I chose to do my four week elective in two fields of surgery at the National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) in Taipei, Taiwan. I spent my first two weeks in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the remaining two weeks in Cardiothoracic Surgery. I decided to do my July elective abroad as I felt it would be valuable for me to experience what medicine was like in a developed country setting and how different it was from the South African health system.
A few weeks before leaving for Taiwan, I went to the Liaison Office of Taiwan in Cape Town to apply for a Taiwanese Visa. Required: two photos, the acceptance letters from NTU, a flight ticket and proof of financial support. The process went smoothly, except that the official changed my application from that for a multiple-entry visitor visa to that for a resident visa, stating that I would need the latter for a stay of such length as mine. A few days later, the visa was ready and I was good to go.