By eeled

Questions and Worries I Had

 

I'm going to be a senior. Should I bother studying abroad now?

I asked a bunch of people (students, teachers, people from work) whether I should study abroad, and based on everyone's reaction: Yes. Everyone who had studied abroad never regretted it, and those that haven't always regretted it. 

Will I make it back to Winter Quarter in time?

Yes. Teachers are flexible about student schedules, so I just had to ask them before if I can take the final exams early. The semester in Taiwan ends January 16, but I'm leaving January 10 (just in time for week 2 in Winter). My friend is leaving December 31, so she can actually make it back before Week 1 if she wanted to.

Would it be easy to make friends?

I found the easiest way to make friends is through school clubs or courses with group-based projects. I'm in a user experience class where I do one project with the same 5 people for 18 weeks, so it's an easy excuse for weekly meetings and lunch. Also easier if you can speak Chinese relatively fluently. I was too lazy to join a club, but my friends in tennis club or coffee club all have friend groups with local students. You also end up having a lot of international and exchange student friends simply because they're the ones you see most often.

The UCEAP Process for NTU Fall

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Studying abroad in Taiwan would be one of the best decisions you have made! The entire process may look intimidating, but it isn't actually that bad once you get through the initial hump. Everything is actually spaced out over a series of several months, so there isn't too much that needs to be done at the same time.

Here's the entire process a.k.a. what you should expect when applying for UCEAP NTU for the Fall.

1. Submit UCEAP Online Application

Mid February

  • Know when the deadline is. It's usually in mid-February to go to Taiwan, regardless of which semester you're planning on going to. Also, don't wait until February to fill out the online portion, because you'll have to submit a paper version, which requires you to do a bunch of other tedious administrative stuff.
  • Register for an account on the UCEAP login page and fill out an online application. FYI, Fall quarter requires that you at least have learned a year of Chinese before applying.

2. Submit Paper Application

These are steps that are listed in the online application as well.

3. Waiting for Response = Scholarship time!

Mid March

After you submit the application to the UCEAP office, you'll have to wait for 8 weeks before another notice shows up. I would suggest using this time to look for scholarships for Taiwan! The deadlines for scholarships are usually mid-March, but there totally could be ones that ended BEFORE the application deadline.
  • Check the list of UCEAP Scholarships.
  • Also check the UCLA study abroad scholarships page. Just as a note, I applied to 100,000 Strong Initiative ($2500) and Global Community Scholarship ($2000). The first one required only a few short answer questions and I assume they award the scholarship to 100,000 people, so I would say it's a good bet! Global Community Scholars is also just really fun, because they want you to blog about your trip. It's a great to document what you did anyways regardless of the scholarship, so why not?!

4. Submit NTU Online Application

Late March

In 2015, the deadline for this online application for Fall semester students was March 31. For spring semester, it's around September 30.
Yes, you need to fill out another application for NTU, in addition to your UCEAP application that was due mid-February.

  • Register and apply to NTU exchange student application. In the application portion, take note that your major actually matters when you want to enroll in classes later. When choosing dorms, I recommend living in ShuiYuan dorms, either in a double or a single. I chose the double so that I can make friends with a local NTU student and force myself to practice Chinese with them. ShuiYuan is right next to a huge shopping and food street, so it's really convenient for meals.
  • Yes, you would like a volunteer. There are unexpected things that you might need help on, and also it's a way to make a local friend!
  • There are also a number of things this application asks you to upload, so have them prepared! The list from NTU includes:
    • 1. JPG of a passport photo - I took one with my cellphone and edited it.
    • 2. PDF of one-page statement of purpose - Honestly, I just wrote one in half an hour for this.
    • 3. PDF of OFFICIAL transcript (order for free through myUCLA - takes about 3 days; it's $15 if you go in person)
    • 4. PDF of the personal info page of your passport (must be non-Taiwanese).
    • 5. PDF of the NTU health exam form.Make an appointment with UCLA Ashe Center for a free checkup. You can actually submit this form when you arrive in Taiwan, though getting checked in US is easier. I recommend doing the exam within 3 months of your arrival in Taiwan. I did mine too early, and my chest x-ray expired... WHICH TOTALLY SUCKED because I had to do another one. They might also ask for something called the Health Form C, which you don't need to submit if you have a valid chest x-ray report and your immunization records.
    • 6. PDF of Medical and accident insurance proof - UCEAP will email this file to you.
  • The "Application Status" tab from the website will let you know what you are missing and which step you're at in the application process. I found this page really useful because it gives your your student id number. You will need your student id for MANY things, and I couldn't find it anywhere other than on this page and in the paper packet they send out.

