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National Ilan University 國立宜蘭大學
Tel: 03-935-7400 ext.305, 306
Address: No.1, Sec.1, Shen- Lung Road, Ilan City 宜蘭市神農路一段1號
One of the oldest institutions of higher learning in Taiwan, National Ilan University invites international students to enroll in its leading-edge undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs.
National Ilan University has unmatched resources. The Engineering College is a world leader in Green Energy research. National Ilan University’s Electrical Engineering & Computer Science colleges are pioneering the latest developments in digital design.
Students interested in the field of Agricultural Biotechnology will find National Ilan University’s College of Bioresources to have the latest methodologies and undertaking research at the leading edge of the field. While the institute of Management & Architecture add international students at a steady pace – attracted not only to the handsome scholarships and FULL tuition waivers for international graduate students, but also to National Ilan University’s position among the international academic community.
National Ilan University’s quality does not go unrecognized by the business community. The campus is home to more than 150 laboratories that undertake research used by Taiwan’s countless high-tech firms. That, in addition to the school’s Analysis and Technology Consulting Center which is used by Taiwan’s leading firms to do quality control at the sharpest degree of tolerance. At the same time, it was the very presence of National Ilan University that helped to make Ilan the home of the Letzer Industrial Park, home to many of Taiwan’s leading solar energy companies – attracted by the vast resources of the school, its laboratories and highly-trained students. The presence of theLung Te Industrial Park so close by amplifies the opportunities for every student studying at National Ilan University.
In addition, National Ilan University takes excellent care of international students, offering ample scholar ships and even FULL tuition waivers for international graduate students. Further, National Ilan University makes sure students can master Chinese by offering FREE Chinese classes – and offers international students the chance to have tests in English. National Ilan University will even assign local students to help international students with questions of translation, culture and day-to-day living; this in addition to the warmth and friendliness that National Ilan University’s local students are renowned for.
National Ilan University takes it commitment to welcoming overseas students very seriously, from the dean to the director of the office of international affairs, everyone we met made two things very clear: that National Ilan University was preeminent in academics, especially in the fields of, Clean Energy, Green Technology, Recreation, Management, Bioresources & Digital design. And second – that National Ilan University warmly welcomes international students from all over the world.
We spoke to the Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Hsin Yu 喻新 Academic Affairs Director Dr. Wei-Jung Chen 陳威戎; students Ben McCaffery 班思明 from Canada, Bolly Djarra 包莉 from Burkina Faso & Dang Van Hung 鄧文興 of Vietnam who took the time to describe National Ilan University for us in depth.
Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Hsin Yu 喻新
We were founded in 1926 as Taiwan Provisional Ilan School of Agriculture & Forestry. And gradually we became a university based on agriculture and industry…. So, we gradually increased our departments to four colleges: humanities college, management, Bio resources, electrical engineering & computer science. [At National Ilan University] students can find the most advanced techniques, knowledge and level of academic inquiry.
Furthermore, in Ilan there is a new science park… They will [require the] development of networks and transportation techniques in computer science. National Ilan University has tight cooperation with this science park. Additionally, Ilan also has the Letzer Industrial Park – [home to many leading] solar energy enterprises. So, our engineering college has good co-operation with these industries. We think students studying in National Ilan University have many chances to do the practice with real enterprises, yes. It’s our advanced support for students.
Can you describe National Ilan University’s scholarships?
We have scholarships for international students with full-support and partial-support. The full support is 8000 New Taiwan dollars per month for 12 months per year. It is also called Teaching Assistant’s Scholarship – they will do some teaching jobs for the departments, but it depends upon the departments. And the part-time scholarship will be 4000 New Taiwan dollars per month. And also we have free tuition fee…for international [graduate] students right now. And, we have many chances for students to, to work on campus….
We have also offer free Chinese class per week, 2 hours per week for international students. So…we can support international students. But, the most important is the ongoing support [international students find at National Ilan University from] their adviser & classmates….
Once the students come to Taiwan, come to National Ilan University what are the kinds of student support systems do you offer?
In fact we support [local] classmates to help the international students…. So, I think, it’s no problem for new students.
Academic Affairs Director Dr. Wei-Jung Chen 陳威戎
First I want to mention the scholarships in National Ilan University as our Dean, Professor Hsin Yu 喻新, just said, we have the tuition fee waiver for the graduate students – for international students…. Graduate students can also apply for some extra benefits like a full support [scholarship of] 8000 NT dollars per month and another partial support about 4000 NT dollars per month. So, I think the scholarship may be attractive to these international students. And, as Dean Hsin Yu 喻新 mentioned, National Ilan University wants to provide extra support for these international students, including our teaching staff and their classmates. So, we’re planning on some, just as you said, one on one projects, one on one programs. Currently we provide financial support for local classmates who can [help international student with their] daily affairs. So, that’s what we’re doing right now.
