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Hey guys, I'm a masters student studying Chinese History. In particular, I am studying Manchu identity in the Qing dynasty. My goal is to continue on to the Ph.D level, and ultimately find a tenure-track job. I'm currently finishing up the third year of Chinese language classes and have an important decision to make this summer. This summer, I have been accepted to two language programs. The first being TUSA which is an almost fully funded two months immersive Mandarin program in Taiwan. The second being a one month Manchu language program in the US, aimed at getting scholars with no prior experience to document reading level. Unfortunately, the Manchu program has no funding, and in total will likely cost me 5000 dollars out of pocket ( including housing, transportation, and food). So far people have told me that Manchu language is such a rare skill, that having it on my C.V. will help make me highly competitive for top-notch Ph.D. programs. So my questions are which program should I choose? Does the benefit of learning Manchu outweigh a prestigious and fully funded Mandarin Program? Is Manchu language really the secret to acceptance at a top-tier program? I'd appreciate any advice you guys can give. '