German summary at the bottom / Deutsche Zusammenfassung am Ende
Preparations for my semester abroad
Less than 2 months now and I will be in Taiwan again! I can’t really believe it yet. But already twice I had nightmares about packing my suitcase for Taiwan 😉 I find the thought of packing just 1 suitcase for half a year very difficult. I haven’t started worrying what to pack yet. I will be flying with China Airlines and can pack a 30 kilo suitcase. Any suggestions what I definitely have to pack? I think most clothes and even shoes in my size i might be able to buy there if I miss something. My shoe size is apparently still ok for finding shoes in Taiwan.
Well more urgent than packing my suitcase is my Visa for the stay in Taiwan. Us Germans can go for a short trip to Taiwan without a Visa, but I will stay much longer than those 90 days. So I was told that the main options are a visitor visa that i have to update every 90 days or a resident visa. For the later I would have to stay more than 6 months. As I will only stay 5 1/2 months I don’t have a choice but applying for the visitor visa. Information on Visa applications for Germans can be found here.
I found a nice opportunity for anyone from Germany travelling to Taiwan before the end of October this year: There is a free voucher that you can order at a Taiwan tourism website: It offers free entry to 20 amusement parks in Taiwan until the end of October! 🙂 I just sent the e-mail. Maybe I can visit some of them in Septemer/October. They also offer vouchers for the duty free shop in Taiwan at the way back if you travel back before the end of february.
So far I have only little information from Feng Chia University in Taiwan. They will organize the dormitory stay for me but apparently there are two possible dormitories for international students and I don’t know yet which one it will be. I got a list of english tought courses that I could choose from. One “credit” in Taiwan are 2,5 ECTS points that we use in Germany. The business courses there usually have 3 credit points each. This means that in total you can not choose that many different classes. I was told that it is normal for students there to choose between 3 and 12 credits per semester. So I applied for 3 business courses that I would like to take. I don’t know yet if I will get those places or if I have to choose additional courses. At first I also wanted to take Chinese language courses, but this is not so easy: The main language courses make up around 10-14 hours per week and take place in the mornings (the classes for beginners are in the moring at least). If I take these courses it is mandatory to go there every day and not miss them regularly. As I also want to take business courses they would overlap and so I have to choose. If everything goes as planned I will only take business courses and – if possible – just elective courses for Chinese language. It is a pity as learning Chinese would have been awesome. But I can’t to everything.
- Really cool website from and for international students at Feng Chia University.
They offer info on the university itsself and on the area around the university. They recommend places to eat and shop.
- Youth travel in Taiwan offers information on travelling in Taiwan.
- Blog with news and opinions on Taiwan by a foreign english teacher living in Taiwan. I am not an expert on Taiwan politics so I can’t evaluate the content. (The blog is not only about politics though)
- Official website of Feng Chia University
- Offical website of the language center of Feng Chia University – much information in English or German language.
Since I came back from Taiwan in August 2011, an amazing amout of bubble tea (also called pearl milk tea) stores have openend in Germany. I still can’t believe how fast these stores spread. Before this trend came to Germany, the drink was already known in the USA. According to an article by Focus, bubble tea started appearing in Berlin, Germany two years ago and is mainly attracting kids and young adults. According to an article by Faz, there are around 10 franchise bubble tea companies currently on the German market. BOBOQ, the biggest of them has already 70 bars in Germany and is expanding. In Nürnberg the first store I saw was Yummy Bubble Tea, but we also have BOBOQ at the main trainstation. Recently I saw bubble tea stores in other parts of the city too. Not all located as centrally as the first two. Also in Erlangen (a city close to Nürnberg), there are at least three stores. Now – since June 11th 2012, even Mc Donalds in Germany offers bubble tea. Bubble tea in Germany is critisised as being very unhealthy – it contains lot’s of sugar. Focus claims in their article, that bubble tea in Germany can have up to three times as much calories than coke.
I tested one of the stores in Nürnberg that is located at Plärrer: Boba Loca. The shop is combined with a sushi delivery service and bubble tea can also be delivered. Interestingly they say on their website “Mit Boba Loca bieten wir Ihnen eine natürliche und gesunde Alternative zu verzuckerten Energydrinks und künstlich aromatisierten Softdrinks.” (…we offer you a healthy alternative to too sweet energy drinks and softdrinks using artificial flavoring.) … hmm. That sounds rather healthy! When I was there I mentioned that I read how unhelthy bubble tea is supposed to be. Instead of explaining me that their bubble tea is healthy (as mentioned online) the women there admitted that it contains lot’s of sugar and should be seen as a dessert. 😉 I tried a “milk tea with kiwi flavour and tapioka pearls” and my boyfriend tried a “yoghurt drink with vanilla flavour and strawberry pop boba.” The pop boba pearls are not made out of tapioka but contain a flavoured liquid. They “explode” if you bite on them. This is a really funny drink experience (and that is also the type of pearls you get at Mc Donalds). The tapioka pearls I had in my milk tea were a bit more soft and sticky than I remember from my last bubble tea. Don’t know which consistency they should optimally have? All in all we liked the bubble tea at Boba Loca but we weren’t totally excited.
