My name is Jia Ling Li. I was born in China and lived there until I was 12. Since my first language is Chinese, learning Chinese in Taiwan is not a very big problem for me. Before I came to Taiwan, I never traveled to any other countries.
I decided to study abroad because I really wanted to experience life in Taiwan, life in a new place. Of course, I had planned to practice my Mandarin speaking and learn more about traditional Chinese writing.
The National Taiwan University campus looks so nice with all these greens. There is a clean and large area to walk through when rushing to classes. I've learned to always leave the dorm earlier to be on time for classes.
The biggest night market in Taipei City was the first place I visited. Playing games and eating at different spots at the night market was such a good time and great experience in Taiwan. Other exchange students from the same program brought us to the night market, though it was not such a great idea to go in summer. It was a little too sweaty to eat those awesome foods.
Of course I cannot miss my favorite activity in Taiwan, KTV. I love to go to KTV, though it was a bit expensive in Taiwan. But you still get some free food, a nice microphone, speakers, and a room big enough for 8-10 people. If I could, I'd go to KTV twice a month.
Guess what all these people are doing? Can you tell from the surroundings? We're waiting to buy old bikes! You really need to get a bike for our big campus in Taiwan; it makes it more convenient to get to classes. We arrived at 3 a.m. to try to purchase an old bike for 400 RT, but the bikes were limited. We were told that we could go at 5 or 6 a.m., because the place doesn't open until then. However, we were really glad we went earlier even though we had to sit on the ground and got bitten by mosquitoes. You wouldn't want to imagine how long the line was behind us.
If you want to relax in the water, you cannot miss the hot springs in Taiwan. There are different locations for the hot springs and they aren't that expensive. You can have your own private hot spring room with only one hot spring pool. But I prefer the public hot springs, because there are usually many different pools to go in. It feels so warm in the winter.
The OIA office planned trips for CSU students. We got a chance to wear the traditional clothing of one of the Hualian tribes of Taiwan. There were three old ladies who taught us traditional dancing, all holding hands in a circle. We biked the whole time so we could explore the places of the tribe. We also got a chance to catch fish in the river.
A mahjong event is just right for someone like me-I love to play mahjong! NTU has many associations and clubs for exchange students. This is one of the events I crashed. I was not in the association, but could attend events when I wanted to. They have someone there to teach students who don't know how to play. I made it to the champion table, though I didn't win. It was still fun to have a chance to play Taiwanese mahjong here.
This day I came out of class and saw a double rainbow! It was near sunset after raining. In the winter, it rains nearly every day. You had better have an umbrella ready! If you are biking in the rain with an umbrella, it can be very dangerous! Of course you can still walk to class when it rains, but when it's far from the main gate; you'll want to ride your bike.
The BOT dorm I am living in always plans activities for students. We went to Danshui with other dorm students. Exploring the old street and all the traditional food within Danshui is fun. We rode the ferry to the other part of the fisherman's wharf. We also got to visit some historical places.
Take a trip to explore the south part of Taiwan. It's amazing! The parks are very unique. The traditional Taiwanese foods you find at the night market are worth a try. Taiwan's biggest night market is in Tainan city, where there's a lot of different food and games.
People in Taiwan take western New Year very seriously. They have a choir singing in front of city hall, right next to Taipei 101. It was so crowded on New Year's Eve for the countdown and concert. I had never been to a place so crowded in my life. There were the most beautiful fireworks being launched from Taipei 101. Even though it was so crowded, it was worth it to get such a close look at the fireworks.
Learn more about the study abroad program in Taiwan