Mastering Chinese: A Guide to Learning Mandarin in Taiwan

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Have you ever wanted to learn Mandarin Chinese? As an English speaker, it’s one of the hardest languages to learn and it can take years. The best way to learn Chinese quickly and thoroughly is in an immersive environment, so it’s common for people to go abroad for their studies. 

Although there are numerous countries to study overseas, one of the best places to learn Mandarin Chinese is in Taiwan, and we’ll have a hard look at why.

The best way to learn Chinese is through immersion. Although it’s possible to learn Chinese online, nothing compares to in-person practice in one of the most common countries for Chinese language learning. 

Taiwan

A popular destination to study is in Taiwan. Learning Mandarin in Taiwan is common for many reasons. Taiwan is one of the safest countries in the world, in addition to being a healthy and stable democracy. People also study Chinese in Taiwan because of its low cost of living and excellent infrastructure.  

Learning Chinese in Taiwan has many benefits. The government of Taiwan is very supportive of foreigners who want to learn Mandarin Chinese and there are many programs and scholarships available for Chinese language learning. 

China 

Mandarin is the official language of China, making it an obvious choice for anyone wanting to learn Mandarin Chinese. There are many Chinese language learning programs available, and it’s about as safe as studying Mandarin in Taiwan. 

Singapore 

Singapore is a safe place and popular destination for students wanting to learn Mandarin Chinese. It’s a modern country but the cost of living can be high. It’s also important to consider that English is one of four official languages in Singapore, and it’s used widely, so you may struggle to learn Mandarin Chinese without that immersive experience. 

Malaysia 

Malaysia is a good place for anyone looking to learn Mandarin Chinese. The cost of living is low and Chinese language learning programs are plentiful. As with Singapore, Chinese is widespread but is only one of the official languages spoken. Unlike learning Chinese in Taiwan, living in Malaysia comes with some safety considerations and the infrastructure quality varies widely. 

Hong Kong 

Hong Kong is a popular destination to learn Mandarin Chinese in addition to Cantonese. Like Singapore, Hong Kong is a bustling, modern city popular with expats, but the cost of living can be quite high.

Where is the Best Place to Learn Mandarin in Taiwan?

If you’ve decided to learn Chinese in Taiwan, you’ve made a great choice! Fortunately, there are many Mandarin schools in Taiwan and plenty of variety to suit your needs. These are some of the most popular organizations to study Mandarin in Taiwan. 

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) at National Taiwan Normal University

MTC was founded in 1956, and it’s one of the oldest and best programs to learn Chinese. Tuition varies depending on the Chinese language learning program you choose, with 2 hours per week costing as low as 9,600 NT ($300 USD) monthly. To learn Chinese in Taiwan at MTC, you need to send in your application documents, pay tuition, then take a placement test in person.

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI)

TMI is another popular Mandarin school in Taiwan. They have been offering Chinese language learning courses since 2009. Intensive courses start at 7,900 NT ($250 USD) per week, while combination courses with one-on-one lessons are a higher price. Anyone wishing to study Mandarin in Taiwan at TMI can send them an email to start the application process. 

Live the Language (LTL) Mandarin School

LTL was founded in Beijing in 2007 before setting up a Mandarin school in Taiwan. Tuition prices vary depending on your needs but one month of small group classes is as little as 8,700 NT ($280 USD). Unfortunately, the only way to apply for a class is in-person in Taiwan. 

Taipei Language Institute (TLI)

TLI expanded in 1958, making it one of the oldest Mandarin schools in Taiwan. Tuition is as low as 18,000 NT ($580 USD)  for a full term of evening classes, and the courses can be customized to suit your needs. They have branches in three different cities, and you can use their website to start the application process. 

University Courses

There are over 50 Chinese Language Centers associated with universities in Taiwan. To find out more about learning Chinese in Taiwan at a university, check out the Taiwan Mandarin Educational Resource Center and research the best school and program for you.

How Do I Learn Mandarin Chinese?

Practice with native speakers

One of the best ways to learn Chinese is to practice with native speakers. It gives you an experience that a classroom or online course can’t compete with. 

Watch and listen more

If you are studying Chinese in Taiwan or anywhere abroad, take advantage of the immersive language environment. Pay close attention to your surroundings and make note of signs, announcements, and people talking around you. 

Learn pinyin and Chinese characters

If you are attending a Chinese language learning course in China, you most likely will learn simplified Chinese. If you study in Taiwan, you will learn traditional Chinese characters. This is one of the biggest challenges to learning Mandarin Chinese so lots of practice writing and reading will help you. 

Focus on grammar

If you want to learn Mandarin Chinese, grammar is a key component. While learning vocabulary and pronunciation is important, Chinese grammar can be challenging for English speakers and understanding the grammar rules will help you immensely. 

Travel or study abroad

You can always learn Chinese online, but the best way to learn Chinese is in an immersive environment. Consider studying in a foreign country where the official language is Chinese, and you will accelerate your studies.

How Long Will It Take to Learn Mandarin Chinese?

It’s common to wonder how long it takes to learn Mandarin Chinese. Someone with a high aptitude and some existing proficiency can become fluent in as little as 50 weeks, while others can take up to 4 years of Chinese language learning.   

There are two widely recognized tests for Chinese proficiency: the HSK, which is used in China, and the TOCFL, which would be more useful if you chose to work or study in Taiwan. The level you achieve in either test will depend on how long you’ve studied for and how frequently. 

For example, an intermediate level of both HSK and TOCFL can be achieved in as little as four semesters. To achieve an advanced TOCFL level 6 (HSK level 9), you may need to study more than two years at two or three lessons each week.

Find Jobs in Taiwan While Studying Mandarin Chinese

People often ask, ’can I work in Taiwan as a student?’ On a student visa in Taiwan, you can work up to 20 hours per week. Others choose to work full time and study Chinese in Taiwan in their free time. This makes Taiwan an ideal place to work and learn Mandarin Chinese. 

If you are looking to work and study in Taiwan, you’ll need an effective resume to find the right position. CakeResume’s resume builder is a great tool for making a strong CV and successfully lands the job you want. 

One way to find a job before you arrive is to use online job portals like CakeResume. With many Taiwan-based job postings every day, you can access the site in multiple languages and filter your job search with components like salary, seniority, and company.

Conclusion

If you’re interested in learning Mandarin Chinese, a great place to study is in Taiwan. With a variety of programs and schools available, as well as the opportunity to live in an immersive environment, learning Mandarin in Taiwan is a great option. Many people choose to fund their studies abroad by finding a job, and Taiwan is a great place to live and work. Check out the resume builder and job search portal on CakeResume for more ideas.

With CakeResume, a free resume builder, we provide you with hundreds of good resume templates (free download) and various resume format examples that help showcase the best you. Landing your dream job will be a piece of cake!

--- Originally written by Tiffany Quinn ---

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