Quarter Abroad Taiwan - On Site

UC Davis Study Abroad, Summer Abroad Taiwan, Pharmaceutical Chemistry in Taipei Program, Header Image, On Site Page

Pharmaceutical Chemistry in Taipei


Students will be housed in double rooms in a dormitory on the Activity Center campus on the Academia Sinica campus. All rooms are equipped with telephone, internet connection, TV, and a refrigerator. The campus includes the following gym facilities: a swimming pool, a fitness room, badminton and tennis courts, an indoor jogging track, and a basketball/volleyball court. There are computers available in the life science library located in the institute of biological chemistry, which is approximately 5 minutes walking distance from the activity center.

UC Davis reserves the right to change the accommodation location. Should this be necessary, we will arrange comparable lodging. Please note that elevators, air conditioners and other modern conveniences may not be available in all locations.

Video Spotlight: "How To Use the Taipei MRT 如何用台北的捷運 - Life in Taiwan"


Breakfast is included in the cost of the program. Students may purchase all other meals on or off campus. On campus, there is a Chinese restaurant, a Western restaurant, and a cafe. In addition, there are many restaurants located within a 5-10 walk from the dorm. Meals in the campus restaurants are partially subsidized by the Academia Sinica for employees and students and thus are very inexpensive, costing only NT$40-65 ($1.25-$2.00) for lunch or dinner.

Trying new food at the night markets is always a favorite activity.

Video Spotlight: "Shilin Night Market Food (士林夜市) | Taipei, Taiwan Vlog"

Excursions and Day Trips

During their free time, students are encouraged to take trips and excursions in the surrounding towns and villages and explore the country. As part of the program, students will participate in field trips and cultural events and hear from guest lecturers and local pharmaceutical chemistry experts. Included activities and lectures are built into the Spring CHE 198 course and may include the following:

Cultural events (both small and large groups of students):

  • Maokong Gondola/tea plantations
  • Taipei Zoo
  • Pinxi day trip
  • Karaoke and Dinner
  • Illan Day trip
  • Taipei Eye Theater
  • Din Tai Fung dumpling house
  • Cool N2 Ice Cream
  • Five Dime restaurant
  • Hiking: Yang-Ming Mountain, Mt. Qixing
  • Taipei 101
  • Various night markets
  • Baseball game
  • Ximending (shopping district)
  • Taiwan Kenting National Park
  • Longshan Temple
  • Grand Hotel
  • Kavalan distillery

Scientific lectures (biology, medicine, climate, drug development; speakers from Taiwan, USA, Korea):

  • Genetic Epidemiologic Studies of Cardiometabolic Disease and Rick Factor Based on Taichi Cohort and Omics Approaches
  • Roles of viral protein P1 in the movement and replication
  • Recent progress in drug development for hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Biology of therapeutic opportunities of histone deacetylases
  • Robustness, Control, and Organization of Developmental Pattern
  • Targeting Synoviocyte Phosphatases for Novel Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Negatively Charged C-Domain Governs pH-tuned DNA Binding of NAC Transcription Factor
  • The Madden-Julien Oscillation in a Warmer World
  • The Biology and Therapeutic Opportunities of Histone Deacetylases
  • Endosymbiosis in Paramecium
  • Negatively charged C-domain governs pH-tuned DNA binding of NAC transcription factor
  • Genome Engineering Using CRISPR/Cas9 Technologies
  • Biological applications of mass spectrometry

Study Abroad Advisory of Student Risk

Participation in this UC Davis Study Abroad program requires travel to and extended living in a foreign location(s) abroad. UC Davis Study Abroad endeavors to reduce and mitigate risk wherever possible.  However, the environments and risks associated with living in these locations are substantially different than those found during a regular course of study at UC Davis. All participants must download and review the following information prior to departure. Any questions should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Study Abroad General Risk Advisory

Program Specific Risk Advisories (PDF)

About Taiwan

One of East Asia's most dynamic, successful, and beautiful countries, Taiwan has enjoyed strong economic growth and today boasts the fourth largest economy in the region. With a unique blend of prosperity and modernity alongside strong traditional values and culture, Taiwan offers exciting social, cultural, and educational opportunities. The program is located in Taipei, Taiwan's capital and its economic and cultural center. It is a modern, safe, and convenient city located in the northwest corner of the island. Noted for its rich cultural institutions, bustling business activity, and the scenic beauty of its surrounding mountains and seashore, it is an excellent location for study and exploration.

