Higher Education in Taiwan
Taiwan operates under a "dual-track system" of education, much like Japan, meaning that students are put into one of two tracks while in high school and junior high: the university track or the technical track. The university-based studies are more scholarly and deal with fields such as technology, medicine, and law, while the technical track may also deal with technology, but more about production than design, as well as careers such as mechanics, finance, or manual labor. Students coming from other countries can still enter higher education in Taiwan but they may be required to produce evidence that they can succeed on the college track.
The most coveted university is considered to be National Taiwan University, due to its high-tech curriculum, accent on prestigious fields like medicine and the arts, and the fact that they strive to improve their university standards on a yearly basis. They are ranked #1 among Asian countries and are known for their innovative research-based criteria in several disciplines.
Taiwan offers some reduction in their regular tuition for students who wish to learn the Mandarin language and focus on specific skills for their careers. The Ministry of Education selects the finest students from the Taiwan population annually for overseas studies as well. There can sometimes be a student exchange worked out between some of the Taiwan students who wish to study in the U.S. or the UK and students from those countries who wish to study in Taiwan.
Eligibility for Student Visas
Obtaining a student visa is a complex process so the steps must be followed exactly. To enter Taiwan even as a visitor or tourist, someone will need a passport that has been valid for at least 6 months, a properly completed visa form, and 2 passport photos taken within the past 6 months, taken on a white background. In addition, students must apply for something known as "a visitor visa with the purpose of studying Chinese." This will work for up to 60 days and can be renewed for a total of 3 times. Once this has been exhausted, if you wish to study longer in Taiwan, you must apply for something known as a "residence visa with the purpose of studying Chinese." For a residence visa, you will need proof of enrollment in an academic institution in good standing, proof of a good past academic record, and a clean bill of health. In addition, you will need money to handle the conversion fee of the visa.
Why Study in Taiwan?
Taiwan is an appealing place to study due to its global importance as a powerhouse of technology and human resources, its highly respected education system, and the rigor by which they operate their educational system. They are currently ranked 6th globally by the International Institute for Management Development and are considered a leading player of research and development, as well as production. More than 90% of all laptops in the world are believed to have come from Taiwan, and they are a leader in the the manufacturer and development of computer chips, smart phones, and other devices.
Upon completion of the university's requirements, there are many incentives for staying in Taiwan to contribute to the already successful technology industry, or to go into another needed field, such as the humanities and arts, or medicine. With its strong bearings in research and development, there are many opportunities a graduate of Taiwan universities can achieve if they are willing to work hard to achieve it. In addition to the strong educational opportunities and the career options that follow, Taiwan is also a rich artistic center, with an emphasis on dance, music, and art. Those interested in these fields could attend the schools of dance and theatre that are prevalent in Taiwan, or attend these as a spectator for cultural enrichment and enjoyment. Like China, Taiwan is rich in cultural heritage and history and their artistic outlets show this in many ways.
Taiwan is a great place to study for anyone wishing to immerse themselves in a rich artistic and technical environment which focuses on precision in education and preparation for the highly competitive careers that afford themselves to its residents. Studying in Taiwan would be a memorable and rewarding experience.