Lung X-Ray for Visa Histeria! Help!

Ok I did something extremely stupid. In order to save on monthly costs until I leave, I canceled my health insurance here in the US…stupid, I know.

The school I want to attend for mandarin studies: Chinese Culture University in Taipei, wants a full medical exam including HIV test and Lung X-ray, teeth exam (no joke!), eye exam, etc.

I called the local hospital and they quoted me $500 US just for the lung x-ray and an additional $350 for the check up! Yikes :astonished: ! The hospital was very confused about the lung x-ray. They said there are 5 different kinds and they all cost differently. For $50 US I can get a tuberculosis test instead, if that is what the lung x-ray is for.

I called the school and asked why they need a lung x-ray and if there can be any sort of alternative. They didnt really understand and kept saying that a lung x-ray is mandatory…but for what!!! I asked if they need the lung x-ray pictures, they said no and to just have the doctor describe the results of lung x-ray. So…the doctor is now even more confused…you dont just do an x-ray of your lungs, look at it, and say “yup this chap has healthy lungs!” :loco: … he needs to know specifics of what the x-ray is for.

I am getting ready to throw in the towel here and just apply to TLI Roosevelt Road. They dont require any medical exam and they just got approved by the MOE. My GF is pushing for the culture university because of their good reputation…but come on, at what point is enough, enough?

The other frustrating thing is the culture university wants the medical exam form notarized and translated by the TECO in seattle. I called the TECO and they said it has to go to them + $30 for processing and then has to be sent to Salem (Oregon state capital) for state confirmation of the translation which costs about $25 more and takes about 3 weeks! This is friggin insane! All of this to just take 2 hours of mandarin classes a day! :fume: :fume: :fume: :grrr: :imp:

My questions to all you experienced Forumoseans out there are:

1.) What kind of lung-xray am I supposed to get?

2.) Is there an alternative?

3.) Is TLI just as good as the culture university?

4.) I will arrive April 27th, Culture University starts May 8th - no problem there for visa extension. But, TLI starts May 29th…that means 1 month early in Taiwan…will this pose a problem for visa extensions considering I wont be studying until 1 month after I arrive and you have to extend before the end of your 2nd month?

5.) Once i get in Taipei, if TLI is not to my liking and I want to switch to the CUlture University, is it hard and expensive to get the medical exam done in Taipei?

Thank you for your help! I am pleading for advice on bended knee! Save me from breaking the bank and my sanity!
:help: :help: :help:

It depends on the teacher, but I’d have to say no. CCU is better. I studied at both places, albeit eons ago.


I am an American and came to Taiwan with my hubbie for his job. The government here also require me to have a medical check, but I was told that I had to have it preformed here, in Taiwan. I suggest you do the same, since, like you mentioned, your doctor doesn’t know what they want. I was required to have a chest x-ray, and eye exam, HIV test, produce a bowel movement, and an overall medical exam. I went to a hospital here in Taichung and it cost me less than $2,000 NT which is about $66.00 US.

I am not sure what city you are going to live in, but this is the route I would take. Health care here is less expensive. (Well, I guess that is realitive to what you want).

Good Luck!

It depends on the teacher, but I’d have to say no. CCU is better. I studied at both places, albeit eons ago.[/quote]

I have perhaps a different perspective on this matter. I never studied at either place, but, I always have been a firm believer in that the institution matters little… you will actually teach yourself… the teacher is simply a guide, and in this case, the institution is simply an entity that issues a permit enabling you to stay in Taiwan.

Look, you will be living in Taipei… there will be oodles of opportunities for you to practice on the street what you have learned from your books and your teacher.

I studied for approximately 9 months at Fu Jen many years ago… I never even took my book to class, and there and then it was one student to one teacher… I spent most of my time there chasing my teacher and trying to convince her to marry me.

My Chinese eventually became quite good… sure, there are many who speak better Chinese than I do… but, there are far more people who do not speak as well as I do. I learned mostly by studying on my own and then taking it to the streets.

IMO, there is little reason to spend such a large amount of money as the folks up on their mountain (CCU) seem to want… My wife used to teach at the CCU campus in town, and she taught at Berlitz, and of course she taught at Fu Jen, ages ago. I’ve heard hundreds of tales of students in these programs… and some did well and some didn’t… and it almost always came down to the student his/herself… was he/she motivated to learn? Of course I agree with what jdsmith stated above… i.e., that the teacher is important… however, I believe that the student is even more important. If you want to learn, and you live in Taipei, you cannot help but to learn, no matter who you pay for the privilege of studying.

In the end, if you want your Chinese language proficiency to be high for whatever reason/use, the true test will be your actual proficiency… nobody will care that you went to TLI rather than CCU if your Chinese proficiency is high, and likewise, nobody will care that you went to CCU rather than TLI if your Chinese language proficiency is poor.

Go to TLI.

The chest x-ray is for tuberculosis. I’d second Erica’s advice to do any health exams here; cheaper, faster, and no need to have them translated and certified by Trade Offices.

Yes, that seems to be the way to do this.

ok, so its cheaper, faster, and wiser to get it done in Taiwan (The x-ray)…but…The school requires it before it issues the acceptance letter used to obtain the multi entry visitor visa.

