Application GuideApplication Guide for Fo Guang University and the Taiwan MOFA Scholarship
This document is designed to provide a detailed and straightforward guide for English speaking students planning to apply for Fo Guang University and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Scholarship for students studying abroad in Taiwan.
MOFA Scholarship Application – February 1st through March 31st
Fo Guang University Application – February 1st through April 30th
Fo Guang University Orientation – around September 10th
*Try to enter Taiwan as close to this date as possible. You have 15 days from your entry into Taiwan to apply for your Alien Resident Certificate, which will require the Student ID card given to you at the orientation.
Applying to Fo Guang University
Applications for Fo Guang University are accepted between February 1st and April 30th. The graduate program for the College of Buddhist Studies is the only program which conducts its classes in English. The application process is outlined in full detail here: 2012 FGU International Students Application for Admission
The above document should supply you with all of the necessary information regarding the FGU application process. However, for your convenience, we have prepared the following step-wise, intuitive guide to your FGU application:
- First, read the section titled “Educational (or academic) background” of the International Student Admissions Guide (download here) in order to ensure that you are eligible to apply as an international student.
- Print and fill out (2) copies of the English application form on page 5-13 (of the “Attachments” section) of the Microsoft Word application file available here.
Some important notes:
* Be sure to attach a recent photograph (about 1” x 2”) to each of your applications. If accepted, this picture will be used for your Student ID card.
* You do not have to fill out page 15 (PDF: 19), titled “Opinion of Referees.” This page is for those reviewing your application.
* It is recommended that you sign up for FGU dormitories, rather than private lodging. All of the Buddhist Studies majors of each gender live in specialized dorms designed to provide a “semi-monastic” living setting. The Buddhist Studies dorm buildings include meditation halls, kitchens, and dining halls and are very close to the Buddhist Studies department’s offices and classrooms.
* Try to be specific about your plans of study in your 300 word statement.
- Go to the nearest Taiwanese embassy, consulate, or Taipei Economic and Cultural Office to get your highest-level diploma, transcripts, bank statement, and health certificate (download here) health certificate authenticated. Please fill in the required Application for Authentication (download here) to accompany your documents.
* Go to your country’s TECO website (link to your country from here ) and look for its document authentication section for document authentication instructions, as well as a list of required documents.
* The authenticated diploma, transcripts, and bank statement will be needed for your initial school application. The health certificate is only needed for your Resident (Student) Visa application. While you won’t be able to apply for your visa until you receive your FGU acceptance letter, it may be more convenient to get your health certificate filled out and authenticated at the same time as your other documents in order to save a trip to the consulate.
* In order for your bank statement to be authenticated by the appropriate Taiwanese officials, you must first have it notarized. Most banks offer notarization services; so simply ask for your statement to be notarized when you retrieve it from the bank.
* The second half of the Document Authentication information page pertains exclusively to transcript and diploma authentication. If your university has delegated student records management to an outside agency (e.g. the National Student Clearinghouse), you will need to pay that agency personally to verify your records and then supply the embassy/consulate/office with the information required to access the verification online (see Note 1). You may want to call the Taiwanese embassy/consulate/office in advance to see if your university requires you to do so.
* If you plan to apply for the MOFA scholarship, be sure to get 2 copies of your authenticated diploma and transcripts. You will need a second copy of these documents for your scholarship application.
- Put each item listed below in one large envelope and send to the following address:
[Intended Department] Admissions
Fo Guang University
No.160, Linwei Rd., Jiaosi ,
No.160, Linwei Rd., Jiaosi ,
Yilan County 26247, Taiwan(R.O.C.)
Necessary items: (see p. 11 [PDF p. 15] of the application PDF for a checklist)
- Application fee: None.
- Two copies of completed application form, each attached with a 2-inch photos taken within the latest three months.
- Authenticated diploma of highest level of education.
- Authenticated grade transcript.
- Two letters of recommendation in sealed envelopes (note: the application document states that one must be from a Chinese language teacher; this is not actually the case for those applying to Buddhist Studies MA taught in English).
- Woodenfish Alumni are strongly encouraged to contact Woodenfish management for a letter of recommendation (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
- A photocopy of passport or other equivalent supporting documents.
- A statement of about 300 words in Chinese or English stating your reasons for and your plans of studying in the Republic of China (the statement included in the application form).
- One financial statement issued by a bank and authenticated by the ROC embassy, consulate office, or Taipei Economic & Culture Office of the country in which the student resides (students with support from an outside funding agency must provide relevant documents).