And you also have free Chinese classes?
If the students asked for more hours would that be possible?
Of course. Of course. Really. I must say that the head of our language center professor Hui Chang張慧 promised that she would find some enthusiastic teachers who can try their best to help these international students.
That’s why many students come to Taiwan. They want to learn mandarin, they want to learn Chinese.
I think that’s definitely one of the important reasons why they have come to Taiwan. Right. And that’s what we care about so, so we will try our best. Minimum course is 2 hours a week. There can be more. [And,] no extra charges for these Chinese courses.
What are some of the other outstanding features of National Ilan University?
I want to mention some specific themes about our four colleges in our university. As our Dean Hsin Yu 喻新 said this morning: we have four colleges including humanities and management. The specific fields that these colleges want to develop: recreation, agriculture, industry, management – and about the Engineering College we want to focus on Green Energy. And in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science College we [are emphasizing] Digital Design. Our College of Bioresources focuses on Biotechnology – especially Agricultural Biotechnology. Our focus in these fields is on research and teaching – and that’s what we believe...can make the difference between NIU and other national universities or private universities in Taiwan.
How does National Ilan University support international students who are attending lectures in Chinese?
We always try to [help] students adapt to their environment and their classmates… those professors with international students in class will have…a different grading policy for these students. They will not have the same quizzes, the same exams – maybe their exams are written in English.
We...encourage our international students to study diligently, practice with earnestness, [to have] respect for professionalism and to be gregarious.
Students Ben McCaffery 班思明, Bolly Djarra 包莉
Why did you come to Taiwan? Why did you choose Taiwan to study.
My name is Ben McCaffery 班思明. I’ve lived in Taiwan for 13 years. I grew up in Canada. Moved here because I met someone who was recruiting teachers, so – I used to be a teacher in Canada – and I thought it would be a good opportunity to try somethin g different, try something new. So, I didn’t really like the first year I lived here. Then, after that, I started to like it quite a bit. I lived in Taoyuan for four years. I didn’t like living there. I was going to leave Taiwan – I thought it was not a healthy city to live in. So, I had a friend in Luodong. They said “Why don’t you come and see the school?.” So I went to the school in Lodong – nice place. So, and I’ve been here ever since.
Oh! I choose… I chose because there is a relationship between Taiwan and my country and I heard that Taiwan has a high level of education.
Do you have a scholarship to come to Taiwan to study Chinese?
Yes. But sometimes I receive support from my parents.
After you studied for one year at Fu Jen what brought you too National Ilan University? Why?
OK. I choose National Ilan University for different reasons.
One: … Ilan is a great and not a busy city which is very conducive for studying. And it is excellent Agronomy and Forestry Study departments.I also learned that in National Ilan University and the staff and the students are always very willing to help. And, before making my choice I came to Ilan I met with the head of the Food Science Department and he introduced me to different places in Ilan as well as National Ilan University.
Ilan is close to Taipei…and I can see my country mates, my friends and the embassy.
I’m still curious before you chose National Ilan University you definitely might, you might have the other choices. Have you thought about the other schools? Yes or no. If yes why did you still choose National Ilan University? I’m very curious about this part.
I applied for different universities: Ming Chuan, Tai Da, Chung Hsing University, yeah. All of them accepted me and I had to make a choice. Let me tell you that when I arrived everyone said that “Oh! Taida: it is the best university in Taiwan and you have to go there”. I said “Yeah, but I don’t like a school which is very popular and, because of my Chinese level. so I felt needed more attention individual from teachers and others students.
You’ll have more chances to practice your Chinese if there are not so many foreigners here…
Yeah, I know. But – I know, yeah. I’m sure I can get many help.
Wow! That’s a smart choice.
How about you, Ben?
Well, I live in Ilan. And they were offering a program [Architecture and Sustainable Planning] that I was interested in. I was looking and architecture, anyway. Not in Taiwan actually. I was looking at possibly going to other countries to study. And then the friend told me that they had a program that had been open for year already “Aw, great!” I was living here already. I didn’t really want to move, I like Ilan. So, I thought “Well, that’s good.” It’s convenient, really.
How long have you live in Ilan?
Nine years! Why do like you and so much?