4. You got placed at NTU!

YAY! ヾ(*д*)ノ

When I applied in 2015, I believe there were about 6 people that got accepted for the summer program, 3 for fall, and maybe 1 or 2 for the entire year. I am not sure if this is everyone that applied, but I would assume the competition for going to Taiwan is much lower than Europe. Hopefully more people want to go in the future, because studying abroad in this place is 100X better than in Europe, just sayin'.

5. First Payment to UCEAP and Health Clearance. Withdrawal Deadline.

May

In April, you will receive an email asking you to pay for the first payment for UCEAP. During my year, it was $950 and was due May 1. Exact wording from email is provided below. However, because I usually get financial aid and get refunded money every quarter, I did not need to do anything. FinAid automatically paid through the system.

Also note that the deadline for withdrawal is also May 1.

Email I Received

This financial checklist is to advise you of an upcoming payment due and to acquaint you with some important financial forms and documents.  You are receiving this message as you have been selected or placed in the above program by EAP, but receiving this message does not constitute a formal acceptance by your host university which will be a separate notification. As you continue planning for your education abroad experience with EAP, please give these documents your immediate attention.

Please read this e-mail in its entirety in preparation for your upcoming study abroad.  If your parents/guardians would like this information, make sure to forward this email to them.

 

How much are the payments and when are they due?  I receive financial aid – do I still have to make the first payment?

Your 1st payment in the amount of $950.00 for your 2015-16 EAP program in TAIWAN is due by May 1, 2015.  Please make payment in full when due to avoid late fees being assessed to your MyEAP account.  Note that your program fees will not be posted to your MyEAP account until after the first payment deadline has passed (your account will appear blank, i.e. no charges listed), but you can still submit the payment.  Fees will be posted to your MyEAP account after May 1, 2015.  Even though your MyEAP account does not have fees posted and therefore does not yet reflect a balance, this first payment of $950 is due by the due date.  Complete payment instructions can be found online at: Payment Instructions.

  • Financial aid students (e.g. those expecting any grants, scholarships, and/or loans) are deferred from making the 1st payment, as long as your aid is sent directly to UCEAP from your campus financial aid office.  The first payment is not deferred if you are receiving financial aid that is sent directly to yourself or your parents (e.g. some parent PLUS loans, outside financial aid, Veteran’s Benefit checks, etc.).  Please discuss how your financial aid is to be handled with your campus financial aid office.

Regardless of the method of payment, the 1st payment must be paid by May 1, 2015.  If payment in full is not received by May 1, 2015, a late fee of $50 will be assessed to your MyEAP account and will be waived only if/when financial aid is posted to your account.

 

How much does my program cost?  Where can I find the budget for my program with a breakdown of the fees on my MyEAP account and estimated Out-of-Pocket expenses?

The 2015-16 Student Budget Worksheet for your program is available on the UCEAP website on the Participants page.  Once you select your Country >Year >Program, click on the Money Matters tab and you will find a link to the budget worksheet there.  Please review the worksheet carefully, adding relevant costs in Section B to calculate your total estimated program cost.  Pre-Departure Third Party Cancellation fees (if any) are also noted on the worksheet.  Remember, you are responsible for these fees should you decide to cancel the program and if you are receiving financial aid, these costs may or may not be covered by your aid.

