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This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
National Taiwan University (NTU) provides courses in certain fields taught in English or, for qualified students, taught in Chinese. You may not take NTU freshman courses or NTU courses that are not approved by the UCEAP Study Center.
Chinese language study is available from upper beginning to advanced levels.
If you have the language ability, prerequisites, and the permission of the instructor, you may take courses taught in Chinese (traditional characters)— including advanced Chinese language and literature. Confer with the course instructors to determine if your language skills and command of the terminology of the subject—in Chinese—are adequate to succeed in the courses. If you take courses taught in Chinese, you are required to write your exams and papers in Chinese and must be able to use specialized terminology in Chinese. Lectures and assignments in Chinese may be more difficult than anticipated.
- Attendance at all orientation sessions
- Full-time course of study while on UCEAP; minimum of 21 UC quarter/14 UC semester units each semester
- Language placement exam if you intend to take either Chinese language courses or courses taught in Chinese
Attendance is mandatory for all classes; more than three absences will result in a lower grade or the withholding of credit altogether.
You may not make arrangements for early exams or other means of completion of coursework before the official end of the regular NTU semester.
The academic environment is mature, open-minded, and diverse. Only the best students in Taiwan have the opportunity to study at NTU. They are generally more mature than UC students and are more advanced in their chosen fields.
The Taiwanese sense of academic discipline is strong. Students are expected to attend all class sessions fully prepared. Traditional Taiwanese relations between student and teacher are based on implicit respect for the teacher by the student and a strong acceptance of responsibility by the teacher toward the student. The position of a university professor is prestigious and students defer regardless of their own personal opinion of an instructor. Most faculty members hold doctoral degrees, and lectures by well-known international scholars are a regular feature of the curriculum.
You are urged to demonstrate a high degree of cultural sensitivity and to avoid inappropriate behavior toward professors, which could cause misunderstandings and negative attitudes toward you as well as toward the University of California. Take any disagreement or disappointment about course content or load, format of exams, assignments, grades, or any other academic matter to the UCEAP Liaison Professor or Program Coordinator, not to the instructor.
Plan to give serious attention to your academic purpose for going to Taiwan. If you take a job, travel when classes are in session, or miss or try to manipulate classes for personal reasons, you will be subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal from the program.
Course material is likely to be less structured and less clearly outlined than material presented in UC courses. Professors usually do not provide detailed syllabi with specific reading assignments and course expectations.
Tips for searching the NTU course catalog are available on the NTU website
which provides some course descriptions in English or Chinese and links to course information. Departments may also post course descriptions on a bulletin board outside the department office.
Courses are usually in lecture format, though oral presentations by students are also common. Classes generally offer fewer opportunities for classroom participation than UC courses. Although classroom practices vary depending on the professor, there is usually less discussion than you would find in UC classes.
Registering for NTU Courses
NTU course registration procedures require patience and determination, as they are not the same as those used at UC. The course registration process is completed after the orientation program in Taiwan.
You may sit in on all the NTU classes you are interested in during the first two weeks of the semester (add/drop period) to find out if you can fully comprehend the language as well as the course content. When you submit your course selection form required by NTU, the Study Center staff will review it and, if needed, the Liaison Professor will consult with you to ensure that you can keep up with the classes before finalizing your study list.
Generally there is one midterm exam and one final exam, or only a final exam. Many instructors do not give quizzes or homework, but language courses do require considerable homework. Some courses require term papers.
If you have concerns about test scores and grades, discuss them only with the UCEAP Liaison Professor or Program Coordinator—never with the professor of an individual course. Students in Taiwan do not discuss their grades with their professors because professors would take offense at such behavior.
Do not confront your instructors about grades.
The grading scale published by NTU or announced by NTU instructors is not the scale used to convert NTU numerical scores to UC letter grades. For example, do not expect a score of 80 to be a UC grade of A.
The host university reports grades to the UCEAP Liaison Professor. Once grades are available, the Study Center reviews and forwards them with recommendations to the UCEAP Systemwide Office. When grades are received at the Systemwide Office, they are processed as a group, not individually, and are then sent to UC campus registrars. You will receive an automatic e-mail notification when your grades are transmitted to the registrar. You will then be able to view your grades through MyEAP.
Fall grades are not usually available until late February or early March due to the NTU calendar and Chinese New Year holidays. Spring grades are usually available in early August.
For more detailed information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
Extending UCEAP Participation
You are encouraged to extend your program with UCEAP at any time. Discuss the possibility of extension with the NTU Office of International Affairs.
Approval of extension is based on a number of factors, including space at the host university, academic and behavioral performance, and the support of your UC campus department. New incoming UCEAP students receive priority for spaces before extending students.
Before departure, submit an approved Departmental and College Pre-Approval to Extend
(DPA) form to your Campus EAP Office. You will submit a Request for Final Approval
(RFA) form in order to activate the extension request. If you do not submit an approved DPA before departure, submit a Petition to Extend form, which requires campus and department approval and can take one to six weeks to process.
If you extend your participation, remember to extend your visa prior to your original visa expiration date.
Once your extension is approved, UCEAP will notify your UC campus registrar, Financial Aid Office, and Campus EAP Office. For information about the steps you need to take in regards to finances, see the Extension of Participation
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Get acquainted with your new host city, country, and culture before you leave the U.S. Travel guides and travel-related websites are excellent resources. You will also need to understand the local culture and history and keep up with current events. These sources should help you prepare before departure.
