Though a vast majority of our students contact alumni, Taiwanese relatives or friends, or current students of the Language Center to arrange their living accommodation, the Language Center is willing to help all prospective students who arrive on their own.
The services we can provide prior to your arrival is to help you make an appointments with these apartments which we work with.
An alternative accommodation close to the University is the Beacon Hotel. It is located within 100 meters in front of the University next to McDonalds. The rooms and the service are decent. For singles, the Beacon Hotel offers NT$ 2,000 a night.
If you need any assistance booking a room at Beacon Hotel, please don't hesitate to contact the Language Center Office by e-mail or telephone in advance. We will need to know the date and time of arrival into Taipei so we can guestimate your arrival time to Taichung.
If you're looking for cheaper accommodations than Beacon Hotel, then hotels by the train station (20 minute bus ride away) are your best bet. Although it's a bit far, some students choose this cheaper alternative, and then spend the day in the area closer by the univeristy searching for suitable permanent housing.
There's no need to worry too much about finding housing off-campus. The Language Center staff is happy to help you find a suitable place and get settle in. Our first and foremost goal is to make sure you have a place to stay.
There is an abundance of housing options in the vicinity of Feng Chia. Most of the time all housing is partly or fully furnished, the minimum basic outfit for a room being a desk, a chair, a bed, a clothing cabinet and a bathtub or shower and washbasin. The two most suitable solutions seem to be the following:
- A studio around the university will cost you about NT$ 5,000 to 7,000, depending on its age, location and conveniences.
- You may want to share an apartment with some other people, either compatriots, friends or students.
Keep in mind that whatever solution you choose, you will probably have to provide the following of your own: bedding, towels and a fan (in case there is no aircon and even with aircon it is advised to get a fan). Extras are a TV, a telephone and a fridge and in case of an apartment: pots and pans, kitchen utensils and a stove or hot plate.
The area around Feng Chia teems with appliance stores and the like, so picking up what you need should not pose too many problems and prices are often lower than downtown.
All utilities have to be paid for by the tenants, i.e. electricity, water, gas, cable and phone, with for newer buildings a nominal janitorial service fee for cleaning, maintenance and security. In some more recent buildings a flat rate will be charged for these services, except for the cable TV and gas, the latter often being in canisters.
Another advantage of arriving a few days ahead of registration in Taiwan is that you will have more time to find a studio or an apartment and also will have a wider choice.
If you want to find your own housing accommodation, things depend on what kind of building you want to live in and what the contract with your landlord says, but whether you are living in a room, a studio or an apartment, you will have to take care of a number of things yourself.
Utilities: It is your responsibility to pay for utilities, specifically water, electricity, telephone, cable, Internet and gas. Most companies that rent out rooms in new buildings will have the caretaker inform you when payment of the utilities is due. The bimonthly water bill shouldn't be higher than NT$ 600 whereas the bimonthly electric bill will be between NT$ 1,400 and NT$ 2,000. It is possible to have a telephone hooked up. The initial hook up cost is NT$ 3,000, including the purchase of the telephone itself, but the monthly cost is very low. Normally you pay utilities to the caretaker, though if this is not the case, you will have to pay the telephone and water bill at a bank or the electricity bill at the Taipower office, opposite to the side gate, near FCU's sport's complex. If you have any questions about the bills, see the Chinese Language Center Office staff.
Natural Gas: Most kitchens in new buildings are equipped with natural gas, so that bill will have to be paid to the caretaker too. In older buildings you will have to buy gas canisters. If you run out of gas for the first time, someone from the Chinese Language Center Office can call and have another delivered.
Air-Conditioning: Modern apartments may be equipped with air-conditioners; however, they are quite expensive to run. It might add another NT$ 2,000 monthly. You should fare well with a fan, but if not, be prepared for a large electric bill.
Garbage: Rules for garbage deposit are different for each building, though if you live in an older or smaller place you will have to carry your trash to the garbage truck yourself. Trash day won't be easily missed. It's either every day or close to it; the truck drives through the neighborhood playing music, and then circles around giving you enough time to bring your trash out. The time varies considerably day to day; sometimes it comes very early and sometimes after lunch. This is a great way to meet your neighbors, by the way.
Recycling: Recycling and selective garbage collection have become more and more popular the last few years though it is still not very organized. There are three ways to recycle. The first is to collect everything at home and then take it to a recycling plant where you get some money for your paper, plastic and glass bottles or cans. The second way is to separate all recyclable materials and hand them to the trash men separately. They then make some extra money themselves. And finally, if you live in a bigger residential building, the garbage collecting area may be equipped with containers in different colors to facilitate your recycling efforts. The following things can be recycled: paper (blue), aluminum and tin cans (empty them completely and crush them first; yellow), PET bottles or recyclable plastic bottles with the logo seen to the left (red), and glass bottles (green).
Problems: As with apartments anywhere, certain problems will arise: lights burn out, water is shut off, the roof leaks, . . . If you are not able to fix the problem yourself, contact the Language Center Office to ask for assistance. Be patient. Some things take awhile to fix.
Water: Tap water in Taiwan should be boiled before use. You might also try to find a water filter that fits on the faucet or a jug with a filter, like the ones of the Brita brand. They only cost a few hundred NT dollars and do a pretty good job.
Insects: The tropical climate of Taiwan explains why you will find a host of different insects. Cockroaches for example are a common sight in this climate, but to avoid a real invasion of them it is wise to empty your garbage can regularly, certainly if you have thrown away some stuff that's still edible for them. Mice can be found in older houses too and they tend to come in and try to find something edible too. Therefore regularly dispose of your trash or buy a trash can with a lid.
Security: Theft seems to more widespread in Taiwan than in western societies. You probably noticed the metal grids in front of the windows as high as the fifth floor and sometimes even higher. Though most modern buildings have a guard-janitor at the main entrance, and some more expensive places do have a tight security system, it is still advised to take all possible safety precautions when you leave your room, certainly when you leave for a longer period.
Food: Meals are available at the Feng Chia University campus restaurants for around NT$ 150-300 a day or in one of the numerous cafeterias on Bian-dang Street (Lunch Box Street, the first alley on your right or left once you pass through the main gate). If locals travel all the way from downtown to sample some of the delicious and cheap food on the night market on Wenhua Road, you should for sure go out and sample some of it too…