I attended Tzu Chi’s CLC from 9/2013 to 3/2014. I don’t think you need to worry about being pushed.
The class I was assigned to, based on the placement test ,was too advanced for me, so on the 3rd day of class I switched to the next level down. You have one week to check out which level is right for you.
Our class was in the middle of Practical Audio Visual Chinese (PAVC) book 2. In addition to having a vocabulary/grammar quiz almost every day, our daily homework consisted of writing a journal entry, as well as explaining/relating a Tzi Chi or other Chinese aphorism. Each day one of the students would present their aphoism explanations orally to the class. Our teacher rarely used English in class. Once a week we had a more relaxed culture day with a different teacher.
The next quarter I had a different teacher and we went through the first half of PAVC 3. We didn’t have quite as much writing homework in that class, but we seemed to have more difficult tests, as well as a final presentation that included interviewing two local business owners and making an audio visual presentation to the class. Of course, this was all in Chinese.
What you get out of the class of course depends on what you put into it, as well as using the language outside of class. Tzu Chi has official outside activities about once a month (ours included calligraphy, martial arts, Moon Festival, and volunteering at an elementary school for disadvantaged kids), and other get togethers that the students and/or teachers might arrange.
All in all I think it’s a good program. You never know about how individual students will affect the class dynamics, but that’s always an unknown.
I forgot to mention that they’ll also arrange a language exchange with a Tzu Chi student. It’s supposed to be once a week, but you’re free to alter it.
The campus itself is tranquil, as would be expected, and has some strict rules for those living in the dorms. I lived off campus and had my own scooter, which I highly recommend for easily getting out to see the beauty of Hualian, and even Taidong.
Feel free to send me a pm or ask here if you have any other questions.