Shida help!

In order to study at MTC, shida…they said that you have to submit a transcript from your university…let’s say my marks in uni, weren’t that great at all…like let’s say in the mid 60’s …will SHI DA still accept me as a student? Do your marks count a lot in the admissions process? Thanks!

Well, there is one way to know for sure, try! You could also call them and ask them directly if it will effect being accepted. Personally I doubt they care, but I have never applied there so I don’t know.

Doesn’t matter. They accept everyone who completes the paperwork.

The MTC is a hopeless organisation, and while the classes are satisfactory, the administration department doesn’t know much.

However, since you (I assume) have money with which to pay your school fees, there shouldn’t be any problems regarding your transcript and previous marks… The thing I’ve found with the MTC is that they ask for a whole heap of shit, and it all seems overly complicated and scary, but all they are is a bunch of children playing with Daddy’s brief-case. They think that if they have a lot of paper around concerning this, and that, and how old your mother is etc etc, then somehow, they’re doing their job professionally. (I still don’t understand why I can’t have my blood-test results back, or my original scholarship acceptance, or the rest of the original stuff I sent them to be put in a filing cabinet and never looked at again).

Don’t worry about anything though mate. You’ve got money=they love you. Just apply on time, pay on time, don’t yell at the staff too much, and things will be fine. Some of my marks actually weren’t too good either. :smiley:


Makes no difference. Make sure you get their address right. I had a registered letter correctly addressed in Chinese to the person in control of admissions returned to me because no one collected it. They are incompetent beyond your wildest dreams. And you will be treated like a five-year old. The administrators are surly, unhelpful, and the most patronising bunch of jobsworths you’ll ever come across. However, if you get the right teacher, the classes are as good as could be expected in Taiwan. I was taught Chinese by both native speakers and non-native speakers, in Taiwan and abroad, and I found that the non-native teachers and the native teachers with experience in the West were much better. You may find the teaching style strange - so if you get a good teacher, stick with him/her.

Before I came to Taiwan, I’d heard all about Shida being the place to study, so as soon as I arrived I made a beeline to check it out and sign up. Their arrogant and dismissive manner so offended me that I instantly revised my plans and went elsewhere for my Chinese classes. Thank goodness I did! The many awful stories that I’ve heard about the place in ensuing years have far outnumbered the few positive remarks about it. Anyway, there are plenty of good places to study Chinese here, which will welcome you with open arms and admit you at your convenience on condition only that you pay the fees. So in my opinion, your best first step would be to give Shida a very wide berth.

I disagree. I studied at Shida for 2 and a half years in the early 90s. and thought they did a very good job of teaching me to read and write Chinese. I highly recommend it. No the teaching was not that great, but the point is that if you sit in class with a Chinese text in front of your face for 2 hours every day you will learn to read and write Chinese. The administration is maddeningly bureaucratic, but hey, that’s part of life in Taiwan.

Speaking will take care of itself out of the classroom if you put a little effort into it. It just takes time.

i’m currently at shida. while it’s widely acknowledged that the administration is annoying and unhelpful, most of the people i know who study here really like it. i’ve known a few who’ve come from other buxibans and what not and they prefer shida. it does depend a lot on what your teacher’s like. a bad teacher can really ruin the experience. anyway, i’ve experienced almost no negatively of the type that omni seems to exude. maybe omni and his friends who hate shida just hung out in their own crowd, but i’ve only met 1 or 2 random people who were so pissed off that they had to fill out a form for this or pay nt$50 for that that it tainted their whole experience.

maybe you can elaborate on what horror stories you’ve heard about shida that turned out to be true, omni.

also, i cannot imagine a better place to meet new people when you’re new to taiwan. unless you take classes late at night when noone’s around, it’s a very college-like atmosphere where it’s incredibly easy to make new friends amongst the other students.

i guess if the quality of the ADMINISTRATION is more important to you than the quality of education or the atmosphere, then shida might not be for you.

I studied at Shida for six months two years ago. My reading and writing ability progressed quickly but my speaking ability progressed slowly because the emphasis at Shida is on the former. My priority is learning to speak and understand but I stayed at Shida because of the quality of the teacher I had there: SUN laoSHI.

The big disappointment for me though and what I didn’t learn until I was three months into the program is that Shida teaches traditional Chinese characters but mainland China and much of the rest of the Chinese-speaking world (apparently) uses the simplified form.

I learned this when I went to Shanghai on business and had trouble recognizing characters that I’d thought I’d learned.

I like the simplified form better because, to me, it’s more efficient and easier to learn, being. well, simplified.

I learned further that I had become an unwitting pawn in a great cultural war between Taiwan and China. It seems simplified character forms are a Communist plot to sever ties with the traditional past and that the extra effort required to learn the traditional character set is regarded as a patriotic duty here. I don’t mean to belittle this concept because there is a great deal of background that I don’t begin to know and understand but I just wasn’t prepared to sacrifice myself in the struggle.

