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Alleluia

Worldlink Education in BJ? Cactus?

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Alleluia

Hi everyone,

I'm planning on taking a short language course in China during the summer, probably 8 weeks or so, and I'd like to hear your opinions on the schools between which I'm choosing. I'm not a beginner, my language skills are probably lower intermediate or something (I've studied putonghua at University for three years, not intensively though). So far I've found two schools through the internet that look promising: WorldLink Education: http://www.wle-china.com and Cactus Language: http://www.cactuslanguage.com. Both offer short summer courses in Beijing, which is exactly what I'm looking for, but it's pretty hard to decide which one would be better, just by reading their sites.

Is there anyone here who has been to either of these schools, knows someone who has, or otherwise has an opinion on them? I have read the websites thoroughly, and I know they are rather expensive, especially Worldlink, but the money really isn't a big issue. I don't want to pay for nothing though, so what I'd want to know is whether these courses are worth it. I'm really just looking for an opportunity to go to China and at the same time get a quick immersion in the language, and hopefully learn a bit more than I would just travelling around (and since I have a "sponsor" if I take a language course but am on my own if I decide to go travelling, I would rather do the former). So the teaching should be GOOD. I wouldn't mind if the accommodation was nice as well, but the quality of the teaching is most important for me.

Please, people, which one is it? Cactus or Worldlink?

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sunyata

If you want to save money, just apply to a chinese university directly. It's not that hard to apply and easy to be accepted. Cactus and Worldlink are not schools, but companies that make money through people like yourself. Since Chinese universities already charge plenty for their classes, I don't see a point in spending more money on Cactus, Worldlink or any of those companies.

For example, at Beijing Language and Culture University, 9 weeks of intensive Chinese will cost you $920 in tuition, $4-10 a day for university-provided housing, food is cheap, plus application fee ($50), visa fees, and airfare. Alltogether it is about = $920 + $700 (housing) + $700 (tickets) + + 400 (food) + $150 (visa and application fees) = $2870 for everything. You can probably find cheaper tickets from Helsinki, and pay less rent if you choose a double room. You can make it with $2500 without any problems. In comparison, your Cactus charges $2,583 just for tuition and on campus housing for 9 weeks. Worldlink is evn more expensive and their Chinese courses are through BLCU anyway...

Here is a link to BLCU's summer courses:

http://www.blcu.edu.cn/english/lzb/clp2004.doc

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Alleluia

Sunyata, thanks for your interest and the link. It has indeed crossed my mind to apply straight to a University, but as I'm quite late in arranging this whole thing, many opportunies have already gone past me. For example, Beijing Daxue would have had summer courses too (about the same price as Worldlink though, but probably better?!?), but the application deadline was in March. BLCU doesn't look bad, but in Worldlink I was definately more interested in the BCLA option, since the timing of those courses is better for me and since they have smaller groups.

Cactus and Worldlink are not schools, but companies that make money through people like yourself. Since Chinese universities already charge plenty for their classes, I don't see a point in spending more money on Cactus, Worldlink or any of those companies.

Naturally you would concentrate on the cost, but it really isn't the main issue for me (as I won't have to pay it myself, erhem...). When you say you don't see a point in spending money in these companies, do you mean to say that you don't think they give good education at all, or that I could get as good education elsewhere at a lower cost?

BTW, you are right in saying that they are companies. Of course they are, but I still think they DO have schools, even if the companies are not schools as such. I see no contradiction in being commercial and still being a school :) Maybe even a good school - and that is exactly what I would like to know about these two companies/schools...

I definately will look more deeply into BLCU. Thank you for pointing that out to me :) But as I am in a bit of a hurry to apply anywhere at this time, I will most definately take the easiest and most suitable option, no matter what the price is.

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sunyata

ok, cool...it's good that you at least thought about it...

Well, if money is not an issue, then I am not sure... :-?

It looks to me that Wordlink is a better option and I have heard about it before, while I havent heard of Cactus. I think Worldlink is focused primarily on Chinese, while Cactus is not, so maybe Worldlink has more experience in China and better organized programs. Also the Worldlink webpage has much more information, so I would go for Worldlink. This is just a guess though, because I have never used either one.

It's true that you are past the deadlines. However, you could try contacting Beijing Daxue, BCLA, BLCU by email or phone and ask them if they still have any spaces left for the summer sessions. They still might accept you.

Wish you good luck!

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Alleluia

Thanks, Sunyata :)

I am starting to incline towards Worldlink anyway. I sent them some questions and they answered me quickly and in a convincing manner. Of course they would though, naturally they want me to apply, but I think it's a good sign anyway...

Well, I'm still hoping to hear some first-hand experiences of either Worldlink, Cactus or any other commercial summer courses in China! Especially regarding their teaching. Come on, I can't believe there isn't anyone here who has been to these... :help

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roddy

To be honest, the fact they answer their email at all is good - there are plenty who don't.

My impression of Worldlink is that they're a bit like a package tour - you pay more, but organise less. If that's what you want to do, fine.

I don't know of any members on here who've studied with them previously, unfortunately - so you'll have to remember to report back after the summer.

Roddy

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Alleluia

Thanks, Roddy :)

My impression of Worldlink is that they're a bit like a package tour - you pay more, but organise less. If that's what you want to do, fine.

That sort of is what I HAVE to do since I'm doing this too late and there really isn't any time left to organize the lot by myself :) Oh, I would so much rather study at Beijing Daxue, but since that train's already gone... It's all my own fault, anyway. I'll have to hurry already to even get to Worldlink.

But yeah, as it seems I am the first one to venture out and do this kind of crazy expensive stuff, I will let everyone know if it was worth it. :-?

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