Recommended Viewing and Listening
||Sketches of Yunan, Label: HUGO, June 2000 (CD).|
In Taiwan, books printed in English are plentiful but can be expensive. The American Cultural Center of the American Institute in Taiwan has a lending library of more than 15,000 volumes and a respectable collection of American newspapers and journals, including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Official UCEAP Start Date
You are responsible for making your own transportation arrangements to and from Taiwan (even if you are on financial aid) and for arriving on the Official UCEAP Start Date. This includes reserving and purchasing airline tickets (purchase a changeable ticket). Standby tickets are not appropriate.
Program dates and arrival information are posted on the UCEAP website
. As stated in the UCEAP Student Agreement, if you fail to appear on the official UCEAP start date, you are subject to dismissal from the program.
The program start date can change due to unforeseen circumstances. You are responsible for making modifications in your travel itinerary to accommodate such changes. UCEAP is not responsible for unrecoverable transportation charges incurred for independent travel arrangements. To stay informed of program changes, update MyEAP with any changes to your contact information (mailing address, e-mail, and phone number).
You may arrive early if your visa status permits. Students arriving before on-campus housing opens must make arrangements for other accommodations.
You will attend a mandatory orientation session in Taiwan that will cover information such as:
- Placement Exam
- Deadlines for course selection
- Academic Issues
- Excursion Information
- Health and Safety Issues
- Campus Tour
- Culture Shock
You will also have the opportunity to meet other exchange students, international degree students, and volunteer students. There is usually a free dinner reception after the orientation.
Travel to Your Host Country
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
You are permitted to use NTU’s computer facilities. Computer rooms with PCs are conveniently located and have become UCEAP hangouts on campus.
Most UCEAP students take laptops to Taiwan. Dorm rooms have high-speed Internet access. Most NTU professors require that students type assignments. Once you register with the Office of International Affairs, you can use the oncampus wireless network.
You will be assigned to a dorm based on your preference indicated in the NTU application for admission. Housing contracts are paid (in cash) at the administrative cashier’s offices. At the dorm, you will pay the key deposit, obtain keys, and sign the housing contract with the building custodian. Unless otherwise instructed, all students (even those on financial aid) must make their housing payment for the entire semester shortly after arrival. The payment must be made in Taiwanese dollars.
University housing in Taiwan is guaranteed to all exchange students. When you submit the NTU online application for exchange students, you will be asked whether or not you need accommodations. Checking “yes” on the NTU online application indicates that you want on-campus accommodation. This is guaranteed housing for exchange students and you will automatically be assigned to a university dorm without further notice.
You cannot choose your roommate; instead, you will be assigned roommates by NTU. You will live with international and local students.
If you do not want to live in the university dorm, you may make other arrangements. If you would like to find an alternate living arrangement, plan to arrive in Taiwan early. One useful way of finding off-campus housing is to look for advertisements of rooms or apartments for rent on the bulletin boards around campus. Note, however, that NTU’s Office of International Affairs does not provide assistance in locating off-campus housing.
There are two dormitories; these include the International Youth Center (IYC) and the Prince House-NTU Dorms (a.k.a. BOT). Due to the limited number of rooms, there is no guarantee that you will get your first choice, but you will get housing. The IYC dormitories are older, but were renovated in the summer of 2011 and are very comfortable. The Prince House-NTU Dorms have two different locations: 1) Prince House-NTU Chang-Hsing Dorms and 2) Prince House-NTU ShuiYuan Dorms, opened in 2008 and 2009 respectively. They are privately owned and operated by the Prince Housing and Development Corp., though the allocation is centralized by the NTU Student Housing Service Division. Both Prince House dorms are located just across the street from NTU.
International Youth Center (IYC)
All IYC rooms are shared by at least two persons. It is not possible to apply for a single room or to select your own roommate. Rooms are equipped with single bed frames (futon mattress excluded), desks, desk lamps, bookshelves, closets, central air-conditioning, Internet connection, and telephone outlets (internal calls only). You may purchase an affordable futon mattress and are advised to purchase sheets and towels after you arrive. Shengli Shopping Mall is right outside of MRT Technology Building Station (Brown Line), where you can find basic supplies within walking distance.
Each floor has communal bathrooms and a shared study space. Meals are not provided but the building has a convenience store and a cafeteria. You can purchase meals at reasonable prices very close to campus. The IYC dormitory has ping-pong tables and workout facilities, laundry facilities (coin-operated washing machines and tumble dryers), a living lounge, kitchenette with kitchenware, food stand, entertainment room, and a movie theater.
Both private and shared rooms are available at the Prince House, and all rooms have private bathrooms. Residents are responsible for cleaning their own bedrooms and bathrooms and purchasing their own cleaning supplies. The Prince House dormitories comprise several buildings. All buildings have a lobby, a meeting and dining area with basic kitchenware—including a microwave oven and rice cooker—leisure facilities (ping-pong and billiard tables and workout facilities) on the ground floor, and a laundry room in the basement.
Rooms are equipped with private shower and WC, bed frame(s) (futon mattress excluded), desks, bookshelves, closet, refrigerator, central air-conditioning, cable TV output, and Internet and telephone connections (internal calls only). You are advised to purchase an affordable futon mattress, sheets, and towels after you arrive; these can be found in the 7-Eleven stores next to the dorms. In addition, there normally is used bedding from previous students available free of charge. Upon arrival, you may check with the dorm counselors for availability if you have trouble buying new bedding.
The UCEAP student budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Students with Disabilities
National Health Insurance
With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in preventing crime. There are steps you can take to manage or minimize risk and avoid being a victim of a crime. Stop, think, and stay alert. Inform yourself of risks you can encounter while traveling.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
UCEAP Contingency Planning
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Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.