What health insurance do I take ?
You have an ARC
The National Health Insurance (NHI) is Taiwan’s official medical insurance operated by the Bureau of National Health Insurance in the Executive Yuan’s Department of Health. Taiwan residents must register for the NHI. Scholars who hold an ARC are required to enroll in the National Health Insurance (NHI).
You don’t have an ARC
You need an ARC to be eligible for the NHI. Without an ARC, you may want to enroll in other insurance programs. Your host department can assist you in enrolling in the program of your choice. Two insurance agencies offer discounts to NTU faculty and staff：
Tel：+886 (0)2 2457 0735 or +886 (0)932 385 292
Fax：+886 (0)2 2785 1962
How to apply for the NHI
If you have a work contract with NTU, please bring your application form and work contract to the NTU Personnel Department’s Section 4.
If you have an ARC but do not have a fixed employer nor family members with whom dependency can be claimed, you must, after a continuous residence within Taiawn for six months, enroll through the local administration offices of your residence.
To receive your NHI Card, simply send your application form and legal ID to local NHI offices via mail or file your application at the nearest NHI office.
If your NHI Card is lost, bring your ARC to the nearest NHI office to apply for a replacement card. A processing fee may be charged.
For detailed information on National Health Insurance (NHI), visit the website of Bureau of National Health Insurance.
Banking and tax
Opening a bank account
Most banks in Taiwan open from 10am to 3.30pm, Monday to Friday. Most banks offer services such as money deposit, money transfer, currency exchange, and online banking.
|Hua Nan Bank||1F of Department of Geography on Golden Rain Ave||Money deposit, money transfer, currency exchange, and online banking||Tel : +886 (0)2 2363 1478
Fax : +886 (0)2 2363 9657
|Chunghua Post Bank||1F of Xiao-Fu Commissary and at the Gongguan MRT Station ( Exit 3 )||NTU Branch
Tel : +886 (0)2 2363 3435
Gongguan MRT Branch
Tel : +886 (0)2 2368 8574
To open a bank account, you have to be there in person.
Please remember to bring：
- Alien Resident Certificate ( ARC; if you are ineligible to apply for one, please apply for ROC ID Number instead )
- NTU ID or Work Contract
- legal stamp ( if applicable )
- a minimum deposit of TWD 1,000
To close your bank account, bring your bank passbook, legal IDs and stamp ( if applicable ).
To apply for an ROC ID Number, please bring your passport and one photocopy of it and fill out an application form at the National Immigration Agency.
It is safe and convenient to deposit, withdraw, transfer money, and check balances at ATMs with an ATM card. If your ATM card is lost, please report to your bank immediately.
Foreigners who work or study in Taiwan are required to file an income tax return every year. The filing starts on May 01 and ends on May 31. Your tax rate will depend on how much you earn and how long your stay is.
Please refer to the website of National Taxation Bureau for the latest rates and regulations.
You can use your ARC to obtain your income tax information from local tax offices and pay your tax online.
Guidelines for paying your income tax can be found on the website of the National Taxation Bureau.
Transportation in Taipei
The Taipei MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) currently has nine lines in the greater Taipei area). You can either use your NTU ID/EasyCard or purchase a single-journey ticket at the ticket machines or simply visit the information kiosk at the MRT station.
Taking the bus is another way to get around the city, and different bus routes offer more destinations than the MRT system. You can pay with an EasyCard or with cash. The fare for a journey within a single zone is TWD 15. If you pay with cash, please note that bus drivers do not provide change. Most buses run until 11pm.
For route maps and bus schedules, please visit the Taipei Bus and Transportation Information System.
There are many taxis in Taipei. The initial flag fall is TWD 70. The price goes up TWD 5 for each additional 250m. An additional TWD 20 may be charged after 11pm. Women passengers have a choice of using radio-dispatched cab services at night.
Travelling to other cities
To purchase long-distance bus tickets, passengers can choose to buy directly from bus drivers (cash only and no change will be given) or at the Main Bus Station, which neighbors Taipei Railway Station. Below are the main two bus companies, the websites are in Chinese only.
King Bus 國光客運 (KuoKuang)
There are seven railway lines operated by Taiwan Railway. Each line has its own characteristics and sightseeing routes. There are two lines that travel down the west coast and three lines servicing the north. The other lines go through the southern and eastern parts of Taiwan.