 

I normally receive refunds directly into my bank account; will this still apply while I am attending UCEAP?

If you expect to receive money back from financial aid, you can sign up for a direct deposit by completing the EAP-specific direct deposit through your MyEAP account.  Direct deposit set-up through your home UC campus is not effective for EAP disbursements/refunds.  Complete instructions can be found online at: eRefund Instructions.

 

 

My parents are helping me finance my trip abroad and may need to speak directly with UCEAP about specific charges on my account, payments made, financial aid, etc.  How do I give UCEAP permission to speak to my parents about my MyEAP account?

Due to Federal Regulations (FERPA), EAP cannot release financial information and/or grant online access to a parent or any other third party, unless you authorize us to do so by completing the electronic form located in your MyEAP account.  Click on “Third Party Authorizations” located on the left-hand side of the screen under Financial Information.  Complete instructions are located online at: Third Party Authorization Instructions.

 

What is the withdrawal deadline for my program?

We sincerely hope you continue your plans to study with UCEAP; however, if you do decide to withdraw the UCEAP pre-departure withdrawal deadline is May 1, 2015.  Withdrawals after May 1, 2015 will incur a $500.00 UCEAP withdrawal fee.  Please be aware there may also be third-party withdrawal deadlines and fees that may be charged in addition to the UCEAP withdrawal fee.  Third party withdrawal fees are located on the student budget worksheet.

To withdraw, please contact your on-campus UCEAP advisor by email and inform them of your intent to withdraw.

 

Do you have additional questions??

We hope this information further assists you in planning your upcoming EAP participation.  If you have questions about a topic that was not covered here, please review the FAQ. Additional resources are available to assist you should the need arise including our online chat service.

PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS

Option 1: Pay through MyEAP https://myeap.eap.ucop.edu/apply with e-check, MasterCard, Visa, AmEx or Discover credit cards (we do not accept bank wire). To pay online, log onto your MyEAP account, select Financial Info, then the Pay Online button, and follow the instructions to submit your payment. If you are paying via e-check, confirm with your bank that the routing number on your paper check is the one you can use for e-check transactions.

 

Option 2: Mail a check, money order, or cashier’s check (do not send cash). Checks and money orders must be in U.S. dollars drawn from a U.S. bank. Make checks payable to the UC Regents and write your UC Campus ID number on your remittance. It is not necessary to mail in the payment voucher as long as you included your UC Campus ID number. Mail payments to:

 

Universitywide Office, Education Abroad Program
Attention: Payments
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, California 93117-5823

 

Technical Problems using MyEAP?

If you experience any technical problems using MyEAP, please send an e-mail to: MyEAPhelp@eap.ucop.edu.  This e-mail should only be used for technical questions.

 

After that, you also want to make you have mailed in your UCEAP Health Clearance Form. Simply make an appointment at the Ashe Center. Under "Appointments" -> Schedule an Appointment -> I need a statement of health or health clearance. I don't think you need to print it out, as the Ashe Center have copies. In a couple days, Ashe Center will notify you that the form is ready for pick up. Mail the form to UCEAP Systemwide Office, 6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200, Goleta, CA 93117-5823 (address is listed on the bottom of the health clearance form).

The weird thing is that I haven't gotten an email to mail in the Health Clearance form until July, and that was when they said "it was due over a month ago!!". Don't wait for an email, and simply send the form in by May/June.

6. Get Taiwanese Visa

July - August

To study in Taiwan for one semester, you can apply for a Visitor Visa, which lasts for 180 days. You can extend your visa in Taiwan if you wish to stay for the whole year; else you can apply for the Resident Visa.

The Visa process takes maybe 2-3 days, assuming you had all your materials ready in the first trip. I believe I was doing the Visitor Visa for Studying Chinese; turned materials in Monday/Tuesday and the visa was ready for pickup on Thursday. 

