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Living in Taiwan

09/20/2007

1. Accommodation

Most students live in dormitories or in off-campus apartments.

On-campus

      Dormitories are single-sex

      Usually 4 to 6 students share a room

      Pets are not allowed

Off-campus

      Housing costs usually range between NT$5,000-9,000 per month.

      Rent varies according to location.

      Rent does not include cost for utilities.

      Rental information can be found on the Internet or by visiting a local real estate agency. The real estate agent may have a service charge.

 

For more information, please consult the following websites:
Tsuei Mama Foundation (in Taipei): http://www.tmm.org.tw/English/index.html

2. Bank Accounts

The post office is a convenient place to open savings accounts. Students enrolled at a language center can bring their passports, student ID cards, ID number issued by National Immirgration Agency, and NT$100 to open saving accounts at any post office branch. Students can also apply for automatic teller machine (ATM) cards. The post office does not exchange currency and does not accept funds wired from abroad. Scholarship students need to open an account with a post office so stipends can be wired into their accounts.

Students are also welcome to open accounts at local banks. Banking hours are weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Foreign currency can be exchanged at designated foreign exchange banks. Be sure to keep exchange memos for tax purposes and for use when changing from a visitor visa to a resident visa. Bring passports, student ID cards, ID number issued by National Immirgration Agency to open saving accounts and apply for ATM cards at any post office or bank.

For questions about banking policies, such as exchanging traveler's checks, wiring funds, and opening foreign dollar accounts, inquire directly with the financial institutions.

3. Work

In recent years, the government has taken steps to crack down on foreign nationals working with-out a work permit. This has affected students working as English teachers while pursuing their Mandarin Chinese studies. Students who have studied at a school for two semesters continuously or are enrolled in a language program for one year and have shown excellent academic progress may apply for a work permit from the Bureau of Employment & Vocational Training of the Council of Labor Affairs. To obtain information on work permits, please visit the Office of Student Affairs at your school or the Council of Labor Affairs: http://www.cla.gov.tw. It usually takes five working days to issue a work permit. Application forms can be downloaded from the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training at: http://www.evta.gov.tw/eng/home/index.asp

4. Insurance, Health and Medical Care

Local insurance companies offer group insurance policies for international students. Some institutes require that their students join their insurance plan unless the students can present proof of other coverage during registration. Insurance policies usually cover medical treatment for hospital stays due to illness or injury. If medical attention is required as a result of an injury related to an accident, students may apply for a reimbursement from their insurance plans.

Taiwan has a universal health care system. Internationals who hold Alien Resident Certificates (ARCs) must join the ROC National Health Insurance Program exactly four months after receiving their ARC and are responsible for paying monthly insurance premiums. Drug stores are indentified by green crosses on them. If a student visits a doctor and is prescribed medication, the doctor's office or clinic will despense the medicine.

5. Climate

Taiwan's climate is subtropical, and it is usually humid throughout the year. Summers, from May to September, are hot. Winters are short, usually lasting from mid December to February, and can be chilly (between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius).

6. Electricity

Electrical current is 110 volts, 60 cycles, AC..

7. Food

There are on-campus dining halls and each meal costs NT$40-130. Food stalls are usually found within 15 minutes walking distance from campus. The least expensive of all these options (NT$40-80/meal) is the student cafeteria, which offers noodles, rice, and a selection of buffet-style foods.

8. Transportation

Traveling to, and around Taiwan is very convenient. There are two international airports in Taiwan: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, and Kaohsiung International Airport. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is located in northern Taiwan, only 40 kilometers from Taipei, while Kaohsiung International Airport is located in southern Taiwan. These two international airports offer a wide variety of services to international travelers. Domestic airlines also provide frequent flights between major cities around the island.

Taiwan has an island-wide transportation system that allows you to travel around the island with ease. The railway network extends to every corner of Taiwan, bringing you to villages with undisturbed serenity. The Taiwan High Speed Rail provides faster and more convenient transport services between the north and south. Long-distance coach services and inter-city buses are also good options. They are inexpensive, comfortable, and frequent. Some of them even provide round-the-clock service.

If you decide to live in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, the city's MRT subway system will definitely be your best way to explore the city. The subway is fast, clean, convenient, safe, and inexpensive. It is comprised of a several lines covering most of Taipei City and Taipei County and is still expanding.