Get Your B.A., M.A. or Ph.D. for (almost) Free in Taiwan
The Taiwan Scholarship Program
Taiwan is a rapidly developing country and education has recently become a focus of government efforts to encourage economic growth and improve its international profile. Consequently, government funding to Universities in Taiwan is generous. Many Taiwanese Universities are actively campaigning to improve the international image of Taiwanese education by offering foreign students special subsidies. Many Universities offer foreign students scholarships and subsidies. After a student has been studying in Taiwan for one year they are also eligible for the Ministry of Education’s General Scholarship, which pays the recipient a monthly stipend to help cover living expenses. Those offers are both great, but they are not even the best that Taiwan has to offer.
In an effort to “promote knowledge, understanding and friendship between people in Taiwan and in countries around the world”, “provide opportunities to increase academic and educational links with international institutions of higher learning”, and “develop outstanding professionals and experts to meet the needs of the global society,” the government of Taiwan created the generous Taiwan Scholarship Program to encourage foreign students to study in Taiwan.
For the select few, the Taiwanese government provides scholarships that pay monthly stipends to cover the students’ living expenses. Although the scholarships cannot be used in conjunction with other subsidies (like Universities offering free tuition), they have a far greater monetary value.
Many undergraduate and graduate students from abroad are in Taiwan as this very moment studying practically for free. This article will explain how you can benefit from this tremendous opportunity.
Which Scholarships are Available?
There are four different kinds of scholarships for different kinds of students:
- MOFA Scholarship: Provides funding for undergraduate and graduate degree students. There’s also the option of obtaining a Language Enrichment Scholarship (LEP), which pays NT$25,000 (US$740) per month for one year of Mandarin study to help the student prepare for their studies if the program is in Chinese. This scholarship is only available to applicants from countries that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, or are considered diplomatically favourable by MOFA. The MOFA Scholarship offers direct round-trip economy class airfare to Taiwan as well as NT$30,000 (about US$880) per month.
- MOE Scholarship: The same as the MOFA scholarship, except this one is only available to applicants from countries not eligible for the MOFA scholarship. This scholarship provides a monthly stipend of NT$25,000 (about US$740) for undergraduate programs and NT$30,000 for graduate programs.
- NSC Scholarship: For postgraduate studies only and only for applicants from countries not eligible for the MOFA scholarship. This scholarship offers a monthly stipend of NT$30,000 (US$880).
How Long are the Scholarships Good For?
All Undergraduate program scholarships are good for a maximum of four years.
All Masters Degree scholarships are good for a maximum of two years.
All Doctorate scholarships are good for maximum of three years
If the scholarship has the option of adding the LEP scholarship, then the LEP scholarship will pay NT$25,000 (US$740) for a maximum of one year of study in addition to the term of the original scholarship. It should be noted that the LEP is only available for the student’s first year of study and, no matter when during the year the student begins study, the scholarship will expire on the following August 31st.
It Is possible apply for a second scholarship after graduating from the first program, but one person can only receive Taiwan Scholarships for a maximum of five years.
Am I Eligible?
To be eligible you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have graduated High School.
- Have a GPA of at least three (on the four point scale) from your most recent formal education.
You must not:
- Have a criminal record.
- Be a Republic of China (ROC) National.
- Be an overseas compatriot student.
- Have studied the same program and level for which you are using the scholarship at any college or university in Taiwan.
- Be an exchange student studying in Taiwan.
- Have every previously been awarded, and had revoked, a Taiwan Scholarship or Huayu Enrichment Scholarship.
- Be a recipient of any other government or University scholarship or subsidy.
How Do I Apply?
To apply you will need to submit:
- A completed application form. You can download the application form here: english.moe.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=11981&CtNode=10632&mp=2&1=1#tabindex_10632
- A signed copy of the Terms of Agreement.
- A study plan.
- A photocopy of your passport or other certificate of nationality.
- A copy of the transcript from your most recent formal education.
- A copy of your application to enrol in the Taiwanese college or university of your choice. (If you’re also applying for the LEM you must also submit the application to the Language Center where you plan to study Mandarain).
- A certificate showing that you can speak either English or Chinese (depending on the language that you’re classes will be taught in) to a University level. If you’re from a native English speaking country a certificate of English abilities might not be necessary.
- Two letters of reference.
The application period for all Taiwan Scholarships is from February 1st to March 31st.
Completed Applications must be sent to your nearest Taipei Cultural and Economic Office. A list of all offices worldwide is available here: www.taiwanembassy.org/dept.asp?mp=1&codemeta=locationIDE.
Can I Study in English?
Yes. Programs that are offered in English vary from institution to institution, but most Universities offer an International (i.e. English) MBA program. English Literature is also often taught mostly in English, and Linguistics may be taught in English as well. Even if some classes are not taught in English, English textbooks are often used and some professors will accept assignments in English. Overall, the Universities are as accommodating as possible to foreign students.