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non-obvious ways to find Chinese tutor in major U.S. city


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I live in Philly, but this probably generalizes to any major U.S. city.

I study Chinese, mostly for fun, and I would like to hire a Chinese tutor.

I have done this over the last few years with great success in DC and in small college towns. I normally email the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) for a nearby college and ask permission to post a tutor ad on their listserver. Sometimes they'll let me post and sometimes they forward that email to the listserver. I then get at least 5-6 responses per college from graduate students interested in tutoring.

I normally study literature and lots of Chinese graduate students have a "serious hobbyist"-type interest in that, so they're pretty enthusiastic teachers. It's also easy money for them, of course.

By "study literature," I mean read stuff like Lu Xun, Ba Jin, sometimes classical or recent works, have the tutor explain anything I don't understand, discuss it some, then write summaries the story or chapter to practice writing. Nothing your average educated Chinese person can't handle.

Now, I'm in Philly and I can't find a tutor.

So far, I've done the following:

1. emails to 4 CSSA chapters.

2. classified ad in local Chinese-language weekly

3. ad in newsletter of Chinese language school

Next step is to ask Chinese people I know elsewhere for Philly contacts, but before I start asking for favors, are there any other tutor-finding strategies that I should try?

Thanks in advance.


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I don't know how it is in Philly, but in many places, Chinese people are networked very well.

If you have local Chinese acquaintances, it is definitely a good idea to let them know you're looking and spread the word, because they might know someone who knows someone who knows someone...

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Is there no confucius institute in your city? That would be surprising if there wasnt.

Otherwise consider learning Chinese using Skype with a China-based teacher. They are often closer to the language than those who have lived away for a while and it is also cheaper.

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If you can manage the Chinese, you could try the forums for Chinese people in the US - I don't know any specifically, but I suspect searching for stuff like 留学 华人 华侨 美国 论坛, etc, would turn something up.

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