So I am moving to Taiwan in August to become one of the many Bushibaners. My question is: Does anybody know where I would be able to find Taiwanese roommates? My whole goal in coming is to master Chinese and I think living with locals would be the best way to do that. Are there places I can search online before I come?
Check the Forumosafieds.
or check noticeboards around the universtities
What is Bushibaners?
Maybe TSUEI MA MA Foundation for Housing and Community Service:
So I’m guessing I will need the help of someone who speaks chinese? I check the forumosafieds often, but I think most of those ads are foreigners just like myself. I’m not moving to Taiwan to be surrouned by other westerners and constantly speaking english. bushibaner = term I made up for someone that works in a buxiban.
Caveat emptor. I almost moved in with a girl with an abnormal fear of cats. I wound up living with a psychotic woman and her 36-year-old animal-abusing male puppet who made me pay half the rent (for three people in a three-bedroom apartment) and over half the utilities…simply because I was a foreigner so supposedly I made more money teaching English than an engineer and, well, never figured out what the woman did at TVBS, but I have ideas . Anyways, they were the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as roommates go for me. As I said, caveat emptor.
You want to make sure you don’t have to speak English, move in with someone learning Chinese who doesn’t speak English. Besides, most Taiwanese people who are looking for foreign roommates aren’t looking to improve your Chinese as much as improve their English so it’s not exactly the way to go.
Virtually ANY Taiwanese who’d be willing to live with a foreigner will speak English or will be looking to improve their English. You really want to teach all day, then come home and … teach again?
If you want to immerse yourself in Chinese, stay away from the big cities. Its that simple. Live in a small town and you’ll have no option but to speak Chinese. Of course you won’t have much of a social life, but them’s the choices, usually.
Well the plan was to learn Mandarin, and from what I understand Taiwanese is spoken outside of the big cities. Wouldn’t it be useless to learn if my plans weren’t to confine myself to Taiwan?
you might want to read some more of the forums here to get a feel for the place before you come up with generalizations.
Taiwan is a big place opportunity-wise.
Most people can speak Mandarin, even in the boonies. They’ll use it to speak to you because they certainly won’t expect you to be anywhere near intelligent enough to master Taiwanese. Which is why they’ll use it to speak about you “behind your back” in your direct presence. Takes a bit of getting used to. But you’ll find it takes REAL effort to avoid using English in, for example, Taipei.
Also, you say you’re coming to teach English, yet your main goal is to learn Chinese and avoid English situations. Teaching English, almost your entire time will be spent using English, to both staff and students. Most of your colleagues will be English speakers.
Why not REALLY make learning Chinese your goal and enrol in a school or university? You’ll still be legally allowed to do some teaching.
[quote]you might want to read some more of the forums here to get a feel for the place before you come up with generalizations.
Taiwan is a big place opportunity-wise.[/quote]
I may be a newcomer as far as posting goes, but I have been reading through this forum for about 6 months. So those generalizations I didn’t simply make up, but instead I got from you the other posters. As far as enrolling in a university I wouldn’t be able to support myself like that. I am fairly good at avoiding English if I have to. I have, in fact, already studied a number of Romance languages (Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian) through self immersion. My ability in those languages will attest to the efficiency of this method. So in order not to get off topic…I just want roommates that I will be able to converse with in Chinese. I think the post about roommates that don’t speak English but are learning Chinese was an excellent suggestion. It’s good to know that most people speak Mandarin outside of the cities. Thanks for the help!
I think that if you do live outside of Taipei, you will learn far more Chinese. I know a lot of people in the south of Taiwan who take lessons professionally or through language exchanges, and they use their Chinese a lot here. Not so many people speak English where I live, so the opportunity to use Chinese all of the time is there.
Just keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to have local roommates to learn good Chinese. There are other ways, too.