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Are there universities where I can choose WHEN i want to start?


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Are there any universities in Shanghai or Beijing that will allow me to choose a date WHEN TO START studying the Chinese language?

I really want to go during the winter/Christmas season. I'm thinking November and December (two full months.) I also would like to go to a real university. Are there any?

Please let me know if you have any information. I've been emailing universities but I have yet to receive any replies :)

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Not really. If you want flexibility with start dates/times, then private schools are going to be your best option.

Also, universities in China are notoriously bad at replying to emails from foreign students. You may never get a response. It's always better to try calling them.

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Some schools will let you jump into the class in the middle of the semester. This may or may not be appropriate for you (depending on your level, etc.). The possibility of doing this probably depends on how oversubscribed classes are.

Now, going to a private school might be a good idea. However, depending on the location of the school, you might miss out on getting a taste of Chinese college life.

I personally never had a problem getting e-mail replies from the schools I have been studying at in China. I would imagine that the e-mail response rate is inversely correlated to the popularity of the school, however: the more students likely to attend, the less attention would be paid to the marginal student.

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You might be able to find one that'll take you, but you'll you'd need to go into the middle of a class / textbook, and as the universities work on a semester / yearly basis taking one student for two months might not seem worth the hassle of handling your application. Private schools will be much more geared up for what you want.

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My recommendation with private schools and language centers is to do your research on them and be sure to read the fine print or terms and conditions. Unlike universities, these private for-profit organizations often do not handle the legalities of your stay in China.

One of my good British friends is currently taking a 2 month "intensive" course at Mandarin House here in Shanghai, paying something around 1800 USD. A university program usually lasts about 4-5 months (a semester) and costs about 1250 USD. Both provide weekday 3 hour classes. Mandarin House does have a small class size but otherwise, I'm not entirely sold on how "intensive" it actually is, especially at that price. My friend also learned that the school will not assist him with getting his visa or residence permit and he has yet to figure out what he's going to do.

This doesn't necessarily mean that the educational program is bad at private schools but I just want to give you the heads-up on some of the differences between what you can expect. I'm sure that the service quality of the staff at a private business may be better than a public university (i.e. e-mail response times) but universities have a lot more clout.

As I said at the beginning, just be sure you know what the private school will or will be able to do for you. I don't recomment their services for finding accomodations for you as they're often exploitive and overpriced, but if money is no object, I'm sure it can be convenient. Good luck!

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You can take a full-time Mandarin program at Tongji University International School JBC (not main campus of Tongji University). The schedule is 4 hours per day; 10:00 - 15:00 (with lunch break at 12:00-13:00). Normally the program term is 12 weeks of study, but you can apply for 8 weeks of study.

For short term study, you must have a valid visa (normally tourist visa) and extend maximum twice if necessary (30 days each).

Only students who are studying for at least 6 months are eligible to apply for the student residence permit (like student visa). The school administration office assists in obtaining supporting documents from Tongji University and arranging for the health check. Student submits documents with application, plus pay for application and health check fees.

There is no new Beginner Program scheduled for November, but there are ongoing courses you can join if you have some previous Mandarin study.

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