Language Schools in China

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Language Study Abroad in China

China is a thriving country that houses over 1.3 billion people. From huge cities with booming businesses to scenic countrysides with historical treasures, you’ll continually discover new places and people while learning a new language in China. Those with Chinese language skills and experience living in China have an enormous advantage in the global job market, as China is a highly influential player. Attending Chinese courses at language schools in China will help you build fluency in an increasingly important language and visualize the world in a way that you simply cannot learn from a textbook.

Locations

The world’s top companies tend to have headquarters in at least one of China’s three leading cities: Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Beijing. Therefore, these three cities have the largest number of language schools in China and serve as the best places to study Chinese abroad. However, choosing the right location for your language program in China depends on your goals and desired lifestyle, as each location offers something different. 

Hong Kong is a global trading hub and one of the most densely populated areas in the world. The city’s historical roots as a British colony make it an “East meets West” city. If you’re just beginning to study Chinese, you might want to consider attending a language school in Hong Kong as the majority of residents speak English. Without a huge language barrier, you might be able to slowly adjust and settle into the country in a smoother fashion than the rest of China. 

The bustling city of Shanghai is China’s economic capital and the largest city in China, with over 14 million people. This exciting city is a fusion of Eastern and Western culture, and is the most international area in all of China. Boasting over 50 skyscrapers in its skyline, while still containing small historical markets and fortune-tellers sprinkled throughout the city, you’ll see firsthand how the city is a juxtaposition of old and new. Shanghai is definitely a great place for adventurers with a desire to learn Chinese abroad in an ever-growing, multinational city. 

Beijing is the capital of China and the center for the country’s political entities. The city also houses seven UNESCO world heritage sites, making it the perfect place for language students interested in learning more about China’s history. As you attend language courses in Beijing and begin to improve your language fluency, you can take time to explore The Forbidden City and the Great Wall, and simultaneously delve into Chinese cinema and modern art too. 

Undoubtedly, all three of the latter locations will provide a memorable language learning experience, each with its own unique characteristics. Generally speaking, Hong Kong’s environment evokes a Western influence, Shanghai elicits a more cosmopolitan lifestyle, and Beijing offers more of a traditional experience. It is up to you which type of experience fits you best!

Language Schools in China

Chinese is the choice language of study in China by far. There are a variety of language programs in China, which offer many types of language learning opportunities:

It’s important to keep in mind that there are 56 different ethnicities in China and a multitude of dialects spoken throughout the country. However, the popular dialects taught at language schools in China are Mandarin (spoken in Beijing), Wu (spoken in Shanghai), and Cantonese (spoken in Hong Kong).

When deciding which language program to select, consider your language goals. Do you want to learn a specific dialect? Do you want to utilize Chinese for your career path? If so, which dialect will be more useful in business settings? Considering questions like these can really help you focus on the important aspects needed in your language program in China.

Structure. Class sizes can vary depending on the program’s focus. A private lesson is one-on-one with the teacher, while group lessons can have up to 20 students. Generally speaking, as language programs do involve a low student to teacher ratio, classes usually do not sit more than 20 students, with average class sizes ranging from 10 to 15 students per class. The class length also depends on the type of language program you choose; if it’s an intensive program, students might study for up to eight hours per day with two four-hour sessions, while long-term semester or year-long programs might heavily focus on language study each day, combined with other cultural classes throughout the week. 

A number of programs offer culture electives, social activities, and guided tours. These out-of-class settings are designed to broaden a student’s awareness of Chinese culture, history, and lifestyle, while dually improving each student’s linguistic ability. Language schools in China entail a time-intensive process, as does language study abroad in general, and the more you are involved in each program component, the faster your language skill will progress.

Scholarships & Costs

When scoping out various language programs in China, review the highlights that appeal to you and always keep in mind your goals. For example, does the program help you find an internship that will help you improve your language skills? Do you receive a language certificate upon completion of the program? What type of support do you receive from the program in terms of visas, health insurance, and housing?

The cost of language programs in China will vary depending on if the program is intensive, short-term, or long-term. For example, for tuition only, a four week intensive program can cost $900, a short-term semester can cost $2,000, while an academic year can cost $4,000. Housing will increase the cost of attending language schools in China, and housing rates can range from $3,180 for a short-term program to $14,780 for an academic year. 

Studying and living in China is affordable compared to Western standards. Eating out for a local lunch can cost around $5 and Boba milk tea less than $2. Living expenses often depend on each student’s lifestyle. It’s relatively easy to cut back on costs, especially by avoiding buying imported Western goods; items that are not natively found in China, like wine and dairy products, can cost more than in your home country. 

When researching language schools in China, you should also keep an eye out for possible scholarship opportunities. If you hope to pursue a career in academic or public affairs, there are specific scholarships in place to promote language study in China and increase the number of students with Chinese language skills. Additionally, there are numerous scholarships and fellowships available for those who want to complete Chinese language immersion programs. Most government-sponsored scholarships for language study in China have the ultimate goal of bridging the gap between the U.S. and China, both culturally and economically.

Accommodation & Visas

If you’re interested in being completely immersed in the Chinese language and culture, you should consider staying in a homestay. It’s the best way to really understand the lifestyle and familial relationships present in China. Those who choose to pursue homestay programs in China will more quickly adjust to their home away from home too. Homestays are often selected through an intensive selection process, ensuring that the family fits the student’s wants and needs, and vice versa. 

