- Chinese Language Institute
About Chinese Language Institute
Year Founded: 2009
CLI was founded by two American brothers who have lived, worked and studied in China for a combined 15 years. After recognizing China's growing importance in the world, they brought together their talents to offer students worldwide a uniquely focused path toward learning the Mandarin language.
With highly personalized service and a carefully developed language learning environment at its core, CLI strives to be the premier intensive Mandarin program in China.
China : Guilin
Learn Mandarin through one-on-one instruction, an effective method for rapid improvement. Participants will take part in daily one-on-one lessons with three different CLI...
China : Guilin
Take part in Chinese language studies provided through one-on-one training, complete immersion, and constant interaction. The CLI program is ideal for individuals looking...
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Submitted by S - Miami Howard University | August 05, 2014
One of my best experiences with language learning. At first I was somewhat apprehensive but CLI had us well prepared before departure. I enjoyed myself greatly and the staff made sure our trip was uneventful. We went to multiple sites, interacted with students from various backgrounds and had time for daily lessons.
Ready to embark on the experience of your lifetime?
Submitted by mlawson - Virginia Tech | November 07, 2012
CLI provided me with one of the best experiences of my life, and certainly the best travel, cultural, and learning experiences. I would recommend CLI and their program to anyone who is interested in learning and immersing themselves in Chinese language and culture.
I was part of a small three student group and academics were clearly our priority on our three week trip. Each and every experience offered a learning opportunity. I can think of no better way to learn Chinese than to tour with this organization who puts so much detail and focus into Chinese language and culture immersion.
The dorm I stayed in at Guanxi was excellent. Perfectly safe location and close to so many restaurants and shops. We woke up to the most beautiful view of the mountains each morning in Guilin! There wasn't wifi available, but it was close to many wifi cafes.
The hostels we stayed in in Yangshuo, Shanghai, and Beijing were also perfect, much nicer than many hotels I've ever stayed in!
My living situation was always safe and comfortable, and any additional concerns I had were heard and promptly taken care of by CLI staff.
Seeing four diverse cities in China was a cultural immersion dream come true. I felt much less like a tourist being with this group as we were led through China by true residents. This program truly immerses its students into Chinese culture every single day with every experience.
I could go on and on about how amazing the administrators of this program are, but to put it simply: this program wouldn't be the outstanding one it is without its exceptional administrators.
Health and Safety:
I never felt like my security was at risk on this trip. My belongings and the facilities we visited always felt very safe. The Chinese people constantly give the impression of genuine niceness, which adds to the feeling of safety.
The social life can be a bit of a culture shock in China. You've never seen so many people so obsessed with karaoke bars. That being said, we had an amazing time going out at night in China with the group and always felt included. A good time was ALWAYS had on this tour, day and night!
Every night I stare at the map of Guilin on my bedroom wall, waiting for the chance to go back.
Submitted by Josh L - Virginia Tech | November 12, 2012
I honestly went into a fun withdrawal when I came back to the States after a semester in Guilin. In four months, I picked up more Mandarin than I ever thought possible, shattering my initial expectations, and I made friendships that surpassed distance and culture. Choosing to live with a homestay family was the decision I am most proud of. I ate the most native food that you can't find anywhere else and had the privilege of getting to know my homestay mom deeply. We had many talks after dinner about family, China's history, and Guilin - half of which I understood. But it was nonetheless a beautiful experience. CLI was truly a family, inside and outside the building. The teachers worked hard to cater to the things I wanted to learn and often went beyond their regular requirements to help me understand. Meeting the diverse students was another rewarding experience - people from Germany, France, Spain, Australia, the United States, and Tahiti. it was great learning, growing, and making mistakes together. It's been a year and half since I came back and I still miss Guilin dearly. I know reviews like this are common but believe me when I say that going to Guilin will be a decision that you will treasure.
wonderful teachers, they were always prepared for class with material that I specifically asked for, always pushing me while encouraging me. Learning from the teachers not only came from within the CLI building but also from outside its walls while eating travelling together.
The best experience of my trip was living with my homestay family. My homestay mother truly became my second mom while I lived in the house and we became great friends. Also ate the best native Chinese food that you can't find in the States.
CLI helped connect me to many opportunities that immersed me into the culture - through CLI, I tutored a middle school student and had the chance to meet the family and eat with them as well. Tutoring also required me to ride the local bus and truly experience everyday life of Guilin, China
always quick and responsive to my needs (I didn't have very many)
Health and Safety:
I was very safe the entire trip.
Many students at CLI who live in the school building and nearby, don't have to worry about being lonely.
