Discover one of Eastern Asia’s best-kept secrets by studying in Taiwan, a beautiful island off the east coast of China. Named Ilha Formosa, or Beautiful Island, by the Portuguese, Taiwan lends study abroad students the opportunity to explore a uniquely fascinating island, ancient mountainous temples, and traditional Chinese culture.
Study the Chinese language among Taiwan’s friendly people and expand your education in one of Asia’s most rapidly progressing economies.
There are two Chinese language programs in Taipei that particularly standout: The National Taiwan University and Taiwan Normal University. Thousands of students every year attend both of these highly prestigious programs, and offer a range of beginner to advanced level classes on a 3-month quarterly based schedule. Classes are typically three hours a day plus outside study, as well as any additional elective courses. You can expect to have a good grasp of the language by the end of your first year if you take your studies seriously, but if you are seeking fluency go for two.
The other nice thing about studying Chinese in Taiwan is that it attracts students from all over the world. Your classmates could be from Spain, Japan, or Africa! This puts all of you in a highly intensive learning environment that forces you to only speak Chinese in order to communicate.
At the end of your language program you may be interested in enrolling full-time in a Bachelors or Masters program in Taiwan. There are a variety of programs available, from business studies to advanced cultural programs, and when you're done your Chinese speaking abilities will standout.
Try and learn a little Chinese before you arrive. Chinese is by no means an easy language to learn, so every little bit counts. It will also help you quickly adjust to life in Taiwan during your first few weeks, which can be a nerve-racking time period. Try a free trial of Rosetta Stone or Pimsleur.
Strange as it may seem, more traditional Chinese culture is preserved in Taiwan than on the mainland. This is a result of Mao's Cultural Revolution that ripped through China's countryside in the 1960's and 70's, destroying thousands of temples and other precious artifacts. Taiwan was spared this fate and now houses one of the largest collections of Chinese artifacts in the world in the National Palace Museum.
Taiwan also continues to use traditional characters in their writing system as opposed to simplified characters now adopted on the mainland. Despite the name, simplified characters does not make learning Chinese any easier and cuts you off from thousands of years of Chinese history and literature.
There are several options for scholarships to study in Taiwan. Some are offered by the Taiwanese government and some are offered by other organizations. Here are but some of those options.
- The Ministry of Education recently began offering generous financial scholarships for international students to pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees in Taiwan.
- Scholarships from The Blakemore Foundation are for Western students to study Asian languages.
- More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships
Contributed by Andrew Dunkle
Study Abroad Programs in Taiwan
Is English widely spoken in Taiwan?
While it's possible to get by in Taiwan only speaking English, it's generally a good idea to brush up on some basic Mandarin phrases. English will be more widely spoken in Taipei than in other parts of the country. The government has alluded to plans to make Taiwan a Mandarin-English bilingual nation by 2030, but at this point English is not nearly as commonly spoken as Mandarin.
How long can a US citizen stay in Taiwan?
US citizens can stay in Taiwan up to 90 days without a visa. If you plan to stay longer you will need to apply for a visa.