Accepted to Shi-Da, but considering Ming Chuan - help!

Background: I studied at TLI for six months before taking the summer off. I decided that TLI was too laid back for me since I need more external motivation. I applied to Shi-Da and was accepted. However, I had some trepidition because of the distance from my apt (I live near Shilin) and other posts about how chaotic registration is and how hit or miss the teachers are.

This morning enroute to Shi-da to register, I passed Ming Chuan University and decided to check out their Mandarin program. The woman I spoke with was very nice and accommodating, telling me that I could sit in class first before deciding to enroll.

My impressions of Shi-Da are: rigid, rigorous, fast paced, serious students of different ages
While Mingchuan is: flexible, focus depends on class, slower, college-age students so possibly not as serious

Does anyone know anything about Ming Chuan’s Mandarin program? My goal is to get past the initial stumbling blocks and to learn some reading and writing, but to focus mostly on speaking and listening.

I haven’t been able to find any comments on this board, so if anyone can help me, I’d appreciate it greatly. Shi-Da or Mingchuan?

i dont know about ming quan, but i’m surprised to hear anyone say shi-da is fast-paced. of the practical audio visual books, we generally do a chapter every 6 lessons then test. So that is 24 hours per chapter (assuming you do an hour of personal study for every hour of class study) that should be plenty.

at shi da you need to read and write but that is more in your own time rather than taught in class.

trust me, the majority of students are not serious. i have a full-time job and still do more prep work than most of my classmates.

as always the teacher is more important than the institution though. there are good and bad teachers everywhere

I can only speak for ShiDa, but I live at the very end of Zhongshan North Road, and I get there in 25 minutes everyday (I have a bike parked at Guting which shaves a lot of time off); I’m assuming you live closer, so I don’t think the commute would be a problem. It’s not the best program I’ve ever attended, but it’s much better than CLD (where I was before) and keeps me moving. I also didn’t have any problems with the registration day.

I agree that ShiDa isn’t really that fast-paced, either. Maybe try MingChuan for a semester and if it doesn’t work, do ShiDa next semester. I’ve heard they use the same books.