Taiwan was originally known as Formosa, or "Beautiful Island," and for good reason. Over 200 mountains, a beautiful coastline and an abundance of scenic landscapes make Taiwan an attractive destination. Whether you come for the excursions, the incredible Chinese cuisine, the friendliest hospitality or the best Mandarin language training available, Taiwan is certain not to disappoint.



Languages Spoken:

Mandarin

Education System

HIGHER EDUCATION

Taiwan’s educational system is quite similar to many other countries in the world in that a Taiwanese student has nine years of compulsory education before attending a secondary school.

Before students can attend a secondary school, they must take national exams to determine placement at senior high school, vocational high school, or five years of junior college. These national exams are highly competitive and students take years to prepare for these exams.

There are 61 junior colleges in Taiwan. Students have the option to attend a regular high school and then attend a two year program, or they can attend a five year program after ninth grade. Students have the option to specialize in majors such as medicine, business, technology, or languages.

Upon completing junior college, it has become increasingly more common for students to continue on to graduate school. Prestigious institutions offer limited space which makes admission to a reputable graduate program increasingly competitive. Taiwanese students often apply to American universities and pursue their degrees in the United States.

Visa and Residency

VISA INFORMATION

Visas are needed to study in Taiwan. The type of visa appropriate for international students depends on the length of stay in Taiwan.

Visitor Visa: For a Period of Six Months or Less:

If you will be in Taiwan for six months or less, you can obtain a visitor visa for a term of 60 days. Taiwan does not offer a long-term visitor visa for students. The 60-day visa is to be renewed at the local city or county police headquarters when the expiration date is near. This can be repeated twice, for an extended stay of 60 days each time. If you wish to travel overseas during the time you are studying in Taiwan, it is easiest to apply for a multiple-entry visa while you are still in your home country.

Resident Visa: For a Period of Over Six Months:

If you will be in Taiwan for over six months, you will need to obtain a resident visa for the purpose of study. Within 15 days upon arrival in Taiwan, apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) and re-entry permit at the local city or county police headquarters. The ARC will allow you to stay in Taiwan for as long as the Certificate remains valid.

For the latest information regarding visas, please visit the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan (Click on English version and select Visa)


General Requirements:

  • Passport valid for duration of stay, plus one copy
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • Completed application (Form Download ) with two passport-sized photos (color, showing front of face, taken within 3 months)
  • Supporting documents or official letters of approval from an authority of the R.O.C. (Taiwan); this can include a copy of your visitor visa, and the immigration stamp.
  • Supporting documents from host in Taiwan (e.g. Letter of Acceptance)
  • Highest education diploma and transcripts
  • Proof of financial support, plus one photo copy
  • Original and copy of heath Certificate if requested (signed by a medical doctor, notarized, document certified)
  • US Permanent Resident Card (for Non-US citizens, if applicable)
  • Other documents as requested requested after submission of above-mentioned documents
  • If your application is sent by mail, a self-addressed envelope with return postage by Certified Mail, Priority with Delivery Confirmation, Registered Mail, or Express Mail is required (stamps only, no meter postage)
  • Visa Fee information: Taiwan Bureau of Consular Affairs

Culture

COMMUNICATION STYLE

Taiwanese are generally used to meeting westerners and therefore know that a handshake is appropriate when greetings tourists. It is respectful to greet the oldest person first by not giving direct eye contact and giving a small bow.

Taiwanese have three names which mostly all have different meanings. If it is appropriate, ask a Taiwanese to explain the meaning of their name, as they are often delighted to engage in personal and thoughtful conversations. Sometimes, Taiwanese adopt American names which they use when meeting foreigners.

The concept of "face" is prevalant in Taiwanese culture. This concept is difficult to translate but roughly reflects a persons reputation, prestige, or dignity. There are three ways that face is used in everyday interactions with people:

  • Giving face, which can be shown through any selfless act of kindness toward someone else, or complimenting someone
  • Losing face is when some embarrasses someone else or directly intends to criticize or belittle someone
  • Saving face is when someone will apologize for their actions in a conflict

SOCIAL STRUCTURE / FAMILY

Family relationships are an important aspect to Taiwanese life. Family is solace in a persons life, and one must always remain loyal to family. Confucian beliefs influence family roles and relationships between people and government, men and women, and seniors and youth. Parents place great importance on teaching children to fulfill family duties and to respect those older than them.

