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what is the demographic profile


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of the serious non-Asian students of Mandarin?..in terms types of student of both oral and written Chinese e.g. age, profession, background, and likely future based on their profile. Am curious. Is anyone over 35 regarded as an oddball for changing track in life and getting serious about learning this language? Is it pointless over a certain age? Am curious about who by and large one bumps into as a serious language student in China at uni or other such institutions. Is it just young language students complementing their Ivy league degree , their law or IT degree etc with a Chinese qualification and the rich over 50 year old retired lawyers fufilling post career ambitions or are there people in between who come from not so privileged backgrounds but have found their direction in life mid life? I wonder as it must be interesting to learn the langauge but..perhaps from a career point of view a bit pointless over a certain age or without youth and a previous vocational degree? can one become fluent and literarte and have a new career mid life or is it the demographic profiles I've noted above that succeed?

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Most people were early 20s, but much more mature than an average 20 year old would be at Uni at home.

I was 37 when studying in Beijing last year and was the oldest in my class but, apart from people thinking I was cool because I'd actually had a job, I was treated the same as everyone else. But that's mainly down to me, I think.

Why was I there? Just for fun. Wanted a career break, which is easy for me to do as I work freelance anyway. I studied quite seriously (but there is quite little one can learn during just one semester, when you're focussed on speaking/reading and writing) but it was nice to know I wasn't doing it to try and open up job prospects, because I believe it doesn't help. That's a separate point for discussion though!

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I suggest you don't get too caught up on the age thing. I'm 37. Been living in Japan for the past two years. I'll stay one more year and then move to China to study Mandarin as a full-time student.

Good luck with your studies.



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35 years old. Decided to start learning Mandarin 1 and a half years ago. Decided a year ago that I would need to move to China to do it properly so managed to get job in Harbin.

People have said I'm a bit mad but there;s no sense in not doing something properly (plus I like being here so far!

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Thanks to each of you for replying, am currently at a juncture in my work and life and want to learn Chinese and have/had an image of classes packed full of certain types with a huge demographic gap in the middle age range that I now come into. (sh)

Any further experiences people have on age range/demographics, thanks for posting

Also sounds like HSK results are of more importance at my age than emabrking on a 4 year degree in Chinese to develop me Chinese

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