Pieces of 2014 fall semester

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Your health is important, how to handle it here?

Hi:) sofy here!

How are you doing? Well we just finished our midterm exams! so now is the right time to write :)!

I decided to write about health in Taiwan. I know that being an international student where ever you are is just something hard. And getting sick sucks even if t is in your own country or where ever it is being sick is just not nice. How ever being sick in another country is just one of the most horrible experiences ever! Is one of those times that you just feel like you want to go home. So I’ll talk a bit in how the health system works an all those things that you will want to know. It is important that you are aware of this kind of things if you ever get sick here you will have an idea of how to handle it!

So for small things there is nursery room inside the campus in the first flour of administration building (same that the OIA offices). But this is just for small things I don’t think you can go there for something serious but is good to know that it is there. so for other things like getting a cold or actually being sick you have to go outside of campus.

First when you come here during your first six months you will have a private insurance. It could be the one you buy at school or one that you get in your own country. I bought mine in  school with all international students. That insurance is private. basically how it works is that you go to the doctor and then take to OIA  office the receipt and the hospital certificate .and they will deal with the insurance company to refund you. For each time the maximum amount you can get back is 1000 NT. I never used it so I don’t know the details of this, but you can have the general idea.

After you had been living more than 6 months here you need to apply for the National health insurance. I think we pay around 4000 NTD every semester (maybe a bit more). Once you get it you will have your Insurance card.

Ho does the National health insurance card looks like

Ho does the National health insurance card looks like

Really useful card, it will have your picture and ARC number. So with that card you can have access to a lot of health services. Every health center that has the National insurance symbol will accept the insurance card. So with the card you just pay part of the bill, your insurance will cover most of it. This will also cover your medicine fee.

So now that you know how the insurance work. Where to go if you are sick? that depends of what you have and how you will like to treat it. If you have just a cold there are some place in zhixue street (the street in the back of our school).I have never been there myself but I went with one of my friends twice. basically  you will pay 50NTD for seeing the doctor. He will prescribe you something and you will get it in the pharmacy that is across the street! and again you pay really low for the medicines. I heard that this is really effective for small things. I think that works if you just have a cold or something small and want to get rid of it. If you have something more than a cold and you think it is a good idea to see a good doctor and get good health care so then I would  suggest Tzu Chi Hospital.

I had been there several times. Is easy to get an appointment. All the doctors I had seen speak really good English so you can be in peace at least you will understand what is going on. So Tzu chi hospital is near to Hualien train station, from hualien station back door you can walk to the hospital, it will take 10 minutes no more. Once you are there, you can ask for the appointment in counter 7 (that is the counter for us, foreigners) or you can use the machine to do it yourself (I suck with technology so I usually just go to counter 7).

Machine to make an appointment

Machine to make an appointment

counters, in the main hall.

counters, in the main hall.

So here you will have a good attention. One good thing about this place is that if you need more exams, because it is a hospital you can get them there. So is convenient. It is much expensive than just going to the medical care in Zhi xue. Here you pay an average of 500 NTD.In the other hand here you see an specialist, you should have in mind that this includes the medicines and sometimes that amount also cover other exams like blood exams so is not that bad.

I don’t know how is the health care system in your country but for me this is new. I come from a place where medicine is mostly a private business so the national insurance or the hospital system is new. What really surprises me is how they give you the medicines. They give you in a bag with printed instructions and all is so perfect and organize. Actually I think the choice to take a medicines should be yours, like you should know what are you taking and why. Here they just give you there is no way in not having it. But again the insurance pays so is no that bad. And they will give you the information of the drug in English with the scientific name so you can easily look for it.

where you get the medicines

where you get the medicines

Medicine back with printed instructions in english

Medicine bag with printed instructions in English

Over all I think that Taiwan is a good place to get sick haha. it is cheap to afford medical care, well the most I have ever pay is 500NTD and that included blood exams, the doctor appointment and some medicines. So is a complete service and you have easy access to it. so don’t  worry that much if you get sick here you will be fine! I promise 🙂

How is weather here?

Hi there! this is sofia (from Ecuador). Well this is my first post ever so I will try my best here but be patient with me maybe my frist post will be a bit boring! (I will try to make it interesting)

Let me tell you a bit of myself.  I’m in my second year of psychology in Dong Hwa university. That means this will be my second year in taiwan. I’ll be honest with you:  loving Taiwan is easier than what you can imagine. At least for me it has all you need: Nice people, good food (and cheap) and the landscape is just beautiful (specially in Hualien). So to be honest I’m happy I chose to be here. For a quite girl like me taiwan is a good place


Ocean vie from the south coast in Hualien. (this is what i mean wit amazing landscape)


we also beautiful mountains 🙂 (lake side view in a sunny day)


The purpose of writing this blog is just to let you know a little bit more of this place before you come. when I decided to come, I knew nothing about the school. I googled it and well I just learned how big our campus is (and indeed is huge). So I will start with what I find really important to know and that is you should be aware of taiwan’s weather! I’m serious if you google it sounds really nice. But well let me tell you taiwan nature has a really strong personality and is good that you know about it.

