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Taiwan closed its borders in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak and has since managed to control the pandemic with no domestic infections since April. In July 2020, the government decided to slowly open the country again. In the beginning, the Ministry of Education only gave the green light for students from 21 “safe” countries to come to Taiwan for a full-time degree course at a university. A special check-in counter was set up at Taoyuan airport to help incoming foreign students arrange quarantine procedures. It was mid-August when the permission was extended to all countries so that our international freshmen could finally start to apply for their visa and prepare for the trip to Taiwan.
For the staff of the OIA, this announcement meant a lot of detailed planning and overtime work: Taiwan Tech staff was at the airport almost all around the clock, greeting the students as soon as they got out of the plane, and guiding them through the immigration and epidemic prevention procedures. They were then transported to a centralized quarantine facility arranged by the government where they had to undergo a 14-day quarantine. By mid - October, Taiwan Tech has welcomed a total of 144 foreign students from 22 countries, most of them coming from Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Ethiopia.