Currency: New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)

Language Spoken: Mandarin

Weather and Climate

Because weather is unpredictable, bring clothes that you can layer for ease of comfort. There may be some rain showers during your stay, so bring a jacket, poncho or umbrella and appropriate shoes for rain. Visit the CNN Weather page for Taipei

Research Your Destination

Keeping in Touch

Since communication options can vary dramatically from country to country, Summer Abroad advises checking with the instructor or the Program Specific Guide for advice about what might be the best option for your particular program.

Calling the U.S. from Abroad

Many U.S.-based long distance phone companies provide special services that make it easy for you to phone home from abroad. Some provide toll-free access numbers that connect with an operator in the U.S. Some provide the means to charge long distance calls to a credit card or to a third party. Some provide better long distance rates. Others provide access to emergency, medical, legal, translation, and entertainment information. Students are encouraged to investigate these options before departure and to shop for the best services and rates.

Global Cell Phones

Most cell phone companies can sell you a special global cell phone with the option to add more minutes as needed. Also, most cell phone companies can unlock your cell phone for global use, but this requires a trip to a provider at your destination who will give you a SIM card and sell you minutes. Check with your cell phone provider for more information. Global cell phones are also available through travel agencies and online. Be sure to check the policies for both incoming and outgoing calls and text messages.

Cell Phone Rental

Some students choose to rent a cell phone that works at their destination. Some companies will ship the phone directly to the student in advance of the program dates—and include a packet for sending the phone back when they return. Interested students can locate service providers via the Internet.

Phone Cards

Many travel agencies and specific phone providers carry great options for phone cards. Check the rates available from your long distance provider. You can often buy phone cards on site.


Skype is a computer program that you can download for free that allows you to talk (for free) on the phone over the Internet with anyone else who has Skype. Go to www.skype.com to download the program. For an extra fee (as low as .02 cents/minute) you can enable your Skype to call land lines instead of just other computers. You will need a microphone and headset so that you can talk to the person on the other line. Skype also includes a chat option for instant messaging.

Instant Messaging Systems

Instant messaging systems are also a great free way to communicate with people back in the states. There are numerous options for messaging systems from AOL Instant Messenger to Yahoo Messenger. Just about every messaging program can be downloaded for free online.

Internet Access

Computer and internet access varies by program. Information for your site will be listed in your Program Specific Guide.

Internet access is offered in all the countries we go to, but the reliability of it differs from program to program. Internet can be accessed through internet cafes. Some programs also offer access through the dorms or on-campus computer labs. Internet cafes are very reasonably priced and often times have various instant messaging programs installed and headphones available to chat with loved ones. Relying on internet cafes may reduce worry of bringing your own laptop with you. You can upload pictures at most internet cafes, but remember due to the speed of some connections, it may be a better idea just to bring multiple memory cards to avoid spending your whole day on the computer.

Cultural Learning

Living in a new culture can be exhilarating, rewarding, and stimulating. It can also be frustrating. It is one thing to tour a country, but it is quite another to live and function according to different norms. It is important to be open toward a new culture, to try to discard stereotypes, and to learn as much as possible about the culture before departure. If you educate yourself about the country you will be visiting, you will better understand and appreciate your new surroundings!

Even with preparation it is likely that you will experience "culture shock." Recent studies show that there are distinct stages of culture shock. Some of these stages include: awareness of the host culture and preparation, initial euphoria and excitement, irritability phase during acclimation, gradual adjustment, and adaptation to culture. Upon return to the United States, many students face "reverse culture shock."

There are some things you can do to minimize your cultural adjustment. Keep a sense of humor! Treat yourself to an occasional U.S. indulgence like a favorite food, or purchase a U.S. magazine or newspaper. Avoid other Americans who are overly negative or who complain a lot. Keep healthy. Above all, don't be afraid to try new activities!

Resources for Further Study

Ethical Considerations in Study Abroad