Student life in Taiwan
In general, you can expect student life in Taiwan to be lively and varied, reflecting the growing international student population, as well as the country’s existing cultural diversity. The influence of mainland Chinese culture is widely in evidence, in Taiwan’s architecture, cuisine and of course the official language. But Western, Japanese and aboriginal cultures have all left their mark too.
As a student, it’s likely that you’ll be based in one of Taiwan’s larger cities. However, it would be well worth spending some time exploring other parts of the country during your stay, particularly the eight national parks. You could also take the opportunity to participate in traditional celebrations, such as the renowned Penghu Seafood Carnival, Confucius Ceremony and Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival.
Universities in Taipei and New Taipei
Many of the leading universities in Taiwan are located in its politic, economic and cultural capital, Taipei City. Located at the northern top of the island, Taipei is about 25km inland, on the Tamsui River. A 24/7 kind of city, Taipei fuses the ultra-modern and the historic; skyscrapers and high-tech headquarters intermix with ancient temples, traditional tea-houses and busy markets. It is surrounded on all sides by New Taipei City, formerly known as Taipei County, Taiwan’s largest metropolitan area.
Universities in Taipei include Taiwan’s highest ranked university, National Taiwan University (82nd in the QS World University Rankings 2013/14). Known locally as Táidà, the university is in the Daan district, close to one of the points at which Taipei ends and New Taipei City begins.
Other high-ranking universities in Taipei and New Taipei include: National Yang-Ming University (295=), Taipei Medical University (363=), National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, or ‘Taiwan Tech’ (411-420), National Taiwan Normal University (481-490), National Taipei University of Technology (551-600), National Chengchi University (601-650) and Fu Jen Catholic University (701+).
Other top universities in Taiwan
While the Taipei area has the lion’s share of Taiwan’s top universities, there are also high-ranking institutions across the country. Hsinchu City, about 80km south-west of Taipei, is known as the home of Hsinchu Science Park. Dubbed Taiwan’s ‘Silicon Valley’, the park has become a major hub for high-tech development, drawing on the region’s existing strengths in this field. National Tsing Hua University and National Chiao Tung University are both located in Hsinchu, and are both ranked within the world’s top 250 universities.
In the south of Taiwan, Tainan City is home to National Cheng Kung University (ranked 247), and Kaohsiung City to National Sun Yat-sen University (461-470). Back in the north, Zhongli City boasts National Central University (401-410), while Guishan Township is home to Chang Gung University (501-550). Finally, National Chung Hsing University, known in Chinese as Xingda, is in Taichung – Taiwan’s third-largest city after New Taipei and Kaohsiung, located towards the central part of the country.