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National Taiwan Normal University

​Language and Culture Summer Sessions

 - Summer

Language and Culture

 - Fall

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.

While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.

Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network

Local UCEAP Support

Campus EAP Office

The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.

UCEAP Systemwide Office

The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
Academic Staff advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).

Contact Information

Program Advisor
Michelle Hertig
Phone: (805) 893-6152; E-mail:
Program Specialist
May Pothongsunun
Phone: (805) 893-6152; E-mail:
Academic Coordinator
Jessica Brown
Phone: (805) 893-2598; E-mail:

Academic Specialist
Eva Bilandzia
Phone: (805) 893-2598; E-mail:
Student Finance Accountant
Gildas Halle
Phone: (805) 893-2761; E-mail:
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823
Phone: (805) 893-4762; Fax: (805) 893-2583

UCEAP Online

Bookmark your Participants program page. This resource lists requirements and policies you need to know before you go abroad, including your Pre-Departure Checklist, UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Program Calendar, UCEAP Student Budgets, and payment instructions.
Connect with us! Join our Facebook network via the UCEAP Taiwan page

Study Center Abroad

A local faculty member administers UCEAP programs at National Taiwan Normal University along with a coordinator. They advise students on academic matters, provide information on cultural events, assist with program logistics, and offer support with personal matters.
Ms. Irene Chiang
Program Manager
Mandarin Training Center
National Taiwan Normal University
162 Hoping East Road, Sec 1
Taipei 10610, TAIWAN
Phone: (011-886-2) 7734-5141
Ms. Jenny Chang, Program Advisor

Phone Number Codes

U.S. international code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 011   (dial this to call from the U.S.)
Taiwan country code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  886
Taipei city code. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  02

Approximate Time Difference

16 hours
Academic Information
Program Overview
The summer and fall programs concentrate on developing reading and speaking skills in Putonghua (Mandarin or standard Chinese) in intensive Chinese language courses offered at the elementary, intermediate, or advanced levels  by the Mandarin Training Center (MTC) at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU). See the Mandarin Training Center website for course information.
All classes are conducted in Chinese using traditional Chinese characters. Mandarin phonetic symbols and Pinyin spelling are used to indicate the pronunciation of characters. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension are given equal emphasis in each class and performance is evaluated accordingly.
The average class size is 6 to 10 students. You can also book one-on-one language counseling sessions with an MTC teacher. Classes meet for three hours per day Monday through Friday. This includes lectures, tutorials, and cultural field trips.
You will be interviewed and will take written tests based on your interview result. Unless you have never studied Chinese before or choose to start from the beginner’s level, you must take written tests to determine your placement.
Cultural activities and excursions supplement the classes and non-credit electives may be available in such areas as calligraphy, Chinese cuisine, and Chinese paper cutting. Past UCEAP participants have enjoyed the elective courses and gained personal enrichment; however, UCEAP does not award academic credit for these courses.

Summer Requirements

  • Registration in intensive language program; the regular program is not for UCEAP students
  • Interview and written placement tests
  • 10.5 quarter/7 semester UC units; the variable unit option is not available
  • Letter grades for all courses; the P/NP grade option is not permitted

Fall Requirements

  • Registration in intensive language program; the regular program is not for UCEAP students.
  • Interview and written placement tests
  • 16.5 quarter/11 semester UC units; the variable unit option is not available
  • Letter grades for all courses; the P/NP grade option is not permitted
Sample MyEAP Study Lists


You will be placed in Chinese language classes based on your interview result, written test scores, and preferred class hours (morning or afternoon). Your class schedule will be available on the on-site orientation day.
You do not submit a MyEAP Study List for either the summer or the fall program; courses and grades will be reported based on NTNU transcripts.
NTNU transcripts are sent to the UCEAP Systemwide Office.
Academic Culture
The Taiwanese sense of academic engagement and discipline is strong. Students are expected to attend all class sessions fully prepared. Relations between student and teacher are based on implicit student respect for the teacher and a strong acceptance of teacher responsibility toward the student. Students demonstrate deference regardless of their personal opinion of an instructor.
You are urged to display a high degree of cultural sensitivity and to avoid inappropriate behavior, which could cause misunderstandings and incite negative attitudes toward you and the University of California.
Course Information
Attendance is mandatory for all classes; absences will result in a lower grade or the withholding of credit altogether.
Your transcripts will be sent directly to the UCEAP Systemwide Office where your final grades will be reviewed before being forwarded to the UC registrars.
Grades for summer are expected by late September; grades for fall are expected by early January. 
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Do not expect to have enough free time to pursue an internship during the summer or fall program.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Summer participants are encouraged to extend to the fall program. Discuss the possibility of extension with local staff and refer to our Extension Chapter in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
If you extend your participation, remember to extend your visa prior to your original visa expiration date.
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself
Get acquainted with your new host city, country, and culture before you leave the U.S. Travel guides and travel-related websites such as Lonely Planet 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 Periodicals

Recommended Viewing and Listening

Vecchione, Judith (Executive Producer)   Tug of War: The Story of Taiwan, 2000 (Video).​
Yuan-kai, Bao ​    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.
Social Conduct


Taiwanese culture is undergoing rapid change that can be seen in activities of the younger generation. However, the more durable traditions include veneration of the elderly and propriety. You may witness behaviors that would be considered discriminatory in the U.S., but are considered acceptable in Taiwanese society. Try to observe such behaviors impartially to avoid applying U.S. standards and expectations to the Taiwanese in their own culture.
Social conduct in Taiwan is regulated by custom. For example, they have a distinct sense of what is proper to discuss. The Taiwanese will also ask personal questions, merely out of curiosity. Do not take it as an insult. If you do not feel comfortable answering questions, politely sidestep them.
In Taiwan, American frankness can be interpreted as rude. While UCEAP students may not be aware of their own rudeness or cultural blunder, the Taiwanese will notice both. If they are affected by the offensive behavior, they simply avoid the offender in the future. Avoid showing anger, as this is considered culturally insensitive in Taiwan and would result in “losing face.”
The Taiwanese are a group-oriented society. Whereas the West emphasizes individualism, Taiwanese activities are often outgrowths of some group, family, profession, school, or community.  

