A volunteer service team consisting of 12 Mandarin-speaking Indonesians was launched on Sunday to provide consulting services to their compatriots in Taipei.
The service team, jointly organized by the city police department and the Indonesian Economic and Trade Office to Taipei (IETO), was inaugurated by IETO Representative Suhartono.
The city police believe the team will help maintain public order and resolve problems that have arisen in areas popular with Indonesian migrant workers, particularly in a part of town near the Taipei Railway Station.
On weekends in recent years, the Indonesian restaurants and stores that sell Indonesian products in the area between Zhongxiao W Road and Beiping W Road have attracted a growing number of Indonesians living in Taiwan.
As a result, a so-called “Indonesian Street” with special elements of Indonesian culture has emerged in the area.
The weekend crowds have provided an economic jolt to the neighborhood but also created problems, the police said, noting that after communicating with local residents, they decided to push for the creation of the volunteer service team.
The team is made of employees of the Indonesian stores, who all come from Indonesia and can speak both Indonesian and Chinese.
Some of them have Republic of China citizenship, according to the city police department.
The team will be on duty every Sunday from 11am to 5pm to perform tasks including assisting police in security patrols and providing services ranging from translation to emergency aid.
Meanwhile, in related news, the Taipei-based National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) has launched an Indonesian version of its Web site to attract more students from Southeast Asia to study in Taiwan.
The university added the new site to its existing Chinese and English versions to reduce language barriers for foreign students who want to gain a better understanding of the university, according to Lee Yung-hui (李永輝), chief of NTUST’s Office of International Affairs.
Indonesian students account for more than one-third of a total of 223 international students studying at the university. Before studying at NTUST under a scholarship program, most of them had studied at Indonesian universities that rank higher than NTUST in international university rankings, Lee said.
Most of the university’s Indonesian students major in engineering, management and information technology, and most of the courses are conducted in English, Lee added.
According to a survey conducted by NTUST on media use by international students to acquire information about Taiwanese universities, some 50 percent of the respondents said they searched for information about NTUST on the Internet, Lee said.
NTUST therefore decided to ask Indonesian students at the university to create an Indonesian version of its Web site, Lee said.
He said that Indonesians interested in studying in Taiwan would have opportunities to receive scholarships and be given Mandarin lessons free of charge, as well as be eligible to work for Taiwanese companies.