In our article about how to make your learning experience in China go further, we talked about the amazing benefits of spending time in both a big city and a small one during your homestay Mandarin learning experience.
Travelling to more than one city in a country gives you a much broader experience beyond learning the language itself – giving you the opportunity to discover different cultures and dialects for yourself.
Did you know you can also choose two cities in Taiwan to visit during your language-learning programme?
With four major ethnic groups and 16 officially-recognized indigenous tribes in Taiwan, there’s lots to learn about its diverse culture, alongside Mandarin itself. And while you may already know that Mandarin is an official language in Taiwan, you’ll also hear many people speaking Taiwanese (also known as Taiwanese Hokkien) and Hakka, along with some Formosan (aboriginal) dialects, depending on where you’re visiting.
Lingoinn currently offers four cities in Taiwan: Taichung, Pingtung, Penghu and Kaohsiung. Bigger cities Taichung and Kaohsiung are great places to pair with one of the other two smaller cities.
Let’s say you’re starting in the birthplace of bubble tea (according to Chun Shui Tang teahouse, which claims to be the first to sell it), Taichung. Popular with tourists, Taichung may be a big industrial city, but it’s also fantastic for everything from biking and hiking to shopping and temple-hopping. Whether you like your trips abroad fast-paced or laid-back, there’s something for everyone there.
From Taichung, you can then fly to the archipelago of Penghu and have a sunny beach break and a total change of scenery. Here, you might also hear some of the local Penghu dialect, also known as Magong dialect.
Although smaller than Taichung, Penghu also offers something for every activity level. For the sporty, it’s the perfect place for snorkelling and surfing. And for the laid-back, it’s perfect for strolling along beaches and taking in the scenery. And, of course, there are plenty of beautiful temples and shrines to visit, too.
Or, you can start in Kaohsiung. Not only does it benefit from being a big city, but its closeness to the coast means you can get the best of both worlds when it comes to city and sea life. Plus, it often has events celebrating some of its local indigenous tribes, such as the Song Jiang Battle Array in Neiman. So you can learn more about some of Taiwan’s aboriginal people first-hand.
From Kaohsiung, you can take a ferry to Penghu for that beach break. Or you can take the High Speed Rail to nearby Pingtung.
Because it lies in the south of Taiwan, Pingtung is usually a good choice if you like hot weather year-round. And, because it’s home to Taiwan Indigenous Culture Park, it’s also a great place to learn more about Taiwan’s indigenous people. Plus, you’re likely to hear the Hakka dialect here as well as Mandarin.
Where you begin and end your homestay learning experience is totally up to you. But don’t worry – Lingoinn is here to help you plan your trip. Find out more here.