ISOIS ▸ Final reports

Host country:
Host institution:
Mobility type:
Program:
Faculty:
Ac. year:
Semesters:
Study level:
Language filled in:

National Taiwan University

Taiwan 2019/2020 Partner universities

Personal data
Mobility type:
study

Faculty at MU:
Faculty of Informatics

Field of study:
Applied Informatics / Service Science, Management and Engineering

Level of study during period of placement:
Master

Language used:
English

Summer/winter school?:
no

Period of studies:
autumn 2019

Period of placement (from-to):
2019-09-02 - 2020-01-10

Number of months:
4.00

Activities before my departure abroad
Where can information be found about courses taught at the foreign school?:
https://nol.ntu.edu.tw/ – the system is pretty unusable, but after some time of clicking through it you can kinda orient yourself. It also includes courses offered by other universities in Taipei, but these courses are usually taught only in Chinese.

Which documents were needed for acceptance at the foreign university?:
Passport-sized photograph,
motivation letter/Statement of Purpose,
official Transcript with Academic Records,
color Photocopy of non-Taiwanese Passport,
international Student Declaration Form,
medical & Accident Insurance Proof,
Both NTU Health Exam Form & Form C,
and after arrival to Taiwan you need to hand in:
Admission Package, including Admission Letter and Acceptance Letter.

About VISA, you officially need it but it cost money and at least VISA purchased in Czech Republic is useless if you plan to travel to other countries. I paid 2 000 CZK for mine and it was multientry and I had to enter the country up to 3 weeks after my actual arrival. Basically I thought that once I'm in, it's valid 180 days as it was on the visa. Mistake! Once you are there, you can't leave Taiwan after those 3 first weeks if you want to be there with your valid VISA, once you leave the country it's not valid anymore. So everytime I went outside the country and went back to Taiwan I had to buy onward ticket otherwise you won't be able to enter country. So I recommend you to avoid VISA and just buy some onward ticket to some surrounding countries before you travel to Taiwan first time and make nice trip, you have plenty of options.

How far ahead did you have to organise your acceptance?:
MU deadline (maybe November for next autumn semester?) for application is far earlier than NTU deadline (which is sometime in spring). So basically you can't miss it if you don't miss MU deadline. I just had problems with nominations, despite the fact that my coordinator nominated me via email, NTU emailed me like 2 days before deadline that I'm not nominated by coordinator at my home uni.

Did you need a visa?:
no

Documents and materials needed for a visa:

Length of wait for visa:

Fee for the visa:

Studies
Did you have a Learning Agreement signed before your departure?:
yes

If not, why not?:

Before your departure did you know how your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
Yes, but I created learning agreement based on classes from previous semesters. Basically I didn't know wheter I can enroll for these courses. New classes for my semester has been announced approximatelly at the time of my arrival to Taiwan. I had to change the majority of classes since the previous ones haven't been taught or taught in English any more.

During your stay did you change your Learning Agreement?:
Yes, because of the problems with announcement of the courses described above I had to change the Learning Agreement. The problem was that I did enroll for some new classes but filled and sent Learning Agreement to my faculty academic coordinator at MU for confirmation in the end of 2 weeks period when you can visit different classes and do changes for your enrolled courses. My coordinator sent me email that I can't have these courses and need to choose different ones. So I had one last day to find new courses – haven't sleep whole night and was solving everything and sending emails to teachers of my potential courses. The other day I was searching courses at the campus like pokemons. In the end I enrolled for more courses to have credits reserve since I didn't know what to expect and couldn't risk to have limited amount of credits and some courses which I could fail. So I recommend you to check enrolled courses with your home uni everytime even if you think everything is alright.