Taiwan High Speed Rail
Taiwan High Speed Rail takes only 1.5 to 2 hours to travel from Taipei to Kaohsiung (Zuoying Station). This is a good choice if you want to travel to Central or Southern Taiwan in the fastest possible way.
Driving in Taiwan
Drivers in Taiwan are required to hold a legal ROC driving license. If you have an ARC or ROC ID Number, you can obtain an ROC driving license by making a license replacement or taking the driver’s license examination.
ROC license replacement
You are able to replace your foreign driving license with a legal ROC driving license if it complies with ROC reciprocity agreements (i.e. whether the license was issued by a reciprocating country or state). Please check the reciprocity policy chart to see if you are eligible to apply.
ROC driver's license examination
If your country does not have reciprocity agreements with the ROC, then you are required to take the driver's license examination — both written and driving — to obtain an ROC driver's license.
Address：No. 21, Sec. 4, Bade Rd, Taipei
Tel：02 2763 0155
If your family members are coming with you to Taiwan, you need to send their visa application together with yours. Your family, while having no formal proof of employment, will still be able to apply for a visa for they are traveling with you.
Child care services and schools close to NTU may suit your children’s needs.
Taipei Child Care Resource Center http://kidstp.npo.org.tw/ can help you find licensed nurses or nursery schools providing proper care and pre-school education.
NTU’s Kindergarten is an on-campus kindergarten where faculty’s children can receive care and education. To enroll your child for the fall semester, please register at the beginning of June. For more information, visit the NTU Kindergarten website http://homepage.ntu.edu.tw/~ntukids/or call +886 (0)2 3366 4428.
Local elementary schools
If your children can communicate in Chinese, the following elementary schools are all close to the NTU campus and provide standard education：
Ming Chuan Elementary School ( 銘傳國小 )
Tel: +886 (0)2 2363 9815
Long An Elementary School ( 龍安國小 )
Tel: 02 2363 2077
Gong Guan Elementary School ( 公館國小 )
Tel: 02 2735 1734
There are several international schools in Taipei which offer education in English, French, German or Japanese.
|International school||Language of instruction||Location (from NTU )||Contact||Coverage|
|Dominican International School||English||Zhongshan District, 30min by car, 50min by MRT||Tel：+886 (0)2 2533 8451
|K – 12|
|Grace Christian Academy||English||Nangang District, 30min by car, 50min by public transportation||Tel：+886 (0)2 2785 7233
|K – 12|
|Morrison Christian Academy||English||600m from NTU Main Gate, 10-15min by foot||Tel：+886 (0)2 2365 9691
|K – 9|
|Taipei American School||English||Shilin District, 30min by car, 50min by public transportation||Tel: +866 (0)2 2873 9900
|K – 12|
|Taipei European School||English
|Shilin District, 60min by car, 90min by public transportation||Tel: +886 (0)2 8145 9007
|K – 12|
|Taipei Japanese School||Japanese||Shilin District, 30min by car, 50min by public transportation||Tel: +886 (0)2 2872 3801
|1 – 9|
Museums, libraries, concert halls and theaters
|National Palace Museum||http://www.npm.gov.tw||02 2881 2021|
|National Museum of History||http://www.nmh.gov.tw/en/index.htm||02 2361 0270|
|Taipei Fine Arts Museum||http://www.tfam.museum||02 2595 7656|
|Museum of Contemporary Art||http://www.mocataipei.org.tw||02 2552 3721|
|Taipei Astronomical Museum||http://english.tam.taipei.gov.tw||02 2831 4551|
|Miniatures Museum of Taiwan||http://www.mmot.com.tw||02 2515 0583|
Concert halls and theaters
|National Concert Hall||http://www.ntch.edu.tw||02 3393 9888 ( 9am - 8pm )|
|National Theater||http://www.ntch.edu.tw||02 3393 9888 ( 9am - 8pm )|
|Chungshan Hall||http://english.zsh.gov.taipei/||02 2381 3137|
|Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall||http://www.yatsen.gov.tw||02 2758 8008|
|Metropolitan Hall||http://english.tmseh.gov.taipei/||02 2577 5931|
|National Central Library||20 Zhongshan South Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City 10001 ( MRT : Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, exit 6 )||02 2361 9132||http://www.ncl.edu.tw/mp.asp?mp=5|
|National Taiwan Library||85 Zhongan Street, Zhonghe District, New Taipei City 23574 ( MRT : Yongan Market )||02 2926 6888||http://www.ntl.edu.tw/mp.asp?mp=2|
|Taipei Public Library||125, Section 2, Jianguo South Road, Taipei City( MRT : Technology Building )||02 2755 2823||http://english.tpml.edu.tw|
Climate, electricity, time zone
Spring and autumn are the most pleasant seasons in Taiwan, when the temperature is cool and comfortable. The monsoon (“plum rain”) season begins in May and signals consecutive rainy days. In winter, the northern and eastern parts are normally cold (below 15°C) with abundant rain. On the other hand, the central region and the southwest are usually cool or even sunny. Occasionally there may be snow in the central mountains in altitudes above 2,500 meters. Summer in Taiwan is hot and humid, with temperature hovering above 30°C and frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Typhoons hit quite frequently in Taiwan, causing frequent floods in low-lying areas and mud slides on the mountains.
