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Tianjin. Need some first hand advice.

Guest mara

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Can you guys give me some impressions of learning Chinese in Tianjin? Either at TU, Nankai, TMU or TUST. I have been in Hubei and Beijing teaching English for almost two years and am going to make the leap to study Chinese. I have decided tp go to Tianjin because it is more industrial, has good universities and is cheaper. Friends have told me Nankai is packed with foreigners. For me this would be terrible as I need a strict Chinese speaking environment. I can converse easily, but can't write at all. I hope to sit the elementary level HSK sometime next year. Any contacts or emails will be replied. TA

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I have friends already living in Tianjin and they said there is a lot of foreign students at Nankai (it is a big and famous university). But, I have't been to see for myself. I called Tianjin University this morning and they said they have 10 Mandarin classes with 10-15 people in each class. TU sounds like a managable amount for me. The teacher also told me their is no European types enrolled, I take that to mean, no native English speakers. Am going to go in two weekends and check out all the schools. TU starts around Feb 16.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For all you thinking about coming to Tianjin I think you first should visit before you come. It is better than some smaller towns, but the city is in the middle of a complete makeover which makes it very dusty and dirtier than it normally would be.

As for Nankai, it does have the most foreigners in Tianjin. Tianjin Uni is number two for having foreigners, but they are nothing like Beijing or Shanghai. TUST is where I currently work and there are no foreigners on the role for Chinese classes. They are all Korean, Japanese, or Vietnamese here. If that is what you are looking for this might be the place for you. One other thing to think about is Beijing and Tianjin have a few Chinese programs that are not degree programs, but will prepare you for the HSK. They are not dificult to find once you are here and ask around.

In terms of foreigners Tianjin just doesnt have as many as you would think. But in my opinion and I have been living and traveling China for the last three years, Tianjin is not what the guide book says. The tourism and sights to see in this city can be done in an afternoon. It is not picturesque. Most Chinese think that the beautiful colonial building should be brought down and what hasnt been, is still in a very small area of town.

Also if you are thinking about TUST, it is no where near the city center. It is a 25 minute bus ride to anything remotely interesting.

I hope this will help and feel free to email me.


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  • 3 months later...

Tianjin I think provides a great learning environment. It has a small-town feel but it cosmopolitan enough to have the western-style restaurants if you want it and even has the dives of bars where you can practice your Chinese with the very kind waitress.

Nankai has a lot of foreigners, sure, but a lot of them are Korean which is all the better because usually they can't speak much English.

Also, there's a private language school called New Century on Zijinshan Rd that offers more intense courses that is run by a westerner who trains his teachers to do western-style teaching (discussion, etc), which I highly recommend.

The Tianjin dialect is pretty close to standard Mandarin and for most purposes is easily understandable. It's also a hoot to listen to.

I would recommend Tianjin for language learning to anyone.

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