When and how did course registration take place? Are there any restrictions? Possibilities of making changes?:
It starts short time before the start of the semester and you have 2 weeks for changes (maybe 3 weeks?, just check it for yourself). NTU has 3 types of courses, first type can enroll anybody, second type can be enrolled with the code provided by teacher and third type is enrolled based on luck in lottery.
Their systems are one big disaster. They have plenty of them some of them are duplicate or different version of others and for different courses you need different systems. Usually you need to use 3 different systems just to check the name of the teacher of your course or to find the place where is the course taught. Sometimes it happens that the whole system is unavailable and you don't know anything about your courses, that typically happens when the selection system is not available, in my opinion you should be able at least to check which courses you already have succesfully enrolled.

Did you take any examinations at the foreign school?:
Yes! When you are leaving you don't basically know what grades you gained. It's not available anywhere and teachers usually won't tell you. :D You need to wait quite long time for announcement of the marks and after that you need to wait long time for receiving Transcript of Records.

Does the school use the ECTS system?:
no

If not then explain how the credits there were recalculated into ECTS:
NTU credits * 2 = ECTS credits. I heard some people from Germany or France multiply it 3 times (and I think it was also to ECTS). :O :O :O

Describe the teaching methods (theory, practical and projects) and assessment of students:
All classes last 3 hours.
I'm studying Faculty of Informatics and had some similar courses which I have already passed at MU. NTU courses aren't that hard in general, on the other hand, I had some courses which are not my main field and I was struggling a lot with them.
Especially Liquid Crystals (electronics, chemistry and physics in the box) taught by Hongkonger who couldn't speak English well so I was just sitting 3 hours in the classroom and couldn't understand anything. We had to do homeworks and there was mid-term and final exam.
Then General Chinese, but we had great 老師 – teacher, so we had so much fun in these classes but imagine learning Chinese. Homeworks, mid-term and final exam including speaking, reading and writing.
I had also Formal Languages and Automata Theory, it was easier than our simillar course but they wanted us more to proof. Homeworks, mid-term and final exam.
Virtual Reality – great course, the professor developed several great things in his life and had some patents, studied and worked abroad a lot (mainly USA). He was really into all those gadgest and his classes were really interesting, he was making life demos all the time and was enjoying it like kid enjoys Christmas. Mid-term exam, homework and demo and final project and demo.
Management Information System was more business course taught by another cool guy who was working on a lot of interesting projects in his career including some space ship programs. The course was focused on informatics, technologies, management and other things. In the end quite good. Some homework, case study and presentation, group project and presentation.
International Companions for Learning – video calling with kids from local schools and visiting them later. Really fun.

Quality of teaching in comparison with home school:
Worse, not bad but it wasn't that formal and factual as at FI MU. More focused on practical stuff. On the other hand sometime really hard at the same time. Depends...

How did you receive study materials?:
From teacher by email or information system.

Can you recommend an interesting course/subject/teacher?:
As I described above.

How well is the school library equipped?:
They have huge libraries, I haven't been there often, just visited it to see how it looks.

Availability of computers, internet access, level of software needed, requirements on notebook:
Computers and printers are available to all students and stuff, you definitelly need a computer but don't need to take it to school for courses usually. Internet is very slow at the campus and in dorms. Also you have FUP (upload including) on the ethernet.

Options from printing and copying:
Possible, available, with free initial balance.

Does the foreign school/student organisation arrange special events for exchange students?:
yes

If yes then what?:
I haven't participated in any but there are some.

How would you assess your integration with the local students (evaluation like in school from 1 to 5 with 1 as highest):
2

or describe in your own words:

Practical questions on your placement
Where did you live?:
In the dormitory.

Cost of accommodation - monthly:
150 EUR

Additional comments to the price of accommodation (as to what the price includes):

Describe the equipment. Tips for future students – what should they bring with them?:
You need to buy mattress, pillow and blanket, there is just empty bed. Rooms are usually dirty and messy, if you find some faults, just take photos, you will need them in the end of your stay as a proof.

How and how far ahead should accommodation be organised?:
Long enough before your exchange semester, but you can find these information in NTU instruction.

