Weekly updates and a six-screen defense
GIBMTE now also requires PhD progress reports every year, which Dean Burnouf called “not a place where the professor should have their gun to shoot at the student and fail them, but to give advice, recommendations, perhaps suggest the student talk with other professors, in order to help the student to finish and publish. It’s a committee that’s supposed to help the student, not destroy the student. Students and Professors should feel being on the same boat towards achievements and novelties!”
Natalie concurred, saying “This helped me a lot to finish my Ph.D. in a short time.”
They travelled to Lille in December for her defense, while three TMU committee members, including Dean Huang Chao-Ching of College of Medicine, participated by video link – “three cameras and six screens” including the slides and speaker. But then the champagne was opened (this was in France, after all!)
Paying for this pioneering arrangement was complex. She received NT10,000 from TMU’s International Office (IO) for the defense trip, and Lille paid for six months of dormitory and one previous trip. Dean Burnouf said European studies are helped by a culture of benefits for students that extends far beyond the low tuition.
“I think it’s really beneficial to students: they can learn more, open their mind – and this does not involve a great deal more financial expense. They can get support from IO. Yao-Ting [the dual master’s degree student] got support from the Lille University (CABRI grant) as well as the French embassy, and did not need to pay tuition fees in Lille.” This student was paying only 250 Euros per month for dorm fees, and he had his own kitchen and shower in his room, plus half of this dorm cost was reimbursed by French social welfare system that is opened to all, French and Foreigners.
Natalie said multiple student discounts in Europe helped too, whether for local transport, student meals or movies: “I think France is the best for the student!”