October 21, 2022
Caregiving scholars thankful to study in Taiwan
By Ben Baquilod
Tzu Chi caregiving scholars from the Philippines have started classes at the Tzu Chi University of Science and Technology (TCUST) in Hualien, Taiwan. They are set to complete a two-year Associate Degree Program in Long-Term Care.
This marked the third time that Tzu Chi sponsored Filipino students to study at the renowned college institution in Taiwan. Application began in July 2022 and scholars went through a pen-and-paper exam and an online interview conducted by TCUST. Prior home visitations were also conducted by Tzu Chi volunteers throughout the Philippines for initial screening.
Successful applicants came from Metro Manila, Bicol, Bohol, Leyte, and Zamboanga.
Evaneza Vicente, 20, from Zamboanga City is thankful for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Her mother is a housewife and her father works as a fish vendor earning only around Php 6,000 monthly. Because of financial difficulties, she dropped out of school from Zamboanga Peninsula Polytechnic State University.
Processing her application proved to be difficult—from acing the exam to getting a valid ID to apply for a passport. But she was able to overcome all the challenges thanks to the unparalleled support and assistance of Tzu Chi volunteers and staff who helped her all the way.
For Evaneza, getting the opportunity to study in Taiwan is a both a new beginning and a life-saver. “I feel so grateful and overwhelmed. You are always there when people need you. Thank you, Tzu Chi Foundation for your kindness,” she said.
Evaneza is among the 13 Filipino scholars who departed for Taiwan on October 17. Seven more scholars are set to fly after completion of requirements.
The scholarship covers tuition fees and internship fees as well as airfare, school dormitory accommodation, vegetarian meals, living allowance of NT$ 3,000 per month, books, uniform, and health card.
The two-year course includes intensive Mandarin classes to equip the students with cultural and linguistic competence as future health care practitioners. Graduation will be in June 2024, and shortly after returning to the Philippines, they are assured of a minimum six-year employment back in Taiwan with an initial salary of NT$ 24,000 or around Php 44,000.