Studying chinese in Hsinchu, Taiwan and what visa to get?

Hi, Can I please get some advice? We are going to Taiwan in Nov, staying with friends in Hsinchu. We (hubby, and 2 kids 7 and 10 yr) plan to stay for a year for all of us to learn Chinese. But found out that on a visitors visa, can only stay for 2 months at a time. We spoke to Teco here in Australia, maybe can get a multiple entry visa, but still only can stay max 60 days at a time. We explored option of a student visa for both hubby and I but our kids apparently still only gets the visitor visa, so no point in getting the student visa.
So, any advice welcome on how we can stay longer than 2 months? We wanted to find out, if we get to Hsinchu in Nov, then only go and register for classes either at the Chinese Language Center of National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), and the Taipei Language Institute (can anyone recommend other learning centres in Hsinchu?) - is it advisable to do this or should we already be contacting these institutions now to obtain places to avoid not being able to enroll in Nov because classes are full?
Also, for our kids, we plan on putting them in a nearby local school plus get a private Chinese tutor for all of us as well. Any advice on good schools or summer schools? How to find a Chinese tutor?
Also we thought of learning Chinese online via skype but there are so many options out there? Can someone recommend easy online lessons or via skype for kids and for adults?
Also, if we have to do visa runs, which airlines have the cheapest airfares to go to either Malaysia/Singapore or Korea? Maybe China (but we’d need to get a visa).

Alternatively, we could look at getting a work visa as our friend in Taiwan, could hire us to teach English at his summer kids camp? What is involved, does he need to provide a letter of employment or work employment letter or what docs does he need to give us to go to TECO to get the work visa? Do we apply for the work visa in our home country or does my friend in Taiwan obtain it in Taiwan for us. I’d rather not bother my friend to do any running around.

Thanks for your help.

Here is the link to the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ visa page: (http://www.boca.gov.tw/np.asp?ctNode=776&mp=2). As you’ve already found out, in order to stay in Taiwan–and not do visa runs–you’ll need a residence visa/ARC, which is obtained by being a full-time student, having a work permit, or joining Taiwanese family.

I’d suggest contacting the schools now about their schedules and enrollment policies. Many (most/all?) work on a quarter system, and may have more than one track. For example, I’ll be starting at the Tzi Chi University CLC on September 2nd, and the last day to register is August 29th. However, they also have a short-term class that begins on Sept. 30th, with the registration deadline on Sept. 26th. If you missed both of these, then the next class would begin Dec. 2nd (Nov. 28th deadline) or Dec. 30th (Dec. 26th deadline).

The Ministry of Education lists two CLCs in Hsinchu that they accept as student visa-worthy: National Chiao Tung University and Chung Hua University

[quote]Also, for our kids, we plan on putting them in a nearby local school plus get a private Chinese tutor for all of us as well. Any advice on good schools or summer schools? How to find a Chinese tutor?
Also we thought of learning Chinese online via skype but there are so many options out there? Can someone recommend easy online lessons or via skype for kids and for adults?[/quote]

I don’t mean to discourage you at all, because I feel this would be a great opportunity for your family, but I think getting your kids into a local school will prove difficult–if they don’t speak Chinese the school probably won’t know what to do with them. I’m just conjecturing here; I hope those with knowledge/experience will chime in and give you more encouraging information.

If you’re just looking for cheap/convenient, it seems that Hong Kong is the way to go.

Since the Taiwanese employer is normally the party responsible for obtaining a work permit, issuing proof of employment, etc., the information about which documents are required to apply for an employment-based residence visa will most likely be on the Chinese version of the BOCA website. Perhaps your TECO may be able to help you with this. The majority of English teachers arrive in Taiwan with a visitors visa or visa-exempt, and then the employer applies for their work permit. Once you have the work permit, you can then apply for your residence visa/ARC. My feeling is that your friend in Taiwan will need to do much of the legwork, but hopefully others can add more helpful input.

I really hope this works out for you and your family. I know I would have loved this opportunity when I was a child.