CET Taiwan

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About

Get the best of both worlds: intensive language and an internship. Not only do you get the renowned Chinese language training at ICLP in Taipei—a long-time institution for Chinese language studies—but you also build your résumé and use your language skills in the Taiwanese workplace while you're at it. With an ever-growing network of placements, you can intern in the private, civil, or government sectors at sites like Fulbright Taiwan, Geber Consulting, and the Democratic Progressive Party. And to round out your experience, you uphold a language pledge, share an apartment with other international and Taiwanese roommates, and accomplish more in a semester or summer than most students do in their entire college career.

Highlights
  • Intensive language + internship
  • International and Taiwanese roommates
  • Access to ICLP classes
  • Conveniently located apartment in Taipei

Questions & Answers

Reviews

93%
based on 4 reviews
  • Academics 9.3
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 7.3
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Nikole
10/10

The best program for first-time travelers

CET Taiwan was my very first experience traveling abroad. I've never really been away from home for an extended period of time; even at university, I visit home quite often, and my summer work also allows me to work at home. But for the duration of my time in the CET Taiwan program, I never had even one homesick day. Actually, for me, the saddest thing about this program is that it ended and that I had to go home.

I would recommend this program to the following...

...students who have never traveled abroad or to Asia. Taiwan is a friendly and beautiful city. If you think Taiwan's too "westernized", you need to do some self introspection regarding why you think that (hint: you have some existing prejudices that should be addressed with lots of research). Taiwan is a beautiful island with a diverse history. The city you live in--Taipei--is large, eventful, and incredibly convenient with regards to shopping and transportation. The metro system is clean and punctual. The convenience stores are always stocked with cheap food, snacks, and daily necessities. A good restaurant is always within walking distance of a short ride on the metro or the bus. No matter how late it is, you can walk home in the streets without any fear. It is the best city for any first time traveler simply based on its convenience and safety.

Not only this, but our resident and internship directors were the most amazing and receptive people to ever oversee our program. Anytime we had an issue, they were always there to help us resolve it. They also organize amazing extracurricular activities and trips! The two of them really made our program worth every minute.

...students who are double majoring in Chinese and something else. CET Taiwan has a mandatory internship component. The internship component allowed me to keep up with my Computer Science major (I worked as a junior Rails developer for a marketing company), so when I returned to my home university, I wasn't any step behind my CS peers as far as coding experience was concerned. I not only improved my Chinese, but my coding abilities just as well. However, because CET Taiwan is a new program, some internship opportunities are hit or miss; some, like mine, were a wonderful addition to my Chinese learning, but I had some classmates who didn't have the same experience. If you have a second major or a strong extracurricular interest and express this clearly to the internship director, then you may improve your chances of landing an incredible internship.

...students who want to improve their Chinese as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. Students in CET Taiwan are enrolled in the ICLP at National Taiwan University. This translates to the first (and the best) International Chinese Language Program at the top university in Taiwan. ICLP was the first of its kind before any program in the mainland, and every teacher at ICLP is incredibly esteemed, usually having taught at top Chinese language programs in America. Class sizes are between one to four (five is usually considered too much), so individual attention is a given. There are many students at ICLP and many courses, ranging from introductory to intermediate and high-level culture (contemporary Taiwanese culture and society, studying radio plays, newspaper reading, ancient Chinese fables, short stories). There are one-on-one classes as well, where you spend a whole hour every single day with just yourself and your teacher! The classes are rigorous and have a strong emphasis on speaking over writing. Leaving CET Taiwan, your Chinese abilities will definitely be much stronger than when you came in.

It goes without saying, however, that CET Taiwan is incredibly rigorous! You take three hours of courses that may begin at around 8 AM and end at 12 with a break somewhere in between, then attend your internship, and then have to do a large amount of homework and preparation when you get home. Excelling in this program is definitely all about time management!

How can this program be improved?
I had a lot of difficulty with becoming accustomed to the extracurricular internship course that was a mandatory component of the program. For one, it was taught in English! I wish that some of the material we covered could have been covered in Chinese. I think that even if it meant that some of the topics we covered would have to be simplified in order to get all students to be able to participate, being able to speak more Chinese would have made the course more enjoyable. Instead of doing mostly English readings on culture, having an English-language discussion, and then turning in English-language written work, if all of this were in Chinese, it would be a much stronger program.
Yes, I recommend this program
Victoria
8/10

Taiwan is a great country to learn Chinese

All in all, I enjoyed my time in Taiwan. The CET staff on the ground, Andrew and Chunling were extremely welcoming and took care of all their students' needs by providing snacks throughout the week and opening up their office for students to come in and chat.

The price is indeed steep and could have been lower if CET didn't provide for cultural immersion experiences, an opening and closing banquet, and a trip to Hualien. In the end, it is a cost for the small perks that we received.

As for the education, CET partners with ICLP-- one of the world's premier Chinese language learning institutions. Normal ICLP students take 4 hours of class but because of the nature of CET's program, CET students take 3 hours of intensive class. One is one-on-one and the other two are small classroom sized (up to 4 students). The classes are flipped-style, meaning that students must prepare their lessons before class and then during class, they are expected to recite them and use the grammar structures that they just learned to converse with their classmates and teachers.

Even though, the program takes place in Taiwan. You are by no means forced to learn traditional Chinese-- ICLP still offers its courses in simplified. But you might absorb some traditional because of the environment.

This added on top of an internship as well as an internship course (which was a bit unnecessary in my opinion) caused me to be overwhelmed at times, especially in the beginning but I gradually caught onto the rhythm of things and learned to manage my time. Let alone making friends with other Taiwanese locales, I did not have the time or energy to make friends with ICLP students. I mainly hung out with my Borderless housemates, who were welcoming and friendly. My experience with Borderless seemed like an exception--as some students were placed very far from NTU or their internships and did not talk with their roommates. Next semester, I believe housing will be different.

