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TLI in Taipei - pros and cons, please.

our man in dong jing

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our man in dong jing

Hello everyone. There seems to be a lot of info on the various Taiwanese universities and the courses the offer on the site, but not too much about the TLI in Taiwan. As I am planning to go there in the near(-ish) future, I would love to hear other people's experiences of studying at TLI in Taipei, so that it can all be aggregated into one lovely thread.

I have studied in Beijing before, at Tsinghua University, and I have no intention of going back to the mainland to study. I have toyed with the idea of entering a university in Taiwan, but I like the sound of the TLI's relatively low fees and the possibility of using simplified characters. So, how does the TLI stack up against Taiwan's universities? How are the courses and the course material? Is the teaching standard good? Is it consistent? Do they provide much support in the way of visas, finding accommodation etc? And is it a good, all round experience?

Good stories and horror shows please!

Thanks a lot.

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  • 8 months later...
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I just saw this thread today. I hope you're still interested in talking about this issue.


I live in Tokyo, but have toyed with the idea of going to Taiwan for a month or so at a time to study. Prices have come down so much relative to the mainland that Taiwan is now very attractive as a place to study, especially as I can only go for short periods of time.


TLI was one just one of the places I looked at. OneEye's posts on the Mandarin Training Center caused me to give this one a look-see, too. My wife and I are now planning to go to Taiwan several times a year, so I stopped in at both places in June of last year (2013) to find out what I could.


There are several TLI locations, and I visited the one near the Takashimaya Japanese department store. I think there are a couple of others that may be situated in a more central location downtown, but I'm not really sure.


I'm not a beginner, and I had very definite ideas about what I wanted. The person I talked to (I showed up with only a phone call an hour or so beforehand) seemed to lose interest as my needs were explained one-by-one, and the attitude showed so much so that even my wife noticed it. I was speaking Chinese, which my wife doesn't speak, but she commented afterwards that the gradual cooling off was very obvious, even to her.


I don't remember this woman's name, and she wasn't offensive or impolite, but when she found out I was not interested in the standard, existing programs, she seemed uninterested in going very far towards accommodating me. I may have been too forceful or aggressive in making it clear that I wanted what I wanted, so it could have been my fault rather than hers. She was the expert in teaching Chinese, and I was somebody who wanted things done a little differently, so maybe we just didn't hit it off. In the end, I didn't fill out any of the forms and declarations necessary to go any further, and I didn't follow up.


I would still seriously consider TLI if I ever decide to follow up on my plans to study in Taiwan, but I would probably choose another location. I would advise you to know what you want, but probably be more willing to consider what they offer than I was. I would also hope you don't give up on this thread, as I'm still interested in studying in Taiwan somehow.


Please don't let this sour you on TLI, as I have no real experience with them other than this rather unsatisfactory introduction. All of this could've been just me. My wife says I'm kind of an acquired taste. (English is not her native language, so she doesn't say it quite that way, but you get the picture, right?)

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