Full time Chinese in Taichung?

I have nearly completed a year of teaching now and I am looking at ways of improving my Chinese because that is the main reason that I came to Taiwan and I feel that this year hasn’t been as successful as I would have liked.

Anyway moving on I have a few questions about studying Chinese full time in Taiwan (Taichung) for one year.

I would like to be in Taichung because most of my friends are there so that is the reason for the place but I have a few questions. Are other cities a better option though? What are the options in Taichung?

Is studying Chinese full time a good use of my time? I am willing to work hard and concentrate on it without the stress of the teaching job but I understand that I will not be earning any money. I could barely afford it but it’s going to cost a lot of money to do this. I want to be at a decent level at the end of the year not still be a beginner and £5000 down! It’s a year loss of earnings but I think it’s worth it for a skill as useful as this. Coupled with my degree could lead onto better things.

So the other thing is scholarships. Would I at 24 and a British citizen be eligable for any of them? If so what are the methods of application and the information for them?

Thanks in advance for your help.

I’m sorry that I can’t answer the other questions but I thought I could give you a link to probably the best scholarship you can get for going there. The Huayu Enrichment Scholarship: http://english.moe.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=6777&CtNode=10634&mp=1. You’re over 18 and I assume you have a secondary school diploma. Read the rest of the criteria but I’m pretty sure you’re eligible for applying.

Thanks for that information. It is very helpful.

Technically if you’re under a student visa, then you’re not allowed to work in Taiwan. Full time study at any of the university language centers in Taichung is only 15 hours a week, which means you’ll have a lot of free time on your hand.

On the other hand, teaching jobs that provide an ARC usually only require you to work 20 hours a week, still leaving a lot of free time to learn Chinese on the side (which is allowed). So a combination of full time employment plus full time learning Chinese would be around 35 hours a week - still less time than you would spend at a full time job in a western country.

For income, working 20 hours a week should net you just under $50 000 NT a month, while full time language study costs around $8000 NT a month, so you’d still have plenty of money left over after your tuition expenses.

If you’re interested, my own company teaches Chinese online or from our office here in Taichung. (Several Forumosans use our service). We also handle the online component for one of the local university language centers so we’re quite familiar with the process. PM me for more info.

Thanks for the reply.

I have already been teaching English and learning Chinese this year. I feel pretty run down with the experience and maybe this is due to some other factors as well but I would like to just have a year of study. I don’t plan on working next year just studying! It’s time to get serious about the Chinese!

Hi there

I am an experienced Mandarin teacher in Taichung. I used to teach in England for several yearsl. If you ever wanted the help with One-on-One Mandarin lesson, please PM me.

As you mentioned that you are leaving employment at th moment, I might be able to offer you the cheaper deal than those at language schools.:slight_smile:

Might be a bit late applying for the next semester. You’d need to check enrollment dates. Also visa conditions etc. Sorry might be raising questions you’ve already considered.

Looks to be 5 universities in Taichung http://english.moe.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=9693&CtNode=417&mp=1, though I only know Tunghai and Providence. The Tunghai program’s not bad - heard it may be one of the better ones on offer in Taiwan. Not sure about the Providence standard. Think it’s a fair bit cheaper though. Heard of Feng Chia, no idea what their program is like, haven’t heard of the other two. Oh regardless of where you go you’ll pretty much have to put up with the confusion of American misspelling/terminology :slight_smile:

My understanding is that Taichung is the best option for living - Taipei’s rainy most of the time and it’s crowded with foreign students wanting to learn [strike]English[/strike] Chinese. Also lots of people wanting to practice their English or so I’ve read. Then there’s the fact it’s more expensive to live there. Kaohsiung is a little warm in summer and while there’s not many foreign students wanting to learn Chinese, there’s also not so many Mandarin speakers - more Taiwanese. Hualien might be nice but the uni seems a little odd - it’s been a while since I wore a school uniform!!! Okay that may only apply to the regular uni students, still queer.

Whether it’s a good use of your time is a question only you can answer. What exactly are you trying to achieve? Okay still trying to answer that one myself :slight_smile: What level are you already at? Can you converse in basic sentences or do you just gesture? I was told the first year is the hardest, things get “easier” once you progress past the basics. Still not managed that myself - guess I’m just a slow student? As I recall a teacher said it takes a couple of years full time study to make it worth while.

I know the Huayu scholarship was mentioned but you’d need to check eligibility. If you’re already studying you’re not eligible and the cutoff is February I think. There are probably also uni specific scholarships but you’ll need 6-12 months of study and high grades to be eligible.

Hope this helps.

[quote=“GiantDave”]I have nearly completed a year of teaching now and I am looking at ways of improving my Chinese because that is the main reason that I came to Taiwan and I feel that this year hasn’t been as successful as I would have liked.

Anyway moving on I have a few questions about studying Chinese full time in Taiwan (Taichung) for one year.

I would like to be in Taichung because most of my friends are there so that is the reason for the place but I have a few questions. Are other cities a better option though? What are the options in Taichung?

Is studying Chinese full time a good use of my time? I am willing to work hard and concentrate on it without the stress of the teaching job but I understand that I will not be earning any money. I could barely afford it but it’s going to cost a lot of money to do this. I want to be at a decent level at the end of the year not still be a beginner and £5000 down! It’s a year loss of earnings but I think it’s worth it for a skill as useful as this. Coupled with my degree could lead onto better things.

So the other thing is scholarships. Would I at 24 and a British citizen be eligable for any of them? If so what are the methods of application and the information for them?

Thanks in advance for your help.[/quote]

Thanks for the information! I will be trying for the summer start.

Looking forward to the challenge of making it all work and thanks for your post!

I think you are making a very smart choice in deciding to stop working and focus on studying Chinese. I’m not sure how far along you are yet, but since you have already studied, you probably speak better than you read and write although you know a few hundred characters. I would strongly suggest that you insist on enrolling in a class that is ‘below’ your level. In other words, one in which you already know about 80-90% of the characters. You will be able to focus on 10-20% of the characters you don’t know and on grammar and usage without being overwhelmed by having to learn huge numbers of characters each week. Don’t worry, you will learn plenty this way and it will be more fun. It will also make getting the scholarships easier–if things are the still the same as when I had them, perfect attendance is probably be the most important factor followed by reasonably good grades and (unfortunately) nationality.

I would suggest going to Donghai if possible. It’s Taiwan’s best liberal arts college and the people will be more interesting in general.

However, if I were you, I’d consider Tainan and just visit my friends in Taichung on the weekend with all my free time.

[quote=“GiantDave”]Thanks for the information! I will be trying for the summer start.

Looking forward to the challenge of making it all work and thanks for your post![/quote]

I would look for a school in Taichung that would sponser your visa with your working 12-15 hours. It can be done if you look around. Then at least you will earn enough to pay your basic expenses.