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Learning Mandarin in China or Taiwan?


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I'm planning to learn Mandarin starting from this fall, though my first choice would be in Taiwan, I only have friends and family who went to Shanghai and Beijing to learn Mandarin, so they're pushing their ideas of going to China instead of Taiwan.

I hope there's somebody here that's been to these 2 countries to learn Mandarin.

Taiwan is my main choice because it seems more chill to live there, my choice of school now is NTNU MTC in Taipei and Tunghai in Taichung. I might have problem to travel around Taichung since I don't know how to ride a scooter, anybody has any inputs on this?

Meanwhile in China, I feel it'd be more hectic and crazy (I'm coming from a city that's quite busy and fast paced.)

I've heard good things about UIBE and BCLC in Beijing.

Which city do you think has a better environment to learn Mandarin?

And how much is the different of tuition and living cost between Taipei and Beijing? (I'm assuming Taichung would be the cheapest)

Another question, I'd like to start listening to Chinese Lessons podcast, do you have your favorite one?

Thank you so much for your help!

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I might have problem to travel around Taichung since I don't know how to ride a scooter, anybody has any inputs on this?

Based on my time there, no one there does either :P Seriously, a scooter is nice to get around, but there are buses and taxis as well, and many people don't have one. Actually, if you want, get a scooter. I'd recommend you wait a bit to get a feel for the flow of traffic (there are traffic rules that are generally followed -- they're just not the rules that are written down), then get a scooter and go for it. IIRC, no license required.

Of the four cities, Taichung is probably the least Westernized, but it's certainly not backwards and it's quite modern. There's also the high-speed train up to Taipei if you want to get out for a weekend. Tunghai itself is on the edge of town, very pretty campus, and probably the least urban feeling.

All the places are fine places to learn Chinese, and your experience / learning will depend more on your specific situation (e.g. who happens to be in the class with you, what friends you make, how you react) than which country you go to.

To me, there is a different feel between the two countries. Taiwan is certain not static, but it doesn't have the same feel of dizzying pace of change that China does, which is rather exhilarating. On the flip side, I feel that living in China is rather 麻煩 and takes more effort, and personally I would MUCH rather live in Taiwan, as life seems to go smoother. Food in both countries is excellent and (generally) cheap, but I slightly prefer Taiwan's due to more snacks / street food. Taiwan has the additional advantage of less censorship and greater rule of law.

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Beijing and Shanghai are indeed quite stressful, but does it have to be one of those two? Many people are happy living in second (or third) tier cities and feel that they provide a better learning environment.

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Topic cleaned up, as promised. Allow to me gently remind two of the above posters that referring to China and Taiwan as different countries may result in offense, and worse, off-topic posts.

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When talking in person with Chinese (esp Mainland), I'm very careful with this. On these forums, I expect better and I'm very disappointed with any poster here who gets into an argument over this.

Another question, I'd like to start listening to Chinese Lessons podcast, do you have your favorite one?

Missed this one. Do a search here for "podcasts" and your question will be answered.

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I'm deeply apologizing to everyone who's got offended because of my ignorance in writing in such way

(and thanking Roddy to clean this post up.)

I'm totally aware about this problem and respect the problem because I have great friends from both places. I promise I won't stir anything like anymore.

And thank you for those who are answering my real questions and ignoring my mistake :)

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