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ganmo

Studying Mandarin in Guangzhou

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Takeshi

The first thing you should look into is the China Government Scholarship. It is a fully-covered scholarship that will pay for your course and living expenses. (The only thing it doesn't cover is the flight.) There are posts about it all over the forums so read them.

 

You can use the China Government Scholarship to go to only a few schools in Guangzhou unfortunately (this may have changed in recent years!). I'm sure you can apply to Sun Yat Sen University and South China Normal University. 

 

This should be your first priority because it's free, and look into other options only after this doesn't work out.

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hanaxsan

Hi, Takeshi

Thank you so much for your reply! I've never heard about this scholarship before..

 

I checked this site (is it the correct one?), and Sun Yat Sen University didn't offer 1 year of Mandarin, but I guess those courses are for this upcoming year, and not the next one.

 

However, I'm wondering if you know whether it is hard to get through the system? I.e. if only half of the applicants get a scholarship? Also, it is open world-wide, right? 

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Takeshi

It isn't impossible to get through the system. Nobody knows what you need to get the scholarship, but there is a pinned thread in the life work and study in china subforum that calls people to list their experience and whether they got it or not. This can give you an idea of how hard it is to get. It is open world-wide, but you will generally be competing within your country and embassy.


I have no idea if that's the "correct" webpage for the information you need, and I'm honestly too tired to look. I can say for a fact that people have been doing 1year scholarship Mandarin at SYSU for a while, and this should still be possible unless something strange has changed recently.

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Xiaoxiongwv

I would say GZ is about the worst place to study mandarin is Guangzhou as the Cantonese are very proud of their language and do not readily understand foreigners speaking mandarin as you would encounter elsewhere in China. A perfect understandable sentence uttered in Guangzhou would be difficult for someone from GZ to understand.

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zhouhaochen

When I lived in Foshan (right next to Guangzhou), I had trouble getting people to even just speak Mandarin with me. While a lot of young (a lot by far means not all) can speak Mandarin of some sorts and some speak it actually well, none of the people I met liked using it. There is a lot of pride in speaking Cantonese. I remember quite a few rather boring evenings with Chinese friends who would speak in Mandarin when they adressed me, but would NEVER speak Mandarin to each other as they were all local Guangzhouers. Even my Cantonese friends in Beijing tend to speak Cantonese with each other even when other Mandarin only speakers are present.

Got to respect their point, Mandarin is not their language, they are very keen to protect their native tongue, but I would not go there to learn Mandarin.

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anonymoose

I can't say whether Guangzhou is a good place or not to learn Mandarin, but I certainly never had any problem with communicating in Mandarin there.

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xuefang

I agree that Cantonese aren´t very polite in group discussions and often leave the lone foreigners or waidiren alone and keep on chatting in Cantonese. That is one reason I rarely go out with my husband and his friends, it´s always a very boring night for me.

 

But other than that there are no problems in communicating in Mandarin when out and about in Guangzhou. Only the oldest people are unable to speak Mandarin, but everyone else can speak at least some kind of Mandarin, some people even very good one. There are also a lot of students and workers from other provinces here that can´t speak Cantonese at all.

 

Of course living in Guangzhou can easily mean that you don´t get that super standard pronunciation that easily, as you never hear it outside. I definitely have a Southern flavor in my putonghua, which I try to correct now. But I´ve still been very happy with my decision to come and stay in Guangzhou, even though it isn´t the best place to learn Mandarin.

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anonymoose

@xuefang Haven't you thought about learning Cantonese?

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xuefang

I have thought about learning Cantonese for a long time now, I've even taken two Cantonese courses at my uni. But at the moment I want to concentrate on my Mandarin and my master's degree.

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studychinese

Your mother-tongue is Cantonese, and you want to study Mandarin in Cantonese speaking Guangzhou? This seems very, very unwise.  

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