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Fixed dollar amount - What would be the best school for 1 year intensive mandarin


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Hi everyone! 


My name is Benjamin and I am new to the forum, I've read tons of stuff on here and one of the major points is to be VERY clear and detailed when asking a question like <what school should I attend?> I will try to be as detailed as possible.


Budget: CAD 13,000 

City: Shanghai 

Accommodation: Ideally an apartment but would settle for single room

Time horizon: 1 year  (from February 1st) 





I am a Sales Executive/Director and I've worked for multiple big companies. I speak French, English and Spanish and I have my own import business called Hedgeports. Business is going really well and I want to take it to the next level, I realize I should have spent the last 4 years learning Mandarin instead of Spanish but too late now. I've already put my resignation notice at work for the end of January 2016 and I have applied through CUCAS for the 1-year intensive Chinese program @ Fudan University. So far, nothing is in stone, I applied back in June 2015 and they told me they wont be applying on my behalf until after October 2015 for the Feb 2016 semester. They offered to give me back my money until it was closer but it was only a couple hundred dollars so I said keep it for now. We are approaching October and the more I scan this forum and other forums I realize there is a wealth of information out there and many of you have gone through the same process. I picked Shanghai because its the most metropolitan city in China and I want to be around the big business to network as well, also, I am eager to meet other international students and make even more connections. So far, I'm set on Shanghai, Fudan seems promising unless someone has some better recommendations. My question is this: Going through an organization like CUCAS says it would cost about CAD 20,000 for the year, including accommodation, tuition, food and a bit of entertainment. Before following through completely, I'd like to know if someone has had some experience going through CUCAS or if they can share some of their costs. 


Also, I stayed at AIRBNBs throughout my trip to Europe 3 weeks ago and thought I'd look into it for the year in Shanghai, they have a variety of decent options incase someone was wondering. 


Looking forward to your help!



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-"I am a Sales Executive/Director and I've worked for multiple big companies...I have my own import business called Hedgeports. Business is going really well and I want to take it to the next level"  ​吹牛皮


My advice would be to organise this yourself. I think CUCAS is pretty expensive, and its definitely easy enough to register at a university directly. Especially if its one of the ones in a major city, where lots of foreign students have been before.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yeah I attend Fudan right now and from the looks of it, that seems pretty expensive. It is much easier to just apply directly to Fudan and pay their prices because its much cheaper. Going through a 3rd party program is nice (depending on your circumstances) but since you're out of school and on your own, it would be better to apply directly to Fudan. I have never heard of CUCAS before and I don't know anyone here (that I have met so far) that is going through that program right now to tell you anything. 

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The question should be why do you want to speak Chinese. Are you looking at using the money as an investment in order for you to get into the Chinese market? If it's for business purposes, I'd say use the money to get a good Chinese based agent/translator instead, get them to do ground work. After a year your Chinese won't be good enough for business purposes.

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