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Liwen Lu

Fall 2014 - Exchange

Taiwan - National Taiwan University (NTU)

Liwen Lu, Computer Science, Honours Co-op (3A)

I have been interested in Taiwan for a long time, but as a Computer Science coop student, it is difficult to plan a long-term trip, so I choose to have an exchange to National Taiwan University (NTU).

It did not take me long to transition into Taiwanese study style. My Chinese background might take into effect, but I think the environment of NTU also helps. Most of the students and professors are very friendly and helpful. Even though all my computer science courses are taught in Chinese, the textbooks, slides and assignments are in English. The professors and TAs I met were very willing to give help in English when needed. If you wish to improve Chinese, there are also language trade program in the dorm where students pair up to exchange their language skills.

NTU library a great place to study

NTU library - a great place to study

I think the computer science courses do not differentiate from UW courses very much. The teaching style varies, but I found it similar to UW. Most of the professors I met have experience of studying abroad, so even if you find yourself not fitting in well, they will understand and can provide help. For the electives, there are some unique courses that are worth trying. I highly recommend looking for some Taiwanese cultural courses that are taught in English. It gives an opportunity to learn new culture while earning credit. I took one of them that talk about Taiwanese film, which was very inspiring.

The course load is not as heavy as Waterloo, which gave me a lot of time to explore Taiwan.

I am especially interested into Taiwanese music, so I went to some live performance and music festival. It was a great opportunity to make Taiwanese friends. one of the bands performing at the NTU Welcome Concert

I also did some travel. Taiwan is a small island, so traveling does not cost much. The weather is also great compare to Canada.

Overall, exchange to Taiwan was a great experience. If you are interested either in food, politics, music, or Taiwan overall, it is worth applying. If you just want to escape from the heavy course load of UW, exchange to NTU is also a great option.

Taipei often has some free activities.

tourist map and information
There are a lot of road signs in Taipei with English labels, like this one, so you don't need to worry about getting lost.
Food! Remember to try the night markets.
Taipei food
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