Hsinchu Start-Up Living Cost


I’m planning on studying in NTHU this September and I have to pay my living expenses, I was hoping to find some help here. I read some old threads about this topic but I have my concerns on numbers.

Its two of us and we want a 2-3 room simple apartment, we are not picky with food and we don’t go out that much we plan on focusing on our studies and find a part time job or something.

I cant tell how much our food would cost per month but I think a simple apartment would cost 14k - 15k per month + 2 month deposit based on what I read so far.

I do not go shopping for clothes or games or movies or anything but necessary stuff like food. We cook our food. I hope someone can help me estimate costs and startup costs.

Thank you.

I’m sorry I can’t give you an exact number because your budget solely depends on where you’re buying your food. There’s the wet markets, local super markets and then the international supermarkets. If you’re hitting up the international super market at Big City/Sogo in Hsinchu, it tends to be more.

You will also need to look into location of your apartment. My friend used to live in Hsinchu and not all necessities were walking distance like it is in Taipei. You may need to add a car/scooter expenses.

Take note that a student Visa doesn’t necessarily grant you the legal right to work!

For rent, you are looking at 16,000 per month at the lowest, and that’s if you are fine with a shitty looking 30 year-old place that’s pretty much just mouldy concrete, or you get extremely lucky, or the place is surrounded by farm land with over 30-minute commute time to NTHU.

The average range in the city is around 20,000, and often that doesn’t include furniture, sometimes places would also be missing frig, air-con, washer, you name it. When negotiating for the place, you should ask for the community fees (管理費 Guan-li-fei) to be covered.

As a frame of reference, a shitty 7 ping (23 square meter) studio (often with no bathroom) usually cost about 7,000 per month. Once in a while you can get lucky can find one around 5,000, but it’s rare.

Just went through the process myself, and it’s deeply frustrating.

You can get much cheaper apartments on the far side of the science park (top of Minghu Rd). There is an excess of housing there and good apartments go from 10,000 up. With a scooter its only 10 mins to the back entrance of NTHU. Without a scooter its a bit of a mither, there’s one 7-11 there and not much else.

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While that’s true, most of them (that are under 16000) are over 20 years old and pretty mouldy.

Maybe I just got lucky. 4 bdr apartment in good condition for 10,000. Saw a lot worse ones when I was looking.

When I do a search with those criteria on a popular rental aggregate, there’re only 2 that would fit in the Hsinchu area.

The one in Hsinchu doesn’t come with furniture and seems at least 20 years old…

In this city you may have to factor in a scooter to your budget. Transportation within the city is inconvenient and unfortunately there is no DiDi or Uber.

I haven’t noticed grocery bills much lately, I just buy what looks good, but I have noticed some restaurants have gotten bit more pricey. But coffee is reasonable and perhaps on par with anywhere.

You might consider bringing any electronics you might need with you. I find the prices here for quality goods, or brand name goods, to be often far more expensive, sometimes almost twice as expensive, as in the US or Canada.

You should budget trips to the theatre. It’s a much more pleasant experience than where I come from (lobster rolls and popcorn!).

Watch for black spots on walls and water spots. Mold is a real problem is some places - we had a cheap mansion-like-place in the outskirts that had huge mold problems. Didn’t affect me much but both my kids suffered.

No concrete advice I’m afraid.