Do you like rain? you better do! it will be rainy the whole year! Of course during rainy season (may to june) you wont see the flour dry not even once. Taiwan is a really humid place and full of rain. I know that sounds ok, and it is. But Not matter where are you are from that amount of rain is hard to handle. so have in mind to bring things that go well with humidity and rain. I had a leather boots well there is a reason why I used past tense in there. Here you will learn how to deal with the fact that is not possible to feel clean and dry. Don’t worry about getting rain coat in your country or umbrella you can get good and cheap ones in here. You will find everything you need for rain here.


Things for rain are every where

Be sure that here you will learn how to drive a bicycle with umbrella! We all do it, and is not as dangerous at it sounds.

Do you like summer? I’m sure you love it! well have on mind that summer in taiwan is almost 6 months. And yup you are right! it is rainy and humid. Have you ever been in a sauna before? well summer here is like that. Is so hot, so humid that makes you wonder how would hell be? haha.  I think that for summer the key is to drink a lot of water and to protect your skin from sun burn. When i first here I was surprise to see girls using long sleeves t shirts when outside was 30c. Later I understood that actually that helps them to stay cooler.


Is hard to believe but we also have winter here. Winter in this Island can’t be cold I thought! well again I was wrong. It gets well cold. And if you come from a no winter country like me (We don’t have seasons in Ecuador) winter here will be really bad. Again it is humid so the cold gets into your bones. So be smart and bring something warm. The kind of winter cloths you need is the one that can dry fast, Nothing to thick.

Well because all year around is very humid you will always find all kind of things you can imagine to get rid of humidity (you don’t want to smell like humid)




So basically how that works is that you will put it where ever you want to get rid of humidity. Usually I use it in my closet (I hate humid clothes) and this will prevent  humidity. After a month you will have to trash it and get a new one. Sometimes it last less than one month. Still things stay humid. But it helps.

Well I will com back with more pictures! hope it was helpful!


What do we usually eat here?

Hello, this is Alice again.

Taiwan is famous for having a 美食 culture. People love eating so there are so many concepts to discover in their daily life eating style from the breakfast to 宵夜 xiao ye(night snack or night food). Usually meals with meat (such as grilled pork or fish, fried chicken etc) are with vegetables(at least 3 kinds) and rice. It’s called 點餐(dian can). Below i’ll show you some examples of this dian can.

The food culture in Taiwan is definitely tremendous, so i’ll just try to give you some basic concepts about food here. I’m still learning the new facts (since i came here-last year, september- i studied a lot about food and menu…so sometimes i know better than the local people about where can i find this or that food. But still there are lots to discover!) from my roommate from ping tung. Every night we’re talking about food and snacks.

滷味 lu wei

People eat it usually at nights – you’ll pick vegetables or some others then those will be kind of.. simmered? a bit fried? (but it’s not fried…umm…just try it!) with the sauce called “lu”. well i haven’t eat this for a long time – i missed broccolli & noodles & tofu lu wei!

蔥抓餅 cong zhua bing

I think in English people can call it chinese pizza – cause korea also has similar one and we also call it korean style pizza.

Inside normally they’ll put some egg and vegetables..also the sauce. It’s in breakfast store (is really popular. but we think is too greasy and heavy for mornings) and street vendors(in the evening).  The picture with my hand is taken at…first day in taiwan, and i guess it may be the 水工蛋餅 shui gong dan bing – hand made dan bing. Cause it was much less greasier than cong zhua bing.

蛋餅 dan bing

yes, this is the symbol of taiwanese breakfast! we love this!

basically it has ‘egg’ inside the roll. you’ll have many options like corn, cheese, ham, vegetables, chicken, 署餅(fried potato cake?) etc.

i prefer the original one (yuanweidanbing 原味蛋餅)

also there are lots of sauces that you can put above.

悶雞飯(last one is pictured by my friend – jenny from taichung)

meal! this is ‘dian can’. and that chicken is really famous & popular one in zhixue. so normally you’ll fight for that chicken.

This restaurant’s name is Bao zu (飽足). They’re famous for the good food. I never got a stomachache from food here (i do have sensitive stomach…).

The chicken is simmered in…. sauce (i’m not so sure which sauce they’re using). At first, when we tried it, we thought that it’s too sweet and weird. Now? is one of the best food here. Whenever i feel like to nurture(!) myself i go there and take this chicken or 鯛魚。

These days, in zhixue, most of dian can’s prices are 75 NTD.