A Change of Perspective
Submitted by CHand - Virginia Tech | November 13, 2012
My plan had always been to study abroad for a semester in Ireland or the UK. And up until the last week of the deadline that was going to be the case. But then someone at the Virginia Tech study abroad office told me to look into CLI and I was immediately struck by the appeal. I took the plunge into a language and culture that was completely unfamiliar to me. CLI did not disappoint. My semester spent abroad in China completely changed my outlook on life because I began to see two completely different perspectives. The teachers at CLI not only taught me the basics on the language, they opened up on Chinese society which puzzled and wondered me all at once. The friends that I met, the knowledge that I acquired, and the perspective I gained while living in Guilin have completely changed my life for the better.
The one on one time with CLI teachers were an invaluable tool and allowed me to progress in the language far more than I did in a classroom setting at Virginia Tech.
I always felt safe and at home in my one person dorm. It was far better than any dorm I stayed in back in the States.
CLI made a huge emphasis in learning outside of the classroom in addition to inside the classroom. There were two excursions that were included in my semester abroad and I never missed a chance to explore around Guilin and beyond. These experiences of traveling around China and getting a firsthand look on the culture was the most memorable part of my semester abroad.
I cannot say enough regarding the CLI staff. Starting with Bradford and Robbie and on down; I was always comfortable and included on sorts of events at CLI. Every teacher, whether my own or not, treated me like family.
Health and Safety:
There was never a time in Guilin or China where I felt unsafe.
I had most everything that I would use back in America including restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gym, and basketball courts.
I want to go back.
Submitted by Eric Doise - | November 07, 2012
I can't recommend CLI enough. The teaching is outstanding, largely in part because the teachers seem to understand how I learn and were quick to adjust to my level. They are focused but flexible. The living conditions are excellent, particularly if you've been living in China. The building is designed in such a way that whenever you leave your room, you're hearing and speaking Chinese. Everyone there is patient and helpful, invested in your learning Chinese and enjoying your time.
I had classes with three different teachers. My integrated Chinese and oral Chinese teachers were excellent and well-prepared. I had a few problems with the writing class, in part because I felt the teacher could have been better prepared. Overall, though, the teaching was excellent and flexible.
Better than I could have imagined. The rooms are well-designed for both study and relaxation. The furniture, facilities, etc. were all in great shape and very clean.
The thought put into cultural immersion is impressive. There are always Chinese speakers around willing and eager to engage you in conversation, allowing you to practice what you have learned. Teachers were also willing to go on small field trips to medicinal markets or make sure we knew how to get somewhere in the town.
Again, very helpful. It's clear many people have put a lot of thought into the smallest of details, and administrators were around if we needed any help or just wanted to chat.
Health and Safety:
Excellent. I felt comfortable the entire time.
I was there with many friends I had not seen in months, so we spent all our time together. However, there were many organized activities we could have easily joined.
An all-around fantastic language center and experience!
Submitted by Nate M. - | November 07, 2012
Overall, my stay at CLI was incredibly enjoyable. The building they have is a great atmosphere, near sports facilities, not far from the river (where it's clean enough to swim), and only a short bus ride away from Yangshuo, perhaps the most beautiful place in China I have seen to date. More importantly, the training you get at the center is fantastic. The teachers are accustomed to the learning styles of the non-Chinese brand, speak standard Mandarin (as opposed to heavy dialects) and really seem like they want to see you improve during your stay. I would highly recommend this language center to Mandarin learners of any level, to those who want to get to know more about Chinese culture and to people who love to travel!
The teachers at CLI were extremely prepared and willing to help. I found that they are more prepared for lower level students because I don't think many intermediate speakers go through the program, but all of my teachers were completely willing to adapt to my needs (even as a student who reads Hanzi, but does not write it). I was very impressed.
The living situation is great at CLI, and was nicer than many hotels I've stayed at in China. There are great places to lounge around outside of your room in case you want to meet other learners, as well as plenty to do (ping pong table, computers, T.V., an enormous kitchen, travel books, language books, etc.). You'll never be bored or uncomfortable!
I had been living in 'rural' China for a year before coming to the school, so there wasn't much I needed in terms of cultural immersion; however, at the beginning of our stay they gave us a great packet with all of the important information they could condense down. Since I've been living here, I feel I can say that the information they try to teach you about China and its culture is extremely valuable.
The administration was very helpful and relaxed. Anything you need, they are there to help. Overall, I was extremely impressed with what they've set up in Guilin and a little jealous I didn't do it first!
Health and Safety:
You have locks on your doors as well as a key to get into the building. I always felt very safe inside the building, as well as walking around the town at night. I never had a moment of feeling unsafe––the very notion never crossed my mind.
It would be hard to leave this language center without making any friends. There are tons of places to socialize and study. Whether you want to stay inside or go out, there is plenty to do. In terms of what the language center provides, there are lots of rooms to hang out in, read, play ping pong, wash clothes, watch T.V. or movies, and talk with others to get great information about where to travel next. If you are looking to head out, they give you a great map of the city and point of some of the coolest locations in town.
Submitted by Raymond Young - | November 07, 2012
The immersion experience was awesome partly because western managers let you go in only as far as your current level of ability.
two teachers were exceptional and customised the contnet and lessons to suit our learning styles
I was very comfortable in my own room but it was a bonus to be in a dorm and always have friendly people around.
