For this blog I am going to talk about essentials you need for taiwan! As a first generation college student with a family who has never even left the United States before, me and my family were a bit nervous as to what to pack and how much I realistically needed. So my hope in this blog today is that I can give you a clear cut guide full of advice for your next adventure in Taiwan! To begin, it is really important to have set dates in mind when planning your trip, so for this blog I will mainly be talking about if you are spending three months here!
The first tip I have would to be to take advantage of resources like google sheets and resources your program may provide when planning your trip abroad
Clothing: Clothing is really important while here, so you must also consider what resources you are going to have available for washing clothes as well. My apartment does not have a dryer and the washer is smaller than the typical american size for reference. Taipei does have laundromats if this could be an issue for you! For me I packed about 7 pairs each of: Shirts, Shorts, Underwear, and Socks. You must also keep in mind that in Taipei the weather is around 90°F and it rains at least once or twice a week so clothes that dry fast are best! I also packed one nice outfit for meeting with people or going to a nice dinner! For me this was a polo and a dress shirt plus a pair of jeans (you could also pack dress pants if you wanted!) I would also suggest packing only three pairs of shoes and wearing the bulkiest pair to the airport. I would pack; one pair of sandals, one pair of tennis shoes and one pair of hiking boots! I would also pack some sort of fanny pack, but if you don’t like the one you have you can certainly buy one here! Speaking of bags, I would also recommend packing a tote bag for day trips on top of your backpack (again this is also another thing you could buy while here!)
As for technology and entertainment the lighter the better, I would refrain from bringing too much. For me I packed my laptop in my carry-on but didnt use it at all until a couple weeks in (mainly because I was using my Ipad). The list for this includes; headphones, multiple chargers, and A VERY RELIABLE BATTERY BANK!
For Toiletries, Medicine and Stationary you can buy a lot of that stuff here! A few tips from me would be to bring any over the counter medication with you instead of buying it here, as it saved me the time and headache of figuring out the right medication in chinese! I would recommend however, bring enough deodorant to last, as it is hard to find the brands you like here! But things like towels, sheets, and soap I would buy in taipei! My advice is that if you know where your apartment is located ahead of time (or in my case I just used my school’s address) and find the nearest merchandise stores! Also the sun in America is nothing like the sun here, so I would bring a small bottle of sunscreen ahead of time then buy more when you get here! Finally, the teachers here preferred us to not use technology in the classroom so I would recommend going to the stationary store (or just the store you are buying toiletries at) and buy some pens and pencils. The brands they have here are very affordable and are my favorite of all the writing utensils I own!
The final step would be to call banks! Taiwan still mainly runs off of cash transactions, you may want to give your bank a call so you can withdraw money here! I also have medication so I called my insurance and got a travel override to get enough medication to last while I was here! I also packed small over the counter items as well just in case! Just remember if you have a question about anything, someone has had it before so Google is your best friend! All in all get excited for your upcoming trip as Taiwan is such a wonderful place to explore, and I hope you have as good as a time as I am right now!