The people are great – I mean people are great everywhere in Taiwan. I think Taiwan is a great place to live. So, I mean, if there were international students…if they wanted…I don’t think that they would lose out at any university, really. I think the people are really welcoming – it wouldn’t matter where you went. And Ilan in particular is – I like for, um… I think when I, when I arrived here nine years ago the government that was in power were great. They were doing are really good job of what was going on here. And then the government changed. And it was sliding a little. And then after the recent election maybe it’s better again but, um, I really noticed it, actually. That was one of the reasons, when I came from Taoyuan, and I saw this place I thought “oh, the government cares about the people here and there’s a lot of features or natural features that are in place for people. And since I’ve been here they’ve built a lot of bike paths and they keep on building parks. I mean, so…they put money back into the community and the society here and I think that’s a good – that’s a great thing.
Can you tell us something specific?
Well, the pace [I was]was different. Taoyuan was really busy – money oriented. People were money oriented, business driven. Here there it is much more laid back, quiet… Cost of living…
Can you compare the cost of living?
I couldn’t tell you now. I haven’t been in Taoyaun for a long time. But I was in Taipei yesterday.
Can you make any examples based on that?
Sure, sure. Well, for example, in Taipei yesterday I went to a restaurant [for] pizza and a coffee and a friend of mine had a beer and it was 700 NT dollars. And, so, for, and…but, for the same thing here…it would probably be half that price, if not [less]. So, and, and the quality would be as good. I mean, there’s not…just because it’s Taipei doesn’t mean the food isn’t as good or that it’s that much better. And then, so also here you’ve got, I mean, in Ilan you’ve got the coast – and a lot of access to the ocean. There’s a lot of rivers and its really close to the mountains, too. And the only kind of drawback to Ilan is the weather. But, people say rains are a lot, and it does. It varies from year to year. I mean, this year’s been OK. Last year was great. Three years before was awful. So, I mean, it goes up and down. I don’t think it’s continually. It’s always – it changes from year to year, the rain. The amount of rain. That makes it difficult. I mean: you just need better clothes, really.
How long have you been studying here, Bolly?
Only three months.
And you, Ben?
Three months, yeah.
So, so far how easy or difficult has it been for you to learn? And what kind of support has National Ilan University offered you?
Benjamin: they’ve been great, actually. The office has been really helpful, helping me do all of the administration things that I have to do; if I miss something because I don’t understand, because of the language, or something, they’re really good about phoning me and letting me know or contacting me. Or, when I come to school they’ll say “You need to do this, and this and this.” And also the, my classmates, are great. They’re really, really helpful. So, the professors…everyone is really helpful. And that’s good.
My tuition fees were waived because… for graduate foreign students they do that. And that’s great. So, I’m not paying tuition…..
So, how’s your learning so far, Bolly? You are studying Food Science?
Yeah, food science.
How do you learn in your class? How’s the professors, classmates hows the students? Which classes do you like best? Your favorite class?
Bolly: All classes are my favorite classes. Because all my teachers help me. I’m very, very happy for all the help they give me. My professors are, every time, available to receive me in their office. They translate in English homework and exams for me. And, my classmates also! If I need some help or if I don’t understand something in Chinese they help me. In the dormitory, the room is very suitable because at midnight the supervisor visits every room to see if everyone is present. I think that means that they take care of us (dormitory residents).
So, what do you expect in the future after you finish the classes here? What do you expect from learning you have gotten? And to use this benefits to have some kind of different future you have that kind of thought?
I think food science is more beneficial for me because these studies will help me to know many technical skills and acquire more experience in food science. My goal is “a World without hunger and food quality for all!”
When I’m done?
What do you expect from this class?
Well, I was attracted to the program by the sustainable development part of it. So, I was interested in building and, I guess, creating smaller, ecologically-friendly houses. You know, because, in Taiwan there’s this – especially in Yilan right now – there’s this tendency to make these huge, huge mansions. And, I think it’s, up, it’s wasteful, you know. So I’d like to…
Using too much material to, um…. But then, that’s a mindset. So, part of the problem is the way people think. They think that a big house, a prestigious house is important. Or, it will bring, I don’t know what it will bring, but in the current situation I don’t think people can really, should be building with much material, right? I think everyone can build smaller…. So, I’m interested in building smaller homes and, so using what I can take out of the program to just help people plan and to live in, I don’t know….
Can you tell us a specific plan? You say the small….
There’s many different varieties of small homes. You can build them out of cob, which is clay and sand and water. Natural materials that you find. You can also use secondhand shipping containers…I mean there are lots of ways you can go. And you can still make beautiful designs and great, nice, comfortable homes.
