NCCU Chinese Language Center




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The Chinese Language Center (CLC), established more than twenty years ago, is nationally acclaimed for our teaching quality as well as excellent facilities and instructional aids. The International Building, in which the CLC is located, is set on a hillside overlooking the serene river bank. It is a well-facilitated modern building with six floors worth of cozy classrooms, a computer lab and a library, all equipped with good lighting and air conditioning. Our small library contains a collection of more than 2,500 books and magazines, as well as over 500 audio/videotapes on Mandarin language and culture.

The CLC offers a substantial number of non-credit language courses for international students and overseas Chinese students. All faculty members at the CLC are highly trained professionals with years of experience in teaching Mandarin as a second language. The CLC maintains a teacher to student ration of 1 to 8 to ensure individual attention is received while learning the language.

In addition to language courses, the CLC offers a variety of cultural workshops, such as Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese knotting, paper cutting and traditional handicrafts. These interesting workshops give students the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese culture.

The CLC encourages our students to make full use of NCCU and CLC facilities, such as the university health service centercomputer centerfitness centerindoor swimming pooltennis courts and other sports facilities, as well as the well-stocked central library. The CLC computer room with high speed Internet access and a quiet reading room are also available during the CLC office hours, which are Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.



Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR)

Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR)

With the opening of the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR), visitors can now easily take a day trip between Kaohsiung and Taipei. Currently eight stations are operating on the THSR line down Taiwan’s western corridor: Taipei, Banqiao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan, and Zuoying (Kaohsiung), and three more are in the planning stage.

Tickets can be purchased by phone or online. Click on the following links for THRS Timetable & Fare Search and Reservation

You can even take the High Speed Train, which allows you to take a one day trip to Kaohsiung. This train is faster and somewhat expensive but you can go onto their website and look for a discount.

Taiwan’s high speed rail train serves the west of Taiwan stretching from Taipei in the north to Taichung, Tainan and terminating at Kaoshiung in the south. The whole journey is supposed to take 90 minutes.

Ticketing Information :

THSR Ticketing

THRS Customer Service:
International Calls: +886-2-4066-3000 │ Local: 4066-3000
Miaoli area: 4266-3000
Taitung and Kinmen areas: 4666-3000
Matsu areas and mobile phones:02-4066-3000 (Note: Calls are not toll-free.)

For more information please visit:

Adapting to a Foreign Country- Cultural Adjustment when Moving to Taiwan



Culture Shock in Taiwan

Remember that experiencing culture shock is normal, so expats should expect some degree of disorientation in the very least. Simple tasks and comforts that you take for granted in your home country, such as being able to ask for directions or order food, are not as easy when you don’t speak the local language and are unable to read Chinese characters. Once you start learning, speaking and understanding Chinese, you will slowly feel the fog lifting, your understanding of Taiwanese culture will become less cloudy and your frustrations will lessen.

The People

The people of Taiwan value hard work, patience, humility, friendliness and respect for others. They are highly motivated and centered around the extended family, their most important economic resource. They dislike loud, showy and unrefined behavior. Bringing shame on anyone (“loss of face”) brings shame to the entire family.

Undoubtedly the hardest thing to adjust to in Taiwan is the language barrier. Mandarin Chinese is the official language and other languages spoken are Taiwanese, Hakka (another Chinese language), and the indigenous languages of Taiwan’s aboriginal people.

The most important thing you can do to help yourself acclimatise is to start learning Chinese as soon as possible. Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language so you will have to train your ears as well learn the vocabulary.

Mandarin has four tones, which means that syllables can be said in four different ways by altering the pitch of your voice. Syllables said in different tones have completely unrelated meanings so it is important to get your tones right to avoid talking gibberish! While it may seem daunting in the beginning, learning Chinese is the best way to avoid feeling isolated and cut off from Taiwanese society.


  • pay for proper lessons as opposed to agreeing to meet with a “language exchange” partner where no payment is required but you will be expected to teach English in return for Chinese lessons
  • always carry your address written in Chinese in case you get lost
  • learn to say your address in Chinese as soon as possible
  • invest in a good pocket-sized phrase book including Chinese characters so you can always point out what you are trying to say
  • think ahead, ask yourself before you leave home if you require directions, a map or an address to avoid language barrier frustrations or getting lost later on
  • befriend an English-speaking Taiwanese person as soon as possible to help you in case of emergencies e.g. a colleague or neighbour
  • if you come across a store or restaurant you like, take the business card so you can return again easily as the address will be on the card in Chinese
  • don’t be afraid to practice your Chinese with strangers. You will come across many Taiwanese strangers who will want to practice their English with you!

