Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
  • Sign Up
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
PekingDuckie1

Mandarin House - my review

Recommended Posts

PekingDuckie1

I'm just coming to the end of a 1 month 'intensive' course at Mandarin House, Beijing, so am posting this for anyone else considering this school. This is one of the more expensive schools, and can provide small class sizes, and I also opted for 1-on-1 lessons in the afternoon (which can be taylored to your own interests/needs). Overall the teaching has been fine, but I would caution any potential students to be careful in their dealings with the management...

When I paid for the course (a couple of months in advance), I was promised 30hrs/week intensive course - 4 hrs group classes in the morning, and 2 hrs individual classes in the afternoon each day. There was a condition that if there were no other students for the morning class (i.e. if I get 1-on-1 in the morning too), then the class time will be reduced by half.

When I arrived, they said the terms and conditions had changed since I paid(!), and that now if there were less than 3 students in the group class, then the time will also be reduced. As it happened there were 2 of us, and therefore instead of the 30hrs I paid for, I have in actual fact been receiving just under 20hrs. Any attempt to raise this issue with staff hit a brick wall, so this time I have just resigned myself to the situation, but would recommend other people coming to Beijing to check for reviews of the school in advance, and not pay all the money up-front (they may demand it at first, but are often flexible when pushed, and I have friends who even haggled down the price during the low season).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

roddy

Would be interested to hear how you and this guy turned up at the same time, from the same location, posting the same story. . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PekingDuckie1

Well, I know of several other students who arrived around the same time as me similarly affected, and many of us at the school are pretty disappointed. So surely it's not surprising that we are trying to help others avoid finding themselves in a similar situation? Personally, I wish that before coming to Beijing I had had more tips like this available to guide me in making a decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trevelyan

Out of curiosity, why did you pick the school in the first place? How did you find it and why didn't you pick any one of the clearly cheaper alternatives?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PekingDuckie1

Hi,

well, I didn't have much to go on, but their website is done very professionally, and when I emailed them with a query they responded quickly and extremely enthusiastically, so I imagined it was a friendly, professionally-run school. I also (probably naively) thought that by paying more, I would get a higher standard of teaching and service. I couldn't find any negative comments on them when I did a google search for reviews. After this experience, I would really recommend other people to find as many personal reviews as possible before making any decision, rather than just choosing on superficial appearances, or almost at random, as I did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hanyu Al

I am "this guy" referred to in Roddy's post above. You might also like to take a look at this thread which dates back to 2007 about this school, in which I also posted soon after discovering this site about a week ago, and which gives a few reasons as to why I choose this school and the relative costs, should you be interested.

This was a first time experience for me studying a language, and only really heard of BCLU from friends together with names of a couple other schools which at the time I couldn't find much info on. Since my experience at Mandarin House, I have been having one on one lessons private lesson for 20 hours per week for about 2.5 weeks now which I'm happy with but it would be good to have interaction and the opportunity to make friends which comes with going to a school.

My gripe was not with the teachers, (who are mostly contracted to the school but did on occasion admit the reduced lesson times and the pressure to complete the course book on time made the classes less effective and meant the students needed to do more homework to make up for this) or with the teaching environment which was pretty good.

My main grievance is with the misrepresentation of the programme in terms of promised lesson time, the money-minded inflexibility of the management to do anything about our complaints regarding this even though they admitted that it was their mistake, and their assumption that we as students would believe the BS they fed us. My favourite of which being that they "guarantee" that "I would learn just as much in a class of 2 for 15 hours per week as I would in a class of 3 for 30 hours per week" which I paid for anyway.

Second was with the cost of the accommodation which I realised was way way over its value, which you can read in detail about in the above mentioned link.

As I have said elsewhere, I wish I had found this forum earlier. There's a load very useful info and experiences that can only help those studying or wanting to study in China tremendously. And I'm telling my ex-class mates and anyone whose interested to check it out and benefit from the experiences of others.

There were 6 students that were in this same situation as me during my short time at the school, all feeling quite cheated by the experience, and with others coming and going on a weekly basis I'm expecting that this won't be the last post or thread of a similar vein about Mandarin House.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jasmine MH

Dear PekingDuckie1, Hanyu Al,

My name is Jasmine, I am the Director of Mandarin House, and I am based in Shanghai, China.

I want to apologize for your learning experience at our Beijing school. The change in policy should not have effected the promise we made to you at the first place. Could you please kindly email me at jasmine@mandarinhouse.cn to discuss this issue further.

I appreciate you in bringing this issue to our attention. We are in the process of taking immediate steps to make sure all current students are satisfied with their learning progress.

In the meanwhile, let me assure you that the experience described does not reflect the level of service we pride ourselves in and I am keen to find a solution suitable for you.

Thank you in advance!

Jasmine Bian

Director

Mandarin House

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...