We expect that.
Well, yeah. And, and I think something that people miss here is that the environment is so beautiful here if you spend less money on making your house large in your yard actually becomes bigger and you can spend more on landscaping. So, you’ve got a better relationship between inside and the outside of your home. More comfortable living.
I’m still curious why you’re so interested in building houses?
Building homes? I just like it. I enjoy doing it.
What brought you this kind of idea?
I bought a shipping container and did the same thing. I lived in this shipping container for four years. Opened a restaurant out of the shipping container. After living in that I thought “You don’t need a big home.” You know, you really don’t. So that’s one way is that…I’ve had that experience of living in a small house, which is quite nice. I used to live in a small ping fong…just a small small place. [6 by 4.5 m]. You expect in the future…
Oh, it will happen whether I want it to or not. People won’t have that much material anymore so I, I mean… I’m just a little bit ahead. It’s going to happen. I don’t think anyone’s going to have a choice sooner or later. I mean the population keeps growing and the materials, the resources are fewer and fewer. And, so, whether you like it or not people are going to have to make smaller homes and travel less. It’s going to happen.
This is an interesting idea: environmental protection even in house building.
Sure. Or even using, even using homes and buildings that are already existing. I mean, those…it’s possible to just renovate them or change them. And then, you don’t have to tear things down and build up again, you know. Keep the things that are good…. So, that’s what I’m interested in.
OK, my last question… What would you say to encourage other people to come to this university?
Ben: I think the university is of a good standard. And, so, then – yeah and I think that they would do well to choose National Ilan University. I also think that most places in Taiwan would probably be OK. You know….
Bolly: For me… I encourage all international students to come in Ilan and enjoy Ilan University because they’ll never regret it.
Dang Van Hung 鄧文興
My name is Dang Van Hung 鄧文興, I got my bachelor degree from the Department of Safety, Health and Environmental Engineering, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology. Then I applied to 6 universities for my master's degree. And I chose National Ilan University. Because it is close to Taipei and [the] professors’ research fields are helpful to me, such as leadership, marketing, investment, management and research methods. Now, my friends, brother and I have a company in Vietnam, these study fields at [National Ilan University] are very useful to me.
Before I went to National Ilan University, I made a phone call to one of my professors, and he said you won’t feel too much pressure when you study here. You can bring your talent into full play. After 2 months I started my Vietnam food restaurant with my classmate here.
How’s it going so far?
Have you promoted it?
Yes. Now my local classmates are making a deal to cooperate with us. We want to popularize Pho Sai Gon. They have visited the restaurant many times and tasted Vietnam food, they said the food is delicious.
I discussed the restaurant with my professor, he said “Ilan has many restaurants offer Vietnam foods. What are your advantages? Will your restaurant offers better food than others?"
And I said my target is not Vietnamese but Taiwanese, and these foods should be clean. I adopted what I learned from my university study to promote it. And, now, I am considering offering delivery. My professor agrees with me.
You said one reason you chose National Ilan University was its proximity to Taipei. Are there other reasons?
I think living in Ilan is less expensive.
Did you visit the campus before to you come here?
No. But I read some information from internet, and my classmate visited and sent me the pictures. He took the pictures.
What kind of support have you gotten from Nation Ilan University?
A lot! They are really care about international students. I have a classmate who just came here. He couldn’t speak Chinese; he could just speak English. So, they arranged a local classmate to help him learning Chinese. Both local classmates and his professors help his Chinese study. In daily life, if we need any help, we can make phone call to our dorm, or even our professors - they are willing to give us a hand.
Which course impress you most?
Marketing Management. It is a brand-new field of study for me, because my bachelor degree was is Safety, Health and Environmental Engineering. It is new to me. My brother & I are running a company, but I didn’t think about Marketing, just simply buying and selling products. So, when I come here my professors introduced me to the science of Marketing Management, I was so happy.
What’s next after you graduate?
I will return Vietnam to run our company.
How’s the business volume of the company now?
NT$ 14 millions and the profit is about 50%. 20-30 staff.
Now your are very valuable, not just in terms of income but in your ability to speak English, Chinese and Vietnamese. You can deal with trading between Taiwan and Vietnam.
Yes. We import medical equipment from China and Taiwan. Such as chairs, lights and ultrasonic instruments.
Is the market very big in Vietnam?
Yes, Vietnam has huge population, it is about 85 millions.
So, is your company big scale in Vietnam?
No. It is medium.
How many Vietnam students study in Taiwan now?
I heard it is about 8,000.