Saving face
The concept of “saving face”, meaning the ability to maintain a favourable reputation, is highly regarded by all, and means that expats should be careful to avoid embarrassing anybody under all circumstance. It is very important to remember that losing your temper in public is regarded as unforgivable and very rude. Self-control is preferred and often dealing directly with a situation is avoided in order for everybody to save face. This can be very frustrating for foreigners accustomed to direct communication and who always show exactly how they feel, but it is vital for smooth dealings with others and to avoid terribly awkward moments.

Taiwan uses a different system for numbering the years. While it is common knowledge that we are in the 21st century, Taiwan started counting from year zero when it was founded in 1911. For example, the year 2010 in the Western calendar will be the year 99 in Taiwan. When in doubt as to what the Taiwanese year should be, just subtract 1911 from the Western year. Payslips, bank receipts, licenses and tax slips will often show the Taiwanese year in addition to the Western year. Dates are written Y/M/D.

Many public holidays are also calculated according to the lunar calendar. Chinese Lunar New Year is the most important holiday when everything shuts down for a few days and is at the end of January/beginning of February.

Public bathrooms
If you are moving from a Western country chances are that you have never used a squat toilet. While most places have both squat toilets and Western-style “throne” toilets available, some public places, bars and restaurants only have squat toilets. If you need a Western-style toilet, look for a stall with a disabled sign. Toilet paper is often not provided for free at public bathrooms but can be purchased from a vending machine. Also, toilet paper is not to be flushed but must be placed in the provided bin.

Taiwan’s traffic can turn even the most experienced drivers into a ball of nerves, and crossing the street has never seemed so hazardous. If you are driving a car you must be constantly aware of the scooters zooming past you. Scooters are a law unto themselves and road rules seem to be taken as suggestions only. Seeing three adults or even a family of four all squashed onto one scooter is not uncommon.

The trick to surviving Taiwan’s traffic is not to make any sudden moves, for example, change lanes slowly and deliberately to give oncoming scooters behind you the chance to slow down and avoid you. The same applies for crossing a busy street, walk slowly even though you may want to run so that scooters see you and have time avoid you.


Things to remember

  • always take off your shoes when entering a Taiwanese home
  • when paying with cash or giving something to somebody use both hands when offering the item, it shows you are offering with the fullest extent of yourself
  • when calling people, wave them over with your palm down
  • you will appear greedy if you open a gift upon receiving it, you should put it aside to open later
  • a clock is seen as an inappropriate gift as in Mandarin “to give a clock” sounds similar to “attend a funeral”. Handkerchiefs are also no good as it suggests that the person is going to cry soon.
  • writing in red – unless you are a school teacher – is reserved for letters of protest


Body Language

  • Do not touch anyone, especially a baby, on top of the head.
  • Affection for the opposite sex is not shown in public.
  • Never use your feet to move an object or to point at an object. Feet are considered dirty.
  • Place your hands in your lap when sitting.
  • Men should not cross their legs, but rather place both feet on the floor.
  • Putting an arm around another’s shoulder, winking and pointing with your index finger are all considered rude gestures. Point with an open hand.
  • Palm facing outward in front of face moving back and forth means “no”.
  • Placing your right hand over your left fist and raising both hands to your heart is a greeting of respect for the elderly


Helpful Hints

  • Speaking even a few words of Chinese is greatly appreciated.
  • Revere the elderly. Hold doors, rise when the elderly enter a room, give the elderly your seat, etc.
  • Refer to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as “Mainland China.”

Five Great Bus Tour Options – How to Explore Taiwan Conveniently if Time is Limited

By Rick Charette

Taiwan may not be one of the biggest places found on your world map, but knowledgeable long-term foreign residents enthuse about the tremendous variation of its natural and people-created environments.

If you’re on the island and looking to get out of the city and explore a little, taking advantage of that free day or two, just about every tourist spot in the land is quickly accessible to you. Your answer is the Taiwan Tour Bus service (, run by bus-tour outfits vetted by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. The firms handle everything, including insurance. Here’s a selected English-language tour sampler for you, with Taipei your launch point and pickup/drop-off at major hotels and public facilities such as Taipei Railway Station.

