[School] NTU Exchange - Gem Explorer or Fee Paying?

11/30/2016

This post will be a Q&A section regarding GEM Explorer Exchange Programme and Fee Paying Scheme. 

Well, I have been getting quite a lot of similar questions on all sorts of social media platforms (FB, IG, Blog, Email and Whatsapp) ever since I blogged about some of my exchange experience in Year 3 Semester 1. This unexpected overwhelming responses lead me back here to give you a more detailed explanation on my exchange application.

First of all, sorry to those who waited for my update that I promised since 1 year ago. An excuse here:
My life in NCTU was super hectic (practicing cheerleading and eating supper)
until I didn't have time to blog nor study.
My life in NTU was super slack (playing games and group projects)
until I didn't have time to blog nor study.

Please feel free to ask me anything in the comment section below. I will receive email notification and try my best in answering your questions accordingly, by updating this post. Current questions are some (not all, I couldn't remember all) of the questions I received. This is for the beneficial to everyone out there, and perhaps, you could make a friend or two and decide your exchange together? #win-winSituation

I will do another post regarding my exchange universityTaiwan National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in particular. If you are interested in the information I have blogged about NCTU previously, you could take a look in these links and also read more from their comment sections:

  1. NTU EEE Exchange Report: Life in NCTU
  2. Life in Taiwan: Officially A Student in NCTU, Hsinchu
  3. GEM Explorer Exchange Programme or Fee Paying
  4. NTU Exchange - National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan (Q&A)


Q1: I want to go exchange. Which exchange programme is best for me? 

If you are a local, I highly suggest you to try applying through GEM Explorer, unless you plan to exchange at a university with free tuition fee (eg: Czech Republic). 

If you are a foreigner, it really depends on which country you plan to exchange at. Of course, GEM is always a better choice if your preference is NOT Taiwan, NOT Finland and NOT Czech Republic. But GEM is a tough competition for foreigners, so you really need to plan your application well.

But do check the academic calendar of your host university before applying anywhers to prevent crashing with NTU schedule (and paying sgd500 to withdraw). Email your school to confirm if you can still enrol for the following semester. Universities in Japan are not advisable.

Q2: Say so much. What's the benefit difference between Fee Paying and GEM Explorer?

For EEE/ IEM students, GEM Explorer gives you a chance to apply for EEE Partial-Financial Awards for Overseas Exchange Programme. I got it, but too bad I have it withdrawn as this scholarship is not eligible for fee paying students. If you are from some other schools, you might check with your seniors? I heard that MSE provides scholarship too.

The remaining general understanding of both programme can be search via Google. The following are the main difference that I think important:

For fee paying, you pay tuition fee to host university instead of  NTU. For GEM exchange programme, you pay tuition fee to NTU instead of host university. Fee paying student will not receive a "NTU Letter of Certification" while students under exchange programme will receive it. However, NCTU provided me with "NCTU Letter of Certification" after I completed my exchange. So I guess you will still get 1 or 2 certs anyway?!

Q3: OKOK, I can read on NTU website anyway. What's the application difference between Fee Paying or GEM Explorer?

GEM Explorer is offered and approved by oGEM office, while fee paying is approved by the exchange coordinator from your school. If you have doubts, do check and clarify with your school?

Based on what I understand, for EEE/IEM students, if you are eligible for GEM Explorer (cGPA meet the minimum requirement), you should not apply through fee paying, unless you tried and failed ALL rounds of GEM applications. This is something you should keep in mind during application.

Q4: OK, assume I failed GEM Explorer/ want free tuition fee. How should I phrase my request for fee paying?

Yeap, I know free/cheaper tuition fee is a very tempting reason to write in your fee-paying application. But nope, EEE coordinator would not except this as a reason. This is like saying: "eh hello, you are in NTU now and you complain we charge you a lot arh?!" #FAILED #REJECT

For those who plan to go Europe, if you state that living expenses is cheaper then NTU, then this is a total lie! As we all know that this is not possible in western counties.

So, you have to fail all rounds of GEM Explorer and write in an email to your school, stating that "poor me have tried my best, but sadly I failed both rounds in GEM application. I really want an opportunity to exchange overseas. XX is an amazing place with relatively cheaper living expenses if compared to other Europe counties, and I really want to learn more about the culture there. So please dear kind and lovely coordinator, please give me a chance to apply to XX through fee paying."

Q5: Great faking skills you have! Does it matter if I never apply to XX in GEM but I apply it for fee paying?

No, I don't think it matters since GEM and fee paying is handled by different department / school as stated in Q3.

If fact, I didn't even have any Taiwan universities in my GEM choices. In order to confirm failing my second round of GEM application, I put KAIST (my only choice before Taiwan) as my first choice when there was 0 vacancy left. Actually, just calculate the number of vacancies before making your decision (whether to pass to fail the round).

Q6: So Complicated... I couldn't remember what else to ask already.. 

*Leave a comment so I could answer your questions!* 

I forgot the remaining questions I received already. Sorry! 



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