- Daan Forest Park: As you probably know if you live in Taipei, Daan Forest Park is a convenient escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday existence. I suggest it because I personally believe it is one of the best places to do what I call a “walking language exchange.” Essentially, you and your language partner can walk around the paths and enjoy the nature display while you are practice your language skills. I personally find that I study and learn best when I am stretching my legs or doing some form of relaxed exercise such as walking. What better way to practice those tricky verb conjugations than to do it while you’re watching ducks swim?
- Chinese Culture University: Hikes and hot spring abound at this center of learning. In addition to being a great place meet to hold a language exchange, this is also a prime place to actually meet language Exchange partners. There are around 32,000 people that attend the university. Odds are, at least a few of them are probably interested in brushing up on their language skills. Of course, I recommend going on LRNGO.com to contact some of them. You could also try your luck at the on-campus Hwa Kang Museum and check out their impressive collection of Chinese Ceramics.
- Sushi Express: A native of Taipei would probably be able to recommend better restaurants. Of course, being a foreigner, I would naturally gravitate to the chain restaurants, but I think Sushi Express offers some pretty good food (I personally recommend the Salmon Sashimi). Regardless of your choice of locale, restaurants are a perfect choice for a language exchange. Simply put, they are public places where you can sit down for long spells of time.
- Shilin Night Market: Cinemas! Karaoke Bars! Food vendors! This is the place to go for night entertainment in Taipei. Now, I know what you are thinking. How could this deafening market be an ideal location for a language exchange? Well, in a word, it’s not. But it is vitally important for something else. Now, I think you will probably agree with me that it is important to bond with your language partner. Forming a strong relationship will help you in a plethora of different ways. For example, the more you trust and understand your language partner, the better feedback you are able to give. I personally find that the Shilin Night Market is a perfect place to do just that. Spend a night relaxing with your language partner. Check out the city. See the sights. I think you will be surprised to find how much your actual language exchange sessions benefit.
Photo Credit: Roger Wollstadt