Taiwan uses electric current of 110 volts at 60 cycles, which means appliances from regions such as Europe, Australia or South-East Asia will need an adaptor or transformer. Taiwan uses a flat blade plug：
If your appliance’s plug is shaped differently, you may need to buy a plug adaptor.
Taiwan is eight hours ahead of GMT, and shares the same time zone with Beijing, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
It is possible to bring your own mobile phone and simply purchase a Taiwan number (SIM card). Buying pre-paid cards at the telecom service centers in the Taoyuan International Airport upon your arrival is recommended.
A pre-paid card is recommended for short term visiting scholars. You can get a pre-paid card at telecom service branch offices or at most convenience stores. You will need two forms of photo ID to apply.
If you prefer to apply for a phone plan, you will have to present your ARC and passport and be accompanied by a native guarantor (his/her ID card and National Health Insurance Card are necessary). You need to apply in person at the service branch offices.
The most common telephone operators include：
Making telephone calls
Dialling from Taipei to Taipei
This applies to both Taipei City (臺北市) and New Taipei City (新北市). Simply dial the eight-digit number, e.g. 3366 2007. The area code is not necessary.
Dialling across counties in Taiwan
When making a long-distance call within Taiwan, dial the area code, then dial the number, e.g. to call Kaohsiung: 07 123 4567. The main area codes are：
- 02 – Taipei
- 03 – Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Yilan, Hualien
- 04 – Taichung, Changhua
- 06 – Tainan
- 07 – Kaohsiung
Dialling from Taiwan to another country
International prefix code (009 or 002) + country code + area/city code + telephone number.
For example, to make a call from Taiwan to New York, dial 009 (or 002) + 1+ 212 + telephone number. The initial zero of the area/city code is usually omitted when dialling international calls, e.g. the area code for Tokyo is 03 but you only need to dial 3.
The Country Calling Codes website allows you to choose which country you are calling from and which country you want to call. You will then be given the code you need.
Dialling from outside Taiwan to Taiwan
To dial an area in Taiwan from abroad, dial the international dialling prefix for the country you are in (e.g. 00 from the EU, 010 from Japan, 011 from the USA) followed by the country code for Taiwan (886). Proceed to enter the local code without the initial zero (e.g. 2 for Taipei) followed by the remaining telephone number.
Recycling and waste
Caring for the environment The government and people of Taiwan make a lot of effort in protecting the environment by reducing waste and conserving energy. When eating out, it is environmentally friendlier to bring your own utensils instead of using disposable utensils at the restaurant. Also, you should bring your own bag for groceries – most stores and supermarkets charge for shopping bags according to the government’s regulations to reduce waste. Recycling and waste Taiwan has a garbage disposal policy that has been practiced for many years. Waste should be separated into three categories: recyclable garbage, kitchen waste, and ordinary garbage. Recyclable garbage and kitchen waste will both be recycled. Recyclable garbage includes paper, metal, glass, plastic, dry batteries, motorized vehicles (automobiles and motor scooters), tires, lead-acid batteries, electrical apparatus, CDs, light sources and cell phones. Kitchen waste includes raw and cooked foods and other organic wastes. These two kinds of garbage should be disposed in individual bags. Before you take out your garbage, please classify them first and deliver the garbage to the designated location at the scheduled time. Different areas have different regulations regarding the classification of garbage. Failure to dispose garbage correctly can result in a fine from TWD 1,200 to TWD 6,000. For more information and for garbage collection times and locations, contact your local cleaning squad or environmental protection bureau, or call the special recycling information line. Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Tel：02 2311 7722
Chunghwa Post offers postal services like domestic and international express mail delivery, and it also serves as a bank. There are many post branches available in the city, including two post offices at NTU. Several post branches are open during the weekend.