higher education institutions. Beginning this year, the government hopes to increase this number by 20 percent annually through such measures as offering additional scholarships, with a 2019 target of around 58,000. (KWS-E)