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OneEye

Mandarin Training Center, National Taiwan Normal University

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Taiwan_Fox
On 9/14/2018 at 1:12 AM, CowTemplar said:

So I've read through many threads and something I find underdiscussed are clubs, sports, and other sorts of recreational activities available for language students. Are these available? Are they easily joinable? Specifically this comment:

 

Quote

 Foreign language students tend to be segregated in a separate building away from local university students. There is little interaction between them and the native student population - you have to actively seek out friendships with locals and actively find activities aimed at local students.

 

kind of worries me because if I'm going to be learning as a student in another country, one of the most important things is being able to interact with local students and perhaps the easiest way to do so is through activities (课外活动). I absolutely love to play soccer and tennis and any school that has an active club for those would probably boost it by 2x appeal in my eyes.

 

Asides from that, this thread has really been fantastic with info and has probably swayed me into doing MTC at NTNU instead of other programs like ICLP and CLD. Thanks to OneEye, etm, and TaiwanFox for posting long paragraphs of your experiences at MTC; believe me when I say I lap up those posts like candy every time I see one as it really helps me make an informed decision on which program to pick.

 

You're welcome. I'd agree that activities would be a great way to meet local students and it's something I want to look at too. It might have been mentioned at the orientation but in truth I've been so busy with class and work that I haven't had much time to explore other activities. There's a big table tennis room next to the gym which is usually packed and I've seen foreigners in there so I'm sure it's possible. 

 

On 9/14/2018 at 11:34 AM, Nnedi Ugo said:

@Taiwan_Fox How neat! I am studying here as well. Just started 2 weeks ago and I am under the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship. Classes are going so well! I started on Book 1 chapter 11. I love the classes here so far! Way better than when I studied Chinese in Shanghai 😊

 

I wish I was on the scholarship! Of the nine students in my class, four have a scholarship - one for a year, two for six months and one for three months. What's your teacher like? 

 

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Nnedi Ugo

@Taiwan_Fox My teacher is cool! She speaks slowly yet clearly, always tend to stick with the vocabulary we know so far (bless her) and does a good job in teaching the class without relying on the book. That was something that really bored me when studying in Shanghai but she makes her own games every week and changes up how we learn the new vocabulary and content in class. It's fun. And it forces us to learn how to use the new material in class. I can't complain :)

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Taiwan_Fox
22 hours ago, Nnedi Ugo said:

@Taiwan_Fox My teacher is cool! She speaks slowly yet clearly, always tend to stick with the vocabulary we know so far (bless her) and does a good job in teaching the class without relying on the book. That was something that really bored me when studying in Shanghai but she makes her own games every week and changes up how we learn the new vocabulary and content in class. It's fun. And it forces us to learn how to use the new material in class. I can't complain :)

 

 

That's good. My teacher is the same that she teaches well without the book, but I do wish that she could mix up the classes with some games or more speaking activities. So far we do too much listening and not enough speaking practice or output. It's not boring but classes could definitely do with some variation. 

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mouse

A general question about costs: the Huayu scholarship is 25,000 TWD per month, a three month stint at MDC is 36,000 TWD for the intensive course. Due to the high rents in Taipei, it seems likely that the scholarship won’t be able to cover the fees and living costs. I’d be curious to know how those of you who’ve been or are there now dealt with this.

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sekkar
6 hours ago, mouse said:

A general question about costs: the Huayu scholarship is 25,000 TWD per month, a three month stint at MDC is 36,000 TWD for the intensive course. Due to the high rents in Taipei, it seems likely that the scholarship won’t be able to cover the fees and living costs. I’d be curious to know how those of you who’ve been or are there now dealt with this.

 

In my opinion it is not enough. I had some friends who survived only on the scholarship money while taking intensive classes so it's not impossible, but you won't have any money left to actually enjoy your stay. No traveling, no trying any food that are not super cheap, no drinking, no study days at coffee shops.

 

Most people spend some of their savings or get support from parents.