Some notes on my experience

  1. Make sure you fill out the application form online and print it before going to the Visa office. The San Francisco branch did not have printers.
  2. Bring passport, 2 passport photos, admission letter from NTU (I was mailed the package sometime near end of June), bank account statement (and/or financial aid statement).
  3. Bring cash amount of $120. I don't remember why, but I was required to pay in cash rather than credit/debit card.

Email about Visas from NTU International Office

Before entering Taiwan, you MUST apply for a valid visa (Visitor Visa or Resident Visa) in your country of residence. A list of Taiwan Embassies and Missions can be found at www.taiwanembassy.org. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco are two locations where you can apply for a visa.

If you are participating in the semester-long program/planning to stay in Taiwan less than 180 days, apply for a Visitor Visa. You are strongly advised to apply for a Multiple-Entry Visitor Visa if you plan on traveling internationally during your stay. In addition, it is highly recommended that you get a Visitor Visa with the “FS” (foreign student) annotation.

If you are participating in the year-long program/planning to stay in Taiwan more than 180 days, apply for a Resident Visa. Within 15 days of your arrival to Taiwan, apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC).

If you originally entered on a Visitor Visa but decide to stay more than 180 days, you must change to a Resident Visa. You will only be able to change to a Resident Visa if your Visitor Visa has the “FS” (foreign student) annotation.

For more detailed information regarding visas and ARCs, please refer to page 18-25 of the 2015-2016 Guide for Exchange Students:http://www.oia.ntu.edu.tw/upload/files/20150616222951.pdf

Los Angeles Taiwan Embassy Address: 3731 Wilshire Blvd #700, Los Angeles, CA 90010, United States

San Francisco Taiwan Embassy Address: 555 Montgomery St #501, San Francisco, CA 94111, United States

7. Down Payment for Dorms and Signing up for Classes

Mid August

 

Near the end of July, you will get an email asking for a downpayment of however much your dorms cost (see below). It will be the cost of one month's rent, and you will need to send it through your bank.  

Just so you know and won't waste time like I did, Western Union does NOT work. You will have to pay through your bank, and the bank will probably charge you a fee. Wells Fargo charged me $45.00 as the wiring fee,  and I doubt there's a way to avoid this. You can check how much your bank charges for foreign wiring beforehand. I googled a chart for you.

Email on Visas

Dear XXX,

Prince House would like to welcome you and hope you will enjoy your stay.
 
1. Your allocated room information is as follow:  
    National Taiwan University Dormitory: Prince House – NTU Shui Yuan Dorms
    Building: C棟
    Floor: 01
  Room Number: 41
  Room Type: 雙人房(Double Suite)
  Bed Number: 1
  Monthly Rent: Twin Suite: USD180

  Remittance account number (14-digit numbers are based on your room number):
   81685502301411
 
2.To confirm the room reservation, you must pay the down payment (one-month rent according to
   your room type) before AUGUST 21th, 2015 to the account number listed above; otherwise your
   room allocation will be cancelled. The down payment will be transferred as your first month’s rent when
   you check-in. After the check-in, the following rent, which generated upon your accommodation, would only
   be accepted by money transfer by local currency (NTD)Please approach the front desk for further information
   of rent payment. If there is any no-show or cancellation of reservations afterwards, the
down
   payment will not be refunded. Therefore, please consider carefully before you confirm the
room
   reservation.
Upon arrival, a refundable security deposit of two month’s rent is required. Please go 
to the
   front desk to pay your deposit by local currency (NTD)
;(We suggest that you pay the full amount at
   once in avoidance of the remittance fees that comes with every monthly payment.)
the deposit will be
   refunded to you
under the conditions as stipulated in the Accommodation Agreement at the end of the
   exchange period.
 
