National Cheng Kung University Chinese Language Center

Review

National Cheng Kung University established its Chinese Language Center (CLC) in 1982 and is recognised as one of Taiwan’s top two universities. The Chinese Language Center attracts about 900 foreign students per year.

CLC has a spring and autumn session which are 11 weeks and a summer and winter session which are 10 weeks (both 15 hours per week). There is also a summer vacation course which is 20 hours per week for 4 weeks. Students can choose to attend a small group class (6-12 students) or an individual class. The school also offers optional classes: one is language optional class (COL) which include subjects such as pronunciation, grammar, etc., and the other is cultural option classes (COC) which include Chinese painting, calligraphy, Taichi etc.

For course schedule click here.

Affordability

The tuition fees are comparable with schools in Taipei.

Spring and autumn sessions

Small group class costs NTD $31,100

Individual classes cost NTD $52,600

Summer and winter sessions

Small group class costs NTD $28,300

Individual classes cost NTD $48,000

Summer vacation class

Small group class costs NTD $15,700

Individual classes cost NTD $29,900

 

Location

NCKU is located in Tainan, southern Taiwan, an ancient city full of the richness of Chinese traditional culture. The city offers a fascinating mix of ancient and modern Taiwanese culture. The cost of living is much cheaper than Taipei. There are also less people who speak English forcing students to use their Chinese in everyday interactions with locals. The university itself is located in the student precinct of Tainan with many restaurants nearby. There is no subway in Tainan so transport is by buses or bicycle if you chose to buy one.

 

Accommodation

NCKU is only able to provide accommodation in the student dorms during the summer term. For this period of time the school has 30 places available. During regular term time students need to find their own accommodation. The language center recommends arriving 2 weeks before to find an apartment to rent. For more information on how to find accommodation in Taiwan, read the Taiwan section here on Asia Options.

 

Reputation

Language schools outside of Taipei are not as renowned as those in Taipei. However, NCKU is one of the best universities in Taiwan and its language and linguistics college is well respected. CLC is well known in the South of Taiwan and its teachers are well trained and are highly regarded.

 

Opportunities

CLC organises many cultural activities and excursions really opening students’ eyes to life in the South of Taiwan. There are also timetabled cultural classes held during semester that the school encourages students to attend.

 

Atmosphere

There are less students at NCK than at language schools in Taipei. Given the slower pace of life in Tainan this also means that some students also adopt a slightly more relaxed attitude to their studies. The teachers however, do show a great concern for their students well being and learning.

 

Asia Options Verdict

This program is best suited for adventurous types who want to experience life in southern Taiwan, and Tainan is a fantastic city. Even if the course is not as rigorous as some of the courses in Taipei, by default living in Tainan your opportunities to speak Chinese are exponentially better. People in the south of Taiwan are known as being friendlier and more welcoming than those in the north (Taipei) so meeting locals and chatting with them will be part of everyday life. Given that the cost of living is also substantially cheaper than in Taipei, studying in Tainan is an excellent choice for the budget conscious who still want to improve their Chinese language skills.

Chinese Language Center - National Cheng Kung University
9 Total Score
8 Users Score (2 votes)
Pros

Tainan is a fantastic city

Cons

Light study load

Location
Affordability
Classes and Materials
Opportunities
Atmosphere
What Students Say... 2 Leave your rating
I like the university
I think it is affordable,great and nice
July 9, 2019, 3:38 pm
Location5
Affordability9.5
Classes and Materials8.5
Opportunities8
Atmosphere6
0
1
Good Language School - Helpful Staff - Beautiful Experience
I went to NCKU from Greece with the MOFA scholarship, in 2015. They offered me the scholarship for 1 year, which is 12 months of VERY intensive Chinese classes, and a promise to renew my scholarship for another 4 years if I wanted to continue with a University degree.

CLASSES
The classes in NCKU were good, the teachers wonderful and very helpful. There was one excursion per trimester, where we would visit places of interest within Tainan, which is a small, but interesting city.

Every morning we had 3 hours of class (for scholarship students only) and afterwards we had to study for the next day. There were elective courses in the afternoon sessions, for extra speaking and listening practice, as well as calligraphy and other interesting subjects.

At one point I had a health issue and the University staff helped me out with finding and communicating with doctors etc.

In all I have no bad things to say about NCKU, apart maybe from the simplicity of facilities in the language center.

TAINAN
Tainan is a small town, with a large university campus and a historic town district. Its good-hearted people and laid-back attitude make you feel very safe to walk around at any hour of the day. It's also very cheap to live and easy to move around with a bicycle. It's also close to Kaosiung for a day-trip.

SCHOLARSHIP DRAWBACKS
We were the scholarship class, a high-paced class with the aim to finish all 6 language levels (yes, that's the equivalent of HSK 1-6) in 12 months (!!!). It was an almost impossible feat. Levels 1 and 2, for someone who has the drive to learn, are not so bad but by level 3 things get rough. Exhaustion catches up with you and you start learning advanced stuff before you've had the chance to absorb all the information from the previous levels. The problem is you can't keep the scholarship if you change to a normal paced class (which if I remember correctly has 2 three-hour classes per week, much better huh?). You have the option of taking extra private lessons, which helps clear any confusion you may have, but you'll probably be too tired to do that.

Of course that was not a decision made by NCKU, it was a scholarship issue, and NCKU did the best they could to make our lives easier.

Another drawback of the scholarship was that the money, although supposedly enough to cover everything, was in reality enough only if you were VERY careful with your living costs.

In all I loved the experience, and I would certainly recommend NCKU to anyone who wants to study in Taiwan. BUT if you can afford to pay for your classes, I'd suggest you opted for a normal-paced class, maybe coupled with a few private classes, if the normal pace is not enough for you.
September 16, 2018, 7:45 pm
Location7
Affordability8
Classes and Materials9
Opportunities10
Atmosphere7
0
2
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