Can i get my degree in taiwan?


#1

I’m 18, and moving to taiwan in october. I can speak mandarin to a basic level, and am hoping to improve vastly in my time in taiwan. I’ve heard that it’s possible to take a degree in mandarin once you are at a sufficiently decent level. is this difficult , and how do i go about enrolling? also, does this entitle me to an alien residence permit?
tnaks in advance…


#2

You absolutely can take a BA degree here, if you want to…now, just why you would WANT to is another question!

Most people who do this come and enroll in a language school for a period of time before applying to (one or more) universities. I knew a couple of guys from El Salvador who spoke little English and no Chinese when they arrived, spent 6 months at a language school and then were dropped into school life at some military technical school in central Taiwan (i.e., NO English or Spanish speakers for MILES) and they did amazingly well and were just about totally fluent when they finished up a couple of years later. I think they were both pretty disciplined and/or laid-back kinds of guys, though, to be able to take that situation.

The one thing you might want to consider is that most Taiwanese schools offer little or no support for foreign students in terms of academics. Most students rely on other students in their class (the “classmate” relationship is VERY strong) for notes, help, etc. and this might or might not be a problem depending on how you arrange your experience.

Anyway the key is to first get a good knowledge of Mandarin. I knew a guy from Los Angeles who could speak perfectly but couldn’t read a blasted word of Chinese, and he managed to get through (or almost through – I lost track!) a 4 year degree in medical technology without ever being able to read or write in Chinese! He did possess fairly good interpersonal skills, though. I tried to get him to learn some Chinese reading in my “English reading” class, as he certainly didn’t need to learn to read English! But he would have been much more successful had he been able to read and write, I think.

Just my NT$0.66 as usual
Terry


#3

On this topic I would like to outline my experience in Beijing. Having arrived in Beijing with conversational Chinese, I studied for 3 years at the Beijing Languages Institute (now Beijing Languages and Culture University) and was awarded a BA degree. Someone starting from scratch would have to study 4 years to take the degree. What I must say about this degree is that it is, in fact, a degree in Chinese as a foreign language. i.e. it represents an ability in Chinese roughly equivalent to that which would get you a degree in Chinese in a university outside China. It most definitely does not mean that one’s Chinese is as good as that of a Chinese person who has got a degree in Chinese from a Chinese university. It might be possible for a non-native speaker to attain that level, but it would take several more years of full-time study. I am sure I will never get there in my lifetime, unless some kind person endows me with a scholarship which allows me to survive while doing nothing but studying Chinese for several years.

So the question is, is it possible in Taiwan to get a degree in Chinese (as a foreign language) like the one I got in Beijing?


#4

Over the years I’ve run into at least one or two foreigners who were doing master’s degrees in Chinese Literature and the like at universities in Taipei. They had quite a high level of Mandarin, although I suppose their reading was probably better than their oral/comprehension skills because of the emphasis on that in their program of study…or maybe not? Don’t know for sure.

You can theoretically do almost any degree here, if you can find a school that will accept you (and you’ve got quite a lengthy food chain to move down until you find one that will regardless of what you are or what you can do!) But beware the lack of support that these schools will give you, as I said before.

Terry