I connected with lots of the locals around us. Buying an electric bicycle added to the experience with lots of freedom to travel around and explore.
Robbie and all the staff worked hard to anticipate and meet all our needs
I wasn't there for social life but what there was was great. I was only there a short time so I would have preferred more day trips during the week.
Submitted by Naftali Tamir - | November 07, 2012
our four months study program ,so far, have been most rewarding both academically and culturally.Most highly recommended to persons interested in having a complete Chinese immersion programme
Teachers are all first rate and their dedication to their profession is most highly appreciated.
Living in a rented apartment which does largely espond to my wife and mine needs.
Although much is done ,an additional activity ,if possible,will be appreciated.
No words to describe the administration help which is most highly appreciated.
Health and Safety:
The CLI is doing a lot to relate to the the social needs of it's student body.
The most effective and pleasurable way of really learning Mandarin and experiencing a genuine Chinese culture.
Submitted by Marcelo ??? - | November 07, 2012
CLI is a true immersion in language and culture. Once with CLI, one would have to try hard to avoid learning Mandarin or experiencing a genuine Chinese culture. Before coming to CLI I researched several other courses throughout China (Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Qingdao, Dalian etc). CLI is in a completely different level. It's not just a course or program, it's a great experience.
Learning Mandarin: I was provided with quality teachers and completely customizable classes (adapted to my objectives, schedule, level of commitment etc)
Housing: Total peace of mind. CLI offered me very flexible housing options, such as living on/off campus, with/without local flatmate. My housing experience was seamless. I didn't have to worry about any of the thousands of small issues that one faces when looking for housing on their own, such as being ripped off by brokers, wi-fi, mean landlords etc. Just tell CLI what you need and they'll provide.
Cultural Immersion: Hanging out with the teachers outside the classroom and living with local students are unique differentials offered by CLI. I had the option of practicing Mandarin during 100% of my 'awake' hours. I had dinners in the home of teachers and their local friends, spent a weekend with one of the teacher's family in the country-side and traveled with locals to different cities in China. One would have to try hard to avoid a deep cultural immersion.
Quality teachers and completely customizable classes (adaptable to your objectives, schedule, teacher preferences etc)
In one word: Peace of mind. CLI offers very flexible options (living on/off campus, with/without local flatmate) and total support. My housing experience was seamless. I didn't have to worry about any of the thousands of small issues that one faces when looking for housing on their own, such as being ripped off by brokers, wi-fi, mean landlords etc. Just tell CLI what you need and they'll provide.
Hanging out with the teachers outside the classroom and living with local students are unique differentials offered by CLI. I had the option of practicing Mandarin during 100% of my 'awake' hours. I had dinners in the home of teachers and their local friends, spent a weekend with one of the teacher's family in the country-side and traveled with locals to different cities in China. One would have to try hard to avoid a deep cultural immersion.
Very supportive in everything: visa, payment method, travel bureaucracy, student cards etc etc. It felt like everyone in the administration was accessible 24hs, providing personalized support. Again, seamless.
Health and Safety:
CLI thinks of everything and provides insurance.
Just be careful crossing the streets.
Hanging out with the teachers outside the classroom and living with local students are unique differentials offered by CLI. I had the option of practicing Mandarin during 100% of my 'awake' hours. I had dinners in the home of teachers and their local friends, spent a weekend with one of the teacher's family in the country-side and traveled with locals to different cities in China. One would have to try hard to avoid a deep cultural immersion
Where else can you get complete Mandarin Immersion?
Submitted by Chris - | November 07, 2012
CLI’s greatest strength is the near complete immersion it can provide through the one-on-one lessons and
social activities. The individual lessons meant that I was able to tailor the syllabus to exactly what I wanted
to learn, so I could cover a wide variety of topics in the rather short 2 weeks I was at CLI, with the freedom
of no textbook. I liked how I was able to use the Mandarin I learnt almost immediately after class due to
CLI’s proximity to Guilin’s everyday life. It would have been good to stay longer with more time.
One-to-one lessons are unique as they were tailored exactly to how I wanted. I don't know of many other places which offer this at such competitive prices!
Very good facilities and rooms in convenient location of Guilin. It's not in the centre of the city but that is easily accessible by the buses leaving nearby. The rooms have ensuite and are v. comfortable.
In the 2 weeks I learnt more Mandarin than I did in a year of evening classes at university. I ensured the lessons were completely in Mandarin which means you can be near to completely immersed.
Very easy to arrange and contact Nancy, the Admissions Director. She answered all my questions and gave many tips.
Health and Safety:
Never had any problems safety wise in Guilin.
Activities organised almost every evening e.g badminton, volleyball, KTV trips & weekend trips to places outside of Guilin e.g Yangshuo. Of course, easy to do your own thing once you get orientated.