At the Airport
Assuming (and fingers crossed!) that nothing goes wrong with your visa and luggage, you can first get a metro card from the information desk, which can save you the hassle of doing so later. Depending on your situation, it’s most likely you’ll want to buy and set up some connection to the internet before leaving the safety of the airport! Although there a couple of mobile network stalls dotted around (this guide is pretty great at highlighting locations) most recommended is ChungHua 中華電信since coverage is also great for travelling outside of Taipei!
Rather than buy the prepaid tourist sim cards, get the 4G pay as you go option. I currently pay 300NTD for 2.2GB of data, which is valid for 60 days – sometimes they’ll also have special offers and gift you an extra free 1GB. To top these up, either go to your nearest 7-11 and follow this super handy guide! You can also buy these sim cards at any 7-11/Family Mart in the city itself, so don’t worry too much if you’d rather head straight to bed after your flight! Do remember to bring your passport if you plan on purchasing a SIM card or setting up a contract outside of the airport.
For those on the scholarship it is compulsory to set up a bank account at your local post office so that funds can be paid in. When doing so, you should also apply for the visa card and open access to withdraw money overseas – this is so you can get the last instalment of your scholarship funds if you go back early!
Here are all the things required to set one up:
- ID number photocopy – obtainable from the immigration office, even if you need an ARC or not.
- Tuition fee receipt
- Passport & photocopy
Also of note: if like me, you forget your PIN, or have any other problems with your account, you’ll need to go back to the branch where you opened the account to sort out these issues! Don’t forget to bring your deposit book either!
With classes not starting until two weeks after my arrival, I found myself feeling a little lonely and untethered to the city. Cue small montage of self-pity and wallowing, followed by a quick google search and re-activating my meetup.com account! I found that this was a good way to find groups of people with similar interests to yourself, whether that be food, board games or language learning. Speaking of the latter, you can also try posting on language exchange groups to find a more regular language partner. Unsurprisingly, girls get the most attention (wanted or otherwise), but I’ve also found a few reliable language partners through this, so choose carefully!
- Easy Card
- SIM Card
- Obtain ID number from Immigration Office
- Open Post Office bank account
- Join meet-up groups!