Many int'l students want to stay in Taiwan: survey

About 86 per cent of international students in Taiwan would be willing to stay in Taiwan to work and 90 per cent of them would recommend Taiwan to people who want to study Mandarin, according to research by the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET).

An Internet-based questionnaire was carried out by FICHET in May and collected a total of 1602 answers to a series of questions about studying in Taiwan. The results showed that 90.26 per cent of international students would recommend others to study Mandarin in Taiwan. Only 5.88 per cent of them would suggest people learn Mandarin in mainland China. In addition, most of them feel that the traditional Chinese characters they learned in Taiwan are better than simplified characters.

The survey also showed that 86 per cent of international students would be willing to stay in Taiwan if there are job openings or internships available.

Liu Su-miao from the Department of International and Cross-strait Education, Ministry of Education, said that strong academic performance, a great educational environment and reasonable fees are some of the reasons that attract foreigners to study here. In addition, foreign students may also choose Taiwan because of the scholarships offered and the convenient geographical location.

According to Liu, there are a total of 78,261 international students studying in local universities this year, 18.53 per cent more compared to last year.

Ito Ken, a Japanese student who is studying for his master's at National Taiwan Normal University, said that the academic environment in Taiwan is free. In addition, Taiwanese students are friendly and willing to help international students. Ito stated that, thanks to his classmates, his Chinese skills have improved quickly.

He also pointed out that the cost of living in Taiwan is lower than in Japan. Also, there are many scholarships for international students to apply for, which can be very useful.

"I always tell my friend to come study in Taiwan," Ito said.