CET Taiwan is, however, a one-of-a-kind experience. You won't have a similar opportunity to hold an internship in Taiwan while learning Chinese at the same time.

That said, Taiwan is a beautiful country! Go visit!

Yes, I recommend this program
Valerie
9/10

An Unforgettable Experience

Before I chose to go to CET Taiwan, I was really anxious since it was my first time abroad and I was even considering backing out. However, I am extremely happy I went because it ended up being a life-changing experience! I am currently on one of my last weeks in Taipei and I almost feel tears welling up in my eyes as I type this because I am going to miss Taiwan so much! T^T One thing you need to know about CET Taiwan is that it is a mixture of CET + ICLP + Internship. ICLP is a world renowned intensive Chinese Language School so if you are looking to improve your speaking ability, this is THE place to be! There are diplomats and Phd students from all over the world that travel here to learn Chinese. The teachers are amazing and super motivating. You are not strictly tied to grades so it won't be a rote memorization experience. Teachers grade you on progress and since you often have great teachers, it almost makes you want to try your hardest!

On the CET side, I loved the support we had. Chunling and Andrew are the most amazing human beings to walk upon this planet. (not an exaggeration) They were essentially the glue that held our sanity together amongst all of the school/internship stress we had. They really go out of their way to make help us feel at home and are there for our highest and lowest points. Without them, this review could have a complete 180 turn tbh. Internship depends on the company you are interning for. My experience was okay but if there are any improvements to be had, I would love it if we could look for internships on our own! The CET excursions are much better than ICLP's, so I highly suggest you go to all of them! I have never regretted coming out.

On the ICLP side, the workload is heavy, but doable. You go to school 5 days a week for about 3-4 hours a day in the morning. The ICLP trips are honestly dreadful, there's just so many people and sometimes it is poorly run. The good thing is, you can always split from the group when you get tired so I suggest you go since CET helps pay for these excursions!
The first two weeks of the program is orientation and just trips here and there. And classes begin after that. At the end of the program, you have to do a 5 minute talk which basically gives you an opportunity to show your improvement and the teachers will try their best to help you prepare you for that. There is a language pledge inside the building and I think that's about it! You also get an ICLP language partner (a local you can communicate with). Some of my classmates didn't meet with their's much but most of my unforgettable experiences are from the local excursions I had with my partner.

For internship (for the summer program at least) you need 80 hours. Personally I think you should work more in the beginning so you can get these hours out of the way. The workload gets heavier as the weeks progress. Internship course is decent, not much more to say! It is what it is, an internship.

You will probably come to Taiwan scared af but I guarantee that you will leave feeling very fulfilled. There is so much delicious, affordable food, wonderful night markets, and some of the kindest people you will ever meet. Everyone is really forgiving and patient so if you want to learn and test out your chinese, this is the place to be! It is also extremely safe which was a culture shock bc I was always so paranoid at night in the US. You can also get more on my blog, valerieenguyen.wordpress.com (or just .com)

How can this program be improved?
Give an option beforehand to choose specific housing based on our preferences
(for example, I would be willing to live further from the city if it meant being able to have my own room)
Give us the opportunity to find an internship on the side! There are many well known international companies that have offices in Taipei so this would've been a really good chance to work with companies we are familiar with, but on a global scale.
Yes, I recommend this program
Anna
10/10

An Intensive, Immersive, and Unforgettable Semester in Taipei

When looking at study abroad programs, I wanted something that provided both intensive language study and an internship experience. The three-part structure of CET Taiwan — language courses with ICLP, an internship tailored to your interests, and shared housing with both Taiwanese and international students — exceeded my expectations for study abroad programs, and the excellent CET faculty complemented the courses with their enthusiasm and support.

Even though I was the only student to attend the first CET Taiwan fall session, I found community in the other students in my share house and courses. ICLP is one of the best Mandarin language study facilities, and I shared classes with graduate students and professionals from countries like Sweden and Belgium. Capped at five students per class, the language courses are personalized and directly applicable to your conversations outside of the classroom. The CET internship class helped me organize my thoughts and experiences, teaching me new ways to record and reflect on my time in Taipei. My internship also helped me explore a new field of work that I came to love. I had not considered grant writing as a career before interning at Fulbright Taiwan, but now it's on my list of potential paths for the future.

Along with the coursework, the CET and ICLP excursions helped me connect with the culture and environment in Taipei. We visited the Qianggu ceremony in Yilan, biked all around Taipei, attended a children's performance of a play based on a famous comic book series, and much more. I encourage speaking with your CET coordinators; if you want to personalize your study abroad experience, they can help you find local events tailored to your interests.

I recommend practicing your speaking skills before you arrive; the ICLP classes focus on speaking and listening (you aren't allowed to use your textbook in the classroom). Planning some events and places to visit before you arrive will help you make the most of your time in Taipei; the time flies between studying and interning! Creating a schedule within the first couple weeks will help you, too; I found I was able to explore much more once I assigned certain times each week to studying, working, and wandering. The more you plan in advance, the more you'll be able to enjoy your time abroad!

How can this program be improved?
I would recommend changing the weekly cultural excursion stipends to larger biweekly stipends to account for the intensive nature of the program. That would allow more flexibility with student schedules, allowing them to make the most of their excursion reimbursements.
Yes, I recommend this program

About CET Academic Programs

CET Academic Programs is a study abroad organization that has been developing and delivering innovative educational programs abroad since 1982. Originally “China Educational Tours,” CET began operations in Beijing, and today offers a varied portfolio...