Applying for the MOFA Scholarship
The MOFA Scholarship is available to residents of countries with diplomatic relations with the R.O.C. (Taiwan) who wish to study in Taiwan. The scholarship includes international roundtrip airfare, a monthly stipend of NT$30,000 (approximately US$950), and the relevant visa application fees. The application period is February 1st through March 31st each year, unless individual Taiwanese representative offices specify otherwise. Please see the Taiwan Scholarship Program webpage (download here) for detailed information. When viewing this page, note that only the information regarding the degree program -- and not that regarding the LEP program -- will be applicable to FGU applicants. Thus, recipients of the MOFA Scholarship for degree study will not be required to take a Chinese language test.
In order to apply for the scholarship, you will need to submit the following to a Taiwanese consulate, embassy, or Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.
- One copy of the completed application form (download here)
- One photocopy of your passport or other nationality certificates.
- One authenticated photocopy of a highest-level diploma
- One authenticated photocopy of a complete grade transcript
- Supporting admission application materials (e.g. a photocopy of your FGU application form. The exact academic year that you will be enrolled as a full-time student must be clearly specified.)
Additional documents as specified by individual representative offices
- Most offices require 2 letters of recommendation. Most offices will still accept your application if you can only supply one letter of recommendation, though it will likely severely hinder your perceived eligibility
- Fo Guang Buddhist Monastic Retreat Alumni and Woodenfish Alumni are encouraged to contact the program management for a letter of recommendation for the scholarship (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Getting a Resident (Student) Visa
Once you’ve received an acceptance letter from Fo Guang University, you can go to the consulate / embassy / office to apply for your resident (student) visa. The visa takes 1 working day to prepare, unless you pay the same-day expedited processing fee (US$33; cannot be waived). You will need the following documents in order to apply:
- Your application fee (US$66 for single entry, $132 for multiple) or MOFA scholarship acceptance letter to waive this fee
- A passport valid for at least six (6) months
- One duly completed Resident Visa Application Form (download here)
* On this form, be sure to check “Resident Visa” for your visa type, FGU’s address (given above) for your address in Taiwan, and “Study” for your purpose of travel
- 2 head-and-shoulder photos taken within the last 6 months (2”x2”)
- Your FGU acceptance letter
- Authenticated Health Form (download here)
Once you’ve arrived in Taiwan, you will be required to apply for an Alien Resident Certificate within 15 days. The administrators at FGU will arrange for all of those who need to get their ARC to do so as a group. It is important that you don’t arrive in Taiwan with your resident visa more than 15 days before registration at FGU, as you will need your student ID card to apply for your ARC.
For more details visit the Taiwan Embassy's Visa Services Web Page click here and scroll down to “Resident Visa”
Getting to Fo Guang University
From the Taoyuan International Airport, it takes roughly 3 hours (included bus-changes, etc.) to get to Fo Guang University. To do so, follow these instruction:
- First, you will need to take a bus from the airport to the Taipei Main Station (aka the Taipei Railway Administration). Bus company Kuo-Kuang offers this service at an affordable rate (click here to see the Taoyuan Airport Transportation web page for times and rates).
- Cross Shimin Blvd. in order to get to the Taipei Bus Station. You will have to either go through the underground mall or the walkway overpass to cross the street.
- Go to the 4th floor and find the Kamalan counter. Buy a ticket to the Jiaoxi station. The bus will pick you up there by the counter on the 4th floor.
- Once you arrive in Jiaoxi, the bus will drop you on Jiaoxi Rd (礁溪路五段). Walk to the nearest corner, and make a right on Wenquan Rd (温泉路). Walk down the road until you see a place where people or taxis are collecting on the right side. This is where you should wait for the bus that will take you to the university (NT$20). On the other side of the road, you should see a small green sign reading 佛光大学 (Fo Guang University).
- Take the bus up the mountain and you’ve arrived!
While Fo Guang University offers scholarships which cover most of the cost of attendants to all of its students, you must pay for your courses, room, and board at the beginning of the semester before being reimbursed within roughly the next month. The fee for one semester of courses, room, and board is NT$55,300 (roughly US$1753.45). Also, there may be minor fees for bedding and photocopies of important readings. The first NT$50,000 portion of the scholarship is given out at the end of September or early October. Another NT$5,000 of the initial fee will be reimbursed in full at the end of the semester, with a fee subtracted for any meals missed.
* Guide compiled by John Plass. Thanks John! *