It is official...I am moving to Tainan in August. What do I need to know?

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It is official...I am moving to Tainan in August. What do I need to know?

Postby Ihoop » 25 Jun 2012, 22:29

Hi all,

I have decided to take a job teaching English with a great company in Tainan. This will be my first time living and working in Taiwan (I have visited once before). I will arrive there in late August and will begin teaching on September 1st.

Is there any general knowledge that I should know about life in Tainan? How easy will it be to find an apartment? How hard is it to buy a scooter?

If any one just have some general advice for me I would greatly appreciate it. I am extremely excited and a bit nervous about living in Taiwan!
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Re: It is official...I am moving to Tainan in August. What do I need to know?

Postby finley » 25 Jun 2012, 22:52

with a great company in Tainan

with a ... a ... you what now?

Is there any general knowledge that I should know about life in Tainan?

Life's what you make it. Tainan is a pretty nice place to live - personally I like it better than Taipei. It does get very hot this time of year, though, so be prepared for a bit of adjustment time. There are lots of "expat" type bars, if you like that sort of thing, the HSR station is not too far away, taxis are fairly easily available so you don't need to drive ... any particular concerns?

How easy will it be to find an apartment?

I strongly recommend you ask your school to help with this. You should be able to get a nice apartment for ~$10K. There doesn't seem to be any housing shortage in Taiwan, generally.

How hard is it to buy a scooter?

Any idiot can do it. Any idiot usually does, so stay off the roads for a couple months at least and take time to observe. Take your (scooter) driving test, if only to drive home the point that nobody on the roads is qualified to be there. When you can make a clearly-informed decision about trusting your life to a swarm of mouth-breathers who think a motor vehicle is a toy, then buy a scooter. You need to bring your ID and (usually) your driving license. Unfortunately Tainan doesn't really have any public transport, and although taxis are cheap, it does tend to add up. And Tainan is a big, sprawling city so I guess you'll get one eventually. Just be careful, is all.
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Re: It is official...I am moving to Tainan in August. What do I need to know?

Postby boho » 25 Jun 2012, 23:17

Hey Ihoop,

I'm also arriving in Tainan early September (current plan is to arrive Sept 10th) to study at NCKU.

The program I'm enrolling in is really small (only about 8 people) so it would be nice to meet another newbie in Town. I've been to Tainan 3 times for a total of about 4 months so I know a few people and a few places, but it's been 3 years since the last time I was there.

PM me and maybe we can meetup and help each other out when you arrive. I'll be looking to get a scooter ASAP and the people I know will be able to help us with that part.

EDIT:
I'm moving into dorms and I hear they suck so I might be looking for a roomy shortly after I move there. Maybe we could look into that too. Anyway, PM me!
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Re: It is official...I am moving to Tainan in August. What do I need to know?

Postby boho » 25 Jun 2012, 23:20

Edit: double post
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Re: It is official...I am moving to Tainan in August. What do I need to know?

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 25 Jun 2012, 23:53

Boho: what dorms are you moving into? The Prince Dorms are luxurious by local standards, the graduate dorms are pretty nice for girls and terrible for guys, and the undergrad dorms are crap for both (they put foreign students in the cheapest dorms because they're free for us, but that generally gives you three people in a small room two beds long and the width of three beds wide. There's literally only about a foot of walking space down the length of the room).

I'm curious to know what you're studying too.

OP: Apartments are pretty cheap, Tainan's a nice place to live. It's flat, too, so I recommend you actually buy a bicycle first (you can get a cheap one for around $1000~$2000) and ride around on that for a while as you get used to the traffic and how it rolls here (general rule is stick to one line and look ahead - people expect the people behind them to look out for them, and mirrors seem to be just for decoration @.@; ). Most of the foreigners I've seen whinging about how locals all drive like crazy are terrifying drivers; the only ones I feel safe with all started out on bicycles!

Walking's great as well, as are taxis - there's a LOT that you miss in this town just by riding a bike/scooter everywhere, because you don't have the luxury of checking out the scenery! I think I lived here for well over a year before I noticed this MASSIVE church on the side of a road I went down every day. It's a whole new town when you walk.

This post was recommended by boho (26 Jun 2012, 01:32)
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Re: It is official...I am moving to Tainan in August. What do I need to know?

Postby boho » 26 Jun 2012, 00:54

tsukinodeynatsu wrote:Boho: what dorms are you moving into? The Prince Dorms are luxurious by local standards, the graduate dorms are pretty nice for girls and terrible for guys, and the undergrad dorms are crap for both (they put foreign students in the cheapest dorms because they're free for us, but that generally gives you three people in a small room two beds long and the width of three beds wide. There's literally only about a foot of walking space down the length of the room).

I'm curious to know what you're studying too.


I tried applying for the Prince dorms but they're all full. I have no idea what dorms they're putting me into as the application for them doesn't even open until July 10. This year's application period is way later than usual; I haven't even received my admissions package yet (they were mailed last week). I've noticed previous years this is all done during May.

I'm enrolling in a Master's so hopefully the dorms will be "better." However, it's my intention to only live in them a little while to meet some friends from the Uni. I'm studying Environmental Engineering with an MDP certificate. The program only has about 5 other admitted international students and none are western (3 indonesians and a couple mongolians or something). I have nothing against non-westerners of course, but I would like to meet some friends of my kin outside of talking to drunken expats at bars. So that's why I'm pushing to meet as many friends (and potential roommates) in dorms before I get my own place.
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Re: It is official...I am moving to Tainan in August. What do I need to know?

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 26 Jun 2012, 01:25

If you're in the normal dorms your roommates could be locals or foreigners, it really just depends. I prefer foreign roommates because local students never bloody sleep at night.

Environmental Engineering should be a pretty good programme at NCKU. Get hold of your department office and make friends with the 主教, they will be 100 times more helpful than the International Office (once you get here, you will slowly start to realise that the international office knows nothing about anything but admissions and visas. Anything to do with your programme or other administrative stuff, talk to your department office).
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Re: It is official...I am moving to Tainan in August. What do I need to know?

Postby boho » 26 Jun 2012, 01:29

Yeah I emailed my program director (I'm assuming that's what the Chinese there was - I'm on a work computer which doesn't have Asian languages installed) and he responded saying he'll email me documents and was really helpful, but then hasn't contacted since I replied. Maybe I'll try emailing him again. The program requirements are very vague and I still don't get what I need to take. But I'll wait for my admissions package first.

Are you still studying at NCKU?
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Re: It is official...I am moving to Tainan in August. What do I need to know?

Postby Enigma » 26 Jun 2012, 02:56

Quiick and best answer:
Dont!
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Re: It is official...I am moving to Tainan in August. What do I need to know?

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 26 Jun 2012, 03:07

boho wrote:Yeah I emailed my program director (I'm assuming that's what the Chinese there was - I'm on a work computer which doesn't have Asian languages installed) and he responded saying he'll email me documents and was really helpful, but then hasn't contacted since I replied. Maybe I'll try emailing him again. The program requirements are very vague and I still don't get what I need to take. But I'll wait for my admissions package first.

Are you still studying at NCKU?


No. Education in Taiwan sucks, as a general rule; I dropped out and I'm glad I did! Engineering programmes are slightly better and there are some quality staff in the engineering departments at NCKU, not sure about environmental engineering though!

Seriously, Enigma's advice is good: If you can find somewhere else to go, do it. All of that 'expanding your horizons' and 'learning about new languages, cultures and worlds' doesn't actually happen in university here. It's mostly sleeping in class and copying from the internet.
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