Yean Nee - National Taiwan University

B Commerce
Semester 1, 2019
Would re-live my exchange life again if I'm given the chance to!

Academic experience

I had to take a minimum of 15 credits in NTU to match up to 8 units in UQ. At first glance, 15 credits might sound like a heavy workload, but it is normal and manageable. Most of the courses I took were Exploring Taiwan courses giving me a better insight of the history, natural environment, field geology and women society of Taiwan.

Personal experience

Having to spend a semester abroad in Taiwan still feels surreal and like a dream to me. I’m a student from University of Queensland studying Accounting. I have chosen National Taiwan University (NTU) as my first choice because it is one the most prestigious university in the whole of Taiwan. Some of you might wonder, why Taiwan? Most people going on exchange would apply to go for countries such as Europe and UK. The reason that I chose Taiwan is because I have been to Taiwan once when I was little, but I could not remember much of it. This time after spending a semester in Taiwan has made it one of my favourite countries to visit. The campus of National Taiwan University is massive, and students would move around in the university by cycling. I would recommend purchasing a second-hand bike because it would be easier to travel around. It is very convenient in Taiwan whereby there is a convenience store everywhere you go. You do not have to worry looking for food when you’re hungry in the middle of the night. The public transportation system is also well connected and it’s easier to get around places, even to the most remote places such as sea sides and mountain ranges by public bus.

Accommodation

I lived in Prince House Dorm which is an on-campus accommodation with most exchange students and some local students living there. It is walking distance to NTU. It cost ($4,900 NTD) per month for twin shared room ($224 AUD). The room does not come with mattress/bed, you will have to purchase one when you arrive at the dorm. The Dorm provides bedding sales only in the first few days of the move-in date, be sure to check with the management or you could buy it at IKEA. The dorm lobby offers a 24 hours service, so you do not have to worry if your flight arrives late at night.

Costs

Meals in Taiwan is not expensive, it is cheaper to eat out than to cook a meal at home, each meal would range around $80 NTD to $160 NTD ($4 AUD to $7 AUD) but of course there are cheaper and more expensive options too. You are entitled for student discount at certain stores around NTU. Students are entitled to concession fares with their Student ID.

Challenge

The challenge was mainly the language, the primary language of conversation is Mandarin and my mandarin speaking skills was not good but some locals would speak good English but even if they do not speak English they try their best to help you. Taiwan is an English friendly country with English signage in metro stations.

Professional Development

Sign up for the International Companion for Learning (ICL) if you’re enrolled in NTU. You can either volunteer or gain 2 credits for that course. This program allows you to skype regularly with local students and have fully-sponsored meet-up trips at the schools.

Highlight

Take the opportunity to travel around Taiwan during the weekend and you’ll be able to witness what the country has to offer.

Top tips

If you’re still hesitating whether to go exchange abroad, just go for it! It does not matter which university or country because every country would offer their own unique culture. It would be a totally different experience from travelling because I believe that living in a country for long period will allow you to fully indulge in their local culture and traditional pace of life.