On the other hand, if you’re more interested in an independent lifestyle during your language program in China, you might want to consider program-provided housing or renting an apartment. Language schools in China usually offer housing support to students, by either setting you up with an apartment or assisting you in finding one. If you’re unfamiliar with the area that you’ll be studying in, definitely ask your program provider or language school for advice on safe areas to live. All major cities in China have an intricate train and bus system that will make it convenient to get to where you need to go. Bus systems offer flat rates, which means you’ll never pay more than 2 RMB (about 32 cents) to get around. 

Americans can apply for a X1 Visa, for long-term language study in China over 180 days, or the X2 Visa, which is for short-term study less than 180 days. Students who need the X1 Visa will also need to obtain a Residence Permit within 30 days of their arrival in China. Both visas require a valid passport that will not expire for a minimum for six months after your planned date of return. Depending on your country of residence and specific program, you may be required to complete a physical check prior to arrival, an application letter, and a letter of admission. As requirements vary depending on the student’s citizenship, it’s important to check with your local Chinese embassy or consulate for more information.

Benefits & Challenges

Air pollution might be a factor in your decision of which language school to attend in China. If you experience health issues that affect the heart or lungs, you might want to consider limiting your outdoor activity or wearing a N95 mask in bigger cities. Some language programs in China will even offer housing that includes an air filter system because pollution levels are so significant in some areas.

Studying Chinese in China can provide you with the opportunity for career advancement and increase your competitiveness in the global job market. There is no shortage of need for individuals that can communicate with corporations in China’s booming economy.

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183 Language Schools in China

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Learn Chinese Mandarin in a short period of time either studying in Keats Chinese Language School in China or through an intensive online language program with Keats Online Chinese School. Participants from all over the world can maximize their Chinese language training through the provider's unique and effective activities. This program is offered throughout the year and can start anytime.

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Chinese Mandarin is one of the oldest languages all over the world and preferred language for business. Through Go Abroad China international language study program, individuals from all over the globe can participate in the intensive language training offered in one of the prestigious universities in Beijing and Shanghai. The program provides accommodations including fun cultural activities, h...

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Our Intensive Chinese Program can enable you to reach a conversational level of Chinese in just 3 months time. With small group sizes and many activities and events organised every week, you can totally immerse yourself into the Chinese culture. Study in the city centre, join our unique community and have a China experience of a lifetime!

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Learn Chinese and live in one of the most beautiful cities – Kunming. KCEL provides different Chinese language courses (beginner, intermediate, advanced, business, HSK, culture, etc.) and customized programs, all programs accompanied with free tutorship, which can be registered anytime.

Kunming College of Eastern Language
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Take the China Challenge! Study Chinese during fall and spring semesters or on a Summer Course at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). Or choose from one of our 30 undergraduate and 20 postgraduate University of Liverpool degree programs. Located in Suzhou, just 30 minutes from Shanghai.

study abroad china XJTLU
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Join over 1000 participants annually drawn from all over the world for an intensive and interesting Chinese language Study Program. With over 9 years of delivering Chinese language skills to over 7000 participants, CIP combines immersion, Study, Trips, and Networking as well as Job opportunities to deliver satisfaction. At CIP, we are able to customize for all participants.

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Konall Culture Exchange is one of the only language institutes that offers one-on-one instruction to aspiring Chinese speakers from all over the world. The language program offers students the opportunity to learn Mandarin in some of the most progressive and dynamic cities of China. Program locations include, Beijing, Chengde, Chengdu, Handan, Qinhuangdao, Shijiazhuang, Tangshan, and Zhangzhou.

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Study a wide variety of Chinese language courses in China at the Beijing International Chinese College, a highly accredited educational institution founded in 2005. Courses include Regular Chinese, Business Chinese, HSK, Survival Chinese, Chinese for Children, and Chinese Culture Experience, which includes classes in Calligraphy, Chinese Painting, and Tai Chi. The college also offers a diverse ...

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Eurocentres offers language programs in China teaching individuals, of many different ages and nationalities, the increasingly valuable Chinese language. Students learn to communicate with locals through daily life, and develop deep friendships with fellow participants along the way. Participants can also visit the world famous Great Wall of China and try some unusual local delicacies.

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Travel to China on a language study program with International Programs. The programs place participants at the Mandarin House Chinese School in different locations, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing. In the courses, students learn how to speak and understand conversational Chinese. Participants are encouraged to focus on building conversational skills in the language. Internship progr...

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The Edu Au Pair in China Program offers an amazing opportunity to explore China's authentic past-times which will encourage existing and future Au Pairs to become more adventurous.To ensure that the Au Pairs will be able to explore China better they will be given Chinese lessons bi-weekly. Au Pairs live with Chinese families for three to twelve months which can be extended upon agreement of the...

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Students may choose from three uniquely exciting language programs in three progressive yet distinct cities: Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Beijing. These programs, developed by Languages Abroad, offer participants a language immersion like no other which are designed to give them a remarkable international experience.

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Gain a deeper appreciation of Chinese culture while learning China's native tongue with AmeriSpan Study Abroad. Participants can choose between studying Chinese for Professionals, which can help them in dealing with Chinese nationals in international transactions, or General Chinese lessons, which can aid them in their daily activities in the host community and in day to day conversations with ...

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Learn Mandarin while fully experiencing life in China in this teen summer language camp from Greenheart Travel. Beijing is one of the largest cities in the world, and is a fascinating blend of the old and new. Participants will be fully immersed in Chinese culture by living with a host family, taking cultural and language classes, and exploring Beijing. Classes are taught by teachers who spe...

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If you are seeking a TRUE immersion into China, The Beijing Center is your destination! Stand out from the crowd as we guide you along a 2 week excursion in the southern province of Yunnan or The Silk Road Trade Route in Western China. Call Beijing your new home as you and students from all over the world are housed on the University of Business and Economics campus, where our center is loc...