You can see the Boba Loca store in the background of this picture
But is the “bubble tea” in Germany the same thing that you get in Taiwan?
Traditionally the pearl milk tea in Taiwan contains black tapioka “pearls” which are made by starch extracted from cassava (Stärke der Maniok-Wurzel in Deutsch). So actually this is not as artificial as it looks! These pearls are also available in German bubble tea shops. Besides that they offer different flavored pearls and the exploding pearls. As far as I understand also the different flavors (kiwi / vanilla…) are not common in Taiwan. There I just drank simple milk tea without flavour. The pearl milk tea in Taiwan is less sweet than what we get here. But a taiwanese friend of mine said: “In Taiwan we drink more bubble tea than you Germans, so in the end it is the same (calories)”. 😉 Anyways I will be able to make a better comparison when I arrive in Taiwan in less than two months 🙂
This nice blog called “Bento Lunch Blog” has several posts on bubble tea, also tests on two bubble tea stores in Nürnberg:
- About Yummy Bubble Tea in Breite Gasse in Nürnberg
- About BOBOQ Bubble Tea at the Nürnberg trainstation (underground)
I also tried the Yummy Bubble Tea store some time ago and thought it was ok 😉
In German / und jetzt auf Deutsch
Ich frage mich schon eine ganze Weile auf welcher Sprache ich jetzt langfristig bloggen soll. Englisch ist für jeden verständlich, meine Freunde aus Deutschland und meine Freunde aus anderen Ecken der Welt. Andererseits sind meine Erfahrungen gerade wie in diesem Beitrag manchmal besonders relevant für Deutsche (Visa bestimmungen / Flugverbindungen…). Jedenfalls habe ich entschieden ab und zu wenigstens eine Zusammenfassung auf Deutsch anzubieten. Ich kann mir auch vorstellen den ein oder anderen Beitrag komplett auf Deutsch zu schreiben. Ich werde wahrscheinlich in der Leiste rechts eine Suchfunktion nach Beiträgen in Deutsch / mit einer Zusammenfassung in Deutsch anbieten.
Zum Thema dieses Beitrags:
– Visa für Taiwan
Bis zu 90 Tage kann man mit deutschem Reisepass ohne Visa in Taiwan einreisen. Für einen normalen Urlaub also kein Problem. Für ein Auslandssemester hat man die Wahl zwischen einem visitor visa und einem resident visa. Letzteres bekommt man nur für einen Aufenthalt über 6 Monate. Es muss dann vor Ort nochmal umgewandelt werden um tatsächlich so lang bleiben zu können. Das visitor visa kann (ich glaube 2 mal) verlängert werden und gilt jeweils 90 Tage. Da ich knapp unter 6 Monate in Taiwan sein werde habe ich diese Methode beantragt. Darf ich nur vor Ort nicht vergessen zu verlängern 😉 Weitere Info gibt es hier.
– Kostenloser Gutschein für den Eintritt zu 20 Freizeitparks!
Die Gutscheine werden per Post verschickt und können bis Ende Oktober 2012 in Freizeitparks in Taiwan für kostenlosen Eintritt eingelöst werden. 😀
– Feng Chia University Taiwan
Bis jetzt habe ich noch nicht unheimlich viel Information von der Uni erhalten. Aber ich weiß, dass sich um meinen Schlafplatz im Wohnheim gekümmert wird. Die Uni hat zwei Wohnheime für internationale Studierende. Ein “credit” der Uni in Taiwan kann als 2,5 ECTS Punkte bei uns gerechnet werden. Studierende dort belegen etwa 3-12 credits pro semester. Ein Kurs hat durchschnittlich 3 credits. Ich musste schon eine erste Fächerwahl abgeben. Chinesisch Kurse können entweder als Pflicht oder Wahlfächer belegt werden. Als Pflichtfach belegt man etwa 10 Stunden die Woche. Ich kann höchstens Wahlfach Chinesisch nehmen, da sich die Pflichtkurse mit meinen Business Kursen überschneiden würden.