I’ll figure that one out later.

I consequently left Shida and am studying on my own with the help of my wife and friends. I currently believe TLI, given my priorities, has the right emphasis of all the language schools in Taiwan though its teacher quality is uneven and I’ve had trouble getting evening classes there at my current level.

There is a huge debate on this somewhere on the boards. The best ploy (unfortunately) is to learn both. Once you’ve got bored with the debate on which is better, there is the romanisation debate to get into. Also somewhere on these boards. I have seen people actually fight over these issues. I am not joking. In 1993 I witnessed two foreigners in Cheers on Shi Da road actually pushing and shoving each other over short / long form characters !!!


I learned Simplified first and am struggling with Traditional now. It might actually be better the other way round, looks like it’s easier to switch from Traditional to Simplified. I still think as long as you live in Taiwan, it does make sense to study Traditional. And when you plan on moving to China, knowing your Traditional Chinese can be an advantage, too. Besides, it’s quite popular in China to use Traditional Characters (though I believe it’s still forbidden by law). So you’d better not give up on that.

IMHO Hanyu Pinyin is a very useful romanization, but since you’re here already, studying Zhuyin Fuhao might also be helpful. Don’t miss the chances you have by studying here! You can always forget about the stuff later :wink:

However, Hexuan is right, there have been fierce discussions on that. Maybe you could check the archives.


Boy, was that close. Thanks for the warning. I’ll be sure and duck if I see any wild-eyed language teachers or translators coming my way.

I don’t think I’ve got the luxury of learning both systems. I’m a business guy and product designer so language is a necessity for me, not a vocation or avocation. I’ve got limited time to devote to acquiring new skills in it.

Which is the more pragmatically useful if you have to choose to master one form or the other, man-piggily speaking?

To be honest I would go for long form because I find the additional information contained in some of the characters helps me identify them easier. Make sure you learn the radicals, their meanings, and different forms. However, there are only 600-odd characters in common use which have been simplified. I think.

This is not exactly a ringing endorsement. I studied there too in the nineties and found it to be a completely mixed bag. Some of my teachers were mediocre, one was very good and the others were not even what I’d call teachers. If the point is to sit in class with a Chinese text in front of your face for 2 hours every day and somehow learn Chinese, then there are cheaper places to do that. I recommend Shida for anyone with a scholarship that allows them to take classes at no charge and includes a stipend but not for anyone who is using their hard-earned (or otherwise)money. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not slagging the 2-hour-book-in-the-face method, but it can be had for less than the cost of Shida.

It seems that ShiDa has been coasting on its reputation for years. Wipt is correct in pointing out that their methods aren’t great and can be had elsewhere for less. The one thing that they emphasize more than others is writing and if that’s your gig, you might be happy with them.

IMO the emphasis on writing allows them to mask the fact that they don’t have such great teaching methods. It’s pretty easy to just get students to write things and then correct their papers. Tingxie is a great time killer.

And why waste your time on the aspect of language that you will use the least? Reading, listening and speaking are so much more important.

Let me put it another way: Most people who go to Shida for a reasonable length of time (two years or so) ends up with excellent Chinese. The less expensive programs don’t have such a good track record. When I studied there, everybody complained about the same things–byzantine administration and poor teaching. However, the results speak for themselves.

Most of the people who complained the loudest were those who imposed an unrealistic time schedule on their efforts to learn Chinese and were always blaming their difficulties with Chinese on somebody else. Learning Chinese isn’t that easy. It takes time and effort. But you have to learn it yourself, not sit around and wait for that ideal teacher who is going to do everything for you. If you are reasonable patient and put in a bit of effort, Shida is an excellent place to do it.

And then there are the scholarships. Let me let you in on a little secret. The scholarships are mainly based on seniority and attendance. If you study there for a year and never miss class, you are likely to get one.

Chessman: I agree with you about the writing as being less useful than the other skills. But if you don’t learn to write, you will probably never learn to read very accurately. Tingxie is wonderful. It forces you to combine your listening skills with your writing skills. It’s just too bad they don’t make you do tingxie with pinyin for the first year and never let you look at a character. But that’s another argument.

Quote from Flipper: “maybe you can elaborate on what horror stories you’ve heard about shida that turned out to be true, omni.”

The worst horror of all must have been that dreadful business that erupted a few years back when the new director launched extraordinary verbal attacks on the foreigners studying there and was apparently intent on getting the place closed down in pursuit of some personal agenda of his. Weren’t a lot of the best teachers unceremoniously sacked at that time, and didn’t many of the students come out in open rebellion? Perhaps someone who was involved could refresh our memories as to what went on. And what was the final upshot of it all? I was only an outside observer, reading about it in the press, and don’t recall having seen reports of the denouement. At the time, it semed to confirm all my worst impressions of Shida.

Anyone know what the class times are?

I THINK it’s M-F 6:30-9pm. Not too sure tho…