A fellow Taiwan blogger, Todd, has just finished his first semester at Shida and written about his experiences. With about 5,000 foreign students, Shida is the biggest Chinese language program in Taiwan. From what Todd has written, the school now uses standardized tests across all the classes, unlike when I was there two years ago. Most things, though, are exactly like they were before. The instruction sounds to be very mediocre, and the teachers are still rabidly pro-blue:

My instructor also spent far too much time sidetracking the class into off topic discussions conducted in English. Each morning the newspaper had a picture of President Chen Shui-bian on the front page she would remind us how much she hated him and his family. Just about everyday she would also mention how handsome she thinks Ma Ying-jiu is. She also went so far as to blame the high number of unmarried women in Taiwan on her theory that they are all waiting for a man like Ma Ying-jiu… “But unfortunately there is only one Mayor Ma.”

The Daily Bubble Tea: Studying Chinese

Still, I’m sure my Chinese would be much worse than it is if I hadn’t gone to Shida. It would also be better still if I’d stayed there a couple more semesters. For those who don’t have the money or time to go to ICLP, and don’t want to go to the mainland, Zhengda and Shida are probably the best options.

Related Post: Teaching Chinese or Nationalism?