I met my professor when he visited my university in Cebu, Philippines. We had a good rapport discussing his research and my studies. He invited me to visit FJU and tour Taiwan. I visited Taiwan for 2 weeks and found the research environment in FJCU is very engaging. The university is inclusive and has a diverse student population (international and local) in various programs. I think this is important to enrich my experience and learning. Furthermore, Taipei is a pleasant place to stay. You can hike mountains, go to nature parks at the same time, and be close to the sea all within couple hours driving from the city. Most importantly, there are many opportunities for international student to study in Taiwan that I probably won’t be able to easily access in my home country which eventually made me decide to pursue graduate studies in Taiwan.
I am studying under the Graduate Institute of Applied Science and Engineering in Fu Jen Catholic University. Currently, I have immunology and seminar classes. I had classes on biomaterials and advanced spectroscopy during previous semester. My program allows me to enroll in classes within various subjects, such as Physics and Chemistry aside from my major which I think makes student highly competent after graduation. Also, I can enroll classes in other universities in Taiwan that can be highly specialized within my field. This goes to show that Taiwan has the capability and expertise that students can learn from. Aside from my studies, what I enjoy most is interacting with Taiwanese students. I am able to learn more from the country’s culture through them and vice versa. I find it interesting that in my studies, even though there is a slight language barrier, we can communicate our ideas easily and that our field has somewhat bridged that gap for both countries.
In comparison, the teaching quality in Taiwan is at par with some of the best Western and European universities. For example, FJCU has all the necessary facilities for conducting research in science and engineering and most importantly, professors have a wide range of networks with other universities within and outside of Taiwan. This was one of my major reason for studying in Taiwan aside from having a conducive environment for learning in a culturally rich country. The Philippines is still at the stage of catching up with the educational standard of the rest of countries in the Asia region. Although we have produced plenty of excellent scientists in our country, with the fast paced innovation in science and technology, I think Taiwan is at the top of the list, Philippines still has a lot more to learn.
Honestly, applying to study in Taiwan was not difficult at all. I was able to find all the necessary information through the university website which was written in English. All the documents that I needed to submit were through online. The instruction for application process is clear and concise. The only difficulty I had was when I was getting my student VISA at the Taiwan embassy in my country. The process was not so clear.
I plan to stay in Taiwan for a few years after graduation. I want to have a working experience in the country and afterward apply for a post-graduate position elsewhere. I believe that my studies in Taiwan give me a competency to be able to work in US or even Europe.
Studying biotechnology program in Taiwan gives me a competitive edge with other international students abroad because the training that I get here is at par with universities abroad. The fact that I am able to study in an environment that is culturally different and be able to successfully adapt gives me the confidence to capably work in other countries and in various situations. Those reasons alone increase my chances of having a good career in the future.
I would say my key achievements studying in Taiwan is that I am able to gain experience and learning that I probably won’t get if I do my graduates studies in my home country. In the future, when I start to establish my career in the Philippines or elsewhere, I can also share those learnings to other people. Not only that, I also believe that as an international student, I am enriching the community in Taiwan by interacting with local students. Especially, communicating in English.
I would encourage interested overseas students to study in Taiwan. They will be able to learn the country’s interesting culture, learn the beautiful, albeit complex, language, exotic food and well preserved natural sceneries. It is as fulfilling and satisfying studying and living in Taiwan as any other countries abroad.