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