3.International Wired-Transfer Instruction:  
 IF you transfer money from outside of Taiwan, here is the bank information for wired transfer.
  (Notice: International remittance transaction doubles exchange rate difference. And you will be charged
    twice by the bank)
 
 A. BENEFICIARY′S BANK NAME
      MEGA INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL BANK CO., LTD.  
  B. Swift CodeSwift Code=IBAN number
      ICBCTWTP007
  C. BENEFICIARY′S  ADDRESS
      NO.100, CHI-LIN RD, TAIPEI CITY, TAIWAN
  D. BENEFICIARY′S  A/C NO
      81685502301411
  E. BENEFICIARY′S  NAME PRINCE  HOUSING  AND  DEVELOPMENT  CORP.  
 
4. After wire the due amount, please immediately email your wired transfer receipt to dormitory email address
   to complete the reservation process.  To maintain your room reservation, you must make sure the receipt
   documents can be clearly read in the attachment file and also remember to put your student ID number
   and name on the subject line in order to expedite the processing time.  
 
5. The Accommodation Agreement and the Accommodation Regulations are attached in this email. You are
   advised to read the regulations before making the reservation payment and signing the contract.  
 
6. Termination of the Agreement
   (a)  The lease contract is in validity based on the period of your study at National Taiwan University.
   (b)  You are not allowed to terminate the contract for personal reasons (such as move to the other dorm or
        off-campus accommodation), otherwise you have to pay the rent calculated based on the actual stayed
        and also an extra one-month rent as penalty.  
 
7. Important Notices:
   (a)  Please bring one copy of passport and one copy of admission Letter from NTU and one
         passport-size photo when checking in.
   (b)  Smoking prohibited on any campus ground and in residential areas (including your room).
   (c)  In order to prevent disturbance to other residents, shouting, yelling and banging of the doors are not
        allowed in the residential areas.
   (d)  Visiting hours is from 8:00 to 23:00. Visitors are not allowed to stay overnight in the dorm.  
 
8. There are bedding-selling provided by dormitory office. If there is a need, please approach the
    front desk for purchasing when you arrive. Please refer to the attached file for items that
    provided.
 
    For more information about the Prince House, please visit our website athttp://ntudorm.prince.com.tw.
 
    If you have further questions and comments, contact information is as following:
     Shui Yuan Dorms:    +886-2-2363-1066  # 10199 【E-mail : ntusyroom@prince.com.tw

Sincerely yours,
Prince House

Around mid-August is also the first time you'll be signing up for classes. Because searching and signing up for classes requires quite a bit of explanation, I suggest you see the Enrolling in Classes post. There are several rounds/stages for you to sign up for classes, and before the next round, you'll find out whether you got the class or not. For deadline purposes, know that the 1st one is in mid-August and the 2nd is near end of August.

Email on Course Enrollment Stage 1

Dear UCEAP participants,

Greetings from NTU! The stage 1 of course selection is now available, you may now start by entering the links below, log in with your NTU student ID (T01xxxxxx) and aMMDD (lower case “a” + date of birth).

Click to preliminary course selection stage 1 

https://if177.aca.ntu.edu.tw/default_e95.asp
If you encounter errors to access or to log in, please let me know as soon as possible

Again, course registering result is not first-come-first-served basis, just make sure you have your enrollment done within the system validation (August 17-20, 2015). Course online enrolling system will be closed for system updating from 3am -9am everyday within the service .

If you are taking General Chinese Course, you’ll gain 10 UC quarter units (see Syllabus), and another 6 UC quarter units if you take Enhancing Course (see Syllabus). NTU General Chinese Course will be held at 8:10am–10:00am in the morning (Mon, Wed, Fri) or 6:30pm–9:15pm in the evening (Mon, Wed), and you will be asked again for your preference to take either morning/evening classes . There is no need to select the General/Enhancing Chinese Course in the course selection system. Make sure the other courses you have selected do not conflict with General/Enhancing courses.

To register for General Chinese/Enhancing Course, you must attend the registration and placement test on Sunday, September 13 at the Freshman Building (from 9:00am-12:00 noon).  Students in the year program, do not need to take another test in the second semester.

Please refer the following link for additional information:

http://www.oia.ntu.edu.tw/study-at-ntu/why-study-at-ntu/learning-chinese

 

It is highly suggested to refer to the link http://www.oia.ntu.edu.tw/study-at-ntu/why-study-at-ntu/courses for English taught courses. You will be able to view the course list by colleges.

