I’m thinking of taking a gap year from my current job, and staying in Taipei for 1 year, attending language classes at a local University.
I feel that this experience can be strong asset when applying to MBAs, and in an international career in general. It would certainly be a differentiator in any application. About me, I’m 27 and currently have over 3 years of work experience working for Microsoft as a project manager.
Anyways, did any of you follow a similar strategy ? What are some good apartment locations/complexes and what are the top language schools that I could attend.
Please let me know price ranges too, I would like to be in the heart of Taipei. Is 500 a month for an apartment enough ? I am willing to pay much more that than, if the apartments are comfortable and well located (like close to subway)
This was my original plan, too, and it would have worked except that one year is not enough to learn enough Mandarin worth mentioning, really. Even if you work extra hard, most lessons here, with the exception of the special program at Taiwan University that takes 8 hours a day, are only two hours of classtime a day, and outside practice time depends on too many variables. If you only know the basics, there is not much practice you can do with language exchange partners or extra lessons.
So, you have to be more specific and realistic in your goals. Do you want enough Mandarin for basic conversation or you aspire to being able to converse about business topics more fluently? I tried Business Chinese like at the two year mark and it was really hard. Most went over my head.
As you said, this is a significant investment, both in time and money. maybe you can start with the basics in a safe environment back home and then head for Taiwan to get fluent and “get the experience”. Who knows, maybe a job opportunity, with your background, would allow you to have a better grasp of teh language and enrich your curriculum, making you a better MBA and job candidate.
That said, I’d reccomenmd teh program at NCCU, wher eyou have the #1 business school, more international. And now that we are at it, check out the IMBA program. You can get the Chinese language and your MBA at the same time, taking the MBA in English and attending Chinese lessons too -even on a scholarship, as there are many available for foreigners.
Lovely Muzha campus, with hiking trails, bike paths, tea farms, ancient temples and waterfalls nearby…