Drugs & Alcohol

Refer to the UCEAP Substance Abuse Policy for details.
The Taiwanese government deals harshly with foreign students who are caught in possession of drugs. Your status as a foreign citizen does not provide exemption from Taiwanese penalties for the possession and use of drugs. Drug laws in Taiwan are extremely severe and involvement with drugs is treated as a serious offense.
Never feel pressured to drink alcoholic beverages. Being under the influence of alcohol is the single biggest risk to your safety while here, as it can lead you to make poor decisions. Local staff can help you devise polite and friendly ways to avoid drinking without losing the camaraderie associated with it.
Although drug use is extremely low, alcohol use is greatly tolerated. It is common to see intoxicated people in late-night trains and at stations. If you are of legal age, use your judgment and never display intoxicated behavior in public places. Students who abuse alcohol, behave in a disorderly manner, or cause problems for housing authorities or the host university will face disciplinary action by UCEAP.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation

Official UCEAP Start Date

Pre-Program Travel

Do not plan to travel outside of the U.S. after finals at UC and before the program begins. Each year, the host universities send acceptance letters and visa documents on different dates, sometimes only a short time before the program’s Official Start Date. You need to be in the U.S. to receive the materials.

Travel to the Host University

The dates of the program 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 any unrecoverable transportation charges incurred for independent travel arrangements.
In order to keep informed of program changes, update MyEAP with any changes to your contact information.
Failure to arrive before the Official Start Date is cause for dismissal from the program. More detailed arrival information and directions to the check-in point are provided in the UCEAP Pre-Departure Checklist online.
If you plan to arrive in Taiwan early you will need to make your own hotel reservations. UCEAP cannot make arrangements for you to move into the dormitory earlier than the established move-in date.
Not all taxi drivers are familiar with the campus residences. Look up the location of your destination ahead of time. Provide the driver with the address of your housing assignment and have a campus map with you to show the driver exactly where you want to go.

On-site Orientation

After arrival you will participate in mandatory on-site orientations organized by your host university that cover a variety of topics. Orientations vary by location, but most include a welcome dinner, lunch, or other get-together and various outings to the local neighborhoods.
The orientations cover such topics as: 
  • Deadlines for course changes
  • Academics
  • Excursions
  • Health and safety
  • Campus tour
  • Culture shock
You will also have the opportunity to meet other exchange students, international degree students, and volunteer students. 
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip tickets, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. UCEAP discourages purchasing one way tickets, as your Program Budget is based on a changeable round trip student fare, which is generally less expensive. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase tickets that allow changes to the return date. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.
There is no UCEAP group flight to Taiwan. You are responsible for making your own flight arrangements. It is recommended that you arrive during regular business hours.
Detailed arrival instructions are provided in your UCEAP online Pre-Departure Checklist.
Most students will arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, 25 miles southwest of Taipei. There is a tourist information desk in the arrivals area open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bus services operate at regular intervals during the day while taxis are available at all hours. You can purchase New Taiwan Dollars (TWD) at the airport or banks in Taipei. 
​Because of the need for early detection and prevention of communicable diseases, Taiwan requires all arriving passengers to have their body temperatures scanned with an infrared thermal apparatus. Only passengers showing symptoms of communicable diseases are required to fill out the Communicable Disease Survey Form. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and your travel history, if you exhibit symptoms, you may be required to give an onsite specimen and/or follow up with local health authorities.

Financial Aid Students

Your financial aid package is calculated using your specific UCEAP Program Budget. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student ticket to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.
Travel Documents
Additional information about passports, visas, and other required documents is provided in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and Predeparture Checklist.

Taiwan Citizenship & Military Service Requirement

Taiwan’s Ministry of Education does not allow Taiwanese citizens to participate in exchange programs. However, dual citizenship holders are not restricted by this regulation, but you must provide a copy of a non-Taiwan passport.
Taiwan-born men between the ages of 18 and 40 who return to the country may be required to serve in the Taiwanese military. This is the case even for men with dual citizenship. Fully investigate all matters pertaining to your citizenship and military service obligations before leaving the U.S. You may obtain additional information online from the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.

Taiwanese Visa

A visa is an endorsement, usually a stamp, placed in the passport by the authorities of the host country. A visa grants you permission to enter and reside in Taiwan as a student.
U.S. citizens going to Taiwan only for the summer term do not require a visa.
U.S. citizens going to Taiwan for the fall/spring/year are required to obtain a visitor visa at a Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the U.S. prior to departure. More details about the visa process are provided in the UCEAP Pre-Departure Checklist online.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, contact TECO to determine applicable travel restrictions and whether or not you will need supplementary documents for your visa application and/or reentry documents.  
PRC citizens going to National Taiwan University (NTU) must apply for an Entry Permit through the NTU Office of International Affairs. Entry Permits are single entry. Students are required to arrive and depart Taiwan on the specific dates designated by Taiwan Immigration and NTU. Visa regulations require that you travel to Taiwan from the United States.  
Do not apply for a visa until you receive a host university acceptance letter. You are advised to apply for a multiple-entry visa if you plan to travel internationally during your stay. It is not possible to change a single-entry to a multiple-entry visa once you are in Taiwan. The visitor visa is good for 180 days.
After registering for courses and receiving a Student Identification Card, you will officially apply with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei for a resident or visitor visa extension. If you stay for one term you can choose to apply for visitor visa extension instead of applying for a resident visa. Note that the resident visa application requires another health examination once you arrive in Taiwan. Within 15 days of receiving a resident visa, you must apply for an Alien Residence Card (ARC) at the National Immigration Agency.
You may obtain visa information and requirements from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices in either Los Angeles or San Francisco. For more information and a listing of other U.S. locations of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, visit the TECO website.