What are the catering options?:
Students restaurants in campus for lower prize but everything tastes simillar and you won't be able to eat it any more so you have plenty other options, fast-foods and restaurants around campus and dorms and especially nightmarkets – that will be your main source of food. I can't forget to mention also 7-Eleven under the dorms, we have been basically living there. :D

What are the rough costs of groceries (compare with Czech prices):
Usually it's more expensive then in CR but you don't have even kitchen in dorms so you won't cook. Taiwanese just go outside to eat and you will do it as well. Nightmarkets and 7-Eleven or Family Marts are the most convenient options, they are really cheap and you can eat really well. If you go to the restaurant, it's usually far more expensive than in CR.

Transport to location of placement:
Walking or by bike.

Rough prices for transportation:
One ride by MRT – 16 NTD.
One ride by bus – 10 NTD.

Tips for purchasing cheap tickets and other recommendations:
Just use your student Easy Card.

What are the local transport options (public transport, cycling, on foot, rough prices):
MRT, bus, bike, Uber, walking.

What kind of formalities have to be arranged before arrival, for example residence permit?:
Check-in procedure with all those documents:
your Admission Package, including Admission Letter and,
acceptance Letter.NTU Health Exam Form (including Form C),
medical and Accident Insurance Proof.

What health insurance did you use? (rough price, advantages, disadvantages, is it necessary to arrange insurance at the university other than your home (Czech) insurance?):
Student insurence for the whole world by ISIC provided by UNIQA for one year. It cost 3 300 CZK.

Did you have any experience with medical treatment abroad?:
I got vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis there since it wasn't available in CR. Docs and nurses are awesome and so kind but the administartion and paper work before took me like 4 hours and had to go to the hospital 2 times because of that.

Did you work during your studies?:
Nope, I had unpaid vacation that time.

What are the conditions for working for MU students?:
You can't since you have student visa or visitor visa-free access. But nobody would care if you work remotely to home.

Tips for free-time activities:
Plenty of them, search for it.

Financial support and expenses
Total grant from Centre for International Cooperation:
80000 CZK

Monthly grant in CZK:
20000 CZK

Number of supported months:
4

Total number of months:
4

What other sources did you make use of to finance your placement?:
Nothing more, just the money from CIC MUNI.

If you received another grant, state which and how much in CZK:

 
Total fees associated with enrolment at the university:
0 CZK

a/ amount of enrolment fee:
0 CZK

b/ amount of tuition fees:
0 CZK

c/ amount of other fees (which):
43522 CZK

 
What was your average monthly expenditure?:
11000 CZK

a/ of which for accommodation:
3800 CZK

b/ of which for catering:
7200 CZK

c/ travel and recreation:
5000 CZK

Any comments to the average monthly expenditure:
Výše ostatních poplatků – cestovné, pojištění, vakcíny, vízum.

Recognition of foreign studies at the home faculty
How many credits did you gain during your studies (in the system of the foreign school)?:
14

How many ECTS credits were recognised at MU?:
28

Did you know in advance which of your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
Yes, but in the end had so many problems as described above.

What problems did you have with recognition?:
Different system of grading, system is not designed for confirming grades gained outside MU (it is written there) but you need to use it. :D System can't handle Chinese characters. NTU send Trancsript of Records in mid-May but you need to fill it in up to 10 days after the end of your exchange studies end. So I got unoficially TOR via email and still waiting for confirmation of studies which is oficially not provided by NTU. And you need to submit because CIC MU wants it, that's it.

Overall assessment
Assessment of personal benefit (1 = excellent):
1

Assessment of academic benefit (1 = excellent):
3

Evaluate the information and support provided by the foreign school (1 = excellent):
3

Did you encounter any serious problems during your stay:
Just problems with courses mentioned above.

What would you recommend to take with you:
According to your need, money/payment card and umbrella.

What most surprised you at the partner university in a positive way:
Number of foreigner exchange students, campus area, drinking water fountains everywhere.

What most surprised you at the partner university in a negative way:
Length of classes (each has 3 hours), limited number of courses conducted in English.

Further comments: