Wenzao college. What's the word about it?

Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages

Anyone heard of it or has learned Mandarin there? Not too many details on the site itself and they appear to be somewhat lenient when it comes to requirements, at least compared to real universities. Something that caught my eye is that you could pay the tuition by credit card and forward the application form by email. At least that’s what’s written on the site.

If you’re just going to learn Chinese, I’d say give it a try. If you want to pursue a degree, I’d stay away from it. There are only a handful of schools in Taiwan that are internationally accredited (NTU, NTCCU, and I think Fu Jen). So, a degree from this Wenzao place would be pretty worthless (maybe even in Taiwan). One of the big problems with Taiwanese universities, and why more of them aren’t internationally accredited (even NTNU isn’t!) is because of a lack of research and academic development. I think this is a serious problem and not fair to many Taiwanese students whose degrees become worthless if they want to continue their studies abroad.

Um…how do all these students gain admission to grad school in the US, then, if their degrees are not recognized? Are you sure about what you’re saying here?

(Not saying that Wenzao is a particularly good or bad choice, but I’ve known plenty of grad students in the US who did not graduate from the handful of schools you’ve listed for their undergraduate degrees, and were seemingly having no problem having their degrees recognized.)

Now, whether a degree from Wenzao would do you any good (i.e., be recognized by the public or by potential employers) is another question.

Of course it depends on what school they’re going to. The Taiwanese students I met in the States who were doing grad work had done their undergrad work in the States as well, though. I suppose you’re right, though, you’ll most likely be able to find somewhere to do grad work regardless of where your B.A. is from, but from what I’ve been told by my professors, the top schools will consider international accreditation. This was one of the deciding factors for me in choosing NTU as opposed to other schools like Tamkang, Tunghai, NTNU, etc. (based on the advice of my professors back in the States).

Dunno…I did my first round of graduate study at U Texas - Austin, and there were plenty of students there who weren’t from the “short list”. UT is generally considerd a pretty good school – not really a place you would have to resort to because others would not recognize your degree.

The only example of something like this that I’m aware of is the school of divinity (I think that’s what they call it, or something lke that) at Fujen, which has never managed to get accredited by the Ministry of Ed here in Taiwan. That means they can’t actually grant degrees, although most of the students going through are priests anyway so I guess it doesn’t matter so much. There are probably other examples throughout Taiwan.

Anyway, was the original poster asking about degree study or simply Chinese language study at Wenzao? That’s another question, I guess.

No school of divinity (be it Buddhist, Christian, or whatever) is accredited here. A clause in Taiwan accrediting regulations basically rules out in principle the possibility of accrediting degrees from a department which teaches one particular religious tradition, as opposed to religion in general. (Perhaps they did not want to be put in the position of determining if a school’s coverage of, say, Trinitarian economy was adequate.)

There is no such thing as “international accreditation.” U.S. schools have regional accreditation, at least if they’re any good, and then there are some national accrediting boards for specific subjects such as business. British schools (and others in that system) have a charter from the government. Admissions departments will look up your school in a big book, to see if it’s on their list.

It’s indeed just to study Chinese for about a year. Kaohsiung doesn’t have that many options as in Taipei, so thus far I narrowed it down to Wenzao and TLI. The latter have an evening class – should it open – that would go well with work, as from what I understand it’s better to leave the day light hours free. Through Wenzao, on the other hand, one can get an ARC and health insurance. Hopefully both have proper chinese instruction, or is it going to be a gamble? I do want to show some decent chinese skills after a year.

Define “decent skills”… :shock:

After a year?? From a school, I mean?

That’s a good question. After reading quite a lot about the subject, here, it just leaves me confused as to what to expect. Some say all the schools are the same and the real school is outside, on the street, so it doesn’t matter that much at all. You tell me, what should I expect?

My answer (which I’m afraid won’t be much help, since it’s really a non-answer): It depends.

It depends on your native ability, and on how hard you work, and how long you persist at it, and whether you like it, and whether you use good study techniques. It’s also easy to forget stuff, so remember that the minute you stop going forward, you’re probably going backward.

The result is that for any definable goal (say, being able to order food, or read a newspaper), the amount of time one person needs will be two or three times as much (or little) as the next guy.

I’ve found that “the street” (or, the girlfriend) is best for developing conversation skills, but it’s easy to neglect reading and especially writing. A class can push you to keep doing unnatural things like writing essays.

Thanks for the replies and insights, especially for Screaming Jesus’s suggestion to have two girlfriends – one to communicate with verbally and the other by writing – for this would surely be the best way to improve one’s Chinese :wink:

Anyhow, as people tend to compare Kaohsiung to a specific orifice, I’ve decided to drop the idea.