PIRE Research Project and Cultural Engagement Program

  • Taipei City, Taiwan
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Journey to Taiwan this summer to collaborate on an outstanding, interdisciplinary research project. The primary focus of this NSF (National Science Foundation) PIRE (Partnerships in International Research and Education) funded study and research/internship program is forecasting extreme weather incidents (typhoons and torrential flooding) and responses. The project includes a strong emphasis on the pivotal roles of (1) uncertainty in forecasts and (2) decision-making by emergency preparedness organizations, community leaders and members in severe weather events. A small group of UAlbany's Atmospheric Science and Emergency Preparedness students will receive almost all expenses paid on this summer adventure in research and culture engagement. This is a unique opportunity to conduct research with leading scientists at National Central University and National Taiwan University, Taiwan's top-ranked universities as well as UAlbany's valued research and student exchange partners, and to intern with world renowned experts at Taiwan’s versions of the National Weather Service and FEMA.

Application Deadline


Program Start


Program End


Partner University


  • Taipei City

Program Term

  • Summer

Language of Instruction


Internship Opportunity

  • Yes!

Research Opportunity


Program Details

Academic Program

This summer, participate in the 1st exciting week at National Central University (Taoyuan City, Taiwan), followed by National Taiwan University’s (Taipei City) “R1+ Research and Culture” 6-week summer program. Over the course of the 7 weeks, you will take part in an internship and/or lab research work, as well as participate in NTU’s “Exploring Taiwan” course, which serves as your introduction to the Mandarin language and Taiwanese culture. The course includes a series of English-based lectures and excursions that allow you to explore specific environmental and socio-cultural aspects of Taiwan. As part of NCU’s and NTU’s complementary programs, you will have the opportunity to visit historical and natural landmarks on the island, and to “learn by doing” by working on research teams and by receiving mentoring from leaders in your field.

Information for Atmospheric Science students: Participation in this program will improve your understanding of climate impact on extreme events in the Northeastern region of the U.S. and East Asia (specifically Taiwan), allow you to study the predictability of these events, deepen your analysis of decision-making by emergency managers based on probabilistic data, and provide you with interdisciplinary training from experts in these areas.

Course Descriptions and Syllabi

Lab and Research Opportunities

Internship and Lab research opportunities in Atmospheric Science include the following:

Any of the 6 research labs under the direction of the PIRE team at National Central University (NCU)

  • Radar/Satellite Meteorology
  • Boundary Layer and Mesoscale Meteorology
  • Mesoscale Simulation
  • Cloud and Aerosol
  • Climate Dynamics and Air-Sea Interaction
  • Data Assimilation/Simulation

Central Weather Bureau (CWB) Internship (the Taiwanese equivalent of the U.S.’s National Weather Service)

National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR) Internship

NARLabs at Taiwan Typhoon and Flood Research Institute (TTFRI) Internship

Any of the 3 research labs under the direction of Atmospheric Science faculty at National Taiwan University (NTU)

  • Microphysical Simulation of Summer-Afternoon Intensive Rainfall
  • Inter-seasonal Variability in Tropical Indo-Pacific Warm Pool
  • Atmospheric Boundary Layer Measurement over Ocean with Aerosonde Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Review National Taiwan University’s website for more information regarding course offerings.

In April, accepted students will complete the online application for NTU’s summer program (Research and Internship, “Exploring Taiwan” course, cultural excursions, and housing). 

General Education Information for UAlbany Students

Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. 

Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students

Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.

You will earn 3 UAlbany credits of Internship/Research and 2 UAlbany General Elective credits, for a total of 5 UAlbany credits.

UAlbany Course Equivalencies

Internship/Lab Research Course:

  • AATM 490 is the UAlbany course equivalency for Atmospheric Science students
  • CEHC 390 is the UAlbany course equivalency for CEHC students
  • Other UAlbany course equivalencies may be awarded by individual academic departments upon student request.

Language and Culture course (NTU’s “Exploring Taiwan”):

  • There is no UAlbany course equivalency at this time. Students will earn General Elective Credit.

All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary. 

Your Instructors       

The unique “Research + Culture” program is part of a multi-year, international, inter-disciplinary project that is funded by a generous grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), known as Partnership in International Research and Education (PIRE). The partners in Taiwan include National Central University (NCU), the Central Weather Bureau (CWB), the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR), NARLabs at the Taiwan Typhoon and Flood Research Institute (TTFRI), Academia Sinica, National Taiwan University (NTU), and various community partners, as well as the Howard University at the University at Albany in the U.S.. Your instructors include the world’s leading theoreticians and practitioners in Atmospheric Science, as well as policy makers, including both natural and social scientists, who are entrusted with safeguarding their fellow citizens during severe weather incidents.   


For National Central University’s 1-week program, you will be housed in shared rooms in the Guest House, located on the picturesque and spacious NCU campus. You can take public transportation (bus) to various points of interest in Taoyuan City, including shops and the high-speed train station, linking the cities of Taoyuan and Taipei.  

