I had a similar experience to that of your Indonesian friend, although slightly less dramatic. I am an American citizen, which despite all the buzz gets you almost no where at BOCA. I called a few days before applying for my ARC and asked them what to bring. I also asked the office at ShiDa. Once I had everything together, I went to the office and the lady said, “Where is your study plan?” Apparently, this was something new (or only rarely enforeced) at the time, although I hear it is common now.
I obviously didn’t have one. She gave me a piece of paper and told me to write it on the spot…she said just take 2 or 3 minutes. After 6 months of language school, I couldn’t write Chinese that anyone would understand in 2 or 3 minutes, so I asked her if I could write it in English. She said it was fine and she even read it before I left. The next day at about 3:30 pm, I get a phone call from one of their people asking me to write a study plan IN CHINESE and bring it to them before they closed at 5:30pm. I negotiated to come at 11:00 am the next day…she think I could just drop everything, write a letter, and get there in that short of time?
When I arrived, she read my study plan and asked me if I wrote it myself at least 3 times…I finally asked her if she knew any Taiwanese people who wrote as poorly as me and she relented. I did not have one of the formal interviews, but she spent about ten minutes asking me questions about my money and kept trying to trick me into saying that I taught English part time…I told her I don’t really like kids and would never teach English (which is actually true). She continued asking questions that assumed I was doing something wrong so that my answer had to first deny the accusation in her question. They didn’t mock me or ridicule me, but they were extremely rude. She snickered at my study plan and I did feel like she wanted me to write it just so she could feel superior. Weird.
The people at the office never out right insulted me, but the overall experience was rather insulting. Not insulting me could be due to the fact that I’m a westerner, but it’s just as likely due to the fact that I’m male. I decided then that Taiwan would not be a long term place for me, as I don’t want the hassle. I feel bad that others have to go through even worse…there are some great people here, but I’m no friend of the government offices :loco: