Tainan, Taiwan

Chinese Language & Culture

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Information for term Chinese Language & Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 14 – Jul 11, 2020 (4 weeks)
$5,400

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 12 – Aug 8, 2020 (4 weeks)
$5,400

Overview

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Hone your language, martial arts and chopsticks skills in the traditional old-world town of Tainan

Discover a land with green forests, mountains, and thousands of dazzling temples and shrines. Practice traditional Chinese calligraphy and Taiji, an ancient form of martial arts.

While learning new skills and exploring the sites, you’ll be practicing new vocabulary as well, as Chinese language lessons are integrated in everything you do.

In your host city, Tainan, you’ll be steeped in cultural history and old-world traditions. With new friends you’ll explore the maze of alleyways off Anping Old Street, built by the Dutch more than 300 years ago; feast on dumplings and beef noodle soup at famous night markets; and make decorations for the Dragon Boat Festival, one of the most exciting events of the year.

Housed in a hotel next to the Tainan University of Technology campus, you’ll be literally right next door to your daily Chinese language classes. Gain language and practical skills to make things relevant and fun! For example, learn to identify and describe different foods and calculate price — then take your new vocabulary out to bustling markets to buy fruits and practice your bargaining skills in the real world.

More advanced language classes explore topics such as the cultural differences between Taiwan, China and the U.S.; China’s transportation system and the “Green Commuting” initiative; Chinese education and college entrance exams; and social issues like the one-child policy and gender equality.

The Tainan city center is just 20 minutes by bus or train from campus. Most afternoons, you’ll head out on the town to practice your conversational skills in authentic settings, or to join classmates on cultural activities and excursions to local sights. Getaways take you farther afield — from a day trip on the coast to an overnight excursion to Taipei. During a special “homestay weekend” you’ll enjoy cooking, sharing meals, and everyday routines with a host family — and live what it means to be a real “台南人”!

At the end of each day, enjoy a sit-down meal with your program leaders, staff and classmates to reflect on the day’s learnings, relax, and enjoy life in the company of others.

After four weeks immersed in the language, culture and relaxed pace of Tainan, you’ll look back on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in awe. Reading back over your daily journals (written in English, Chinese, or both, depending on your class level) you’ll reflect even further upon your study abroad experience and what it means to you. You’ll return home with newfound confidence and perspective, measurably improved language proficiency, and a portfolio of projects to add to your global resume.

The Takeaways

  • LANGUAGE

    60 hours of instruction in Mandarin Chinese by local teachers and 12 hours of indoor and outdoor community conversation

  • COLLEGE CREDIT

    4 college credits may be used to apply toward your future college degree, to demonstrate your ability to do college-level work, or to test out of a language level in college

  • CERTIFICATE

    A certificate of learning in Mandarin Chinese, and documented language growth through pre- and post- program testing

Location & Culture

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Grow your language on the island of Taiwan, known for its lush green forests, exquisite temples and shrines, and some of the best food in Asia!

Mango shaved ice, amazing street food, and some of the most Instagram-worthy Chinese architecture imaginable. These are just some of the favorite highlights named by students studying in Taiwan.

Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan, served as the capital during Imperial times but now dwarfs in size compared to the modern metropolis of Taipei. That’s fine by us, as we find Tainan the perfect size and setting for immersion in the traditional culture of the land. The charming old-world streets and city gates preserve the heritage of the ancient capital, drawing students and tourists looking for a step back in time.

Did you know? There are roughly 15,000 temples in Taiwan, and over 1,600 temples (both Buddhist and Taoist) in the county of Tainan. Within the city limits are hundreds of temples, decorating the streets and hillsides with amazingly intricate architecture and bright colors you can spot for miles.

Tainan has a complicated history. Founded as a Dutch trading port in 1624, it was later ruled by the Qing dynasty before serving as a Japanese colony. Forts and historic landmarks remain from various periods, offering interesting history lessons on guided tours. Tainan is now considered the “cultural capital” of Taiwan and celebrated for its Qing-era architecture and outstanding cuisine.

Students have created a contemporary culture of their own, ensuring you can find cool coffee shops and modern conveniences when you like. There are boutiques, clothing stores and even small shopping malls alongside traditional markets. Street food is popular but so are restaurants, as they’re smaller and more affordable than their big-city counterparts. Noodle houses and Chinese BBQ are big, drawing praise from locals and travelers alike.

Daily Life

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Daily Life

"After waking up at my normal 8:05, I got ready and then went into the dining room to eat my breakfast. I usually have bao zi (包子) for breakfast..."

  • HOUSING

    Hotel next to the Tainan University of Technology campus

  • LOCAL SUPPORT

    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE staff members

Activities

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Sample Activities & Excursions

Sample Activities

  • Visit the Confucius Temple in Tainan, built in 1666 and still considered "The Highest Institute" in the country.
  • Make handicrafts for the Dragon Boat Festival and join in the festivities with the local community.
  • Learn about the eight major Chinese cuisines — and how to cook an authentic meal.
  • Discover Shennong Street, the old port district transformed into a mecca for young artists.
  • Hit the Night Market to sample the most famous and authentic Taiwanese food around — and find out why it’s call the “City of Snacks”!
  • Check out "Chihkan Tower," an amazing architectural landmark built in 1653 during the Dutch colonization of Taiwan.
  • Feel the beat at Ten Drum Culture Village — an exhilarating Taiwanese drumming experience that must be seen to be believed.

Excursions

  • Spend a day trip exploring Tainan's coastline.
  • Take an overnight trip to Taipei, Taiwan’s main metropolis, for an exciting taste of big-city life.

Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Costs

Summer Session I 2020 4 weeks Rolling Admissions Jun 14, 2020 Jul 11, 2020

$5,400

Summer Session II 2020 4 weeks Rolling Admissions Jul 12, 2020 Aug 8, 2020

$5,400

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