Choosing between ICLP@NTU and CLC@NCCU

Hi Forumosa members, heeeelp!

I have been accepted into both programs (ICLP@NTU and CLC@NCCU) for the summer but now is the time to choose which one to go to, and i am at a complete loss. i know this is the “Learning Chinese” section and i shouldn’t bring location/housing into this forum, but i feel that my decision is encompassing more than just the language program’s intensity. if Forumosa members can help me with their prior experience, thank you.

I am an ABC, born in America but my family speaks cantonese. My chinese language abilities are 3 years studying Mandarin in high school, and not really studying since then. i occasionally watch some taiwan dramas but rarely. and now near the end of college, i think its necessary i learn more mandarin before going out into the real world. i won’t be graduating until the end of 2009.

My chinese professor at my college says that i am in the intermediate or high intermediate level in writing but my speaking abilities are very poor, since i don’t have much chance to use it. i did not take college level Mandarin courses, but it seems my 3 years of high school mandarin let me do well on my college’s placement test. i don’t think my written chinese is that great though, because the placement test he gave me was definitely more on the basic side…

pros and cons of both programs

ICLP@National Taiwan University - in the city and from what i gather, a very very intense program. however its shorter - from mid June to mid August.everyone here says the teachers are very qualified and class sizes are tiny. but its expensive. is it worth the money, at the intermediate level, for that short a time? Also, for the short time there, is it possible to just stay in a hostel? i don’t really know if i’d be able to study in a hostel or share rooms with multiple strangers for so many weeks.

CLC@National Cheng Chi University - outside the city and not as intensive. However its almost a 3 month stay. but from previous posters here, teachers are a mixed bag? And others have said in the forums that the students are more varied, so less chance to use english. However being outside the city, what about experiencing city life? Transportation seems to be a big problem for me because i did not get housing at the university dorms, so i will have to find housing for 3 months during the summer quarter. I would rather stay near the city but i am scared that transportation is going to be a pain, as well as finding a place to stay. I am just one college girl and i don’t have family in Taiwan. i have a high school friend, but i don’t think he will be there in Taiwan when i first land.

my dilemma:
I don’t believe my chinese is at the right level to take the ICLP course but considering it is so intensive with better teachers, would it be a better choice academically? National Taiwan University is in the city and i’m definitely sure i would like being in the city, nightlife and all that.

for National Cheng Chi University, i am scared about having to find 3 months housing on my own. i thought of staying at a hostel, but for 3 months??? if i stay near the city, then transportation is 20-30 minutes. although its not as intensive, i would be there for a longer time. (does anyone have any suggestions of which part of the city i should look to stay in?)

HELP?! what do the Forumosa members think? i really appreciate your input. :notworthy:

Hello, I’m afraid I can’t help with your overall question of which place to choose, but just thought I’d mention some things that might be helpful. If ICLP accepted you, then they’ll be able to teach to your level. They now teach complete beginners (in some cases) so it won’t be an issue. They also focus on speaking over written work so if that’s what you’re trying to improve it could work for you. I don’t know anything about your other option I’m afraid, perhaps the longer semester would give you more “in country” time for day-to-day absorption of mandarin.

re: accomodation - did you apply for the ICLP specific dorm accomodation? They have dedicated floors in the new dorm building and I understand getting a room hasn’t been a problem because the dorms only recently became available to ICLP so students were already set for accomodation (although this might not be the case for the summer semester which will have alot of new students). Check out … y&Itemid=8 just in case. It’s pretty reasonable at US$270 a month for a single room, I doubt you’d get a hostel for cheaper.

NCCU is definitely in the city… you’re even closer to 101 than MM. It’s just in a different part of the city, sort of on the way to Keelung. :slight_smile:

There’s high frequency bus service from the MRT zoo station to NCCU.

The NTU campus is nicer, and more closer to city spots, but NCCU is closer to mountain trails and has a non-Taipei city feel like Taichung.

If you can easily afford ICLP & don’t mind “city life” (scooters, traffic, noise, pollution), go there. Location is more convenient for short-term stays & you’d likely get more for your money, although you’d have more work to do. If you’re broke or can’t stand concrete & cars, maybe NCCU would be better. I wasn’t impressed w/facilities at either location, really.

ICLP does placement tests on arrival. Smaller classes = more speaking time, plus private lessons built in to the curriculum, so you get 1-on-1 speaking & can deviate from text more easily if you want to.

You COULD stay at the “International House” in Qizhang (near Xindian, S. end of the Green line MRT), but the facilities weren’t that nice & location is inconvenient. They offer buses to both campuses every morning, but getting back is a hassle & there’s not much nearby. Same $$ for a month there would rent you a room near either campus.

ICLP students can allegedly now stay in NTU dorms & NCCU dorms should be available too (if supposedly crappy). If not, there are more options for apartments near Tai-Da, although they’re a bit more expensive. The NTU campus is very nice & surrounded by buses, MRT, restaurants, etc. Shi-da, Culture University & TLI are all in the same area, so also lots more restaurants, cafes, bars, housing, foreign students, etc.

NCCU campus is more secluded w/better scenery, but is older & the area is DULL. The language center is also at the far end of campus, removed from everything else. NCCU seems to have lots of students from Eastern Europe & other countries outside N. America though, so maybe you’d actually speak more Chinese w/them(?).

Learning Chinese is a marathon. If you overspend early on - in dollars - you may lose your interest and the wherewithal for the Long March. Spend less money and more time (studying).