Begniner Mandarin Classes in Taiwan

Hi! US citizen wandering around SE Asia here. I’ve spent some time digging around your forums here and have learned quite a bit as far as visa requirements, some basics about what specific schools in Taiwan offer and so forth. I do have a couple of questions that are more tailored to my specific situation and was hoping someone could point me in the right direction.

Like I said, I’ve been in SE Asia for a while (actually 6 months to the day today) and out of the need for some general day to day stability and the desire for something productive to do I’d like to take some mandarin classes. I know exactly nothing of the language at the moment, so this would be starting from the most basic point possible. I don’t currently intend to spend years and years in school as I don’t intend to do anything professional with the knowledge, I’d just like to get enough under my belt for basic conversation skills and a general idea of the language. I am more than willing to take a 5-day-a-week class to fulfill the needs of the student visa and could commit two or three months.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to schools that may suit what I am looking for? If you do have some recommendations I’d love a guess on the costs I could expect.

The second part of the question is:

I assume (And would prefer) that doing this would land me in Taipei. In Taipei is it possible to rent a basically furnished flat on a monthly basis for around $600USD (or less) including utilities? I was able to do this in Bangkok (for a pretty amazing place, actually) and was hoping to do the same thing there.

If I’m totally crazy on either question just tell me so. I’m not yet sold on doing this, but I’m excited about the prospect and just need a little more info to help me make the right decision. Thanks a ton!

Here’s an excellent list of schools in Taiwan that offer Chinese Language classes with each universities approximate price range and contact details: Chinese Language Classes in Taiwan

I have no idea about accommodation in Taipei…