自助餐 Zhi zu can

Taiwanese style buffet restaurant! you’ll pick some vegetables, tofu, meat(will cost extra)…with rice(usually it’s 10ntd). Then you’ll pay with the amount you just put in your plate. We have this cafeteria near the new dorm and lake side.

I think the other universities are cheaper than our school – when i searched about school cafeteria, i found that even colleges in taipei have cheaper zhi zu can. But still, the food price in Taiwan ….amazingly beautiful.


xue sheng shi tang.

one of our favorite restaurants in zhixue. Usually we order the 豬排,蔥爆肉絲(cong bao rou si. the characters are maybe wrong..)

They have good vegetables, and egg pudding (really soft and no taste), dessert….

I usually order with sofia, so what we do is order one dian can (90ntd) and dan dian (just meat, 50ntd) then share. (also we add the rice which is free – normally all the restaurants will offer you a lot of rice without pay more.


shao long bao The one you have to try in hualien city.

This one is next to the famous one where has long line – you don’t have to wait in there. Both of them taste similar and actually the right one has more taste of meat.

Just try it.

可麗餅 ke li ng

Taiwanese crape. has sweet one and salty one (sweet – cream, chocolate, fruits…etc / salty – cheese, corn, ham ….)

芭樂 蘋果

guave and apple!

taiwan has those small apples! i never see them in korea !


he fan. sometimes they have this kind of food what i never get used to.


There are several good breakfast stores in zhixue – cafeteria ones are better in sandwich, cheap dan bing, and man tou.

Usually inside hamburger has some vegetables. you can choose whatever flavor you like. meat, cheese, etc….


one japanese restaurant near here. Usually it has taiwanese style ‘japanese ramen’ (sorry, i can’t admit that it’s ramen…..it’s still ramen but has taiwan taste QQ) and also these rice! it usually costs around 100. The one i ordered is katsudong (zhu fai gai fan) it tastes similar to the one i used to eat in korea but it has too less onion! but sill beautiful price!

薩其馬(sa qi ma, not so sure the chinese characters are right or wrong…sorry lazy to check)

this one is special one from my roommate (she’s from ping tung!) it has coffee-lemon taste (but these days they just put coffee i guess…so many ppl are still not used to the lemon with coffee QQ) was so so so good so….i took a picture when i lost more than half of it. haha!

本壽司 ben shou si

my favorite japanese restaurant in hualien so far! and if you’re ndhu student, this one is in perfect location. it’s in the center of the city!

those are around 100 ntd, which is beautiful again. They do cook well. Indeed.

This place has a wonderful ice cream – matcha green tea ice cream. it only costs 25 – one scoop. you should try it!

it was a perfect satisfaction (but i ate the ice cream in other day. after that kat su dong….i couldn’t eat anything. i was full until i get to the sleep haha)





drinks – bubble tea (is cheap!)


Taiwanese pudding is quite famous (esp in family mart or 7/11 one….cause it’s easy to find)

The above one is from IMEI, the brand which is most famous one in Taiwan. My roommate brought it from her hometown and letting me try (cause there’s no ‘imei’ market in hualien so what we can get is just some snacks).

oh, she said that it has egg, whipping cream and sugar…and one more i don’t remember. it just has 4 things inside, and the expiration date was quite short. (2 weeks?)it tastes really good……….i guess try every single snack of IMEI brand will be quite fun to do!

About the blog

Hi there, we’re the international students in NDHU (Hualien, Taiwan)

Here’s the tags for searchers – 東華大學, National Dong Hwa University, ndhu, ndhu taiwan, ndhu hualien, ndhu hualian, ndhu shoufeng, ndhu zhixue, 國立東華大學, 東華大學 台灣… (Girls, please ctrl+c, ctrl+v these and put into the tags when you’re uploading a post)

Ok, who are we?

Basically, we’re all studying psychology(bachelor) in the second year.

Victoria –  She’s from Mongolia, so her mother language is Mongolian. I think her Russian is also good. She has a super positive energy. Well, she’ll introduce herself whenever she comes with her first post.

Sofia – from Ecuador, so spanish is her first language. She has a lot to talk about our dear school. Well, Sofy will also introduce herself in her first post.

Alice – Me! I’m from South Korea. I’m the only one who’s living in a dorm among the three of us. These days I’m trying to improve my Chinese.

The blog is for…

When we were looking for some useful information about ndhu, what we found was just ‘how the campus is this huge and beautiful’ by visitors. So for me, it was hard to imagine how the life will be in here.

The first day here, I couldn’t get any food cause by no bike, no idea about where can i find some food, and the near convenient store (Family mart and 7/11 are inside school, of course) was closed at that time. I was in the middle of NDHU. haha, I just want to say the environment here is quite different from anywhere else.

So for the new people or even students who are already here but have some language problem or lack of info problem, we’re going to write about what do we know, what do we think about here. You’ll be able to grab the hints of life in NDHU.

If you have any question, plz put a comment in any post.