Just wondered if anyone knows if it’s OK to study when visiting Taiwan on the 30-day Visa-exempt option?
By study, I mean taking private lessons at one of the language schools like TLI?
I couldn’t find a list of rules anywhere for what you can and cannot do on the visa-exempt option.
I am thinking that next year I would like to take 3 or 4 months of lessons. I don’t mind hopping over to HKG or Tokyo for a few days each month, but is this likely to cause me any problems when I am coming back to Taiwan (i.e. with 3 or 4 visa-free entries one after another)?
Also, if I was asked by immigration why I was visiting so much, would taking private chinese lessons, or just trying to learn chinese, be an acceptable reason? (Another reason is that I would be visiting and staying with a Taiwanese family who are close friends.)
BTW I don’t want to or need to work while I’m in Taiwan and I don’t want to join a “proper” university course, as they don’t fit with my timing, and I’m probably not eligible anyway.
TLI has courses you can set up as 1 on 1…if you can build a small group the cost of tuition will be less.
Chinese Culture University is a good option too. 1 on 1 is 500 NT an hour…a bit pricey but most one on one’s will be. My first semester at CCU we had a girl from the US who was visiting her brother for only one month, she paid half tuition to study for just a month rather than the entire semester. (16000 NT = 1 semester).
Shop around, there are also smaller language centers where you might be able to have monthly classes.
If you know you will be staying for 3 months, why not just apply for a Visitor Visa? Have your Taiwanese friends apply as your sponsor and show you have enough money to survive here without working. Then you dont have to do pesky visa runs.
I may check out some of the other language schools. I’ve been using TLI already, and on the whole it’s been a fairly good experience (I am paying about 320 NTD per 50mins - buying quite a big block of lessons). Their new (2006) text book is pretty good in that it includes both pinyin and BPMF (I wanted to use pinyin), and the explanations of grammar points are (mostly) fairly clear. With all these places, I guess it’s mainly down to who you get as a teacher (and how much work you put in yourself!) as to how well you get on.
The visa-free info is good to hear. Although a visitor visa sounds as though it would be quite straightforward, I’m not too concerned about having to leave for a few days every month, as I will welcome a bit of a break after 4 weeks of lessons!