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Nnedi Ugo
13 hours ago, sekkar said:
20 hours ago, mouse said:

A general question about costs: the Huayu scholarship is 25,000 TWD per month, a three month stint at MDC is 36,000 TWD for the intensive course. Due to the high rents in Taipei, it seems likely that the scholarship won’t be able to cover the fees and living costs. I’d be curious to know how those of you who’ve been or are there now dealt with this.

 

In my opinion it is not enough. I had some friends who survived only on the scholarship money while taking intensive classes so it's not impossible, but you won't have any money left to actually enjoy your stay. No traveling, no trying any food that are not super cheap, no drinking, no study days at coffee shops.

 

Most people spend some of their savings or get support from parents.

 

I can also attest to this and say that the $25,000 NT they give on a month per month basis is not enough. My situation is slightly different for although I came here months before I started studying, I traveled and used my savings to see Taiwan. Once school began, that money was long gone. I teach English online to make ends meet. I have another friend who does something similar. I am not sure what other scholarship students do, but I would assume from what I have heard, most of them seem to have family members helping them out with the tuition and they pay for the rest of the items with the scholarship stipend. 

 

In terms of rent, I recommend if you decide to come to Taiwan, find a place less than $10,000/month. Anything more is really cutting it and will lessen the amount you have for spending wise. I pay ~$8,500NT a month on rent. But I have seen places for cheaper...for as low as $6,000NT, but a lot of these places may have a small room or no windows. Keep in mind before you come. Most places generally ask for at least 2 months deposit plus first-month rent so be ready to pay for that. Luckily, I was able to find a place where they only asked me to give $3,000NT for deposit. Living on campus isn't an option, unfortunately. I heard on-campus housing is very cheap, but as a language scholarship student, we cannot do such a thing. 

 

I am also a regular student..idk how anyone with the scholarship pays for the intensive courses on that stipend alone. Like @sekkar said, you will have no life. No means to travel anywhere, no trying food over 100NT etc.

 

I hope this helps. 

 

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Nnedi Ugo

If anyone is interested, I did a video on my comparison of studying Chinese in China vs. Taiwan. It's quite long, but very detailed. Maybe this will help someone decide in where they would like to study Chinese. 

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Taiwan_Fox

So I finished my one and only semester at MTC towards the end of November. It's taken a while to get around to posting, but here are my final thoughts. 

 

I'll start by saying that I learnt a lot. I think if you sit in a class for three hours a day, put effort into learning the characters, and do the workbook and textbook exercises then you're guaranteed to progress pretty quickly. It was a full immersion environment and I improved a lot. I can tell because my girlfriend's mother is much warmer towards me now that I can have lengthier conversations with her 😄 

 

That's the good side out of the way. I mentioned quite early into the semester that my teacher didn't do many activities. That did not change. For the duration of the 12 week semester, she filled the time by talking and talking and talking. Some of my classmates had very distinct accents and I'd come to the end of three hour lessons realising I'd hardly heard them speak. Considering there was like 2.5hrs of teaching time, that's poor. I don't want to tarnish the whole school as I can only go by my own teacher, but a school is only as good as its teachers, and mine wasn't great. I'd give her 5.5/10, and that's disappointing when you've forked out 37,000nt of your own money. She explained grammar and vocabulary very well, but in my opinion she was a lazy teacher. I've taught English for the past 2.5 years, and it was easy to see that she didn't put in much prep work into planning. There were hardly any speaking activities to practice the vocabulary or grammar, just her talking. Of the nine students in the class, me and one other were English teachers and I don't think it was a surprise that we were the ones who didn't like her. We were also the only ones paying ourselves (scholarships, parents, etc) and I think we had higher expectations. 

 

I also found the end of term oral exam kind of a joke. We all sat at computers in a room, wearing headsets. The question was asked, and everyone would start talking into their microphones at the same time. It was hard to focus unsurprisingly.

 

Would I recommend it? It's hard to say. I learned quickly but that was almost in spite of the teacher, rather than because of her. Maybe that's harsh, and I know most of the class liked her, but it's just my opinion. Classes became a chore, although I was working too. I think the intensive course was well structured and I like the textbook and workbook so if your teacher is half-decent then maybe it'd be worth the money. 

