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Short-term Chinese classes?


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Good afternoon,


     I've posted this on other forums, but let's see what comes up here.


     I'm interested in short-term (2-3 week) Mandarin-as-a-second-language classes in China.  Searching online using terms like "short-term Chinese class" and "language vacation" seems to bring up only semester-long programs at universities, but I can't take that much time off work.  What I'm looking for is some type of arrangement, either university or private language school, where I'd have maybe 15-20 hours of class a week and be further immersed in the language through cultural activities, informal interactions with teachers/students/locals, etc.  Reading through some of the posts on this forum, I've seen a few schools mentioned.  Does anyone here have any suggestions, recommendations, or schools to avoid?


     I came across this program in Taiwan - this arrangement is more or less what I'm looking for in China:



    In Germany (I also know some German), an online search quickly reveals lots of language schools where you can sign up for 1-52 weeks, 15-20 hours of class a week, anytime of the year, all levels, etc.



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Welcome. I saw your post on Tripadvisor and thought you might get more help here.


What you are looking for is something that lots of people here, including myself, have done at an early stage in our Chinese language-learning journeys.


I would try my best steer you towards a one-to-one situation for three reasons:

  • The first is because that's where you can learn the most in a short amount of time.
  • The second is that lessons can be tailored to your starting level and speed of language acquisition.
  • And the last is because the timing is flexible, in that you can start and stop studying whenever you want, you don't have to wait for a class to form.

The school I've had the longest experience with is Keats in Kunming. (I'm not affiliated with them.) There's a thread on here about them and you can see their website here:  http://keatschinese.com/


They are fairly typical in offering 20 class hours per week. Most schools organize cultural activities to enrich their student's China experience, and the quality of these can vary all over the map, from great to terrible.


The truth is that staff soon burn out on doing the same weekend excursions over and over and over. But you can go places with other students or maybe with the teachers if you hit it off and ask right.


I hasten to add that there are many well-reviewed private schools offering instruction of this sort in all parts of China and your decision process should be at least partially guided by where you think you would like to spend two or three weeks.


Though I could be mistaken, I don't think you will find what you are seeking through a Chinese Mainland university. They tend to be organized on a semester system, although some do offer summer classes as well.

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Just now looked at your link, and I must say that program looks excellent.




Several members here have attended that university and might be able to comment in more depth. Seems that the program dates have passed for this Spring, but maybe they have sessions later in the year.


Nothing at all wrong with doing your Chinese studies in Taiwan instead of the Mainland. I've been to Taiwan but haven't studied there, so i can't comment further, at least not beyond saying I found Taipei to be a rich and lively place to visit as a tourist.


Have you just considered going to Taiwan and taking this very program? Certainly less visa hassles and way more general freedom.

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Given that you've already found some reports on schools on here - what did you think of them? Are they suitable? What more would you like to know? What are you looking for that they don't seem to provide?

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Thanks for the replies.


My interest is for personal interest (I'm of Chinese ancestry and already know some Mandarin), not professional interest.  I realize of course that more time means more progress, but I will take what I can get in the time that I do have.


If I do decide to sign up for Chinese classes, it would be as a "language vacation" next year or later. 



I saw Keats (in Kunming) and LTL (in Chengde) mentioned in this forum. I haven't looked very closely yet, so there must be other schools I'm missing. Is there a thread in this forum or a website that lists a number of schools in China and Taiwan?  It's much easier to comparison-shop once I know what's being offered out there. 



I've been to Taiwan (and specifically Taipei) three times but China only once, so I'd lean towards China for that reason. I'll have to decide what part I want to be in.  But I'm not ruling out Taiwan.  After searching online, NTNU is the only short-term university program that I found in Taiwan.  Again, maybe a private school?


Once I was in a German class in Berlin for 2 weeks.  There were 10 of us in my class.  I'm not sure how much "concrete" progress I made, but it was good to be in a German-speaking environment - grammar was explained in German, the field trip tour guides described everything in German, I usually spoke German with the other students at the school, etc.


I don't have any experience learning either Mandarin or German one-on-one.  A group class environment (like NTNU) should work for what I'm after, as long as the other students and I continue using the target language outside the classroom.

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I've said my piece, so I want to back off now, give you a chance to do further searching and give others a chance to contribute


Once I was in a German class in Berlin for 2 weeks.  There were 10 of us in my class.


But, never in a million years, would I look for a class with 10 students if I only had 2 or 3 weeks and actually wanted to learn something. This would be particularly true in your situation since you already have a bit of a foundation and the other members of a beginner class will still be struggling to wrap their minds around 你好?。。。你好吗? dialogues.

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