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Summer programs: Tsinghua or BLCU?

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Hello all, new to this forum and hoping to get some advice from the experienced crowd.

I am choosing between enrolling in the Tsinghua Chinese Language and Culture Program or BLCU Mandarin Training Program this summer. Both programs offer something to Hong Kong and Macao citizens (like myself) to learn the correct mandarin pronunciations. Anyone know of these programs? Which is better or which one is a waste of time? Class size differences? Contents of stuff learned?

I'm in college and have an unemployed summer, thus hoping make use of it by shaping up my sloppy conversational mandarin (so I guess I really want to force myself and focus on speaking more and more) and of course check out Beijing while doing so.

Any advice would be appreciated!

PS: Here are the links that I've been looking at for the programs...

Tsinghua 3 week program: (actually been thinking whether those "cultural" classes like taiji and calligraphy would be a waste of time or not...)


BLCU 4 to 5 week program, considering either "普通话培训课程普通班(20学时/周)" or "普通话水平测试应试班(26学时/周)"


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Anyone? Please?

Deadlines are approaching and I would really appreciate any comments or advice from you all!

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when I studied in Tsinghua three years ago, they didn't even have a Summer program so I assume it's pretty new.

Personally, I think Tsinghua's program better because BCLU has 1) too many foreigners and 2) too many Chinese students wanting to practise English with you rather than helping you practise Chinese

However, I've heard from some that BCLU has better teachers...

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Hi jtkirk, I'm facing the same question now (BLCU or Tsinghua for summer chinese program) and I'm also from Hong Kong. I have about a month's time and aim to really improve my Mandarin in this time. Obviously Tsinghua sounds like a better name on CV, but seems like BLCU has got pretty good reviews from online foums. And the fact that it has a program tailored to Hong Kong Chinese seems quite attractive. However I've read a lot about BLCU having too many foreigners... (I was thinking maybe there's a better chance to meet some local students at a larger university like Tsinghua?), do you think that's a problem?

Would appreciate your thoughts as registration deadline is fast approaching (Tsinghua on 15 June 2012). May I know which course you ended up going to, and whether you would pick the same school again?

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I am in BLCU right now, and though I have learnt a lot here in my one-year study duration I would not recommend BLCU. All the more not to someone who is coming for a short-term course. The usual short-term [intensive] course here is 30 hours per week, which means you will start classes at 8.30 AM till 12:30 PM, take lunch break and then from 2PM to 4PM. This schedule is pretty much exhausting by itself, leaving one little time to pursue extra-curricular activities, travel or just chatting up with Chinese people.

Also, there are too many foreigners here - Koreans, Japanese and Russians/Kazakhs being the most in number. In elementary levels, you would hardly hear people speaking in Chinese, because of the simple reason that their Chinese is still not upto the conversational level [not counting 你是哪国人?,你的爱好是什么 and the likes]. There are many Chinese people in the campus, but most of them are over-burdened with their own studies. My Chinese friends pursuing Finance here go to attend classes on Saturday and Sunday mornings, beat that. Moreover I feel it is very easy to get distracted from studies while you are here. You will find no shortage of "学生” who are partying and drinking every night.

I do not which level of Chinese you are currently at, but if you are anywhere near Intermediate, then all you are going to do for 4/6 hours everyday is to cram the text over and again. They do teach 口语, but it is more like how to exchange money, what to say when you go to a friend's house, how to ask for directions and all. Not really the stuff you would usually talk about with people who speak your mother tongue. It's more like survival Chinese.

I have not attended Qinghua so I am not in a position to comment about it, but I guess I have made the situation about BLCU pretty clear.

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Prateeksha - thank you for sharing your insights and experience! Much appreciated.

I've decided to still go ahead for BLCU just because it has a program specifically designed for HK/Macau/Taiwanese nationals (普通话水平测试应试强化班(26学时/周)) so the difficulty level is supposed to be higher (supposedly just focused on speaking/listening, without having to learn writing/reading). I'm sure your comments (e.g. too many foreigners) would be true for beginner/ intermediate levels. Hopefully I can also get out more to meet more locals!

Having called and talked to staff at Tsinghua and Peking U, I realized their programs are more for westerners and not people with Chinese background. (A good way to find out what level you should be in is by calling their staff and talking to them in mandarin, and they can tell you whether you'll fit in with their programs).

Here's a summary of my research on various language programs, hope it can come in handy for prospective students!

1) BLCU (Beijing Language and Culture University): The only school that has a language program specifically for HK/TW/Macau Chinese. Available in varying difficulty levels. Seems like it can go up to a higher level (prep for PSC exam).


2) Tsinghua: ICLCC (International Chinese Language & Culture Centre), for full-semester (4 months) study


3) Tsinghua: ICLCC (International Chinese Language & Culture Centre), for summer courese (either 4 weeks, 6 weeks or 8 weeks). Students enrolled in varying program length would start on the same date but leave the program accordingly (so the class size would decrease in time)...


4) Tsinghua: CLCP (Chinese Language and Culture Program), available for the summer (4-weeks), costs quite a bit more than ICLCC, as it also also includes "cultural" acitivites.


5) Peking University's (1. Short-term courses, 2. Full-semester Chinese studies programs). (1) has to be applied by an institution or through an instituation (check your own university), (2) can be applied individually but is only available for a full-semester.


6) Peking University's Intensive Chinese Language (looks to be an accelerated version of the above, but seems like citizens of HK are not eligible, check the "eligibility" paragraph):


7) Peking University's office for HK/Macau/Taiwan citizens. But doesn't have Chinese language programs yet, only "exchange" program with Taiwan currently.


8) Online forum where I got a lot of these information.



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