North – Wulai
A prime attraction for many foreign visitors is the cultures of Taiwan’s many indigenous peoples. Wulai, 30 minutes south of central Taipei, is the northernmost settlement of the Atayal, Taiwan’s northernmost tribe. Situated in a deep gorge, it is also a hot-spring resort. On this half-day tour, offered each afternoon by two firms, you take a ride on an old logging-industry mini-railway, see soaring Wulai Waterfall, and take in indigenous-culture displays and a song-and-dance performance.

Northeast – Jiufen and Jinguashi
There are both half-day and full-day tours to these two picturesque former mining towns clinging to high slopes off the coast, not far southeast of Keelung City. Jiufen’s heyday was the 1890s~1930s, and today its quaint, often steep streets are populated with tourist-oriented food-sellers, eateries, and teahouses. Jinguashi’s Gold Ecological Park is a history buff’s delight, where you can visit old Japanese-built heritage buildings and enjoy a mine-tunnel experience. This was also site of the infamous WW II Kinkaseki POW camp, where Allied soldiers were forced to work the mines.

Central – Sun Moon Lake
Taiwan’s vetted bus-tour enterprises offer so many options that not all are listed on the Taiwan Tour Bus website. What you do is go to their individual websites. For example, the main website lists a one-day outing to famed Sun Moon Lake in the central mountains, with Taichung City pickup, but go to the Edison Travel Service website ( and you’ll see that all tours are in English, and it has a two-day Taipei-launch Sun Moon Lake excursion. You stay overnight at a lakeside hotel, visit such iconic attractions as imposing Wenwu Temple and Ci’en Pagoda, and ride the long, thrilling cable-car “ropeway” to nearby Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village.

East – Taroko Gorge
The Taiwan Tour Bus website lists a number of single-day excursions to fabulous Taroko Gorge, Taiwan’s premier natural wonder. All the usual travel-writing superlatives – “magnificent,” “awe-inspiring,” “incredible” – are fully justified in describing this marvel, where 250-million-year-old marble-rich walls at times soar up a thousand feet along the main (lower) gorge, which stretches 19km. For the Taipei-launch tours you are flown to Hualien City, take a bus to/from the gorge, and come back via a picturesque coast-and-valley train ride, with bus drop-off. In the gorge, you visit such dramatic sites as the Eternal Spring Shrine, Swallow Grotto, and Tunnel of Nine Turns.

South – Kenting and Kaohsiung
Sunny Kenting National Park, sometimes characterized as Taiwan’s California/Big Sur, takes in much of the island’s south-tip peninsula. Kaohsiung, a history-rich harbour metropolis, is Taiwan’s second largest city. The Taiwan Tour Bus website offers a number of single-day Kenting tours starting on the peninsula (no English guide); on Edison’s site you’ll find a two-day Taipei-launch tour, during which you ride the island’s impressive High Speed Rail. Trip highlights include Kenting’s world-class biodiversity and the first-rate National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium.

A final note of advice: If possible, avoid weekend/holiday travel, when all tourist sites are markedly busier.


Safety in Taiwan

 Taiwan is a very safe country and violent crime against foreigners is a rare occurrence. Expats in Taiwan, particularly in metropolitan areas like Taipei, should exercise basic precautions as in any large city, such as being aware of personal belongings in crowded markets. It is safe to walk around or catch public transport at night, especially if you do not do so alone or in very isolated areas.

Crime in Taiwan

There are some districts where businesses function as fronts for prostitution and which are controlled by criminals; expats should avoid these areas and attend nightclubs, barbershops and massage parlours which advertise themselves prominently and have store windows which passersby can easily peer into.Crowded public areas such as markets and public transport hubs are often targeted by pickpockets and occasionally even bag snatchers. In these areas, expats should be careful not to carry valuable items in open bags and should wear fanny packs or bags in the front of them. Bag snatching from motorcycles also happens occasionally. The usual rules of travel apply – keep photocopies of passports and other important documents in a safe place, and if possible carry the photocopies themselves in place of the original documents.

The main kind of crime in Taiwan that expats should be aware of is scams. Credit card fraud is common, as is telephone fraud, where the scam artist will call the victim and claim to be from a government department, bank or other official office and request personal information such as bank details. ATM fraud is also a risk – when using ATMs, be aware of your surroundings and do not accept help from strangers.Taiwan is no longer a major drug transit point thanks to aggressive law enforcement. Drugs are available but penalties for possession, use or trafficking are severe, and Taiwanese officials will detain and prosecute foreign nationals if caught.

