Does anyone know of affordable language immersion programs?

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Heart Break Kid
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Does anyone know of affordable language immersion programs?

Postby Heart Break Kid » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:53 pm

I'm an American and I am looking for a 6-12 month language immersion program in Mandarin, preferably something not exceeding 5k USD.

Does anyone know of any good cheap ones? It seems like I keep finding these placement sites which seem to charge a middle man fee (plus a lot of them are quite expensive).


I'm also interested in Romance languages, Vietnamese and Thai as well - perhaps others considering immersion schools could find this thread of use.

Any info or experience with language immersion programs is welcomed!
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Re: Does anyone know of affordable language immersion programs?

Postby Xmmm » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:42 am

I think your budget is unrealistic.

I looked here: AUA. Assuming you did five hours five days a week, tuition would be about $1000 a month. And rent in Bangkok would be $650 a month. So six months would cost $10000, or $8000 if you found a roommate.

And that's not out of line, because the schedule published here for a Mandarin school wants a minimum of $12000 for six months.

You still need airfare for both of those.

I think the way people travel cheaply is to travel as English teachers. Get a job where they teach four hours a day, and take three hours a day of language classes, etc.

If you have to pay for everything with no income, it adds up fast even in low-budget countries.

I will add that $5000 at Italki will get you 500-1000 hours of instruction in Mandarin. At 20 hours a week, that is 6-12 months of tuition so it would meet your target. It's not clear if your main purpose is to learn Mandarin or to travel.
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Re: Does anyone know of affordable language immersion programs?

Postby DaveBee » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:28 am

Heart Break Kid wrote:I'm an American and I am looking for a 6-12 month language immersion program in Mandarin, preferably something not exceeding 5k USD.

Does anyone know of any good cheap ones? It seems like I keep finding these placement sites which seem to charge a middle man fee (plus a lot of them are quite expensive).


I'm also interested in Romance languages, Vietnamese and Thai as well - perhaps others considering immersion schools could find this thread of use.

Any info or experience with language immersion programs is welcomed!
Several people have written about creating their own immersion programs, without going anywhere.

All Japanese All The Time (AJATT) is one that gets mentioned a lot, on here Scotroyenne, and Whatiftheblog are ones I've read. I think Small White's chinesepod method could fit into the same set.
Last edited by DaveBee on Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does anyone know of affordable language immersion programs?

Postby leosmith » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:52 am

Heart Break Kid wrote:I'm an American and I am looking for a 6-12 month language immersion program in Mandarin, preferably something not exceeding 5k USD.

Start a dialog with TMI in Taipei directly. They may be willing to work with you. Of course, it's Taiwan, so if that's not acceptable please ignore.
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Re: Does anyone know of affordable language immersion programs?

Postby embici » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:42 pm

I would start by looking at universities, rather than at private language schools. My experience is that many (public) universities have the most reasonably-priced "X"-as-a-foreign programs. Sometimes the programs are for foreign students enrolled there but often they are open to anyone.
This has been my experience (in Mexico and Quebec) as well as that of friends (in France and Greece). The quality is often very good and the prices can't be beat plus you'll have access to everything the universities have to offer: cultural events, libraries, discounts, etc.
Last edited by embici on Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Heart Break Kid
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Re: Does anyone know of affordable language immersion programs?

Postby Heart Break Kid » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:19 pm

Xmmm wrote:I think your budget is unrealistic.

I looked here: AUA. Assuming you did five hours five days a week, tuition would be about $1000 a month. And rent in Bangkok would be $650 a month. So six months would cost $10000, or $8000 if you found a roommate.

And that's not out of line, because the schedule published here for a Mandarin school wants a minimum of $12000 for six months.

You still need airfare for both of those.

I think the way people travel cheaply is to travel as English teachers. Get a job where they teach four hours a day, and take three hours a day of language classes, etc.

If you have to pay for everything with no income, it adds up fast even in low-budget countries.

I will add that $5000 at Italki will get you 500-1000 hours of instruction in Mandarin. At 20 hours a week, that is 6-12 months of tuition so it would meet your target. It's not clear if your main purpose is to learn Mandarin or to travel.


I did come across some deals in the Ukraine where they teach Ukraine/Russian for under 5k, so I was wondering if other deals like this existed for other languages.

My budget is just for tuition, not airfair or rent by the way.

Realistically, I would try to work part time for some pocket change if I were to do this.

Thanks for the response.
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Xmmm
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Re: Does anyone know of affordable language immersion programs?

Postby Xmmm » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:03 pm

Heart Break Kid wrote:My budget is just for tuition, not airfair or rent by the way.



Okay, then AUAThai would totally work for you. I did my typical math in my first response: 25 * 4 * 4 = 1000. But actually, AUAThai offers 200 hour packages for $700. So you should be able to do a full year for a little less than $5000. And maybe you could settle the ALG controversy once and for all. :)
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Re: Does anyone know of affordable language immersion programs?

Postby ASEAN » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Gabriel Wyner usually does his immersion for two months at Middlebury College in Vermont -- Middlebury Language School to be exact. He said in an interview that the school offers financial aid for summer immersion programs.

http://www.middlebury.edu/ls
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Re: Does anyone know of affordable language immersion programs?

Postby tarvos » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:59 pm

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Re: Does anyone know of affordable language immersion programs?

Postby snowflake » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:22 pm

My suggestion is TLI in Taiwan. They have several campuses to consider. Good luck!
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