How different is it? My teenage son began studying Mandarin last summer learning simplified characters. He has been given the opportunity to study in Taiwan all next year with Rotary Youth Exchange. He is a little worried because he has not been studying traditional characters. Also, he will not be able to speak or understand very much Mandarin when he arrives because he has not been studying it very long. Do very many people in Taiwan speak English? Are there schools or tutors to help foreigners learn Mandarin? Any advice for a 16 y.o. boy going to Taiwan for a school year? Do Taiwanese students wear uniforms? Any ideas for gifts that his host family would appreciate?