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PopaJay

Taiwan Scholarship Advice Needed

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PopaJay

I could do with the help of anyone with any experience in Study Scholarships in Taiwan... Or the links to any previous threads I've missed.

I am a Chinese Studies graduate (of a few years ago), I'm currently teaching in the mainland and working on my language the rest of the time. I'd really like to go to Taiwan to do a masters in Chinese literature/culture, but first I'd ideally want to do at least half a year of language/reading courses somewhere like the MTC, partly to be able to scope out the postgrad scene on the ground.

Trouble is I can't afford to do it without the MOE scholarship and, according to their website, I'm ineligible because I'm someone who "Has already received a HES or a Taiwan scholarship, in the past." I spent a summer session at the MTC in 2006 during my first year as an undergraduate. It seems a bit unfair that I should be disqualified from getting it again with very different aims, a long time later.

But anyway, does anyone know if they (BACS/MOE) consider exceptions on eligibility?

Or does anyone know of other scholarships that cover this kind of thing?

...Or of any other 'access' type courses that might help someone who hasn't studied in Chinese before.

Thanks!

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Meng Lelan

Where in Taiwan are you thinking of doing the masters degree in Chinese literature/culture? As for scholarships I think maybe OneEye and others in the Forums could answer some of those questions.

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OneEye

I've heard (and I have no idea how accurate this is), that if you just apply anyway they won't notice. It might be worth looking into. Forumosa.com would have more information on this, I'm sure. Otherwise, I've heard that the Taipei City Government does have some scholarships available, though I don't know anything about that.

Another option would be to teach at an English school or 補習班 in the evenings and go to class in the mornings. The other way around doesn't work very well, because there are very few classes offered at MTC in the evenings. Probably even fewer than that at other schools.

If you're wanting to do a Master's here, you'll probably have to pass the TOCFL/TOP/CPT/whatever they're calling it by the time you arrive. Which level you have to pass will depend on the department, so I'd start looking into that. They may accept an "equivalent" HSK score (though again, what is accepted will depend on the department). Apart from that, you want to make sure that you're ready to tackle the amount of reading required for these courses, and that your writing ability in Chinese is up to par. I'm sure you know this, but I'm just throwing it out there. Some departments have course syllabi with reading lists available on their websites, so I'd look into that and get started reading ahead of time.

Out of curiosity, what are your intentions in doing an MA?

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Olle Linge

If you're planning on doing an MA, there is another MoE scholarship you can apply for (Scholarship Program of Taiwan). I will start a manter's degree this autumn in Taiwan with that scholarship and I alse received the HES scholarship in 2008. They explicitly state that you can have previous scholarships as long as it's not for the same level. In other words, it's perfectly okay to have the HES scholarship first and then get another one for a bachelor or master's degree.

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OneEye

Ah, of course. I don't know why I didn't think of that, because I'm applying for the same one to start my MA next fall.

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PopaJay

Thanks everyone, that's really helpful. I'll look into those things.

At the moment my intentions are fairly vague. My Chinese is not good enough yet, but I'm working on it (and I'm giving myself a couple of years to get there). If I coped with the MA and it worked financially (and many other factors - I have two young kids into the bargain) I'd consider going down the PhD route - but that's many years and many variables away. Part of the reason for wanting to do a non-MA course first would be to test the water rather than throwing myself straight into the MA-deep-end.

OneEye - I suppose telling a white lie on the form (it is kind of a different level after all) the worst that would happen is not getting the scholarship... What are the visa issues with studying then working in the evenings? I thought they were quite strict about not mixing the two.

What MA are you both doing?

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Olle Linge

Teaching Chinese as a Second Language. I do it partly because I need the linguistic challenge nad partly because I need an MA degree to teach Chinese at Swedish universities. Regarding studying and working, I know tons of people who do this. I think it's legal if you have a work permit and study extra, but not the other way round, i.e. you can't get a student visa and then work (or you're not supposed to, anyway). I have never done any of these two personally, though.

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OneEye

I'm not starting mine until next fall, but it will be in either Chinese History or Literature. Either way I'll most likely be focusing on early China (pre-220 CE), unless my interest in Qing history becomes more pronounced in the next year. And either way, I don't feel ready now (though I could probably get by), so I'm glad I have another year to prepare.

I believe Snigel is right. You can study on a work visa, but you can't work on a student visa. That doesn't keep some people from tutoring English and doing proofreading work in their spare time. I mean, uh...doing favors for friends in exchange for little red envelopes. I personally prefer being on a student visa for the freedom it provides as far as being able to control my own working hours. But then again my wife's income is more than enough to support us (while my red envelopes cover my tuition and then some), we don't have kids to worry about, and the primary reason we came to Taiwan was so I could do what I need to do in order to get into the best PhD program I possibly can. Many people prefer to be on a work visa for the stability it provides, and that's great too. You just have to figure out what works best for your personal situation.

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