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From Taiwan to India: A Teacher’s Journey amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

At London airport

Ms. Huang Wan-Ting is one of the many teachers who go to India to teach Mandarin language to Indian students and she overcame many challenges to fly there during this difficult period when the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet ended and the number of cases continues to increase. 

One of the first challenges Ms. Huang faced was to find a suitable route for her journey. No direct flights were available between Taiwan and India, and the cities like Seoul, Tokyo, Dubai, Paris and Frankfurt, where people usually transfer to a flight to New Delhi had all suddenly closed due to second wave of the pandemic. She was finally able to fly to New Delhi via London, because India has established a “Travel Bubble” with the UK government that ensures smooth travel between the nations. 

It is mandatory for international passengers arriving in India to have the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phone or similar device and a mandatory COVID-19 test report from a test done not more than 96 hours earlier. After a journey of more than 20 hours and all the formalities, Ms. Huang finally arrived safely in India on November 7, 2020.   

With the help of the India Taipei Association, Ms. Huang received her work permit within one week, and the Education Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India readily provided assistance at all times during her journey to final destination: from the visa process, to her arrival at the Delhi airport, and her quarantine place in Delhi, and the Education Division also helped to facilitate her communication with the Ramjas School. 

Many Indian universities have collaborated with the Education Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India to arrange to bring Mandarin language teachers from Taiwan to teach on their campuses but Ms. Huang’s arrival at the Ramjas School where she’ll soon start teaching classes for the students, begins a new chapter of Indo-Taiwan educational cooperation and international education exchanges at school-level.