Preparing to Study Abroad in Taiwan

Studying abroad in Taiwan is an exciting and life-changing experience that allows students to immerse themselves in a new culture, gain a global perspective, and acquire valuable skills. Taiwan, with its rich history, diverse culture, and world-class education system, has become an increasingly popular destination for exchange students. If you’re planning to study abroad in Taiwan, this guide will help you prepare for this adventure of a lifetime.

1. Choosing Taiwan:

Before diving into the logistics, let’s explore why Taiwan is an excellent choice for exchange students. Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity. Its breathtaking landscapes, bustling cities, delicious cuisine, and welcoming locals make it a fantastic place to learn, grow, and explore. See this post on why you should study abroad in Taiwan. “10 Great Reasons to Study Abroad in Taiwan”

2. Choosing a Program:

Exchange programs vary in duration, structure, and requirements. Some universities have established partnerships with Taiwanese institutions, making it easier to apply and transfer credits. Consider factors like the duration of the program, language requirements, financial aid, and the courses offered when choosing your exchange program. Consult your university’s study abroad office for guidance. Taiwan offers a range of study abroad programs for international students, each catering to different academic interests, language levels, and durations. Here are some of the notable study-abroad programs and institutions in Taiwan:

  1. Taiwan Government Scholarship Program (MOFA Scholarship): This program is offered by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and provides scholarships to international students. It covers tuition, accommodation, and living expenses. The scholarship offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs.
  2. TaiwanICDF Scholarship Program: The Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) offers scholarships for students from developing countries. These scholarships cover a wide range of programs, including undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees in various fields.
  3. Taipei Language Institute: This language school specializes in teaching Mandarin Chinese to international students. They offer short-term intensive language courses and long-term programs that cover all levels of language proficiency.
  4. National Taiwan University (NTU): NTU is one of Taiwan’s most prestigious universities and offers various international programs for exchange students. Their International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) is renowned for Chinese language instruction.
  5. National Chengchi University (NCCU): NCCU offers a variety of international programs and exchange opportunities, including the Taiwan Studies Program, which focuses on Taiwanese culture, society, and language.
  6. National Tsing Hua University (NTHU): NTHU offers an International Summer School, which allows students to take courses in fields like science, engineering, and liberal arts during the summer.
  7. National Chiao Tung University (NCTU): NCTU has a Global MBA program and offers various exchange programs for students in engineering, business, and science-related fields.
  8. Chinese Language Centers: Several universities and language institutes across Taiwan offer Chinese language programs for international students. These programs are suitable for students of all language proficiency levels and typically offer semester or year-long courses.
  9. Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA) Accelerator Programs: If you’re interested in entrepreneurship and innovation, TTA offers programs that connect international students with Taiwan’s vibrant startup ecosystem.
  10. Fulbright Program: The Fulbright Program offers opportunities for U.S. citizens to conduct research and study in Taiwan. The Fulbright Taiwan Foundation administers these programs.
  11. Chinese Culture University: This university offers programs in Chinese language and culture, as well as degree programs in traditional Chinese medicine, arts, and more.
  12. Mandarin Training Center, National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU): NTNU offers comprehensive Chinese language programs designed for students at all levels of language proficiency.
  13. Tainan National University of the Arts (TNNUA): TNNUA is known for its strong programs in the arts and offers various opportunities for international students interested in visual arts, music, and theater.
  14. Tamkang University: This university offers a range of programs and courses for international students, including language programs, business programs, and cross-cultural studies.
  15. National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU): NSYSU offers programs in business, engineering, marine sciences, and more, making it suitable for students with a wide range of academic interests.

When considering study abroad programs in Taiwan, it’s essential to review the specific offerings, admission requirements, application deadlines, and scholarships available for each program. Additionally, check with your home institution to see if they have any partnerships or recommended programs for studying in Taiwan.

3. Language Skills:

The official language in Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese, and most courses are taught in Mandarin. It’s essential to assess your Chinese language skills before heading to Taiwan. If you’re not fluent, look for programs that offer courses in English or include language classes. Learning some basic Mandarin phrases can be incredibly helpful for daily life, even in a predominantly English-speaking environment.

4. Financial Preparation:

Studying abroad can be expensive, so it’s crucial to plan your budget carefully. Research the cost of living in Taiwan, including accommodation, food, transportation, and other daily expenses. Be sure to explore scholarship opportunities and financial aid options available for international students.