U.S. Travel Registration

As soon as you know your flight plans prior to departure, register online with the U.S. Department of State. Registration is free and allows for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to be a source of assistance and information in case of difficulty or an emergency while traveling abroad. 


It is easier to replace lost or stolen documents if you have photocopies. Make photocopies of all important documents, including passport photo pages, vaccination certificates, travelers check receipts, airline tickets, student ID, birth certificate, credit cards (front and back), etc., then leave a set of copies at home with a parent or guardian and pack a set in various pieces of luggage. Spending a few moments copying documents now can save time and energy if something is lost or stolen.

Undocumented Students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Students

Consult with an immigration attorney free of charge on your campus to determine if study abroad is right for you.

If you are currently enrolled as a student at UC Berkeley, contact the Undocumented Student Program

If you are currently enrolled as a student at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara, or UC Santa Cruz, contact the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center at
Packing Tips
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing abroad.
Identify all luggage on both the outside and inside with your name, home address, and destination.
When traveling always carry your passport, visa, airline tickets, prescription medications, and money. Never put valuables in your checked luggage.
Due to limited storage space in the host university dormitories, you should pack reasonable amounts of clothing and personal items. Most items are available for purchase in Taiwan.


  • Dressy outfit (a sport coat, tie, dress, etc.) for special events
  • Deodorant
  • Small, lightweight gifts
  • Warm clothing for winter
  • Shoes that slip on and off easily
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Prescription medications (see the Health chapter of this guide for information on transporting prescriptions abroad)
  • Travel guide with a detailed map of Taipei
  • Laptop


  • Raincoat and rain boots
  • Vitamins and cold medications
  • Mosquito repellent and after-bite medicine


The climate in Taipei is hot and humid in the summer and mild in the winter. Two months of warm rains, usually beginning in May, usher in the summer. Taipei is hottest from July through September, with the temperature soaring to around 100ºF.
Due to Taiwan’s industrial growth, there is a pollution problem that is reflected in the local noise, water, and air. The air in Taipei is heavily polluted much of the time. If you have allergy or sinus medication that works well, take enough to last for your entire stay in Taiwan, as similar medication may not be available locally.
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Consider having additional protection for your property. In spite of your best efforts, it is still possible to experience loss, theft, or accidents that will damage your belongings while traveling. Talk to your parents and analyze their family homeowners’ insurance to determine whether the items brought or bought while abroad are covered by their policy.
UCEAP Travel Insurance policy offers limited personal property coverage.  UCEAP strongly recommends that you examine the details of the UCEAP Travel Insurance benefits and purchase additional property insurance coverage, especially to protect high cost items such as laptop computers, Smartphones, tablets, and other valuables. Review the policy carefully before departure and determine if it provides adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss. 
If you decide to purchase supplemental personal property coverage, do so before departure and make sure that the coverage extends while traveling because most theft occurs in the airport or while moving into housing. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
You are responsible for your own personal property. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables from damage or theft by locking your room and securing currency, jewelry, passport, and other possessions. Avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry and going to questionable parts of the city, especially at night or when alone. Minimize your vulnerability by staying in control of your drinking and your behavior. Do not invite casual acquaintances or strangers home.
Return Transportation
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad:
  • Contact information for finance questions
  • How to estimate the cost of your program
  • Budget instructions and information
  • Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
  • UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
  • Banking before and after arrival
  • Fees and penalties
  • Loan information
  • How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
  • Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget. Program fees are subject to change.
Carefully review your UCEAP Program Budget.
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.


  • Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
  • Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
  • Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
For further information see the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and the Money Matters tab of your Participants Portal. If you will be receiving financial aid, see also the UCEAP Financial Assistance web page.

Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:

If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions.
Handling Money Abroad
The official currency unit in Taiwan is the dollar (abbreviated TW$ or NTD).
Travel to Taiwan with at least US$300 to cover transportation from the airport, initial move-in costs (bed linens, cleaning supplies, key deposits, housing, etc.), and the first few days in Taipei.
If you need to purchase Taiwan Dollars, the Taoyuan International Airport is the most convenient place.
Travelers checks are rarely used in Taiwan. Sometimes they are treated as personal checks, which are subject to an additional collection charge. If you use travelers checks, plan to cash them at large banks or at the American Express (AmEx) office, if the checks are from AmEx.

ATM Cards

Many students use an ATM card to obtain funds in Taiwan. Using an ATM provides you with direct access to your bank accounts at home. Check with your bank for fees (if any), withdrawal limits, and to let them know of your international travel plans.
All 7-Elevens on and off campus have ATMs. ATM cards and credit cards with PLUS and Cirrus logos allow you to access your home bank accounts and withdraw cash.
Charles Schwab account holders can withdraw money from international ATMs and be reimbursed for fees incurred. However, there may be a minimum balance required.


Taiwan Post and Hua Nan Bank have branches on the NTU campus.
A Bank of Taiwan branch is located across from NTNU.
Year students may open a local bank account. You will need your passport and Alien Residence Card (ARC). OIA suggests depositing TW$500 in your account initially and requesting an ATM card.
You may also open a savings account at the post office. Many locals maintain these types of accounts. You will need your passport and student identification card to open an account. There are no fees for opening bank accounts. Funds in these accounts are available for withdrawal either at the postal savings window or from a cash-dispensing machine in the post office lobby. The post office is open Monday through Friday.
If you do not have a personal checking account and do not wish to open one before leaving for Taiwan, you may cover your expenses by either taking a supply of travelers checks sufficient to cover expenses for the program or have telegraphic transfers/certified checks sent to you periodically.
UCEAP does not recommend you receive personal checks made out to your name. Past UCEAP students who did not have checking accounts in the U.S. wished they did for the convenience of international transactions.

