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Very part-time study

Short-term and long-term visas, application requirements, waiting times, advantages and disadvantages of stay vs. resident visas, who needs an ARC, and why do people opt for permanent residency
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Very part-time study

Postby stevegan » 04 Oct 2005, 11:06

Hi all. I hope this hasn't been answered already (apologies if it has - I did do a search!).

I was looking to holiday in Taipei for 6 months, but then my girlfriend (Taiwanese) suggested I at least study Chinese part time (2-10 hrs/week) at Shi-Da in Taipei. I haven't checked out class availability or anything yet, but I thought I'd find out whether I'd need a Student Visa if I'm doing any study (seems logical eh!) or whether I can just get a Holiday Visa and do a few hours study per week.

Apologies if that's a dumb question.
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Postby ironlady » 04 Oct 2005, 21:21

Hi,

No problem to study AFAIK, as long as you're bringing in money from abroad or can show receipts for changing money, or make a really good case that someone is supporting you for some rational reason. I haven't done this for some time now, so maybe someone else can contribute, but I would think your "risk" would be when the time comes to extend the visa, as the Taiwanese extol their country as a tourist haven on the one hand and then declare that anything you're going to see, you should be able to see in a limited time on the other hand.

If you're American or from another country that offers visa-free entry, you could always just take a relaxing trip to another nearby SE Asian destination every month and avoid the visa question entirely. But again they will want to see proof of support and probably an onward ticket.

As an aside, keep in mind that the application process for Shi-Da is lengthy and somewhat involved, and they are not likely to let you in for less than 10 hours per week. You might want to consider another school. Other schools would be cheaper and if the visa truly isn't an issue (i.e., you don't need to get a student visa as your rationale for staying in Taiwan, as people do for longer stays) there would be no real reason to choose Shi-Da over another language center IMHO.

I'm not current on visa stuff however -- anybody else??
Terry Waltz, Ph.D
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Postby stevegan » 06 Oct 2005, 10:44

Thanks, I really appreciate the quick and in-depth response (and good news).

I still have a few months before I'm headed back over to Taiwan so I'll use that time to see if I can find somewhere that'll take me :)

Many thanks,
Steve
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Postby guangtou » 13 Oct 2005, 18:02

stevegan wrote:Thanks, I really appreciate the quick and in-depth response (and good news).

I still have a few months before I'm headed back over to Taiwan so I'll use that time to see if I can find somewhere that'll take me :)

Many thanks,
Steve


You might want to try this - if you have the time, go through the application process with NTNU, as Ironlady suggested, to get their letter of acceptance. Take this priceless piece of paper down to your local TECO and, fingers crossed, you should be able to land a 2-month extendable, multiple entry visa with it (most US citizens get this if they apply as a student in a university LS I think). When you finally come to Taipei, go and take a look at Shi-Da, do the placement test, and if you're not 100% happy with the place, take yourself and your money down the road to TLI or some other private LS. TLI and others are good for visa extensions, but no good for visa applications (yes, there's a certain inconsistency here - the first of many you're about to meet!).

The point of this ramble is that getting a good visa up-front is important if you want to hang around here for a while, and with a girlfriend from around these parts, you might be coming and going quite a bit over the next few years... A 2-month extendable, mulitiple entry visa will cover all the possible scenarios (most are good for up to 5 years I think). AFAIK none of the private schools will get you a decent visa, and without any documentation at all (i.e. just here for siteseeing), you're unlikely to get anything better than a 2 month nonextendable (worst case) or a single entry, 6-month extendable (best case), both of which are less than ideal.
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Postby ironlady » 13 Oct 2005, 21:16

Hee hee...I didn't actually advise applying to NTNU, but now that someone's given a good reason for doing so... :D I'll have to keep this one in mind in case I want to come back!
Terry Waltz, Ph.D
Click here to Finally Learn Mandarin!
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...although his father beat him every day, wishing him to learn the speech of Ts'e, it will be impossible for him [at least using current methods]...-Mencius
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