Taichung or bust

I’ll try not to be too general…

What if I, a 29 year old Canadian woman, want to spend 3 - 6 mos. (visitor visa) in Taichung? I want to either rent a small clean room or apartment and probably take some Mandarin classes or hire a tutor to continue teaching me Mandarin (I have been learning here at home for one year, the purpose is for me to immerse myself). I don’t have a degree so I don’t think I can work and the task of trying to find a proper school to attend from here is too overwhelming via Internet so I think I’ll begin looking when I get there.

I just want to be able to sleep in a clean/safe room and eat (not a lot) and study for three months. At a minimum, how much money do you think I should bring (CDN)? I’m not interested in night life, don’t really care about travel (as I plan to return to Taiwan at a later time to do that)…I just want to seriously go and study (cram) as much as I can into three months.

Any ideas? PM or reply here…all answers appreciated…even the snarkier ones :wink:

I’d bring at least US$800-$1000 per month of planned stay. Since you don’t have a degree, how will mandarin be useful to you?

Perhaps the gals got to do what the gals got to do.

I’d go with that amount of money but you may want to check on accomodation. It can be difficult getting a three month lease and moving in with foreigners (I’m presuming your Chinese isn’t up to speed to organise other options as yet) doesn’t seem to fit with your plan.

While not advocating it, I’d suggest you could land a job teaching English without a degree just by being a native speaker. It won’t be legal of course and you are running the risk, albeit slight, of being nabbed. But then it would hardly be the first time someone worked illegally :wink:

Good luck.


Just because she doesn’t have a degree doesn’t mean studying Mandarin wouldn’t be useful.

$800-$1000 sounds right. Doctors are pretty cheap here, but I’d look into some sort of travel insurance package just in case. You can always make a little dough with private students on the weekends.

I would say that staying with another foreigner would probably be your best option for accommodation. Do you have any contacts currently here in taichung? As someone else said, it is very hard to get a lease for that short a period of time… even if you do it will probably be more expensive. Staying at a hostel for the first couple of weeks could also be a good way to find your feet…

Personally, I hopped off the plane, and my best friend gave me a key to an appartment… It turns out my friend had been evicted from the place two days before my arrival… I had to buy the security guard a pack of cigarettes every time I went home… Needless to say, that situation didn’t last very long…

Thanks for your tips! I don’t know what a degree has to do with learning another language…I live and work (in a professional environment) in Vancouver and we’re 40% Chinese here so there’s every reason in the world to learn Mandarin! Not to mention that I simply LOVE the language, the culture and the people.

Thanks again all!

Aren’t most of the Canadian Chinese from Hong Kong? Maybe that’s just Vancouver BC, but I thought the big influx was from the PRC takeover in 1997. If so, wouldn’t you be better off learning Cantonese?

Yep, that’s true, there are MANY Cantonese here but where-ever I walk down the street, whenever I get on the bus, go shopping etc., I hear just as much Mandarin as I do Cantonese and I just happen to like the sound of Mandarin better than Cantonese. Plus, Mandarin is more widely spoken universally than Cantonese is. I have met more people from Taiwan or parts of Mainland China other than HK than I have met people from HK…but that’s probably just because I seek out Mandarin-speaking people before Cantonese … can’t practice my Chinese with a Cantonese speaker! Maybe once I have mastered Mandarin, I will move on to Cantonese … I’m starting to like the sound of it more and more anyway…but Mandarin first :wink: … enough babbling.