While international exchange activities worldwide are hindered by COVID-19, National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have cooperated with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and E.SUN Commercial Bank to launch the MIT–NCTU Internship Program. Sponsored by the Ministry of Education, NCTU recruits top students from MIT to perform research in laboratories of NCTU and participate in internship programs offered by partner enterprises. This program promoted exchange among MIT students, NCTU faculties and students, and Taiwan’s industry, creating mutual benefits for the Taiwanese government, enterprises, NCTU, MIT, and students.
In 2020, NCTU became the first university to launch this program, attracting 20 MIT students to sign up. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students with foreign nationalities have not been able to enter Taiwan. Consequently, only four students with Taiwan–United States dual-citizenship have successfully entered Taiwan to perform internship at partner enterprises. For those who cannot visit Taiwan, NCTU have arranged on-campus laboratory internship, in which NCTU professors provide remote guidance to six students over a course of 2 months.
Regarding the four students who have successfully entered Taiwan, they will participate in 2-month professional internship programs at TSMC and E.SUN Commercial Bank. Before the internship, NCTU has also arranged a laboratory visit program that spans 1 to 2 weeks for these students to exchange with NCTU faculties and students and participate in research projects. Hoping that through constructive interaction and exchange, diverse viewpoints and creativities will be inspired, triggering future research collaboration between the two institutions. In addition, NCTU has also assigned a learning companion for each MIT student so that during their stay in Taiwan, they can have in-depth, international exchange with local students.
The Vice President for International Affairs, Kuan-Neng Chen, who is also an MIT alumnus, made this internship program possible. He stated, “Taiwan is eager to establish collaborative relationships with countries worldwide. In the past 6 months, numerous exchange activities have been halted because of COVID-19. At present, NCTU will continue to not only maintain the existing international collaboration, but also proactively expand collaboration with top universities worldwide. The MIT–NCTU Internship program is a huge step we have made this year despite the setback from the pandemic.
E.SUN Commercial Bank stated, “Talents are an anteceding indicator of social progress as well as a key indicator of corporate sustainable development. E.SUN Commercial Bank has long been devoted to talent cultivation. It provides diverse internship programs to help outstanding students understand the development of finance technology. In the MIT–NCTU Internship program, the MIT students will not only foster professional abilities, but also participate in projects jointly with E.Sun Commercial Bank’s summer interns. Accordingly, talented individuals with diverse backgrounds can exchange and stimulate creativity as well as gain various experiences. Through this internship, we hope to continually increase Taiwan’s influence on top universities worldwide and associate the bank’s brand with the cultivation of international talents.”
Janice Yang, an MIT student who will intern at E.Sun Commercial Bank maintained that she is excited to participate in this internship program. To be able to receive this opportunity, learn about the application of machine learning and relevant information technology, and exchange, interact and collaborate in teamwork with Taiwanese university students is a brand-new experience for her. Cynthia Lin, who will intern at TSMC, stated that the main attraction for her to sign up for this program is the opportunity to intern at a world-known enterprise. She hopes to acquire practical industrial experience through this opportunity. Growing up abroad, Cynthia also looks forward to utilizing this opportunity to strengthen her identity and connection with Taiwanese culture.