Transferring Money Overseas

Money can be cabled from an American bank to your local account in about a week. Money is first cabled from the American bank to the central office of the Taiwan bank; the funds are then transferred by mail to the local branch, where they are made available. The process can be expedited by two or three days for an extra fee.
The basic charge for the procedure is set by the American bank. Determine the charges before departure and verify that your American bank can transfer funds in this manner.

Credit Cards

You can use Visa, American Express, and MasterCard for purchases in many restaurants, shops, and hotels in Taipei and in some other large cities in Taiwan.
Credit card companies normally charge a fee when cash is withdrawn from a home account. In addition, some companies limit such withdrawals to TW$8,000 per day. Check with your credit card companies in advance for details.
The American Express office in Taipei will cash personal checks for cardholders. Contact AmEx for details. Funds are issued in local currency.​
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
At NTNU, wireless internet access within the MTC building is available for purchase for about TW$300 per term. After that you can access the internet with your laptop or smartphone.
Previous UCEAP students recommend buying pre-paid cards at the telecom service centers in the Taoyuan International Airport when you arrive, as the procedure is less convenient in Taipei.
Many U.S.-based long-distance phone companies provide special services that make it easy to place international calls. Some provide a toll-free access number that connects with an operator in the U.S. Others provide the means to charge long-distance calls either to a credit card or to a third party.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), the technology for transmitting voice conversations via the Internet, is popular with students who take a laptop abroad. Social networking software such as Skype is commonly used to make free or low-cost calls over the Internet.
Messenging apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Line, WeChat) are also increasing in popularity.

Cell Phones

At NTU, most students obtain cell phones upon arrival. It is possible to bring your own mobile phone and purchase pre-paid cards. If you prefer to apply for a phone plan, you will have to present ARC, passport or driver’s license and be accompanied by a local guarantor (his/her ID Card and National Health Insurance Card are required) at the service centers of major telecoms.
Overall, cell phone rates are comparable to what you might pay in the U.S. Most students call very sparingly and text instead to keep the bill down. Once you’ve decided on a cell phone service provider, you can choose to use a prepaid service or a regular plan (most students get pre-paid). You may buy pre-paid cards at any of the convenience stores on or around campus to refill your account.
At NTNU Mandarin Training Center (MTC), it is not possible for UC students to get a phone plan due to their visa status. MTC suggests that you obtain a pre-paid phone. To get a pre-paid card, you need a passport and another proof of identity (such as a driver's license in the United States). The pre-paid card number can be applied in a 7-11 convenience store or telecom service center.  On new student registration days, telecom companies set up booths on MTC's 6th floor for students.
Mail & Shipments
Do not ship luggage in advance, and avoid shipping items to Taiwan. You can buy most items in Taipei at reasonable prices. If you cannot fit essentials into baggage, take only those things that you will need immediately. You can have friends or family members mail goods to you in Taiwan after you arrive. Shipped packages should be labeled “used personal clothing” or “used personal supplies.” All incoming parcels will be opened and inspected by customs and you may have to pay a duty fee. Keep in mind that what you take to Taiwan and items that you acquire abroad must later return home with you.
Housing & Meals
The Mandarin Training Center (MTC) does not arrange your housing during your time at NTNU. The average rent for rooms in Taiwan is about TW$7,000–15,000 depending on the location, quality, and size of the room.  Please visit the “Student - Accommodations” section of the MTC website for more information.
After registration and before classes begin, you can stay in temporary lodgings while you look for permanent housing. The average leasing period for apartments is for a minimum of six months; students who stay for less than that should stay at the International House of Taipei.
The NTNU Extension School of Continuing Education accommodations (called NTNU Hall) are located on the NTNU campus, right next to the MTC facility. These rooms are extremely limited as they will often accept housing for short-term specialty groups/programs and therefore do not have many, if any, rooms for individuals during the term. However, this location can be used on a short-term basis while looking for housing. The cost is higher per month for a shared room per person. Please note that there is a curfew at this hall.  
No. 129 Heping East Road, Section 1
Taipei 106 Taiwan ROC
Phone: (02) 7734-5800 
You can reserve a room online with a credit card two months before the check-in date. The prices listed are the daily rates for the room.
After users fill out the reservation form, and the system confirms whether or not there are vacant rooms available during the reserved dates. The system will then take users to the next page.

The International House of Taipei is a privately owned dormitory residence located north of downtown, about thirty minutes from the campus via shuttle bus. This facility has rooms that range from NT$9,000–16,000 per month for shared or single rooms. Meals are taken elsewhere although some limited cooking may be available.

International House of Taipei
 #102, Xinpo 1st St, Xindian District,
New Taipei City, Taiwan ROC
Phone: (02) 2910-3117
If you do not wish to live in the housing options above, you may make other arrangements on your own. 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. You can also look at www.tealit.comCraigslist, or
There are many university eateries and inexpensive private restaurants on and off campus. There is an abundance of restaurants from every region of China. In addition, there is no problem finding Western food.
The quality of restaurants in Taiwan is as varied as the cooking styles. Food quality ranges from elegant, expensive meals to inexpensive snacks from city pushcarts. Enjoy the specialties of local noodle stands, Western restaurants, and typical American fast food. Most restaurants close at about 9:30 p.m., although street vendors often are open after midnight.
Fruit and vegetable stands in every price range are located throughout Taiwan. For the most part, prices are less expensive near universities.
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Taipei is extremely manageable with no Chinese skills and many signs are in Chinese and English (or at least roman letters). The metros and metro station are all bilingual so you can easily get to where you are going. The further out of Taipei you go, the more likely that people will not understand English. However, students with a beginner level of Chinese should be able to get around fairly easily.  Public transportation on the island is generally good, including bus, airline, and train services. Railway service in Taiwan is extensive and affordable. You may travel independently on weekends and holidays; inform local staff of your travel plans.
UCEAP discourages riding motorcycles and motor scooters in Taiwan. See also Traffic and Transportation Safety in this guide.
Roads in Taiwan’s major cities (especially Taipei) are generally congested, and the many scooters and motorcycles that weave in and out of traffic make driving conditions worse. Exercise caution when crossing streets because many drivers may not respect your right of way.
Taxis are plentiful in Taipei. The drivers need the full address of the destination in Chinese. Rides from campus to most parts of the city cost less than TW$200. Tipping is not expected unless the driver assists you with luggage. However, if you use the trunk, there is an additional charge. There are also additional night surcharges between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The base price for a taxi is about TW$80.
The Taipei bus system provides frequent service and convenient routes throughout the city. Fares are determined by zones, and you are charged as you travel between zones (or for travel within a zone). Rush hour conditions are crowded. Buses usually stop running at about 10:30 p.m.
Taipei has an efficient subway system known as the MRT. There are five lines that operate from 6 a.m. to midnight. Regular fares range from TW$20 to TW$65 depending on the distance traveled.  
NTNU is a 10 minute walk from the nearest subway station, and there are several stations that are within walking distance from the MTC campus.
Extracurricular Activities
Participating in extracurricular cultural and social activities while on UCEAP is an excellent way to meet people, improve your language skills, and integrate more fully into the community. Join clubs, sports, musical, theater, or arts groups; volunteer at local organizations, attend lectures and receptions held in academic and community circles, and get the most out of your time abroad. This section highlights a few of the many activities students have enjoyed in Taiwan.

