Program Site: National Chengchi University (NCCU) in the Wenshan District of Taipei. The study abroad program in which USC students participate is run by CIEE, which has its staff and office on the NCCU campus.
Eligibility: Minimum 3.0 GPA and two semesters of college-level Mandarin Chinese (or the equivalent).
Description: Taiwan offers an exciting mix of natural beauty and urban living. Thanks to the bullet train one can get from Taipei in the north to Kaoshiung in the south in less than two hours, and thanks to the island’s topography one get trek deep into thick bamboo forests high in the mountains, visit secluded temples and teahouses, and marvel at the seascapes of the east coast. Taiwan has the most developed democracy in the Chinese-speaking world and a well-educated citizenry. Locals embrace both traditional Chinese culture and the evolving new culture of the island nation. Taipei’s subway system makes it easy to navigate the city, which city offers a wealth of cultural and recreational activities as well as restaurants and night markets serving up delicacies from all regions of China. Getting away from the city to the refreshing nearby mountains or beaches is simple. Also, from Taipei there are regular flights to cities such as Tokyo, Seoul, Manila, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
Academics: NCCU is a top university well-known for the social sciences. USC students participate in the CIEE Intensive Chinese Language and Culture program. All students take intensive Chinese language (12 units), a Chinese Language Practicum (1 unit), and one CIEE elective taught in Chinese or English (3 units). The English-taught elective currently on offer is Art, Culture and Identity in Taiwan. Other electives are Business Chinese, Media Chinese, and Conversational Taiwanese.
The NCCU Chinese Language Center offers free, non-credit, short-term courses such as Learning Chinese through Karaoke, Pronunciation Practice, and Chinese Calligraphy.
Course Load and Credit: Students earn 16 USC units per semester.
Activities and Other Program Features: A one-week orientation session includes visits around Taipei, an in-depth introduction to the country and academic program, as well as practical information about living in Taiwan. Several trips are planned throughout the semester to temples, mountains, tea plantations, porcelain works and museums around northern Taiwan. NCCU students serving as student ambassadors for participate in the orientation and trips. They also engage students in conversation at the CIEE student lounge and join students on outings in and around Taipei.
All students are encouraged to volunteer in the community, and can also join sports or social clubs on campus.
Accommodation: Students may live in an on-campus dorm with Taiwanese roommates, at a private dorm about 20 minutes away, or in a homestay.
Dates: Fall, Spring or Year. The fall term runs from mid-August to mid-December, and spring term begins after Lunar New Year and typically ends in early June.
Estimated Semester Cost:
Cost Updated: 5/28/15
Text Updated: 07/05/12
*Additional expenses include estimated costs for airfare, room and board, books and supplies, health insurance, and personal expenses (which can vary greatly from student to student). USC financial aid, scholarships, and tuition remission may be applied to program costs. Please visit the Office of Overseas Studies for more detailed cost information.