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Where to study in China


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Hi all, I've been studying Chinese is the states for a semester and a half and plan to move to China for a year after i finish my second semester. I've be planning on going to Zhejiang University to spend my year as I think Hangzhou would be a great place to live. However, I've heard that the dialect is mostly spoken there, so now I'm also considering Beijing. I was wondering what peoples opinions are, especially people who do live in Hangzhou. Thanks

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I am in a similar situation. I studied Chinese for a year in America and then came over here to China for a year of language study (unfortunately I have to go home this summer). I haven't been to Beijing or Hangzhou, sorry, but I would recommend Xiamen University which is where I am right now. I didn't want to go to Beijing because, from what I have heard from other students who studied there, it is crowded, full of foreigners, and kind of polluted (although I'm guessing that has improved with the Olympics coming up). It's also going to be more expensive than schools in smaller cities. My plug for Xiamen - it is considered one of the most beautiful university campuses in China, located on an island right off the mainland. I can see the harbor from my classroom and the upper floors of the main international student dorm have amazing views of the strait on one side and the campus and surrounding hills on the other. Aside from the view, the overseas education program has a very long history, founded in 1956. As for the price, tuition each semester is 8000RMB (about 1100 dollars) and housing costs between 20-50RMB per day, depending on which building you want and whether you want a single or double. I love Xiamen and my classes, I wish I could stay longer.


As for your concern about regional dialect, you really shouldn't worry about it. It seems like so many students coming to China to study get way too caught up on the dialect issue. Pretty much everyone you will come in contact with at any Chinese language program speaks Mandarin fluently. And whether you choose Hangzhou or Xiamen or any other program, you will be at a university with well-educated young adults from all over China, all of whom speak fairly standard Mandarin. In my classes, I have had a few teachers who teach elective classes (like newspaper reading or preparing for the HSK) who have a noticeable regional accent, but for the most part teachers for main classes like Grammar, Conversation, and Listening all speak standard northern Mandarin.

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