Social Life

People in Taipei commonly go to movies, parks, shops, night markets, and museums. They spend time visiting friends, hiking, and traveling to scenic spots around the island. Socializing in Taiwan often centers on eating, so people frequently go in groups to restaurants and coffeehouses. If you are invited to a meal, offer to pay your own share, even as a guest.


You can participate in numerous sports activities while in Taiwan, including rugby, martial arts, tennis, badminton, squash, bowling, ice and roller skating, aerobics, swimming, and golf. Variations of kung fu, such as fan and sword, are also offered in the community. Taiwan is surrounded by water and has plenty of great natural beaches. Baseball, gymnastics, and basketball are available at the university.


The Taiwanese are eager to practice their English. Although teaching English might be a good way to get to know people, it can become time-consuming. Furthermore, exchange students are not legally allowed to work in Taiwan.


While Buddhism and Taoism are widespread, the most common religion is known as The Popular Religion or the folk religion, which incorporates elements of the two, as well as the doctrine of Confucius, which still forms the moral fiber of the Taiwanese people. Confucius’ birthday, September 28, is a great traditional holiday. You can also find Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim services in Taipei.


There is a wide array of goods for sale in Taiwan and prices are comparable to or less than those in the U.S. Bargaining is common. Previous UCEAP students have recommended shopping at the night markets including Ximending and Shilin.
Students with Disabilities
Taiwan law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities and sets minimum fines for violations. By law new public buildings, facilities, and transportation equipment must be accessible to persons with disabilities, and this requirement is generally being met.
For more information:
Travel Sign-out Form

Leaving your host city for more than 24 hours?

You are required to complete the online sign out through your MyEAP account. 
Click on Travel Signout and complete all required fields. During an emergency (abroad or in the U.S.), it is important for UCEAP officials to know how to reach you so we can help you. 
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Working Abroad
​Due to immigration regulations, students are not permitted to work in Taiwan. Working illegally is not endorsed or supported by UCEAP and can result in your arrest and prosecution for breaking the law.
LGBTIQ Students
​There are no laws prohibiting consensual same-sex sexual activity. According to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights activists, violence against LGBT persons with HIV/AIDS is a problem, but instances of police pressure on LGBT-friendly bars and bookstores declined during 2012.
​For more information,
UCEAP Insurance

Know Before you Go

While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy.  Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term.
The UCEAP travel insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations. Read details in Benefits at a Glance. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. Your travel insurance policy number is ADDN 04834823.  It is underwritten by Chubb Insurance Company.
There is no deductible or co-insurance but the travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis.  You can submit a claim for a refund consideration of covered expenses.  For more information about the medical claim proces or about non-medical claims.
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance.  Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country).  It is your responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter.

For Questions about Coverage, Benefits and Claims Status

ACI at

Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
Health facilities in Taiwan are adequate for routine and emergency medical treatment.  Physicians are well trained and many have studied in the United States and speak English.  State-of-the-art medical equipment is available at many clinics and hospitals.  Hospitals’ nursing services provide medication dispensing and wound care but generally not the daily patient maintenance functions found in U.S. hospitals.
Information about health care, including a listing of physicians, dentists, and medical providers, is available on the American Institute in Taiwan website. If you are sick or injured, you can make an appointment, get treatment and pay for services.  Generally, doctors and hospitals in Taiwan will expect immediate cash payment for health services. You will need to pay for services up front and then submit a claim for reimbursement through the UCEAP insurance.  For information about benefits and claims process, contact ACI at 


Ambulance - Dial 119

Taiwanese regulations require ambulances to have emergency equipment and supplies and to be staffed by trained medical personnel. 
Upon private request, some hospitals will dispatch paramedic crews to a limited geographic area. In the Taipei area, Taiwan University Hospital provides this service (phone: 886-2-2312-3456).
Most times, the best alternative is to take a taxi to the hospital. If you must use a taxi, always carry with you the name (in Chinese) of the closest hospital to which you would like to be taken.
Physical Health

Know Before you Go

Inform yourself before you travel.  Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care.  Know what to do if you get sick.
Read the Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
Stay healthy and avoid lowering your body’s resistance. The change in diet and climate may cause an upset stomach and possibly diarrhea until you adjust to the new environment.  If you suffer from allergies, be prepared for sinus illness that may be worse than in the U.S.
If you feel sick or have a medical emergency, seek medical attention and contact local staff immediately. They will have recommendations on which clinic to visit and the necessary UCEAP insurance claim process to follow. Local staff may be able to assist you if you need to make special arrangements with your professors due to extended absence from class.
Prescription Medications


  • Understand your UCEAP travel insurance terms of coverage.
  • If you need a refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor. US prescriptions are not valid in other countries.  Note:​ If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventive care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance; your campus or private insurance plan may cover it.  You must travel with a letter from your prescribing explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name. 
  • If you need to find out if this appointment would be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance, contact ACI at For more information about the UCEAP travel insurance, refer to your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, or your pre-departure checklist, Insurance tab.
  • Two classes of medicines – narcotics and psychotropics – are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that can have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine) which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are all those medications likely to be used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions.

