Chinese Language Division at National Taiwan University
I start every morning with a Chinese class at the Chinese Language Division (CLD). Since all the Chinese classes are in this building, I get to see my friends in other classes during our class break times. I opted to take morning classes to have my afternoons free to explore the city. I often split the rest of my day by studying in a café and then going to a new museum.
Like many other students at NTU, my roommate and I bike to class every day. Biking is a wonderful start to the day, and I find that it’s also a great way to wake up in the morning! We use YouBike, the public bike rental system that is available in multiple cities across Taiwan. The YouBike system is really convenient, plus the first 30 minutes are free, so we always ride at no cost! Since so many students bike to class, the bike racks are often full once we get out of class. Also, the beautiful Koo Chen-Fu Memorial Library is right next to the CLD building. The library is a popular study spot for NTU and CLD students alike.
After Chinese class, my friends and I often get lunch together on NTU campus. There are so many amazing food options at NTU, and to be honest, the options at my home university can’t even compare! I love coming to this location to get tea at this store 愛玉坊台大店 after lunch. Since there are many bike racks and YouBike stations nearby, I can often grab a quick snack and bike off to my next destination.
Da’An Forest Park
Some days, I will bike to Da’An Forest Park and have lunch in the park. It’s only a few blocks away from campus. This ecological park is the largest park in Taipei and is always very lively. In addition to the park, there is also a river, pond, theatre, playground, and rollerskating rink, as well as ample room for people to lounge and exercise. Recently, the Taipei Floral Festival was held at the park, so it was full of beautiful flowers
Here are some of my roommates, Allie and Tara, sitting in Da’an Park. We love to sit under the sun and tell each other stories about our lives back at our home universities. It is so relaxing that we have even fallen asleep in the park before.
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
On other days, I will explore areas of Taipei further away from school. On this day, I went to the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in the Zhongshan District. The area around the museum was beautiful, and it was really easy to get to via the MRT! The Taipei Story House Museum is right next to the Fine Arts Museum, and I loved the contrast between the Tudor-style home and the contemporary brunch restaurant.
The current main exhibit at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum is “SUPERNATURAL: Sculptural Visions of the Body.” The exhibit explored themes around future human modifications and tried to show what the animals of the future might look like. The piece seen in this picture is titled “Doghead.” This was the first museum I went to in Taipei, and it reminded me of how much I enjoy museum days. After this trip, I was inspired to look for more museums around Taipei, and I am excited to come back to the Fine Arts Museum to see their future exhibits.
Yuanshan Archeological Site
On my way back from the Fine Arts Museum, I stumbled upon what may become my favorite area in Taipei. This historical site is on the hill across from the museum, hidden from the rest of the city. I felt like I was completely separated from Taipei and would have stayed here all day if not for my homework.
I walked throughout the Yuanshan archeological site and found a trail that led to this separate area above the buildings. From here, I had an amazing view of the city and could even see Taipei 101 in the distance. I loved the opposition of the historical Yuanshan culture compared to the modern buildings of Taipei.
Raohe Night Market
There are always hundreds of dinner options no matter what part of the city I’m in, but my roommates and I are especially lucky to have a huge variety of restaurants close to our apartment. There are several street stalls, food courts, family-owned restaurants, and fine dining restaurants within a few blocks of us, and we even have multiple night markets within walking distance. On this day, we decided to go to Raohe Night Market. It was bustling and full of life. We had so much fun ordering in Chinese and sharing so many new foods!
Late in the afternoons, I often wanted to go home to rest and see my roommates. I love coming home to my roommates and telling them about the new places I discovered. After I get home, I first step onto the apartment balcony to admire the sunset and sometimes do my laundry. This is the view from one side of our balcony. I love all the apartments in my area and the character they add to the neighborhood.
After all our adventures and delicious meals, my roommates and I end our nights around our dining table. Here are my roommates, Allie, Tara, and Iris hard at work. Doing homework together makes doing work more fun, and it’s also a great way to decompress at the end of a day. Every night, we gather in the dining or the living room to do homework, chat, and get ready for a brand new day.