What visa would be best for graduate school?

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What visa would be best for graduate school?

Postby Rabidpie » 16 Apr 2012, 15:41

Hello everyone,

As I prepare for my journey to Taiwan I'm starting to plan out what type of visa I should get. Right now I'm having conflicting ideas and opinions about two types of visa, they are the following:

1) Come on a work visa.
- If I come on a work visa I can work in Taiwan while doing my graduate school education. Considering I only need 14 hours for a work visa, I feel that I would have enough time to study a graduate program and perhaps work on the weekends. I suppose my concerns stem from two parts.

1) Finding an employer that would be flexible. I would hate to have to do another visa run to change into a student visa because the scheduling didn't work out.

2) Will I be able to change to a student visa after a year and still have the right to work since by then I would have already studied two semesters? I would really like to switch to a student visa so that I could do potential internships or work part time with Taiwanese companies after studying for one year. Would the be possible or would I have had to start school with a student visa in the first place?


2) Come on a student visa.
-If I can come on a student visa, I can be given the right to work part-time after two semesters of classes. It is only up to 16 hours, but I would not want to work any more hours than that anyways. My concern for the study visa also has two parts to.

1) Will I be able to apply for teaching jobs with just a student visa?

2) Will I be able to work for companies in the field that I would be studying in to gain experience (similar to an internship). Will there wages be very low? I don't think I will be able to survive my second year if I only get paid 100 Taiwan dollars an hour.

Lastly, If I get my visas sorted out in Korea, would this have any influence on the whole procedure and process of things?

Any advice, encouragement, criticism, and mildly amusing jokes are welcome. I understand that visa questions can sometimes be redundant and if there is a specific form here that I missed that answers this question clearly please let me know.
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Re: What visa would be best for graduate school?

Postby Icon » 16 Apr 2012, 17:15

From my own experience:

I suggest work visa and then study on the side. First of all , there are less restrictions. I did mine OK because the schedule was suitable for working people: evenings and some tests/activities on weekends. So, yes, you need a very fixed scheduled job to make it work -remember there is group work, meetings, etc that make schedules go amok.

Dunno how working on a student visa goes, but it gets a bit complicated. Our school offered few interships, and companies were reluctant to hire students for short periods of time.
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Re: What visa would be best for graduate school?

Postby Rabidpie » 17 Apr 2012, 08:28

Icon wrote:From my own experience:

I suggest work visa and then study on the side. First of all , there are less restrictions. I did mine OK because the schedule was suitable for working people: evenings and some tests/activities on weekends. So, yes, you need a very fixed scheduled job to make it work -remember there is group work, meetings, etc that make schedules go amok.

Dunno how working on a student visa goes, but it gets a bit complicated. Our school offered few interships, and companies were reluctant to hire students for short periods of time.


Thank you for sharing your experience, I will definitely consider getting a work visa.

I suppose my concern for the work visa (is again) two-fold,

1) I won't know my schedule until the very end, how flexible would my employer be? If I have to leave employers because one isn't willing to help accommodate my schedule it would be unfortunate.

2) If something happens to my employer and I have to leave Taiwan it would disrupt my precious study/class time.

Icon, was your graduate school part-time and you worked full-time, or did you have a full-time graduate program while working the necessary hours to have a work visa?

I suppose a lot of teaching can be done on the evenings and weekends and not during the day. Are there ever any tests or school activities that are mandatory and must be done on weekends and evenings?
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Re: What visa would be best for graduate school?

Postby ironlady » 17 Apr 2012, 09:26

I worked full-time while going to grad school full-time in Taiwan.

1. NEVER tell your school you are working. NEVER. Or that you intend to work. Or even that you believe it would be possible for you to work while doing their incredibly challenging program. Trust me on this one.

2. You will probably need to either get a highly flexibly scheduled teaching gig or do something like editing or translation. I had an enviably flexible translation thing going (with an insane boss, but that was another story later).

I did a school-sponsored overseas (China) study experience and was never asked what type of visa I was on, FWIW. So the work visa offered me a lot more flexibility.
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Re: What visa would be best for graduate school?

Postby Icon » 17 Apr 2012, 10:35

Ours was a business executive program, so, the schedule was set accordingly, with few courses in the daytime. I worked full time and studied a bit more than parttime at the beginning, then cut back, then took summer courses. It was a pity I couldn't take advantage of, let's say, the exchanges the program had to Europe or China or Korea like my other classmates who were studying full time and hopefully on scholarships, but many ofteh locals were on the same boat and that brought us together as we took our time for studies seriously.

You have to ask the people in your program if tests are scheduled on weekends. Meeting for group work have to be factored in. Som people here have mentioned they have to attend competitions and otehr schools activities, ours was not that but there were seminars and conferences and other stuff that while not mandatory, were "strongly encouraged". And anyways, there are many activities going on at school it is such a pity not to be able to take advantage of them.

What Ironlady says about not telling the school you work, I remember when I was looking around for schools to attend yes, some had that attitude. Mine was a bit wary of me as someone had told them I was working illegally -for the gov't, hah!-, and that is definetively a no-no. Fortunately, I was able to clear that up. Anyways, the foreigners who lived here were all working, while the international students on scholarships were looking into ways to stay -meaning get a job. :D

And it is true that some of the schools do not have the same attitude, especially the language centers or social science schools, they cannot grasp the fact that someone could actually work and study at the same time -which is why their would be teachers do not have such long practicum as we do in the West. Think about how they cuddle and mother their own locals, and how the only ones doing part time jobs are in the lower tier schools and hence are looked down on, so you can guess where the attitude comes from.

From a personal experience, few here knew I had been working and studying in college since I was 16/17, paying my own tuition and stuff. While this enhanced my resume and set me up for assistanships in colleges in the US, here in Taiwan I was surprised from how many it derived derison and disbelief. But then here lots of academic opportunities rely on guanxi and poor people -who have to work for their studies- have little.
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Re: What visa would be best for graduate school?

Postby Rabidpie » 17 Apr 2012, 10:53

ironlady wrote:
1. NEVER tell your school you are working. NEVER. Or that you intend to work. Or even that you believe it would be possible for you to work while doing their incredibly challenging program. Trust me on this one.
.


Sounds good, will definitely not mention it if I decide to go that route.

I guess the other challenge would be finding a flexible employer. I'll see how it goes :cool:
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Re: What visa would be best for graduate school?

Postby Rabidpie » 17 Apr 2012, 10:55

Icon wrote:
You have to ask the people in your program if tests are scheduled on weekends. Meeting for group work have to be factored in. Som people here have mentioned they have to attend competitions and otehr schools activities, ours was not that but there were seminars and conferences and other stuff that while not mandatory, were "strongly encouraged". And anyways, there are many activities going on at school it is such a pity not to be able to take advantage of them.



Ok, this is very good advice. I will be in touch with the people in the program to get an understanding of what is required from me and at what times.
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Re: What visa would be best for graduate school?

Postby Rabidpie » 02 May 2012, 15:59

Just though of a good idea. Use the whole weekend to teach in Taoyuan and live near Tai-Da during the weekdays when there is class. I just really hope there are no sort of mandatory tests on the weekends.
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