Hey~ I am in TAIWAN!!! Yeah After all sorts of difficulties.
I arrived here in August. I was too exhausted and excited to write down anything during the first few weeks. Anyway, right now, I am in my cozy dorm and will type down every interesting and meaningful thing I have experienced here. But before I start this long long story, let me first talk about the process I have gone through to study in National Taiwan University, the best university in Taiwan – a school that does not have exchange program with Franklin and Marshall.
First of all, it is possible to study in a school that does not have any connections with F&M and get the credits transferred back. For more information about the individual approval process, please visit the Off-Campus Study website. I am not the first one who chooses to study in NTU from F&M, but I think that so far I am the only one who went here during the fall semester. It needs more work to study abroad in fall. Some obvious reasons are: the expiration date of the health insurance card, the possibility to miss the core courses which are only offered in fall in F&M, the rooming situation after getting back, possible departure from countries other than US (which usually causes some trouble), the visa application process outside US (huge trouble), etc. Thus, my suggestion would be to study abroad during the spring semester. But you have to risk the possibility of missing interviews for summer internships as the price…
Procedures written down:
- Credit Transfer
Check the courses you want to take online, translate the syllabus if it is not in English, and bring it to the department chair in F&M who will approve the courses. It is always a good idea to approve more courses than needed, because usually, one can only get the old class schedule for the school he/she wants to study in and some of the courses listed there might not be offered next semester.
For students who want to study in NTU, they should go to the NTU course information website https://nol.ntu.edu.tw/nol/guest/index.php. This page has an English version which allows students to check out courses in every department.
Since F&M does not have an exchange program with NTU, we can only study here as visiting students. One should apply for an account number with his/her passport on the website of Office of International Affairs http://www.oia.ntu.edu.tw/IncomingExchange/www/visit/framework.php?act=visit-login. The website also provides information in regard to the documents needed.
a) Health Insurance: if you plan to study in NTU in the fall, you would not have the health insurance card for the fall when you are applying, because the one you currently hold will expire in August and you will not receive the new one until next semester. But NTU allows you to provide the document for health insurance when you arrive in Taiwan. Thus, you should go Appel and asks the receptionist to scan the card for you when it arrives and send the copy to your email box asap.
b) Recommendation Letters: the OIA website only asks you to upload the electronic version of the two recommendation letters needed. However, some professors in F&M will only write recommendation letters if they can seal them into envelops and send out by mail directly. I do not know how to deal with this situation. My suggestion would be to find professors who are willing to provide you the electronic version and allow you to upload it by yourself.
c) Financial Documents: NTU asks you to provide a certification which tells that you can afford yourself when you are in Taiwan. F&M can provide this certification for you. However, it takes time. Thus, if you are able to get some sort of certification of your bank account by yourself, it will make things much easier.
d) Application Fee: NTU asks for 15000NTD application fee (around 500 USD). Though the websites states that the fee should be paid upon application, an F&M student can pay it after getting accepted and F&M will cover the fee. Here, I have to express my thanks to those F&M alumni who studied in NTU before. Due to their excellent performances in NTU, NTU has great impressions for students from F&M. Thus, this school is willing to postpone the fee payment.
Next time, I will explain the process to apply for Rutaizheng (the visa for people who hold Chinese passport).
In the end, I have to thank two of my friends, Anqi Hu and Luke Yang, who have helped me a LOT when I arrived in Taiwan and during my stay here. Anqi Hu is my friend from senior high (in Beijing). When my flight reached Famosa, she was in her last two days travelling on this island. Luke Yang, a local Taiwanese who visited my high school three years ago, is now a student in NTU also. He is freshman in International Business Department.
Here is the picture I took when Anqi and Luke went to Taoyuan International Airport to pick me up in August. It was almost three in the morning. I hope that in the future they can go to US, so that I can help them there as a way to say thanks.