Before Departure

  • If you plan to purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must fill and pay for medication when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start of the program).  Do not assume that your local pharmacy knows about the UCEAP travel insurance policy.  It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage. You will need to pay for the medication and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance.
  • Find out whether your medication is legal in your UCEAP country.
  • If traveling with a prescription containing controlled substances, review international agreements governing the transportation of medications across borders check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) website. The INCB is responsible for international drug control. If traveling with controlled substances, you must have a letter from your doctor. Generally, amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal in other countries. Talk with your doctor to switch you to another medication.
  • Talk to your doctor to see whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription medication to last through the end of the program.  Ask your doctor how to adjust your dosage depending on time zone changes.
  • Get a letter from the prescribing physician, on letterhead, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name as brand names vary considerably around the world.

Traveling with prescription medications

  • Keep the medication in its original packaging clearly labelled with your name, doctor’s name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage. Carry it in your carry-on luggage, provided it is in pill or solid form. For more information, particularly if your medication is in liquid form, consult the US Transportation Security Administration., Traveling with Medications.
  • Carry copies of all original US prescriptions.
  • Carry the letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic names. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.

Why is a letter from your treating physician necessary? 

If your particular medication cannot be taken into the country, talk to your doctor.  If you need to switch prescriptions, your doctor may need to make changes to your medication at least 3-6 months before departure to monitor side effects and dosage.  The letter from your doctor indicating condition, treatment and medication regimen, can help a local physician to assess you and to consider reissuing your prescription provided it is licensed in your UCEAP country. Note that the local doctor's appointment for medication refill may not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.

Consult with ACI, Read more in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health section.

Mental Health
If you are currently in treatment in the U.S., discuss your UCEAP program details with your doctor so you can work on a plan in case you need to reach out for care. If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician before departure about getting the supply you need for going abroad.  For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.​

Your mental health is important to us all. Create a plan with your treating doctor. Managing your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a pre-existing condition – is something every person must think about when going abroad. Being away from usual stress at home can sometimes be a relief when abroad; experiencing new adventures can be a useful distraction. You will also have times when you feel confused, uncomfortable, annoyed, and many of the same emotions that you manage in your daily life at home.
Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.

You may feel homesick or sad. Feeling down, anxious, homesick, depressed or stressed might be your body’s reaction to the new environment and different life away from your usual support network. Don't cope alone.  Reach out for help to the local UCEAP program staff and your friends.  If you have been feeling unhappy for longer than a few days, or it is staring to affect your enjoyment of life and/or your studies, then you should see a doctor immediately.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration.  Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at
Speak with returnees and gather as much information as possible before you leave for Taiwan. If you are currently seeing a specialist for a psychological health condition, meet with the specialist to make sure that you have a plan in place if you need to reach out to local resources.
Do not be surprised to think, “It’s not what I expected.” Expect the unexpected. Life in Taiwan is fast paced with large crowds, noise, and pollution. For diversion, past students have discovered that some sort of regular activity—whether with an interest group like a chorus or hiking club, or study of traditional dance, archery, or calligraphy—offers a way to practice using Mandarin and to get a break from textbooks. Ask for insight from locals and acknowledge that this is a valuable learning experience.
Do not try to handle things on your own. It may be hard to admit that you need help. Most of all it may be hard to seek help. But in the long run, it's vital.
The Community Services Center in Taipei offers Western-style counseling services, crisis response, and support groups. Most counselors at the Community Services Center were trained in the U.S. You can obtain more information by visiting their website or by phone at (02) 2836 8134 or (02) 2838 4947. These phone lines are staffed with English-speaking counselors.
Health Risks
Refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travelers’ Health website, which provides health information specific to your destination. Food and beverage precautions are essential in order to reduce chance of illness.

Infectious Diseases

UCEAP continually monitors information from the CDC and World Health Organization in addition to host university and country resources, and will work closely with experts on UC campuses to provide timely and current information to you as needed.

Avian Flu

Although it is unusual for people to get influenza virus infections directly from animals, sporadic human infections and outbreaks caused by certain avian influenza A viruses and swine influenza A viruses have been reported.
Exercise care and avoid poultry farms, contact with animals in live food markets, any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces or fluids from poultry or other animals, and eat only thoroughly cooked poultry products. Note that, in the event of a pandemic, UCEAP’s ability to assist students abroad may be severely limited by restrictions on local and international movement imposed by foreign governments or the United States for public health reasons.
Refer to the UCEAP Current Alerts web page for updated information on avian flu and other infectious diseases.


Do not drink untreated tap water (including in mixed drinks and/or ice cubes) unless it has been boiled, filtered, or chemically disinfected. Do not drink unbottled beverages or drinks with ice. Locals do not drink water straight from the tap. Boil tap water to avoid bacterial illness. To be extra safe, let the water boil rapidly for one minute. Electric teapots are inexpensive.


