In 1997, NTU assumed full administration of the program. The ICLP Program remains in the same building where it was founded more than forty years ago, and maintains the traditions of small classes and intensive instruction that have made it one of the premier Mandarin training centers.
First and fourth (summer) quarters, NTD $13,600
Second and third quarters, NTD $12,800
Students must also pay a NTD $3,300 application fee.
Click here for current fee schedule.
Like the Beijing IUP program (with which it is affiliated) the fees at ICLP are much higher than other language programs. However, the class sizes are small (maximum 4 students) and in a regular semester each student has one hour one-on-one instruction per day. Many diplomats and academics go to ICLP for its language training in recognition of the quality of teaching.
The ICLP program is located in downtown Taipei in what is currently referred to as the ‘student district.’ The university is in a vibrant area close to cafes, restaurants and night markets. The university has a gym, tennis courts and swimming pool on campus. The closest MRT stations are Gongguan or Taipower Building Station. Both stations require about a 10-15 minute walk. There is a U-Bike (Taipei’s bike sharing system) almost at the gate of the school. There also numerous buses you can catch that got to the university. NTU is one of the oldest universities in Taipei and is a very picturesque campus. On the weekends you will likely see wedding photo shoots or families going for a walk in the campus. There is even a farm too!
Starting from the 2015-2016 semester ICLP is no longer able to provide dormitory accommodation for students. ICLP is in agreement with an apartment block and has a set number of apartments set aside for ICLP students. However, this option is premium accommodation and is more expensive. As ICLP is also in the student area with many foreign students studying in the area there are many share houses nearby the school. For more information on how to find accommodation in Taipei, read the Taiwan section here on Asia Options.
Despite Stanford’s disaffiliation, this program is highly renown as an elite language program and notorious for its highly intense workload. ICLP students will generally advise that 3-4 hours of daily class preparation and homework is needed to keep up with teacher expectations and the rapid pace of the program. High tuition buys you excellent teachers and small classes with motivated students.
There are language contests (including the Rotary and Sun Yat Sen speaking competitions), and semester cultural activities (such as day trips to Miaoli, Yingge and longer 2-3 day trips). There are also weekly speaker sessions with international and local academics and journalists (where they provide you with free lunch). There is also a newspaper that students can write for.
The program is best suited to Chinese language learners who are at an intermediate or post-intermediate level. The textbooks are more aimed at intermediate students and working to move you from intermediate to advanced. There are still classes for beginners but as a beginner you may be unable to fully take advantage of the speaker series and cultural events which are all conducted in Chinese.
In order to help students cultivate the habit of speaking Chinese as much as possible, the program maintains a total Chinese language environment. Students are expected to speak only Chinese within the program’s premises at all times. Students at the Center also tend to be highly studious, with students including diplomats there for Chinese language study, academics and Ivy League students. Students are generally serious about learning Chinese, or they wouldn’t have spent that much money. Students rarely skip class and teachers are highly professional. But the school still organises activities and students tend to organise social outings and gatherings together (independent of the school).
Asia Options Verdict
If you are keen to study at Taiwan’s premier university and can afford the exorbitant fees, ICLP undoubtedly offers the best Chinese language learning experience. The combination of small class sizes, excellent curriculum, dedicated teachers and motivated students leads to an environment where your Chinese level will, without a doubt, improve. With cheaper schools in Taiwan, there is the question of cost/benefit analysis of paying such high tuition fees. But for those with financial assistance the program offers a structured, challenging and immersive language environment which is hard to beat. Other benefits include ICLP’s highly regarded reputation, the alumni network and making contacts with future China specialists.
For more information visit their Facebook page to learn more about their current events and learning activities.
Small class sizes
Excellent study environment
Well regarded program
Strong alumni network
High tuition fees