HELP! : Living in Taipei (TMU) on MOE Scholarship (2017)

Hey guys,

I’ll be moving to Taipei in September 2017 to study at TMU.

I got an accommodation offer for a single room for NTD 8500/month. My monthly stipend will be NTD 20k.

I searched for such a topic but whatever i could find was ancient

I would really appreciate if someone could answer (one, some, or all) of the following doubts i have:

  1. would it be wise to accept this offer?
  2. what does a ‘single room’ usually consist of and how is the experience?
  3. if i do accept the offer, would it be impossible to survive on the rest of the stipend? ( i think so) If yes, how much more money would i require each month to live in Taipei?

Thanks in Advance

If by “TMU” you mean Taipei Medical University, I would guess it’s possible to find cheaper single rooms in that area than NT$8500. It’s a little bit off the beaten track though still in the city and quite close to 101. But it’s not a place where lots of foreign students flock to look for rooms. There are single rooms near NTNU for that amount and I’d expect TMU to be cheaper.

If you did nothing but study and ate at pretty much only the neighborhood street stall-type places or similarly cheap stuff, and was pretty careful about any other expenditures, you might get by on the remaining NT$11,500 per month but it could be close.

I don’t think you would ever be wise to accept an offer of a room without being there and seeing it. You don’t know if there’s a temple downstairs (noise), no light at all, or other things that might not make it a good environment for you. I don’t think it will be that hard to find a single room near a university, and don’t forget, you aren’t tied into that room for the rest of your days there. You can always leave and find a new one (even, ahem, breaking your lease…it’s been done…LOL)

I plan to be in Taiwan towards mid-September…happy to take you room-hunting if you want. Always something new to see, room-hunting.

First of all, thanks for your response. :smile: and Yes, I do mean Taipei Medical University.

I should have clarified that it is a dorm room and just 500 meters away form TMU. The proximity and the idea of living with fellow uni-mates + security etc., kind of, seem too convenient but I am not sure if spending almost half my funds on rent would be the best bet in the long run.

Btw, I just checked on google maps and there is a Buddhist Temple around the dorm. Are you a psychic? :joy::joy::joy::joy:

And thanks for the offer, ma’am. Would love to go room hunting. :man_dancing:

Define single room. Is this a room in a shared apartment or an independent room with private entrance and own bathroom?

Dorm room is usually shared unless you are graduate student.

Is that 8500 a semester or a month? Will you be lodged with local students or is this accommodation only for foreigners?

A few tips if you want to rent outside:

NEVER rent sight unseen. For what we know, aside from what Iron lady mentioned, you could be renting a place in the mountain behind the school…where a minibus goes by every 40 minutes or else you hike a vertical 45 degree in an hour.and the nearest 711 is 40 minutes away…That is NOT the way we do things in Taipei.

Other important conditions include utilities included or not, two month deposit ONLY, and what are the conditions if you want to break contract and leave.

Do not trust Google maps, as it will not show you are in the middle of nowhere. Try at least Google view. Or search for convenient stores and restaurants. If none show around, that is a very bad sign. Oh and temples. If you are too close that ain’t ideal either.

Always document the state of the place when you moved in. NEVER sign anything by yourself. Always have a witness preferably local.

Thanks, Icon.

I’ll be a grad student there and I am quite sure it will be the latter i.e. independent room w/ bathroom.

8500 is each month’s rent, utilities excluded. It is exclusive to international students.

what are your thoughts on the following?

I lived in that area when I taught at TMU (though it was a long time ago now). I’m still suspecting that NT$8500 is high for a monthly rent for a “plain old” room there (but if it has a reasonable private bathroom that’s a different story maybe). I do stay in Taipei two or three times a year and rent rooms more or less at random so I have some idea of prices though I haven’t stayed in that area since I lived there.

It wouldn’t be too hard to “commute” to TMU from that location, especially if you have a bike. The other advantage of that location is that the terminal stop for the #1 bus is back there, and also a few others I believe, so you would always get a seat if you were going “into the city” (away from the pocket with TMU and all that back there). I used to live on Lane 150 of Hsinyi Rd which actually runs way back in that area, only a block from where you’re indicating.

But if it were me, I’d get a hostel for the first week or so and take my time looking around. Even if the price turns out to be the same, at least you are choosing your place based on many factors that won’t show up in an ad.

The answer to the seemingly-maybe high rent is “exclusive to international students”, I’d say. I doubt there will be that many amenities in the place – that’s an older area and most of the buildings are pretty old, though there are a lot of newer ones going up nearby (not where you’re indicating, so much).

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You haven’t been here a while. The universities, as part of their push to attract foreign students, have been setting up dorms exclusively for the foreigners after all the complaining about the conditions and the ehem, cultural clashes at the normal college dorms.

The advantage is that they are in campus, rents are reasonable, amenities aplenty, like in house 711, cleaner, wider, safer than off campus, and you have quick access to your college life -ehem, copy homework and long study sessions into the dawn with your classmates. Good times, good times.

8500 shoud be OK with these issues considered -it is the university provided dorm, right?- and considering AC/utilities/transportation costs, it sounds good to me.

As to access “into the city” he is merely a 10 to 20 minute walk away from discos, movie theaters, expensive shopping centers…while a few steps away from cheap food, 10 minute walk to the night market.

The fact that it is an older area is the problem. Getting a nicer place could bit a bit of a hit and miss.

I just confirmed it and they said that the bathroom will be shared. Never in my life, did I ever care so much for a bathroom. But is it really a deal-breaker?

You guys have stated quite a lot of benefits of living in this area except the fact that this is an older area, slightly higher rent and this heartbreaking bathroom issue.
(Icon, yes it is a university provided dorm)

Nevertheless, many thanks to both of you. :grin:

Well, I’ll be plenty impressed if TMU has actually managed to move from “only the foreign teachers need to get an annual syphilis exam” to “we’ll build nice dorms for the foreign students”…LOL

Depends on the bathroom.

In the ol days, I had to walk two flights of stairs to get to the common toilet. In your case, worst case scenariio will probably be a 10 to 20 stall set up - private stalls for both showers and comode. But that is usually for undergraduates. Grads and foreign students may have just a couple normal WCs set up at the end of the hall.

We need eyes on the ground to be sure.

Is there some way you can “reserve” this place, and then leave it if you really hate it? I mean, as a university place, the problem would be first come, first serve, once gone, it’s gone. Outside places there are many more.

Wonder if you get a floor manager.

All this is a mystery to me, as well.

and i have reserved the place and would have to pay once i’m there. But the rules state that once you leave the dorm, you’re gone forever… as in no coming back to the dorm.