National Taiwan University - International Chinese Language Program
100% Rating
(2 Reviews)

National Taiwan University - International Chinese Language Program

The best place to learn Chinese is not necessarily in China. In China, they use the Simplified Character set and you'll be cutting yourself off from thousands of years of Chinese culture. If you want to learn the Chinese language in the most thorough context then you need to study in Taiwan at the National Taiwan University. The International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) is widely held to be one of the world's premier institutions for the instruction of both modern and classical Chinese. Since its original establishment in 1963 as the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies (IUP), it has offered intensive language training to over 2,000 students from more than 20 countries.

Locations
Asia » Taiwan » Taipei
Asia » Taiwan
Language
Accommodation
Hostel
Currency
USD

Questions & Answers

The academic year program consists of three ten to twelve-week quarters, and an optional summer term of nine weeks. Classes are held from Monday to Friday; students can expect to have three group classes of three to four students, as well as an individual class each day. All classes last one hour.

Program Reviews

  • Instruction
    95%
  • Support
    100%
  • Fun
    60%
  • Housing
    95%
  • Value
    100%

Program Reviews (2)

Default avatar
Daniel
Male
63 years old
Taipei, Taiwan
Texas

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP)--intense! Put your nose to the grindstone and focus!

10/10

Intense! Intense! Intense! I did the summer program in 2012, and it was truly a meat grinder experience, although my Mandarin Chinese skills did improve. You sign a language pledge and agree to speak only Mandarin on the premises--no kidding! That includes the break room, the restroom, etc. Classes are small and to the point: 1 hour in length, with 2 classes of 4 students each + a 1-on-1 session. You are required to prepare before class--including being familiar with the vocabulary and the story--and leave the textbook closed during the session, so unlike the big university lecture hall experience you may be accustomed to, you really can't hide behind your book in class! Expect 4-6 hours of homework a night. As a friend who had completed the standard Academic Year program (2 semesters, 4 hours daily) said: "You need to only be doing ICLP and nothing else the whole time."

You will be tested at the beginning of the program and then placed in a class at your level. I believe I got myself placed a notch or two higher than my actual ability, since I'd been studying 1-on-1 elsewhere and had seen some material that was probably more advanced than my actual level. Also, I'm a university prof in Taiwan and have taught test preparation for a living, so I believe I managed to get myself into a slightly higher level than I should have been in. I believe I may have nailed a few more test items than I should have, plus my pronunciation is fairly good, so I may have somewhat fooled the interviewers on the oral part of the process.

Class was tougher than I expected, but I decided to tough it out--big mistake! I ended up finding a private sector school to help me with 1-on-1 homework assistance to get me through the summer. The experience was bit like swimming upstream in a waterfall made of quicksand! In retrospect, I should have taken the opportunity that ICLP offers to rethink and renegotiate your placement early in the semester. I did survive, though, and my Mandarin is better for it. Also, ICLP alumni have the opportunity to buy textbooks for self-study after they leave. I have studied my course materials at the same private sector school that helped me survive ICLP, and I still study with them, so at the end it all worked out OK.

I'm telling this story to encourage you if you're thinking about ICLP. It's a wonderful school with first-rate faculty. If your circumstances--time available, cash on hand, etc.--allow, this is an opportunity to make great progress with your Mandarin Chinese. I studied 2 textbooks, 1 in each group class, with the main textbook being taught once more in the 1-on-1 session. You'll be pushed beyond what you can absorb, but at the end, it all works out. To this day, when I hear or use one of the 50+ weekly vocabulary items I learned that summer, I say to myself: "Wow! That was a $3700 word! [the cost of my summer program in 2012]"

ICLP generally does only group teaching, because the physical facility is small and they have only so many teachers to go around. 1-on-1 is limited to the 1-hour session that's part of the program and also for some very advanced students and alumni with special needs for work, academic research, etc. You will have a student ID from National Taiwan University, which can get you student rates on public transportation, student tickets at the movies (if you have time for movies!), and access to other NTU amenities and facilities (amazing gym!).

All in all, it's well worth it to attend ICLP if your circumstances allow. You'll meet interesting folks from all over the world who are learning Mandarin for a variety of reasons and your Mandarin Chinese is sure to grow. Go ahead--swim upstream in a waterfall made of quicksand! It will work out OK in the end.

How can this program be improved?

Maybe there's some way the school can find some more remediation for the occasional (highly) struggling student, although I'm not sure if ICLP has that level of resources. Maybe they can partner with NTU proper to connect interested students for a language exchange as a way of helping ICLP students find native Mandarin speaker friends who may want to give some homework help in exchange for conversational practice in English and other languages.

Default avatar
connie
Female
24 years old
New Jersey
University of Sydney

ICLP is awesome

10/10

really great program. did not provide housing, but it is held at national taiwan university, so plenty of student housing available nearby for good prices. the teachers were very supportive, and my language ability increased substantially. have to put in about 4 hours a day of homework, but it's worth it.

About The Provider

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The Office of International Affairs at National Taiwan University has become increasingly aggressive in developing academic partnerships with other prestigious universities around the world. Offering summer programs and exchanges for international students around the globe, along with over 260 cooperative agreements with various institutions of

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