Smoking is banned in all indoor public places. The Government of Taiwan is planning to extend the smoking ban to cars, motorbikes, and pedestrians. The Bureau of Health Promotion, Taiwan Department of Health is leading smoke-free education.
Food Allergies
Students with severe food allergies should take precautions, as the cuisine may include ingredients that can cause anaphylaxis in those affected. A language barrier increases the risks associated with severe food allergies. 
Precautions to take include:
  • Research the local cuisine. Be aware that some popular local sauces may contain nuts.
  • Discuss the risks with your doctor six to eight weeks before departure to discuss your treatment plan while abroad.
  • Carry the medications you need to prevent an adverse reaction like antihistamines or epinephrine injectors with refills. Pack it in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. Your medication must be in its original packaging, with your name.
  • Have a letter from your physician to present to airport security that states your need to have the epinephrine auto injector with you at all times.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or tag with instructions for assistance in both English and the local language. Wearing medical identification at all times can help should a life-threatening reaction occur.
  • Tell others about your food allergy.
  • Carry a card written in English and the local language explaining what foods cause allergies and possible reaction. Make several copies in case you lose one. Be sure to have a native speaker verify that you have written everything correctly.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter, Allergies section.
Air Quality
​Aside from being affected by fixed pollution sources (factories, industrial areas) and vehicular pollution sources (scooters and automobiles), the air quality in Taiwan is also severely affected by factors from foreign areas, mainly from China. These sources are both man-made and from natural environments.
Air pollution can make asthma symptoms worse and trigger attacks. Exposure to fine particle pollution (PM2.5) contributes to cardiovascular disease. In addition to talking to your doctor before departure from the U.S., refer to the following tips.
  • If you have a chronic health condition that gets worse with air pollution, talk about the risks with your doctor before departure.
  • Plan activities when and where pollution levels are lower.
  • Change your activity level. When the air is polluted, try to take it easier if you are active outdoors. This will reduce how much pollution you breathe. Even if you can’t change your schedule, you might be able to change your activity so it is less intense.
  • Listen to your body.
  • Wear an N-95 respirator  (approved by the United States National Institute of Safety and Health) and follow local public health messages.
  • Even if you are healthy, you may experience temporary symptoms, such as irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; phlegm; chest tightness; and shortness of breath.
Electronic Cigarettes


E-cigarettes cannot be legally sold in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to the public against using e-cigarettes, which are prohibited in the country.
The import or manufacture of these products constitutes a violation of pharmaceutical regulations and is punishable by a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk

You play an active role in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being. Consider an action plan.

With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in minimizing or preventing personal risks. Take time to assess the risks, plan ahead to reduce them, and think how you would lessen the consequences if things go wrong. Start by outlining activities you plan to engage in through your program and/or during independent travel; label the risk and rate it based on the likelihood of harm and the severity of consequences. Consider measures you can take to reduce the severity and chance. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel.
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and has contracted with emergency assistance and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety. 
Be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate and unpredictable terrorist attacks, which make it impossible to protect yourself from. Remain vigilant in all public areas in your UCEAP city and country and wherever you travel. Many terrorist groups, seeking publicity for political causes within their own country or region, are not looking for student or higher education targets.

Terrorist attacks using vehicles are very hard to prevent and appear to be on the rise. If you are in a crowded public place, know how you can exit quickly, identify barriers or safe places where you can shelter-in-place, and watch out for any vehicles that appear to be going at very high speed.

Report anything suspicious to local authorities.  Read all security-related correspondence and advice from local staff.  Schedule direct flights, if possible.  Avoid stops in high-risk airports or areas. Minimize time spent in the public area of an airport, which is a less protected area.  Keep a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations, hotels, and hospitals. Have a plan for what you will do in the case of an emergency.  If you are ever caught in a situation where somebody starts shooting, follow the active shooter guidelines: drop to the floor, get down as low as possible, and hide if possible.  Cover yourself behind a solid object. Silence your phone. Do not move until the danger has passed.

Steps to manage or minimize risk and enhance your personal safety

  • Familiarize yourself with all UCEAP resources and emergency support services while on UCEAP.

  • Assess your surroundings.  Learn to recognize danger.
  • Remain aware at all times. Do not walk around talking on the phone or listening to music on your headphones.

  • When entering larger venues, always decide on a meeting place with those you are with just in case you get separated. Always identify possible exits.

  • Be attentive to what is unusual or threatening. Assess reasonable and safe options. Trust your "gut feelings"; if you feel threatened, act if safe to do so and leave the area immediately. Find somewhere more secure.
  • Research potential risks you can encounter before you travel. 
  • Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying on top of your drinking. Know your limits. In many countries beer, wine and liquor in some countries contains a higher alcohol content than similar products in the U.S. Know what you are drinking and how much alcohol it contains.
  • Practice the buddy system, which promotes safety.  This system helps ensure that you, and a partner, will look out for each other.  Choose your buddy wisely.  The ideal buddy should feel that the buddy system is very important. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
  • Have a communication plan. Who will you call on site if you are facing an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
Register online with the U.S. embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.
Read the UCEAP the Guide to Study Abroad, Safety Chapter  for more information on how to prepare to have a safe experience and access the U.S. Department of State Students Abroad website for updated travel information.
Crime & Prevention


Although the overall violent crime rate in Taiwan is low, you should avoid high crime areas, namely areas where massage parlors, barbershops, and nightclubs operate as covers for prostitution and are often run by criminals. In contrast to these illegal fronts, ordinary barbershops and other legitimate businesses prominently advertise their services, and you can see the interiors through storefront windows. Illicit establishments generally do not advertise, and casual passersby cannot view their interiors. Several U.S. citizens have been assaulted in these establishments and in the areas near bar and nightclub districts.
If you are a woman, avoid walking alone at night or where there are no other people during the day, just as if you were in any major city in the U.S. or some other unfamiliar location.
In several parts of Taiwan, incidents of purse snatching by thieves on motorcycles have been reported. You should keep a photocopy of your passport, other identification, and credit cards in a safe place.
Fraud is endemic. Victims are usually contacted telephonically by an individual claiming to represent the police, prosecutor’s office, other government agency, or the victim’s bank, insurance company, or other financial institution. Many of these frauds are perpetrated by criminals in mainland China or Southeast Asia, making identification, arrest, and prosecution difficult.
Criminal acts should be reported immediately to the local police, the American Institute in Taiwan, and the international office.
Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While in Taiwan, U.S. laws do not apply; you are subject to Taiwanese laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the U.S. If you violate the law, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Taiwan are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Taiwan law also provides for the death penalty for certain violent crimes and drug offenses. If accused of a crime, UCEAP and/or the American Institute in Taiwan would not be able to intervene on your behalf.