On 12/2/2018 at 11:30 PM, mouse said:

A general question about costs: the Huayu scholarship is 25,000 TWD per month, a three month stint at MDC is 36,000 TWD for the intensive course. Due to the high rents in Taipei, it seems likely that the scholarship won’t be able to cover the fees and living costs. I’d be curious to know how those of you who’ve been or are there now dealt with this.

 

I didn't get the scholarship, but no, it won't cover the fees and living costs, so you'd have to use some of your savings too, or work (most likely teach English) for cash on the side. The scholarship should be more in all honesty. 

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sekkar
3 hours ago, Taiwan_Fox said:

That's the good side out of the way. I mentioned quite early into the semester that my teacher didn't do many activities. That did not change. For the duration of the 12 week semester, she filled the time by talking and talking and talking. Some of my classmates had very distinct accents and I'd come to the end of three hour lessons realising I'd hardly heard them speak. Considering there was like 2.5hrs of teaching time, that's poor. I don't want to tarnish the whole school as I can only go by my own teacher, but a school is only as good as its teachers, and mine wasn't great. I'd give her 5.5/10, and that's disappointing when you've forked out 37,000nt of your own money. She explained grammar and vocabulary very well, but in my opinion she was a lazy teacher. I've taught English for the past 2.5 years, and it was easy to see that she didn't put in much prep work into planning. There were hardly any speaking activities to practice the vocabulary or grammar, just her talking. 

 

That sounds pretty bad. All the 4 teachers I had gave us plenty of time to speak, both to the whole class and in groups of 2 and 2. I agree that 3 hours a day of just listening to the teacher explain stuff is not worth the money, the best teachers I had spent maybe 1/4 of the class explaining stuff, the rest was activities.

 

I guess that's the problem when you let the teachers decide everything themselves. 

 

3 hours ago, Taiwan_Fox said:

I also found the end of term oral exam kind of a joke. We all sat at computers in a room, wearing headsets. The question was asked, and everyone would start talking into their microphones at the same time. It was hard to focus unsurprisingly.

 

100% agree, impossible to this part of the exam (for me at least). It would be better to not have an oral part than to do it like this.

 

3 hours ago, Taiwan_Fox said:

Would I recommend it? It's hard to say. I learned quickly but that was almost in spite of the teacher, rather than because of her. Maybe that's harsh, and I know most of the class liked her, but it's just my opinion. Classes became a chore, although I was working too. I think the intensive course was well structured and I like the textbook and workbook so if your teacher is half-decent then maybe it'd be worth the money. 

 

As someone who was very satisfied with his classes at MTC I would still say: no, it is not worth it. Most of the progress will come from your own hard work, and in my opinion MTC provides very little of extra value for the premium price you pay.

 

Is this your last semester or will you study more? Did you ever attend any of the "big classes"? I really enjoyed some of those.

 

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Taiwan_Fox
On 1/19/2019 at 9:32 PM, sekkar said:

That sounds pretty bad. All the 4 teachers I had gave us plenty of time to speak, both to the whole class and in groups of 2 and 2. I agree that 3 hours a day of just listening to the teacher explain stuff is not worth the money, the best teachers I had spent maybe 1/4 of the class explaining stuff, the rest was activities.

 

I guess that's the problem when you let the teachers decide everything themselves. 

 

As it should be. Reading about your class just makes me frustrated about how mine turned out. 

 

On 1/19/2019 at 9:32 PM, sekkar said:

As someone who was very satisfied with his classes at MTC I would still say: no, it is not worth it. Most of the progress will come from your own hard work, and in my opinion MTC provides very little of extra value for the premium price you pay.

 

Is this your last semester or will you study more? Did you ever attend any of the "big classes"? I really enjoyed some of those.

 

No I didn't have time to attend any extra classes, and I'm self-studying now. I miss having the grammar explained to me and it's much harder to practice listening, but I can learn all the vocabulary by myself just fine. 

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