Daniel - National Chengchi University

B Advanced Business (Honours) / Dip Languages
Semester 2, 2022


I went to study Chinese in and experience a fully Chinese speaking environment.

Personal development

Living in NCCU was an eye opening experience. Getting to know and live with the locals in their accommodation was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I made friends from across the globe and in all walks of life - from church and campus clubs, to the athletics team and food court. I improved my Chinese a lot, grew in my independence and became more sure of who I am. If you're interested in truly experiencing the local culture, I couldn't more highly recommend NCCU.

Academic development

I was just studying Chinese and did the intensive Chinese course (level 5). My Chinese teacher was really excellent, she even allowed me to audit her other classes. I was really able to improve a lot in Chinese. One definite challenge was learning traditional Chinese, it looks really complicated and can be! However, having learned simplified I was surprisingly able to pick it up over time. If you're worried about this, I'd really recommend you to take the jump and do it. You'll be surprised at how quickly you pick up traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese is used in Korea and Japan, so learning it will actually open up a decent part of the cultures there. It was so awesome to visit both.  The workload was pretty similar to UQ I found.

Professional development

Having been able to get around Taiwan, understanding the culture, making friends there and really improving my Chinese was really valuable for my professional development. Chinese is a very hard language to learn, and without being immersed in a Chinese speaking culture I don't know if it's possible to get your listening and speaking up to a level that you can use day to day in a working environment! (If you need to listen and speak Chinese). Because Chinese is very hard and the number of fluent non-native Australians is quite low, it can really help you standout!


  • The food, and accommodation was quite cheap. 
  • I spent about $25 per week for my accommodation (I lived in the local 4-person per room dorms).
  • Transport was probably $100 a week, but that was because I used Uber a lot, the dormitories are not close to public transport and Uber is pretty reasonable (about $20 for a 30 minute ride). If you use public transport or bikes (couldn't more highly recommend biking) you could probably get by on $15 a week. 
  • Food - $140 a week. Food is very cheap in Taiwan, so I spent about $20 a day for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and my daily two bubble teas (maybe not so good health wise). There was an option to cook your own food in the dorms, but it's not very easy because there's one small kitchen for a few hundred students. 
  • For travel I spent a few thousand but that was because I went to Korea and Japan for 12 days or so + went to Kaohsiung on the high speed rail a number of times.


Receiving the New Colombo Plan Scholarship allowed me to not have to worry too much about finances - I'm very grateful. 

I used my funding to help pay for my daily expenses. Because Taiwan is quite cheap and I brought a lot of the things I needed over, I thankfully had some of my allowance left over which I was able to use to travel around Taiwan.


The university provides two options for exchange students, the international house and the domestic dormitory. I originally wanted to get into the international house, but didn't get in (you put your preferences in and then the system randomly allocated you based on preferences and availability.) 

However, in hindsight, I couldn't be happier that I ended up staying in this dormitory. But I should probably preface it. By local standards, the dormitory is old and rundown. The room was about the same size as my room back home, but there were four people living together in it instead of just me. The mattress you're lent is about as hard as wood, there's a shared bathroom and the place (including your clothes) can easily get moldy because it rains so much. You also only get placed with other exchange students, so if you're hoping to live in the same room with local Taiwanese students unfortunately you won't be able to (they live in the floors above). 

Despite these harder living conditions, it's really great! Living here allows you to live amongst many of the locals (there's about 4 different dormitories all in close proximity and they share a dining hall - which is a great place to make friends and hangout. Most people don't really use their rooms except to sleep, and I recommend you do the same. There are lots of nice common areas to study and hang out in. Furthermore, having stayed in the same, well-loved and somewhat uncomfortable dorms for a semester gives you an experience that allows you to truly relate to the other locals - and in my opinion, that's worth more than any money could buy. 

The accommodation was also about $1000 AUD for 4 months, which is pretty good.


There were only 4 Australian students in the whole university. Having been able to make so many close friends, and also become the first Australian friend many of the people here had met was such a privilege. I was truly surprised by how kind and genuine the people were. I was only here for four months, so I really I was shocked that people would personally write letters, send messages, shared Instagram stories and insist on taking one last photograph together. One person even dropped me off to the airport. I truly felt loved by the people here. I will really miss them.

Advice/Top tips

As an Australian you have so much to offer and you'll also learn so much at NCCU! So take the leap, your experience will be fun, meaningful and so worth it.