Police Services

Taiwanese police are professional and well-trained. Taiwan has a centralized police force responsible for enforcing the law and maintaining public order. Special duties include: managing entry and exit from Taiwan, immigration, civil defense and disaster rescue, fire prevention and firefighting, riot control, and assisting in other government affairs when necessary.
Police generally respond to incidents within 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the gravity and location of the crime. While the police respond quickly, they are not always effective at deterring crime. The anti-terror police units are more effective.
Few Taiwanese police speak English. However, local police departments have foreign affairs sections staffed by English-speaking officers capable of handling most situations. Because language barriers are possible, foreigners should speak in a simple manner when reporting crimes.
Civil Unrest
​Taiwan is a vibrant democracy. Protests and demonstrations occur on a regular basis in Taiwan’s major cities, particularly during elections. Protests are an accepted part of political life. Demonstrations rarely turn violent, although they may become confrontational between opposing groups. Protest organizers must obtain a protest permit from the police. Police often set aside areas for demonstrators, and police presence is clearly visible.
Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational. You should avoid areas of demonstrations if possible and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any political demonstrations. The American Citizens Services Section of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) will post notices regarding demonstrations in Taiwan on the AIT website whenever it receives reliable information about them.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Traffic congestion in urban areas is intense; many local drivers use scooters or motorcycles and weave in and out of traffic, causing hazards. UCEAP strongly discourages you from operating motorized vehicles.
Taiwan’s public buses and subway are generally considered safe, but passengers in taxis – particularly women - should exercise caution when traveling alone in taxis late at night. According to the U.S. Department of State, there have been several incidents of violence committed by taxi drivers against female passengers traveling alone late at night.
Carefully select taxis because of crime problems associated with unauthorized drivers. Use phone- or radio-dispatched, licensed taxis.  
Protect your wallets, purses, and all valuable items, as pickpockets are present (especially on crowded buses).  


Do not drive. UCEAP strongly discourages operating a scooter or motorcycle in Taiwan. The American Institute in Taiwan reports that American citizens in Taiwan have died in recent scooter accidents. A license is required to ride a scooter or a motorcycle. The requirements and procedures for applying for a driver’s license for a motorcycle (engine over 50cc) are the same as those for a vehicle driver’s license.

Pedestrian Safety

As a pedestrian, it is your responsibility to make yourself visible and avoid dangerous behavior and situations.
  • When possible, utilize the sidewalk; if not available, you should walk against the flow of traffic.
  • Always obey crossing signals, but make sure to look both ways before crossing into the street.
  • Even if you have the right of way, it is important to realize that vehicles may not always stop. Make eye contact with drivers and pay attention to the environment around you.
  • If you are wearing headphones or talking on your cell phone while crossing the street, it is important to pay attention to your surroundings and take extra care to avoid dangerous situations.
Natural Disasters
Be informed and make a plan.
Learn what protective measures to take before, during, and after an emergency. 


Typhoon season in Taiwan is from July to October.  It is also subject to strong earthquakes that can occur anywhere on the island. Visit the Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan website, which provides information about both typhoons and earthquakes.
The International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT) provides most areas of Taiwan with English-language programming 24 hours a day. In the event of an emergency or an approaching typhoon, tune your radio to FM 100.7 in the Taipei or Kaohsiung areas and FM 100.1 in the Taichung area. 


Taiwan is subject to strong earthquakes that can occur anywhere on the island.  Expect disruptions to electrical power, telecommunications, water, sewage, and transportation systems following any major earthquakes in Taiwan. Offshore earthquakes may cause a rise in tide but rarely cause tsunamis. Emergency actions include: 
If indoors:
  • Turn off the stove and other heat sources.
  • Open doors to ensure an exit; this is particularly important in a multi-level building.
  • DROP to your hands and knees.  COVER your head and neck with your arms.  If you can move safely, crawl under a sturdy desk or  table.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, ourside doors and walls, and anything that could fall.
  • Stay indoors until shaking stops. Venture outside after the danger of falling objects (window panes or signboards) is over. Once outside, protect your head.  
If outdoors:
  • If you can, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, Drop, Cover, and Hold On. STAY THERE until the shaking stops. This might not be possible in a city, so you may need to duck inside a building to avoid falling debris.
Travel Warnings and UCEAP Policy
Refer to the current travel advisories with the US Department of State and the UCEAP Student Travel Policy in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Fire Safety

Fire - Dial 119

Follow these general fire safety tips. Most college-related fires in the U.S. are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
  • Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
  • Know how to call the local fire department.
  • Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
  • Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
  • Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
  • Have an escape plan and practice it.
  • Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
  • Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
  • Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.

Program Suspension Policy

If the U.S. Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Advisory after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, UC security provider, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.

Security Evacuation

The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy evacuation on U.S. government-arranged flights, that require U.S. citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP and its security providers, is covered by UCEAP itravel nsurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
In An Emergency

What Is an Emergency?

An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
  • Any life/death situation
  • A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
  • An arrest
  • Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country

In an Emergency

Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:

If you are in the U.S.

  • During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
  • After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.

If you are abroad  

Taipei Police: (02) 2556-6007
There are also emergency service numbers, although an English-speaking operator may not answer. Like in the U.S., these calls are free:
Fire and Ambulance. . . . . . .  119
Police. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
American Institute in Taiwan-American Citizen Services
No. 7, Lane 134, Hsin Yi Road, Section 3
Taipei, Taiwan 106 
Phone: (02) 2162-2000
Fax: (02) 2162-2239
AIT website: 
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* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.