Any tips on finding Student Accommodations? near NTNU (MTC), Taipei

Greetings,

I am planning on studying mandarin for a year at MTC (NTNU) and am currently searching for accommodations nearby. I would be glad to receive tips on where to search, prices and general information related to this topic. Are host families a thing in Taiwan?

Regards

Hi Rinzler, welcome to Forumosa.

I don’t have any firsthand knowledge about looking for housing these days. Hopefully @Icon or some other knowledgeable person will come along with better information.

The board seems to have some information here and there:

2009

2011

2012

2017

2018

Please note that I may have missed something or other in my search of the board.

NTNU also has some information.

Short-term:

https://mtc.ntnu.edu.tw/eng/stay.htm

Long-term:

http://mtc.ntnu.edu.tw/eng/rent.html

Their Student Guide Book has something similar, on pages 31 and 32:

This site also has a little information, similar to the information above:

Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

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There are a number of FB pages where you can find rooms or let others know you are looking for one. However, you have to be careful. There are legitimate people out there renting rooms and there are plenty of idiots who feed off of foreigners. I think one mistake many make is that they post what their maximum rent can be. Often times this is much more than what landlord can get for their place. Post an ad and have them tell you what they want for it. Have them show pictures of all the rooms. Bathrooms, kitchen.

Things to do:

  1. Post some adds on the FB pages and see who bites. I think this site also has some options for that. Tealit is another site.
  2. Contact foreign students living in Taipei and find out where they are staying.
  3. Try and hook up with a language exchange partner now and see if they are willing to help you find a place.
  4. You can find rooms ranging from $5000 to $10,000 and above. Many landlords will automatically jack up the rent if they know you’re a foreigner.

Things to look out for:

  1. Rooms without windows.
  2. Rooms that have windows, but these are just facing a hallway.
  3. Shared rooms with bunk beds. There are a number of landlords who are pushing these and they charge a lot of money.
  4. Rooms without cooking facilities.
  5. There are a number of brokers out there who’ll just rip you off so don’t trust them.
  6. Recently I’ve noticed that many landlords have been using “cozy” to describe the room/apartment they are renting out. Most Taiwanese have no concept of “cozy”. They think that westerners like it so they just use it to describe what they are renting out. You’ll find that most places are grey, bleak, tiled, overly brightly lit and generally speaking, not “cozy”.

If you don’t care about cooking or getting some fresh air, then no worries. However, it gets very hot here and having a window can make a difference.

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One word: www.tmm.org.tw

Read here and there about tenant rights and obligations. Understand this ain’t Kansas. Do not assume anything.

  1. Never rent from abroad. Book a nearby hotel or Airbnb for a week to a month. Visit the site day and night.

2.Never sign anything without witnesses. Document everything. Take pictures of site before moving in.

  1. If you wanna live a block from school, it will cost you. That does not mean you have to pay ridiculous prices for the honor. Be sensible. Moreover, understand that no one in their right mind commutes two hours to school, unless they have a compelling reason like marriage, family or work. Even the oldest student hostel in Taiwan, in the hills of Xindian, has a convenient shuttle to school. Learn to look for convenience like Taiwanese do. You can live a bit further away, a bus ride or MRT ride of 20 minutes or so and still be fine and save money and not become a hermit. But if the nearest 711 is a bus ride away, you will be in trouble. Convenience and health. Do not rent unhealthy accommodation, like window less shoe boxes or basement dwelling. There was a tuberculosis plague in 97.

Oh and AC is a must. NEVER rent shared electricity bill places. Make sure utilities are either included in the bundle or each tenant pays separately for what they use.

  1. Host families are not really a thing up North. People work all day and families rarely spend time together. If you live with a family, probably you will become more proficient in Taiwanese than Mandarin, as granny will be the only one home.

Which reminds me : I strongly recommend NOT to live with the landlord. There are positive experiences but the potential for disaster is too high.

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Oh wow!

You guys are really amazing. Thank you Charlie_Jack, Pendulum and Icon (new users can’t @ too many people :slight_smile: ) !!!
I have taken bits from all your messages and have found a solution!

Without going in to too much detail, here is a quick update:

I have found a student accommodation that is not too far, and is specialized on hosting international students. I will stay there at least for the first few months, enough time to find out if there is a better / more convenient place. Will definitely watch and learn how other do it.

Thank you all again for taking the time to answer and research for me!

Regards

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Just for the record and to help other people, can you post the details about this place you found?

Oh my, sorry for not catching that message earlier!

I am staying over at the International House of Taipei. Even though some websites suggest this place for short stays, they offer half year and full year student accommodations for a very good price. The house includes a shuttle bus to some of the nearby language schools, lunch / dinner box service, laundry options, a small gym, and much more.

As much as the website includes a lot of information, if you like myself can’t speak mandarin (yet), I recommend you write them a mail with your questions and reservation plans. All mails will be responded back in English, so you don’t have to worry about that.

And if you have any additional questions, feel free to pm me!

Rinzler

That place has been around a while. It was old when we arrived here and 20 plus years ago it was the place ro stay…compared to say Happy Family.

That is why so many of us opened our first bank accounts in Xindian. Funny to think about it now, we started there, ended up living in Xindian.