5. Visa and Documentation:

Obtaining the correct visa and required documentation is a crucial step. You’ll typically need a student visa, and the specific requirements can vary depending on your nationality. Contact the nearest Taiwanese embassy or consulate for detailed information on visa applications and supporting documents.

6. Accommodation:

Deciding where to live in Taiwan is an important decision. Some universities offer on-campus housing options, which can be a great way to immerse yourself in student life. Alternatively, you can explore off-campus housing, which might provide more independence but requires additional planning and research. Make housing arrangements well in advance to secure a comfortable and convenient place to stay. Many students book their rooms from My Room Abroad a few months in advance.

7. Cultural Awareness:

Understanding and respecting Taiwanese culture is vital for a successful exchange experience. Taiwan has a unique blend of indigenous traditions, Chinese heritage, and Western influence. Familiarize yourself with customs, etiquette, and cultural norms to show respect to the locals. Learning about the history and festivals of Taiwan will enrich your experience.

8. Healthcare and Insurance:

Healthcare is of utmost importance, and you should have appropriate health insurance coverage while studying abroad. Check if your current insurance plan covers international travel or if you need to purchase additional coverage. Familiarize yourself with local healthcare services and emergency contact information.

9. Packing Essentials:

Packing for a semester or year in Taiwan can be a daunting task. You’ll need clothing suitable for Taiwan’s climate, which is subtropical in the north and tropical in the south. Don’t forget to pack adapters for your electronics and any specific items you might need for your studies. Research the essentials you’ll need and what can be easily purchased once you arrive.

10. Cultural Exchange:

Exchange programs offer an incredible opportunity to learn from your Taiwanese peers and share your own culture. Participate in local events, clubs, and organizations to engage with the community. It’s an excellent way to make friends, improve your language skills, and gain a deeper understanding of the Taiwanese way of life.

11. Transportation:

Taiwan has an efficient and accessible public transportation system, including buses, the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), and high-speed rail. It’s easy to get around the country, so consider investing in a transportation pass for convenience and cost savings. Don’t forget to explore the beauty of Taiwan through its extensive network of hiking trails and cycling routes.

12. Food and Dining:

Taiwanese cuisine is world-renowned, and your taste buds are in for a treat. From night markets to street food stalls, there’s a diverse range of options to explore. Be adventurous and try local dishes like stinky tofu, beef noodle soup, and bubble tea. Taiwan is a foodie’s paradise!

13. Safety and Emergencies:

Taiwan is considered one of the safest countries in Asia. However, it’s always essential to stay vigilant and be aware of your surroundings. Register with your country’s embassy or consulate to stay informed about any safety advisories and emergency contacts.

14. Social and Cultural Etiquette:

Politeness and respect for others are highly valued in Taiwanese culture. When in doubt, observe and follow the lead of the locals. Learn common phrases and gestures to convey respect and gratitude, and don’t be afraid to ask for guidance from your Taiwanese friends or mentors.

15. Academics and Studying:

Remember that the primary purpose of your exchange is academic. Balance your studies with your desire to explore and have fun. Take your coursework seriously, attend lectures, and seek help when needed. The unique perspective you gain from studying in Taiwan can be a valuable asset in your future career.

16. Travel Opportunities:

One of the best aspects of studying in Taiwan is its proximity to other Asian countries. Take advantage of your exchange experience to explore neighboring nations during breaks or weekends. Traveling within Asia is often affordable and provides a chance to witness a wide range of cultures and landscapes.

17. Personal Growth and Adaptability:

Studying abroad in Taiwan will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, adapt to new surroundings, and embrace cultural differences. The personal growth you experience during your exchange can be a significant asset in your future endeavors.

18. Reverse Culture Shock:

While preparing for your adventure, don’t forget to consider the transition back to your home country after your exchange. It can be just as challenging as the initial move, as you may experience reverse culture shock. Be prepared to readjust to your home culture and reflect on the changes you’ve undergone.


Studying abroad in Taiwan is an exciting journey that combines academic growth, cultural exploration, and personal development. As you prepare for your exchange, focus on choosing the right program, understanding the culture, and managing the logistics. With careful planning and an open mind, your experience in Taiwan will be a transformative chapter in your education and life. Embrace every opportunity to learn, explore, and build lasting connections, and you’ll return home with a wealth of experiences and memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.