As a study abroad travel advisor, it is my responsibility to provide students with opportunities to get better acquainted with Mandarin Chinese during their time in Taipei. Learning a language does not have to cost anything. There are opportunities all over to learn, Mandarin or other languages, for free. These places will give you plenty of chances to meet a language exchange partner in Taipei and get started on practicing a new language.
If you’re interested in getting to know a large group of people looking for language exchange, take a look at Meetup, a website used to connect people with shared interests. The website is host to some language exchange groups right in Taipei, including Multilingual Cafe Language Exchange and Taiwan Travel and Language Exchange, which meet weekly.
Language Exchange Websites
Finding language exchange partners has never been easier than through websites designed to connect people interested in teaching and learning a second (or third!) language. It’s as simple as including the languages you can teach, those you’re interested in learning, and your location for the site to come up with a list of matches in your area. LRNGO is a great place to start your search.
The Internet makes connecting with people easy, so you might as well make use of it! Taiwan’s hub for online communities, Forumosa, is home to all kinds of online forums ranging from events to volunteering to fitness. Get involved with a forum like those found under "learning Chinese" or explore your other interests to connect with people who may like to partner for language exchange.
You’re sure to find a wide variety of people interested in learning new skills in a bookstore. The Eslite franchise owns over twenty bookstores in the Taipei area, including a 24-hour location on DunHua Road. Eslite is known for its massive selection of imported books, whose languages span the globe. Caves Books is also a great place to go if you’re looking to learn English (or to find a language exchange partner with this goal), as they are a major carrier of English language learning and teaching books.
Not only is it a fun way to meet new people, but going out may lead you to your new language exchange partner! 45 Pub is known to attract foreigners and students alike, so strike up a conversation with a friendly face! Velvet Underground, a popular hangout with both locals and foreigners, is a versatile venue with a bar and restaurant featuring live music five nights a week and a club atmosphere once it gets late. Get out, get to know people, and bring up your language goals—you may just meet the perfect language exchange partner.
Photo Credit: Daniel Aguilera Sanchez