Today is June 1st, and it’s been quite busy/humid (Seriously, it was super hot today!). I didn’t really focus much on food today, mostly because I officially registered at National Taiwan University (NTU) – where my actual study abroad program is going to take place. I’ll make another post about the food I ate today soon!
A quick rundown/history: This university was founded in 1928 under Japanese administration, and is considered to be the best university in all of Taiwan, and according to TopUniversities, it ranks #68 in the world, and #21 in all of Asia. As of now, there are 11 major colleges, with each one containing a variety of programs for a Bachelors, Masters, or PhD Degree. Since my major is food science, my study abroad program is with the College of Bio-resources and Agriculture. On a personal note, several of my relatives actually attended college at NTU – my dad majored in electrical engineering, my aunt (dad’s side) majored in I think something within politics (political science?), and my uncle (dad’s side again) also majored within the engineering field – although I don’t remember which discipline exactly; so being able to attend their school is so awesome! From what my dad had told me in the past, if you wanted to attend NTU, you have to have solid grades, as well as a good entrance exam score – so this university definitely has a high reputation!
I moved into my dorm today and met the other students who are also from the U.S. and participating in the research internship portion of the program (It’s optional believe it or not!). Two students are also from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – one is majoring in crop science and another in animal sciences, and the other is from Cornell University, and if I remember correctly, she’s majoring in what I believe was international agriculture and rural development (* I might edit this portion if I remember the correct name of her major… it was pretty long when she mentioned it). They’re all pretty nice, so hopefully I’ll be able to get to know them a little bit more in the coming weeks!
We’re all staying at Prince House, shuiyuan dorm (太子學舍水源舍區). It’s a co-ed dorm overall, but split into two buildings – guys live on the left side of the building, while girls live on the right. I’m still trying to get settled in, so I’ll make another post dedicated to the dorm itself (e.g. room tour, etc.) within the next few days. But for the time being, I can show you some stuff that I received during registration (and no, they’re not really considered as souvenirs, haha):
We all received a set of keys, a student ID card, and an electricity/water meter card. Our keys consist of a round sensor – which can unlock doors to get access to the elevator, lounge room, etc., a key to access our mail, and another key to access our actual room. Besides being separated based on our gender, our rooms are all located on different floors – I’m on the 10th floor, and it’s quiet, which is really nice.
Our student ID has a headshot picture that we sent in to the director of our study abroad program, student ID code (It’s currently hard to memorize at the moment, but I’ll get the hang of it soon haha), as well as our Chinese name, which every student is required to have on their ID card. You could either make it up, or have someone give one to you, it doesn’t really matter haha. My Chinese name was given to me when I was little– the first character is my last name, and the other two roughly translates to Jade (according to my dad). The ID card can give us access to the library, some discounts at different stores, and can also be used for transactions for the metro, bus, etc. It’s basically like an EasyCard, and you can load money onto it as well!
Finally, we’re given an electricity/water meter card. Unlike the dorms in the U.S., such as UIUC, you don’t get unlimited electricity and water access – you have to preload money onto the card and insert it into a slot within your dorm (Again, I’ll make a post about my actual room in the next few days). Once you do so, it’ll deduct a certain amount of money, depending on how long you use it for – From what I’ve observed, it isn’t a huge deduction, but I’ll have to wait and see during the next few days in order to make proper conclusions about that. It kind of sucks – especially since Taiwan is super hot/humid, so you would definitely want the AC on all the time. But I guess it’s also good since it teaches us to be mindful of how much electricity/water we’re using in our rooms – which is something that I usually don’t think about back home.
I still need to get some other logistical stuff sorted out, so I’ll end this post here for the time being. It’s definitely going to take some time for me to get used to everything now that we’re shifting to actual academic work, but I’m up for the challenge! Tomorrow, the instructor of our study abroad program is going to take us to each building where we’re doing our research internships – so fingers crossed that I leave a somewhat positive impression, as well as not getting lost on campus – I haven’t had a chance to explore a ton yet, but it is freaking huge.
All the best,