One of the happiest and most positive experience of my life. Past Review

By (Trinity University) - abroad from 06/21/2018 to 08/18/2018 with

American Councils (ACTR): Taiwan Intensive Summer Language Program (TISLP)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself personally. It was definitely worthwhile.

Review Photos

American Councils (ACTR): Taiwan Intensive Summer Language Program (TISLP) Photo American Councils (ACTR): Taiwan Intensive Summer Language Program (TISLP) Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This program is extremely intensive. We covered about 21 chapters from 3 textbooks in two months. Everyday was anywhere from 4 to sometimes 8 hours of homework. Although it was extremely intense I really felt supported the entire time from the teachers who were extremely understanding and always working just as hard as the students!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We only had one staff member who was there with American Councils. He did an amazing job but I do feel like he wasn't necessarily able to enforce the program policies. For example, the language pledge was often never enforced.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We stayed in the university dorms which was an excellent experience. But I would say it is definitely not for everyone. We were constantly visited by various critters (ants, geckos, roaches, spiders, and even mice) and I know some program participants had issues with sleeping. The beds are just a thin mat that you roll out (in was very hard) and then they donate them after the program. This was difficult for some people with back issues. Another issue was that the dorms were really old and had a lot of mold and dust. I am very healthy and I began coughing a lot towards the end of the program. This would be much more difficult of course if you have asthma or allergies. However, problems with living situations were often dealt with quickly and appropriately. I honestly thought the living experiences were extremely valuable!

* Food:

Food is so cheap and accessible right next to campus. We did not have access to a cafeteria, but there is a restaurant in the hospital on campus that is relatively affordable. I never had an issue in terms of access to food. The classes are arranged so that you have an hour for lunch which is plenty of time!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The best part of the program by far was the language partners and the home stay weekend. My language partner took me to lots of incredible restaurants. The home stay weekend was also amazing! I think the thing with these two parts of the program though is that it will be different for everyone. You really have to be willing to explore and make the most of every experience while you are there if you really want to feel integrated with the local culture (but that was extremely easy for me)!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

When we were in Taipei, some mysterious substance had gotten into my eye. I was in significant pain as the substance was acidic and was burning. When we contacted the RD, he said he would come and take me to get some eyedrops in a few hours, when I clearly needed eyewash immediately. I had to go to the pharmacy by myself to get the eyewash and drops. For this reason I can't give more stars but I know that in general healthcare was easily accessible and the RD was usually very flexible in terms of accompanying students to the hospital if needed.

* Safety:

There were many times where I would be in McDonald's or the school's study rooms studying late at night. I never felt unsafe walking around the city, even late at night.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The most special part of the program for me was the relationships I made with the teachers, my fellow students, my host family, and the language partners. I met some of the most incredible people that made Taiwan feel like home right away!


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I think I averaged spending around 20 US dollars on meals every week.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced Chinese 2
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Utilize your conversation partner to practice as much as possible and hold your fellow classmates accountable.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Family Weekend
  • Language Partners
* What could be improved?
  • Availability of Program Staff
  • More interaction with local culture
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing really comes to mind. I thought that American Councils did a really good job of preparing us on what to expect before going on the program.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!