A bit of a pickle i’d say.

If I get the x-ray and exams done in Taiwan, then that means I will be in Taiwan, initially, on a visa exempt entry for the first 30 days. This means I would have to get the x-ray and exam, apply to the school, and do a visitor visa run within those 30 days. :unamused: no visa runs…dont like visa runs :raspberry:

So this leaves me back at my only other option: TLI. I am waiting for a email response from them whether they require a medical exam or not. If they dont I will just ditch the craziness with CCU and opt for the easier less hassel of TLI. :ohreally:

If the x-ray is for tuberculosis…there is a much easier exam that can be done by blood test. I wonder if they would except that instead of the x-ray? :question:

I just got a medical done at Renai Hospital in Taipei. It’s for a uni application, so includes all that stuff you need for a student visa (chest xray, blood tests for AIDS and syphilis etc).

It cost NT$600 something, and took about 5 working days to process. Cheap and painless!

[quote=“gcat”]I just got a medical done at Ren’ai Hospital in Taipei. It’s for a uni application, so includes all that stuff you need for a student visa (chest xray, blood tests for AIDS and syphilis etc).

It cost NT$600something, and took about 5 working days to process. Cheap and painless![/quote]

That sounds great! What is your current Visa status? Exempt Entry, Tourist Visitor, ARC, or other?

Will you have to visa run to complete your visitor visa process? Or can you get the exams, apply to the University, and apply for the Visa all within Taiwan?

I’m on a student ARC at the moment. I won’t have to do a visa run, just change over the unis on my ARC. I did it once before, and I’m damned if I’m going to do a visa run for something that I’ve got experience doing!

You may get away with a mantoux test instead of an xray depending on how the doctor frames their report and how nice the TECO people are feeling on the day. I know one person who did.

You can always apply to TLI and transfer when you get here. Maybe you could do your first month at TLI and try and transfer to CCU in that time? Not sure how viable this is, or how much bother - but worth checking out.

From memory, as a student you come in on a visitor visa and don’t get an ARC until you have two extensions (ie after 6 months). I’m pretty sure that sometime in this period you could switch institutions.

As to switching institutions and visa runs. As I said, I’ve done it without a visa run, but you have to insist and you have to insist and you have to insist. In the end I found an out for the BOCA people: ‘but I have a Taiwan scholarship’. Don’t know why that worked, but it did!

Good luck! :wink:

I agree with using Renai Hospital in Taipei. Here are the details. This is the most popular hospital with foreigners; it

Welcome to Taiwan 101.

Don’t waste your $$$ on an exam in the U.S. Get it done here easily and cheaply. Besides, they just remodelled the outside of the Rennai Hospital and it looks purdy.

P.S. Have you applied for a government scholarship yet?

You have to rub your stomach counterclockwise for constipation and clockwise for the runs.

For the bowel movement I supect it would be more related to facial expressions.

[quote=“almas john”]I agree with using Ren’ai Hospital in Taipei. Here are the details. This is the most popular hospital with foreigners; it


I am amazed at the efficiency of TLI Roosevelt and their customer service level. Absolutely great! :bravo: I spoke to Helen from TLI via email and my GF called her a couple times to get the ball rolling with their school and she made the experience of signing up with their school pain free and smooth.

First everyone should know that TLI has hitched itself to Kainan University and has been accepted by the MOE as an approved language institute to qualify for renewing visas and issuing ARC’s.

TLI does not require a medical exam unless you are applying for a resident visa after your 2nd term. Saves you a load of money if you are applying from outside Taiwan.

TLI’s tuition is less then CCU by about $40 US. They also have private lessons that you can take at a reasonable rate if you are too early for the start of the current or next Term.

In just 1 day I was able to get all my questions answered, obtain all the required application forms, submit the forms, and have my application approved! :bravo:

Thank you TLI and Helen. I would highly reccommend this school for any inquiring language students.

I called the seattle TECO office for Taiwan to apply for my Visitor Visa.

They said that if I start classes in May, I need to arrive no more than 2 weeks before classes. If I arrive more than 2 weeks before classes, then they can

That sounds really peculiar derek1978. I presume your nationality is American or Canadian and as far as I know you should be eligible for a 90-days extendable visa for Taiwan.

I’m a Danish citizen studying Chinese in Tainan and I got my visa without any problems. And I entered Taiwan 1 month before the semester began.

You might want to call another office who can give you the information you need or perhaps call the TECO office at another time.

Ever so often it occurs that people are getting brushed off by a taiwanese clerk if that clerk has a bad day.

Good luck!

[quote=“derek1978”]I asked if I could have an extendable visa

Ha ha ha. The reason why they’re giving you the run around is because they think you’re a dirty, filthy illegal English teacher. I’ve been in your situation before (legitimately trying to get a visa to study at TLI without working on the side) and I got the same sort of run around.

You’d probably almost be better off with the university: arriving on a tourist visa, getting the medical check done, hopping out to HK, then coming back. That’s especially if you’re planning to study at the university long enough that they’d give you an ARC instead of an extendable visa.

Just get a 60-day visa through TECO before you leave. Then, you will have more time to play with.

EDIT…SORRY…just read your post more clearly Derek…never mind