Lastly please double check you select courses via the Course Selection System (website address starts with if177 or if192) not https://nol.ntu.edu.tw (for planning uses only). Your course drafted schedule will not be merged automatically until you log in to Course Selection System and import it by yourself.

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me or ask on our facebook group. 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/CaliSunshineNTU/

UCEAP Academic Policy

3 hours NTU course = 5 UC quarter units

2 hours NTU course = 3.5 UC quarter units

PE = 0.5 quarter unit

Graduate level courses need UCEAP approval

General Petition for Pass/NP

General Chinese

6 hours/week=10 quarter units

Enhancing course

4 hours/week= 6 quarter units

Min. course load: 21 UC quarter units total per semester

 Remember, make sure to take all the courses you need to fulfill the minimal course load of 21 UC quarter units.

Sincerely,

Margaret

8. Packing the Suitcase

Mid September

After you have finished gone through the first two stages of course enrollment, there is not much for you to do until arrival in Taiwan. So... YAY!!!

For my year, classes started Mid September (around September 15), and NTU/UCEAP wanted me to arrive in Taiwan - Taoyuan Airport either on September 8 or 9. (There are orientation activities prior to the first week of class). If you arrive on the days they give you, there are NTU people there to help you with getting your sim card, cash, and free shuttle to the dorm you're staying at.

I recommend reading my Pre-departure Packlist and First Day Arrival in Taiwan post.

9. Classes and Deadlines

First Four Weeks of Class

 

Please see Enrolling in Classes post for deadlines for classes and myEAP.

Dorms Tour

Shui Yuan Dorms C (Kinda Co-Ed)

 

I lived in Prince Housing - Shui Yuan Dorms, Building C. Here are some notes!

General

  • Building C is the only Shui Yuan Dorms with double rooms. Building A are all single female rooms, while Building B are all single male rooms.
  • Rent is 4900NT ($150USD) per month for a double.
  • Girls all live on the left side of the building. Guys all on the right. It's not really co-ed.
  • You are not allowed to have guests past 11pm; you can be sneaky if your friend is the same gender as you.

 

Lobby

  • There is no ATM machine. You can go to a nearby 7-11. There are two in the area, about 5-minutes walk away.
  • You'll have to buy your own portable stove if you want to cook.
  • There's 2 microwaves, 2 slow cookers, and 1 toaster.
  • They have a couple vending machines for instant noodles, drinks, and snacks.
  • Online shopping can ship directly to the dorm, and the lobby will hold the items for you.

 

The Room

  • The room felt pretty bare when you first move in, and the walls had weird marks, so I plastered papers all over it.
  • Your fellow roommate (if you're in a double) probably moved in before you did.
  • You can lock your desk and closet if you want to.
  • There is no bathtub, but you get your own bathroom.
  • There is a mini-fridge with a small freezer compartment.
  • You need to turn on the water-heater to get hot water when taking a bath.
  • You might have a walk-in closet if you're lucky.

 

Laundry

  • There is one laundry room at the basement level. You can either walk down from the lobby or take the elevator.
  • Washing clothes = 10NT ($0.31USD)
  • Dryer = 10NT for 20~25 minutes.

 

Welcome to this blog!

I created this small website to document the many exciting things that I've done as a UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) exchange student in Taiwan. It took me some time to research about UCEAP (University of California Education Abroad Program), and about the feasibility to study abroad as a fourth year undergrad!

To get you all excited about choosing and going to Taiwan, I just wanted to start everything off with the few reasons I decided to come here!!

Once you are done, I recommend checking out the Travel and Guides pages!

You can also follow me on instagram through the Snaps page.

Reason #1

The Food

Before I ever did any research on Taiwan, the most common thing that happened whenever I went to eat out with my Taiwanese friends in the states is that "everything here is expensive and sucks". I didn't harbor particularly negative feelings toward restaurants in America, but images of what everyone was eating while they went to Taiwan just made me drool.