FOOD

Sharing meals and communal dining is a very important aspect of Taiwanese culture. The most common ingredients in Taiwanese food are pork, seafood, rice, and soy. Most dishes are comprised of these items but will then add unique spices to change the flavor of each dish.

Peanuts, sesame oil, mustard greens, chili peppers, and cilantro are all common spices used to enrich Taiwanese dishes. Some variations of Chinese dishes are also common in Taiwan. Taiwan is one of the best places to indulge in great seafood, such as cuttlefish, tuna, squid, etc.

HOLIDAYS

One of the biggest holidays celebrated in Taiwan is Chinese New Year, around early February. It is tradition for families to gather together in their homes, exchange gifts, eat an extravagant meal, and celebrate with fireworks.

Daily Life

COMMUNICATION STYLE

Taiwanese are generally used to meeting westerners and therefore know that a handshake is appropriate when greetings tourists. It is respectful to greet the oldest person first by not giving direct eye contact and giving a small bow.

Taiwanese have three names which mostly all have different meanings. If it is appropriate, ask a Taiwanese to explain the meaning of their name, as they are often delighted to engage in personal and thoughtful conversations. Sometimes, Taiwanese adopt American names which they use when meeting foreigners.

The concept of "face" is prevalant in Taiwanese culture. This concept is difficult to translate but roughly reflects a persons reputation, prestige, or dignity. There are three ways that face is used in everyday interactions with people:

  • Giving face, which can be shown through any selfless act of kindness toward someone else, or complimenting someone
  • Losing face is when some embarrasses someone else or directly intends to criticize or belittle someone
  • Saving face is when someone will apologize for their actions in a conflict

SOCIAL STRUCTURE / FAMILY

Family relationships are an important aspect to Taiwanese life. Family is solace in a persons life, and one must always remain loyal to family. Confucian beliefs influence family roles and relationships between people and government, men and women, and seniors and youth. Parents place great importance on teaching children to fulfill family duties and to respect those older than them.

FOOD

Sharing meals and communal dining is a very important aspect of Taiwanese culture. The most common ingredients in Taiwanese food are pork, seafood, rice, and soy. Most dishes are comprised of these items but will then add unique spices to change the flavor of each dish.

Peanuts, sesame oil, mustard greens, chili peppers, and cilantro are all common spices used to enrich Taiwanese dishes. Some variations of Chinese dishes are also common in Taiwan. Taiwan is one of the best places to indulge in great seafood, such as cuttlefish, tuna, squid, etc.

HOLIDAYS

One of the biggest holidays celebrated in Taiwan is Chinese New Year, around early February. It is tradition for families to gather together in their homes, exchange gifts, eat an extravagant meal, and celebrate with fireworks.

Health and Safety

https://www.isepstudyabroad.org/guides-and-tips/health-safety

Currency

MONEY MATTERS

Taiwan’s currency is the New Taiwanese Dollar (NT). Bills come in denominations of NT50, NT100, NT200, NT500, NT1000 and NT2000, while coins come in units of NT1, NT5, NT10 and NT50.

Cash payment is common in Taiwan though many shops do accept credit cards. Checks are not normally used in Taiwan for payment of everyday expenses.

Generally, hotels and department stores accept credit cards, especially Visa and Master Card. Most restaurants and small stores do not accept cards, and cash is the main form of payment. Because street crime is rare, it is common for people in Taiwan to carry large amounts of cash with them.

Please see the following link for currency conversion rates: http://www.xe.com/

ATMs

ATMs are an easy way to withdraw cash from the bank account at your home country. In urban areas, ATMs are can be found in places like convenient stores. Remember that there may be limits on the amount of cash that can be withdrawn per transaction or per day, and that your home financial institution may charge a fee on withdrawals from other banks.

PRICES

Although Taiwan is more expensive by Asian standards, it is still significantly cheaper than Japan. Night markets are a great place to visit for bargain shopping. Haggling is accepted and expected. Note that tipping is generally not practiced in taxis or restaurants.

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