National Chiao Tung University is located in the outskirts of Hsinchu, about an hour from Taipei. There are two campus’ areas in Hsinchu, situated about fifteen minutes walking distance from each other. Within the area there are many green areas and sport facilities like soccer, tennis, basketball and baseball courts.
Where to live in Hsinchu
When it comes to accommodation in Hsinchu you can choose between sharing an apartment and living in a dorm at the campus. Even though an apartment is the more expensive choice, the majority of the CITO-members believe that the extra comfort definitely outweighs the extra expense. Feel free to contact the current Swedish students in Taiwan for further information.
CITO 2016/2017 all live in apartments situated just outside the north gate of National Chiao Tung University. The rent depends on which apartment it is and how many people who share it, but is approximately around 2500 SEK excluding electricity, WiFi and gas per month.
The dormitories are conveniently situated close to the university buildings. Girls and boys live separately. The standard of the dormitories are low, and so is the rent (about 2000 SEK/semester). The two places to live if you want to stay in campus:
Guang Fu Lu:
The advantages of living at this campus are that you live closer to the CITO Office, the dining halls and the library. Most of the classes are held here as well. Typically you share room with three other students. It takes about 15-20 minutes to walk to the Tsing Hua night market, where most restaurants are located.
Here you will live closer to down town Hsinchu. It takes about ten minutes to go there with a bicycle. Within the area there are also many nice restaurants close to the dormitory. Here you will live two students in each room, with a slightly higher standard than the Guang Fu Lu campus. If you are interested in running, the beautiful Eighteen Peeks Mountain offers some nice rounds just outside your door. A possible disadvantage with choosing to live here is that the place is further away from Guang Fu Lu, where most classes are held.
There are three food courts within the university area. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served here. The meals cost about 10-25 SEK each. You can find even better restaurants outside the university area, but for a higher price. If you want to get a very luxurious dinner in Hsinchu downtown it is about 150 SEK.
The economic situation for a Swedish exchange student in Taiwan student is good. The prices are of course depending on what you want to buy, but the most important expenses like food and transportation are cheap.
The bus to and from Taipei is about 20-30 SEK and takes about an hour under normal conditions. The standard of the buses are higher compared to the ones in Gothenburg, which makes this a very convenient way to travel. You never have to look in the time table if you are going to Taipei, just head to the station and grab one.
It is recommended that you buy a scooter for your stay in Taiwan. A new one cost about 10 000 SEK, but you can usually buy it from the previous year’s Chalmers students for about 3 500-4 500 SEK. You will need a driving license for the scooters but both the written exam and the driving test is fairly easy to pass and the cost is very low. Just talk to previous CITO members about how to take the license.
The prices of clothes vary a lot between different shops and brands. But it is overall cheaper in Taiwan compared to Sweden. There are many high quality Asian brands being sold to really good prices. The fashion here is very different, at the university most people go for comfortable rather than stylish. However, there is no piece of clothing that is not possible to buy here.
There are different kinds of clubs at the university, from the Cheerleading Team to the NCTU Jojo-Club. The most popular sports are basket, baseball, ping pong, badminton and tennis. But almost every sport is available. There is a big swimming pool and a nice gym within the university area as well.
There is a clinic on the second floor of the “Student Activity Center” in the university area. To visit the doctor is free, but you will have to pay for the medicine which is usually very cheap. There are twelve hospitals in Hsinchu and a dentist can also easily be found.
The official language in Taiwan is Mandarin. You cannot expect people to speak English here so make sure you have your destination written in characters before you jump into a taxi. It helps a lot once you learned some Mandarin, and it is therefore recommended that you study Mandarin during your stay.
The weather in Hsinchu is subtropical. The air humidity is high, and there are heavy rains during the typhoon season. The summer is hot, approximately 35 C°, but the autumn is like a good Swedish summer that stretches all the way to November. South of Kaoshiung there is tropical climate, which basically means it is even warmer there. The difference in temperature between the north and the south is especially big during the winter.
The temperature in Hsinchu during the winter can drop down to 5 C°. The moisture and the fact that the buildings in Taiwan are not isolated make it feel a lot colder. Bring some warm clothing and you will be just fine.
Visa is applied for at the Taipei Mission in Stockholm. Application is sent through recommended mail to:
Taipei Mission in Sweden
Wenner-Gren Center Sveavagen 166, 18 tr
113 46 Stockholm
Telefon: 08-728 85 13
What type of visa to apply for depends on the length of your stay. You can look for information at www.boca.gov.tw, but the easiest thing to do is to call Taipei Mission before you send any application. They are very friendly, speak perfect Swedish and will help you very well. If your stay is no longer than 30 days, no visa is needed. If you want to stay for more than 30 days you can either apply for a visitor visa, valid for 60 days, or a resident visa. All types of visas have the following requirements:
A passport valid for at least 6 months with at least a blank page left.
– 2 passport photos
– Application form, can be found at www.boca.gov.tw
– Booking for your flight there and back
– Visa fee some 320 SEK (or 60 SEK for resident visa), check this with Taipei Mission.
– Reply envelope that is also paid to be “recommended mail”.
When applying for a resident visa you will also need papers from Chalmers that says you are an exchange student and papers from NCTU that says you are accepted as a student for the following year.
Apply for the visa at least 3 weeks before departure and always call Taipei Mission in Stockholm before applying, rules for application may change.
Flight ticket and student loan
Applying for student loan to study abroad is a little more complicated than usual, check out www.csn.se for more information and application forms. If you are to become an exchange student, things are easier, as there is a special form that is to be signed by your student counselor at your university.
STA Travel can deduct the price of your ticket directly from your student loan, and usually offer really good prices on the tickets. Kilroy Travels offer this possibility as well, but they rarely have the cheapest tickets. If you want to book your ticket in any other way, you need to send a copy of the payment receipt to CSN in order to get an extra loan. KLM and Evaair have fairly cheap tickets (below 10000 SEK). GreenAir works as an agent for EvaAir in Goteborg, phone: 031-85 54 60 (www.greenair.se). If you have any relatives in Taiwan/Eastern Asia there is a possibility to get an ethnic ticket at KLM, meaning that you can bring an extra 10 kg of luggage without paying anything extra. These tickets can be booked through Jade Travel AB in Stockholm, phone: 08-441 76 20. www.jade.se
An alternative to booking tickets from Sweden to Taiwan is to book a ticket from Sweden to Hong Kong and then get another ticket from there. This is often the cheapest way, and there are many, many flights a day between Hong Kong and Taipei.
You can view Chalmers catalogue of exchange programs and read more about studying abroad here.
Here you can read more about the National Chiao Tung Univerity and what it offers to exchange students.