Road safety in Taiwan

Taiwan’s metropolitan areas often see major traffic jams, which is why many people opt for the scooters which are visible in abundance on Taiwanese roads. Although scooters allow you to weave in and out of traffic and get from point A to point B faster than other means, this sort of erratic driving does make for chaotic traffic, especially at peak hours, and bicycle and scooter accidents are common. Added to the confusion are ongoing repairs and extensions of the MRT underground system, as well as highway overpasses, have resulted in congestion at peak hours. All passengers in all vehicles are required to wear seatbelts.The highways in western and northern Taiwan are usually in good condition, however those in eastern Taiwan are sometimes in disrepair. Road closures due to flooding are not uncommon in typhoon season.

Terrorism/political activism in Taiwan

Taiwan is a stable and prosperous democracy. Public participation is alive and well, so political demonstrations are common and accepted. Although they sometimes turn confrontational between opposing groups they are unlikely to be violent. The threat of international terrorism is basically non-existent.

Food and water safety in Taiwan

Because of the frequent earthquakes, water pipes are often cracked, and so tap water can be contaminated. The quality of tap water in Taiwan varies, but in most cities is safe to drink after boiling and filtering. Expats moving to Taiwan should consider installing a good quality water filtration system or sticking to bottled water, as it might be unwise to drink even boiled tap water in Taiwan for an extended period of time. Drinking-water fountains in public spaces are already fitted with filter systems and so are safe to use.

Natural disasters in Taiwan

Earthquakes are common in Taiwan and quakes measuring over 6.0 on the Richter scale cause damage at least once a year.July to November is typhoon season. Typhoons have caused mudslides, road closures and collapsed buildings in the past, sometimes resulting in fatalities. Expats should be careful of travelling in the mountainous regions of central and southern Taiwan during this period.

Emergency response in Taiwan

Police, fire and ambulance response times are generally good, and most departments will have someone on staff who can speak English. The Foreign Affairs Office is responsible for dealing with crimes against foreigners and can be reached directly.

Emergency numbers:

  • Fraud hotline: 165
  • Police: 110
  • Ambulance and fire: 119
  • Domestic violence or sexual assault: 113
  • 24-hour general emergency information: 0800 024 111
  • Foreign Affairs Office Taipei: (2) 2556 6007
For more information please click here


Taiwan has three international airports: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Kaohsiung International Airport, and Taipei International (Songshan) Airport. Each offers convenient direct links to all major countries.

In addition, the Executive Yuan has approved the opening of international charter flight service at Taiwan’s domestic airports, including airports in Hualien, Magong, Kinmen, Taitung and Taichung. For more information please visit the airport website



Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport:
No. 9, Hangzhan S. Rd., Dayuan Township, Taoyuan, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Service Counter:
(T1 Departure Service Counter)
(T2 Departure Service Counter)
Voice inquiry:
Taoyuan International Airport


Kaohsiung International Airport
Kaohsiung International Airport:
No.2, Zhongshan 4th Rd., Xiaogang District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Service Counter:
0800-090-108 (Information toll-free)
+886-7-805-7630 (Domestic)
+886-7-805-7631 (International)
Kaohsiung International Airport


Taipei International Airport (Songshan Airport)
Taipei International Airport (Songshan Airport):
No. 340-9, Dunhua N. Rd., Songshan District, Taipei City , Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Service Counter:
Voice inquiry:
Taipei Songshan Airport


Taichung Airport
Taichung Airport:
No. 42, Zhongqing Rd., Shalu District, Taichung City, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Service Counter:
Taichung Airport


Taiwan’s domestic airlines industry is quite active with busy routes serving major cities; flying is almost as common as taking long-distance buses, and flights are always fully booked during holidays. As a result, prior reservations are advised. Most travel agencies handle reservations and ticketing on behalf of airlines.

Personal identification is required when checking in for flights. (ID for Taiwan citizens, passports for foreigners.)

Domestic Airports
Taipei (Songshan) Hualien Wang’an
Taichung Taitung Qimei
Chiayi Lanyu (Orchid Island) Kinmen
Tainan Ludao (Green Island) Matzu Beigan
Kaohsiung Magong Matzu Nangan



Regulations for luggage and carry-on handling may vary by airline; passengers are advised to contact the airlines for details. The use of cellular phones on airplanes is strictly prohibited for flight safety concerns. In addition, items that may threaten flight safety such as compressed-air cans and flammable items, are also banned from flights; for further information, please refer to: Flight Safety

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Flight Schedule
Kaohsiung International Airport Flight Schedule