Now that I am in Taiwan, I have to say that my Taiwanese friends are correct. While most of the food here is catered to Asian taste buds, everything is simply so cheap, humble, and delicious. You can get great food in the US, but usually that requires going to a fancier restaurant, and any semi-good nearby place tended to be intensely popular.

Here in Taiwan, you have a mix of a hundred mom-and-pop shops (some have been here for over 50 years!!), hotpot and korean bbq places, night market stands, and more... literally a five minute walk away from the dorms. The same quality of food that I get in the US for $15, I can get here for $5 to $6. Many can go even to $3.

DIRT. CHEAP. DELICIOUS FOOD...!!!!!

Reason #2

Taking Chinese classes for native speakers

I am minoring in Chinese, so it only felt right to actually become GOOD at the language if I were to spend so much time learning this anyways. National Taiwan University lets you become a Chinese major as an exchange student (I'm listed as a first-year Chinese major, and no one knows how old I am, hahahaha). If you are confident enough, you can take the same literature courses that native speakers take.

 

Reason #3

Art and Design

Taiwan is often neglected when it comes to the international art and design scene, but if you look at the work that's been put out by the artisans here, it is simply amazing! Taiwan's contemporary design circle had especially been on the rise in the past five years, so much that I'd say it's catching up to Japan. As a design major, I was particularly attracted to Taiwan's book design and films. Images above are from Taiwanese website mydesy.com, a design website I highly recommend checking out.

That last image with the beautiful space is actually one of Taiwan's Yoshinoya shops...you know, that Japanese Panda Express. I just find that so crazy!!!

Reason #4

It did not interfere with winter quarter.

This was more of a practical reason more than anything else. The online UCEAP website indicates that the semester here runs from mid-September to mid-January. I talked with the professors here beforehand, and it was totally possible to take final exams early and return before the start of Winter quarter. I am leaving in between Week 1 and 2, simply because I needed more time here, but other students I've met here left much closer to New Years.

Reason #5

These Exciting Posts and Videos

It takes more to convince a person...

10 Things I loved about Taiwan - To quote the guy here a little... "Holy F#*&!@% dammit was the food absolutely amazing. "

 

What I learned on My Gap Year in Taiwan

 

Twelve Reasons I'm Moving to Taiwan

 

The Best Food I Ate in Taiwan

 

Taroko Gorge & Taipei - absolutely MUST visit region of Taiwan. It's like walking in a fantasy world.

 

Huang's World - Taiwan:

 

48 Hours in Taiwan - Food Paradise

Search for Good Boba

One of the biggest reasons why I came to Taiwan was for the cheap, delicious food and drinks here. One of the most obvious was for BOBA MILK TEA of course!! I am a stickler for plain milk tea, so most of my reviews would be for the original flavor. If I tried any special flavors, I will list them here as well.

CoCo's Fresh Tea and Juice

Rabbit Rabbit Tea

Everyone from California should know about CoCo's already...! I'm going to use them as a base to compare with the other available options. I find Coco's milk tea to be:

  • Price: 35NT
  • Menu: Here
  • Milk Tea: Thick, dense
  • Chewiness: Medium
  • Sugar: Different sugar levels available. I recommend doing half-sugar. Full sugar for original flavor.
  • Healthiness: Not very (tea + creamer)
  • Highlights: cheap, original milk tea flavor I'm used to. Great for those that like a very sweet milk tea with thick consistency.

 

 

  • Price: 45NT
  • Menu: Here
  • Milk Tea: Slightly lighter than CoCo but still thick, dense
  • Chewiness: Medium-Higher, chewier than CoCo
  • Sugar: Different levels available. I recommend doing low-sugar. 
  • Healthiness: Not very (tea + creamer)
  • Highlights: Tasty milk tea that resembles CoCo's. Cuter packaging. More options. I suggest trying their Top 7 for different tea flavors.