I want to work full time (20 or so hours p/week+ misc. prep time etc) in Taipei teaching english , but I’m not sure I can devote the time and energy to learn mandarin at the same time in a reasonable amount of time. Maybe I could do a year at ntsu then move over to ntu if I can get results sooner there, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to work while attending ntu. Also their prices are basically a deal breaker. I want to know mandarin because of how important the chinese-speaking world is becoming, but I’m not sure how much of my life I’m willing to devote to it. Should I have the experience of living and working in Taiwan for a year or so, but give chinese a pass?
Five to ten years should do nicely.
So I am already in Taiwan for basically the same reason as you only I didn’ do a whole lot of research. A few things to keep in mind, in Hong Kong they speak Cantonese not Mandarin, in Shanghai they speak Shanghainese so where in the world are you going to be conducting buisness ? In Taiwan they teach you traditional Chinese while in other places they use simplified Chinese.
Next learning Chinese is nothing like learning English/French/Persian(Farsi) heck I thought Japanese was easier even though they had 3 different alphabets. The grammar is a pain in the ass and yeah I am indeed bitter after studying Mandarin for 3 months. You want to work at the same time as you go to school ? good luck, teaching english means you are spending that much less time immersed in Taiwan which is the main reason you are thinking of coming here for right ?
On the plus side there are a lot of fun things to do in Taipei, I personally like the people I have met, learning Mandarin however is a lot more difficult than I anticipated.
Finally you didn’t say if you are currently working or if you had just graduated from college, I would be very weary of just taking off from work for a year, but if you have just finished college by all means give Taiwan a try, you can always go back or try a different country.