Chinese Language Learning – Any experiences here from the Mandarin Training Center (MTC) or the ICLP in Taiwan? (and/or online courses from MTC; also TEANabroad)

tl;dr: (USA) What do you recommend and/or what was your experience like with the MTC, MTC online, ICLP, or TEANabroad (Shanghai). Suggestions for which/when based on required language credits for my college.

I have to take 9 foreign language credits at my university (USA), but I wanted to learn Chinese anyways–this just happened to push my interest in it further. However, it’s one of the most difficult languages and from my own experience learning basic Greek in Athens for a few months, I know that immersion is the best possible way to learn quickly and correctly (plus Greek is not nearly as difficult).

So, my school offers only one direct study abroad program for Chinese which is through the MTC. The MTC also offers an online program that I think I am serious about doing over the summer. I would like to possibly skip the first required credit at my school for multiple reasons if this enables me to test out of it, although maybe this *is* a dumb idea since it is not an extra cost like the MTC would be. But the online course still seems way more intensive than even a semester course at my school. After the online experience, I’m thinking I would do the study abroad at the physical MTC my senior year after having taken all of my required language credits. I guess that just leaves me asking if the MTC is still decent for a non-beginner (possibly intermediate) at that point?

I haven’t looked into it as much, but based on a few comments I read, the International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) seems to be geared towards more advanced speakers? Depending on price and how seamless or not my school’s connection really is with the MTC, this might be a better option after having done the online course (and potentially an additional one) with MTC and after all my required credits at home?

Before all of this, I was looking into studying for a semester in Shanghai through TEANabroad simply because of my deep interest in China as a country, but that would certainly have to be after decent language training beforehand and for my Senior year, at least that’s what I would prefer for myself. Even though it’s literally in China, it doesn’t seem to be a program that is geared as much towards language learning–unless I feel comfortable/brave enough at that point to choose the option with their courses in Chinese, as they are otherwise in English. I know China uses simplified and Taiwan uses traditional, but I definitely want to get accustomed to both. From what I’ve read, it doesn’t sound *horrible* to have to also learn the simplified, and that going from traditional to simplified is usually easier than learning the other way around.

Edit: I think the MTC will actually transfer as 12 credits to my school, but I need to double check. That would probably seal the deal right then and there if that’s the case.

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