Under pandemic, Taipei Medical University helped international students successfully join the TMU community
Source: Taipei Medical University
Published on 2021-01-05
Taiwan, with experience gained during the deadly SARS epidemic in 2002, led the world in implementing a coordinated pandemic response to COVID-19. Part of this response included international travel restrictions, and by March 19th 2020 Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center had banned entry to all foreign nationals. This left the future of education for international students up in the air, leaving students uncertain how education could be provided safely, if at all.
As the situation regarding pandemic safety became more clear and actions to prevent the spread of the virus took effect, Taiwan’s government moved to ease lockdown measures and adjust regulations concerning foreign nationals. With collaboration between the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and the National Immigration Agency, a special entry project was formed to allow first-year students without resident certificate to enter Taiwan to begin degrees in the fall of 2020.
The Office of Global Engagement (OGE) has worked to streamline the entrance process and get international students ready for class, providing up-to-date information for visa application, travel to Taiwan, airport pick-up and transfer, as well as offering up to TWD15000 in quarantine subsidies, and eventually, getting onto campus safe and sound. With those sufficient information from the OGE eventually the students’ applications were accepted, and each was greeted at the Taoyuan airport by an OGE guide. Chaperoned by their guide and equipped with a TMU welcome kit including an unlimited-data sim card and a two week supply of masks, student started their quarantine without anxiety.
Many international students feel blessed finally making it to the Taiwan for study. Compared to the fear felt in some other countries, student stated, “It’s really nice to be somewhere where you don’t feel like you’re going to die of COVID-19.” Other students depicted that “OGE and my program manager had assisted me to arrive in Taiwan safely during this pandemic situation (along with the procedure that should be followed) while I could engage with the online teaching, which didn’t affect my further study” and that “I’m very impressed of the COVID-19 response of TMU in particular and Taiwan in general. I was able to come to Taipei to pursue my graduate study without any major difficulties, while many of my friends and seniors who chose other countries or regions had to delay or even cancel theirs. I could also travel around Taipei with much ease and I believe Taiwan did a very good job in maintaining a sense of normality without compromising the prevention of COVID-19.”
With the abundant support, fortunately, TMU helped 98% enrolled students successfully travel to Taiwan and join the TMU community under such a vicious pandemic, as of December 23, 2020.