College Life in Taiwan

Anyone here have a good comparison between college life in the US vs Taiwan? As a frat guy, I feel like Taiwan would have way less partying etc. Maybe I’m wrong? From what I’ve seen, students live in the dorms all four years and just grind.

House parties in the US vs Clubs and bars in Taiwan. Both have their appeal.

That is true. No bar/club in my college town can compete with ATT 4 FUN

Studying hard is definitely seen as more important than enjoying your college years, so I’d expect less partying overall.

That being said, if you consider that Taiwanese can drink starting 18, on the streets if they want, and that bars and clubs close only in the wee hours, I’d say those who party can party harder. I’ve seen students emptying a bottle of Ballantine in front of NTU’s library around 4pm to celebrate exam season being over.

If you wanna party your best shots are the international student associations (there might be more than one, sometimes a tame one and a wild one) and business students.

Some peeps also throw parties for international students from all unis in Taipei and Kaoshiung, you can find more info on facebook:


But tbh, you can party at clubs anytime later in life. I miss partying with my fraternity brothers.

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This is from a Western undergrad student/Taiwan post grad + prof perspective:

  1. The course load for undergrad and grad students us much more in TW. In fact it’s SO much that, in order to do well, partying is a once or twice/semester indulgence.

  2. Attendance is taken. Class participation can be a huge part of the grade (absences are dangerous to your grade).

  3. Party life depends on your location and course load. Some unis just have no local “scene.” Some mentor profs (導師) will give you so much work, you’ll have precious little time for a social life.

  4. Best bet is to make local friends and figure out the online (PTT) boards to know what’s going on.


That is so untrue.

That is also untrue.

You’ve got to be kidding me.


I can’t speak for other lecturers, but attendance and participation in class is a very important part of my grading. In fact, I only ever fail students for poor attendance, lack of effort, and/or not completing homework. I probably wouldn’t bother having exams if I could.


Maybe for English classes, which I’ve never had in college. For other classes most professors take attendance like maybe once or twice every semester (if ever) and it accounts for maybe 10% of the overall grade at most. Some do take it more seriously but they are rare.

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Same. As a teacher of English classes.

They’re supposed to be taking attendance, as the universities have a minimum attendance requirement. But, yeah, there’s no reason why they would if they couldn’t be bothered.


Me too. Attendance and participation are very important. Play with your phone or sleep, see you next year. Not a single student plays with their phone or sleeps in my class. If they do, they are made an example of. I mark them absent if they’re sleeping, because they’re not in class. They’re in Lala land.


And this is why all your students hate you. :wink:


Wow, foreign instructors…


Sounds like if you avoid English courses taught by middle aged white dudes, you should be able to Rage it Large, bru :+1:


The university closest to me is not in a city, so what I’m about to say may or may not apply to Taipei, if that’s where you plan to go.

  1. Students never leave their rooms. They stock up on instant noodles from seven and eat those for days on end
  2. Literally everything takes precedent over classes or a social life. Part time jobs, sleeping, playing video games.
  3. Professors have to constantly lower their expectations because students collectively refuse to do anything resembling work. (as someone who is now more of an “adult”, I’m friends with a few professors and boy do they complain about this. Too much. All of them taught previously in Western unis)
  4. Professors from western countries who hold their students to the same expectations here are complained about constantly. Students want to be able to sleep through class or play with their phone the whole time. They don’t expect to learn anything and hate professors that make them do so.
  5. I personally know at least four people who showed up on campus for the first week of class, submitted assignments for the last week via email, and were never seen on campus throughout the term. Graduated on time. At their part time job, on the other hand…

If you’re in a frat, there’s a lot more public drinking and smoking than would ever be legally tolerated in the US, so if that’s your jam, the above doesn’t matter as much. To be honest, I mostly see this among old men more than the college age.

Remember that weed is very illegal here so don’t think “haha it’ll be fine”. It won’t be. Don’t do it. Don’t think you can get away with it. If you’re caught you’re f*****.


Eh, kind of mixed on that. Obviously professors develop reputations, and then, to the (very limited!) extent that students are able to choose their courses, you tend to wind up with students who match your expectations. The ones who insist on sleeping or playing with their phones are no longer in my class in second semester (or even after first semester midterms), but they’re limited in number. On the other hand, some students do want to be pushed and to improve their skills, and they’ll choose courses accordingly.

I confess I’m frequently horrified by how much cell-phone use and sleeping seems to be going on in other classrooms I walk by. But my biggest class is “only” about 70 students, and classroom management for that is a lot easier than when you’ve got 150+ students in a lecture hall.

Work expectations … I feel like the students here have a very, very low workload, and that what I give them isn’t that heavy. But they say I work them hard. I dunno.

A bit more on-topic for the OP’s question: there seems to be a lot less partying, although of course middle-aged profs are only dimly aware of what their students are up to! My impression is that spending all night at a KTV or a nightclub absolutely happens, but it’s a once or twice a semester sort of event. There are definitely groups of students who drink a lot, but they seem to be a smaller subset than when I was in university in Canada in the 90s. Probably a factor: going out to drink here is I believe slightly more expensive than in North America, and you’re dealing with students who in general have a lot less money.

Oh, and university students, in general, are not going to be grinding away at their studies! That’s a high school thing. There’s still a vague impression here that high school is the time to get in to the good university, and after you’re in that university, your work is done, and you’ll no longer have to do anything. This impression is slowly fading, thank goodness, but I still have students who voice disappointment to learn that university teachers expect them to do something.

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Yeah I might have been painting Western profs here with a very broad brush. It’s just been funny to me to know a professor’s name sometimes for years because people I know who are in grad school cuz they’re bored (as opposed to actually wanting to be in grad school) complain about them constantly, but when I meet the professor it’s just a standard 40 or 50 something year old white person who seems to carry themself quite professionally.

What, you don’t think preparing for life in the workplace is important??


This is true for really shit universities, which are the majority of them. My school wasn’t like this.

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