For National Taiwan University’s 6-week program, you will be housed in an NTU residence hall, located just blocks from the NTU campus. The residential complex is equipped with single and double rooms (with entry to building, elevators and rooms accessed by key fob/student i.d.), spacious common areas and sports facilities. All rooms include a private bathroom with shower, a closet, drawers, a desk, a single bed, air conditioning, 24/7 heated water, internet connection, and a landline telephone. Mattresses are provided for summer students. Bring or buy your own bedding (sheets, pillow case, blanket) and towel(s). Communal areas include meeting rooms in the main floor lobby, a garage for bike storage, and two laundry rooms (separated by male and female). A 24/7 hall receptionist and security guard are also located on the first floor. 


Taiwanese food is delicious and affordable. You can eat for as little as $3/day. Most meals at NCU will be provided. You should still bring $100-$200 for the first week, for meals at campus restaurants, for water and snacks when on research expeditions or cultural excursions, or when visiting the nearby mall. NTU is located in an urban area, with many food, shopping and recreational options, as well as easy subway transportation to countless points of interest in Greater Taipei City. There are various cafeterias both on and off campus, restaurants, convenience stores (7-11), food carts, and night markets where you can enjoy your meals with your fellow students and new friends in Taiwan. NTU also houses its own store and sells items produced by students on its farm, including ice cream. You will not have access to a kitchen as part of your accommodations. In the lobby of the NTU dorm, there is a communal lounge and kitchenette where you can microwave items that you purchase in local convenience stores and markets.

Estimate of Costs

The Summer 2019 Estimate of Costs is forthcoming.

More Information

Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.

Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.

Academic Requirements

The program is open to the following students:

  • Juniors, seniors, and exceptional sophomores currently pursuing Majors in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, or the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity
  • with a GPA of 2.8 or above

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning plays a critical role in your program experience. Both the overall program and individual courses include a number of cultural and historical excursions to important and influential sites, so you will have the opportunity to experience the culture of Taiwan to its fullest. 

Excursions and activities include:

  • Trying your hand at Chinese calligraphy, YoYo, and Martial Arts
  • Visiting the National Palace Museum, Shilin Night Market, LongShan Temple, and Maokong
  • An excursion to the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park
  • Two, day-long excursions

Excursions are a mandatory part of the program and specific destinations vary by program and availability. Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Funding Opportunities

Most financial aid and academic awards will apply to semester programs.

External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.

More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.

Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences PIRE Scholarships:

Accepted Atmospheric Science students are eligible for funding through the PIRE research and education grant.

College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity PIRE Scholarship:

CEHC students are eligible for funding through the PIRE research and education grant. One CEHC scholarship is available.

Program Advisor

Richie, Annette


About the City

Taiwan is an island full of intense mountains and greenery, as well as growing cities that are brimming with markets and business opportunities.  Taipei is a unique blend of cultures wrapped into one city – with cultural influences from both China and Japan. With world class museums and cuisine, Taipei will win you over with its food-filled markets and dynamic atmosphere. Public transportation is effective and affordable, making it ideal for exploring and the perfect way to spend your summer. 

Travel Documents

A valid passport is required to participate in this program. U.S. citizens can acquire their visa upon entry to Taiwan. Citizens of other nations should inquire about requirements with the Consulate of their home country in New York City. PIRE-funded participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.

Application Availability

Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:

  • Summer programs: December

Program Dates

Summer 2019

06/21/2019 to 08/10/2019

About the Program

During your summer in Taipei, your home base with be National Taiwan University (NTU). NTU is Taiwan’s flagship university. It has been recognized as a global leader in research and education since 1928. Every summer, students from across the world participate in their Summer+ Programs in the heart of Taipei City. 

You will spend your first of 7 weeks in Taiwan at National Central University (NCU) in nearby Taoyuan City, close to Taiwan’s main airport (TPE). The time will be split among orientations, cultural excursions, and collaborations with NCU researchers. NCU is a highly internationalized institution as well as a national and world leader in Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences and scientific innovation in many fields.

Schedule and Agenda

June 21: Fly to Taiwan (travel arranged by PIRE Manager)

June 22: Arrive in Taiwan (airport pickup by NCU)

June 23: Relax and walk around the NCU campus

June 24 – July 2: National Central University program

July 2 – August 10: National Taiwan University program

August 5-6: PIRE Annual Meeting

August 10: Fly Back to the U.S.

Program Orientations

Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. 

Accepted Atmospheric Science and Emergency Preparedness students will participate in various pre-departure preparations in the late spring. The meetings and events will serve to orient you to your summer in Taiwan and to connect your internship supervisors and research mentors in Taiwan. For more information, speak with Dr. Li Zhang, the PIRE Taiwan Program Manager.

Upon arrival at National Central University and National Taiwan University, you will attend a mandatory program orientation. This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by International Offices of your host universities.

Support Services

UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary. National Central University and National Taiwan University’s Office of International Affairs staff serve as an experienced resource for resolving issues that you may encounter in while abroad.