I studied abroad for a year in Chengdu and a year in Beijing as an undergraduate student, and am now a graduate student at SFSU. On a trip to Taiwan, I fell in love with the place immediately and couldn't pass up the chance to return through CSU-IP! Taiwan is a friendly country that is bountiful in good tea and fruit, and the weather is nice and hot. The language program here is one of the best programs in the world, and there is also the opportunity to take classes with other Taiwanese students.
Taiwan is full of some the best xiao long bao (steamed breads filled with meat or pork...or pretty much anything). You can grab one "long," or a tray, ranging anywhere from 60-300 NT, depending on how fancy you get.
Xiao long bao: Breakfast of champions!
Mazu is one of the most respected deities of Taiwan. She is the goddess of the ocean. There are excellent Mazu temples all over to offer incense and pray for loved ones. She originated from Taiwan's heavy reliance on fishing. She died while she was waiting up for her brother and father to come home from a fishing excursion.
Another wonderful deity to get to know is the god of studying. He has certainly helped me!
This is National Taiwan University, the location of the CSU-IP Program. It is one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever studied at.
I particularly enjoy visiting these two black swans that live on campus. The campus has its very own lake with plenty of geese and ducks...and of course these two lovely birds!! A great place to unwind after a long day of Chinese classes.
Visiting these smoky temples are my favorite thing to do in Taiwan...next to eating and surfing.
Surfing! There are many close breaks not too far from Taipei—you can take a bus. So for anyone who gets homesick for California and just needs a good surf, rest assured, the surfing in Taiwan is awesome. Thou shalt be stoked. This picture was taken in Yilan, a one-hour bus ride from Taipei. A perfect one-day getaway.
This neighborhood "Gong Guan" or "Shui yuan Shi Chang" is a place most students will live. It is across the street from campus with a plethora of restaurants and street food. Beware, walking down the streets and sidewalks in the evening and on weekends requires a great deal of patience. People really love to mosey around here.
Loving karaoke is a plus when living in Asia in general. These are friends I made one night out singing with a few other students. The youth enjoy meeting foreigners and teaching us a thing or two about Taiwan, and singing, so try to have a few songs under your belt (Chinese songs a plus) and you will make many friends.
This is the famous "Palm Tree Avenue," which is the entrance to National Taiwan University. It welcomes you!
Learn more about the study abroad program in Taiwan