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deedeexox

Anyone have advice on where to study in China? :)

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deedeexox

Hi everyone!

I just wanted some advice/ opinions on studying abroad for a year in China to learn mandarin quicker. So far i have done a year of studying mandarin (along side my other degree so only did 1 mandarin subject per semester) in an Australian university. I was thinking of taking a break from my degree to go to a Chinese university next year to focus on learning the language (the learning language programs not a new bachelor degree).  With working and studying other subjects that aren't related to Chinese, I have found it difficult to dedicate the needed time to actually learn a language so thats why i want to go away next year and study just mandarin.

 

I’ve mainly been looking at places in Shanghai and Beijing. Tsinghua is way out of my price range, BLCU and Fudan university both seem to have good programs and the tuition isn’t too expensive but BLCU accommodation is pricy in comparison to Fudan. I have heard mixed reviews from BLCU students (in relation to it being a ton of foreign students making it hard to learn the language) and I also heard that in Shanghai they do speak mandarin but the Shanghainese dialect as well?? There are so many other universities as well (like Beijing Normal University, Peking University, Beijing Foreign Studies University) that i haven’t really looked into yet just because the most popular ones seem to be BLCU and Fudan (and tsinghua). Any recommendations in regards to which program is the best for learning mandarin and living in China etc would be greatly appreciated! 

 

Thanks so much in advanced :)

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歐博思

The answer is always Hangzhou 😎

 

Beautiful city, prominent Mandarin, not too big not too small, close to Shanghai (obviously not as close to Shanghai as Shanghai😜).

 

Maybe you might like to consider Zhejiang University as well? And good luck with your search for the perfect school!

 

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js6426

Harbin. 

 

I can't recommend Harbin Institute of Technology enough.  Very good on the price side of things, and of course the most standard Mandarin in China is spoken here!  The weather is amazing, with nice hot summers and nice cold winters!  Just like I assume most of the people who answer will be, I am of course biased.

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abcdefg

I second Hangzhou and Harbin. Kunming is a good place to live, but I don't know much about the university scene here.

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ChTTay

I’d say Harbin over Hangzhou. But not if you can’t take extreme weather. 

 

Beijing over Shanghai.

 

I’ve heard good things about Renmin University and Minzu University’s language programs in Beijing. They are smaller and likely cheaper. 

 

It probably doesnt matter where you go too much at this stage. Just pick somewhere that’s affordable and nice to live. No point if you move somewhere from and then stay inside all the time. 

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Jabri

Hangzhou and Harbin I think is a good place although I never been there. Last year I stay in Qingdao, Shandong for 1 year. I think Harbin is a good place since a lot of people say that they speak standard mandarin there. While Hangzhou is a beautiful and comfortable city. Both are awesome place to study Chinese. If you don't like the freaking cold weather, then Hangzhou is a good option.

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NinjaTurtle

Harbin only if you love snow. I have heard that Beijing gets white-out-condition blizzards.

 

I worked at Jiangnan U. in Wuxi (near Shanghai) and I recommend it. Shanghai is crowded and expensive. The best thing is live near Shanghai but not in Shanghai. (Hangzhou is also near Shanghai.) From Wuxi you can jump on a train on a Saturday morning, have lunch in Shanghai, walk around Shanghai (I recommend vising Longhua Temple), have dinner in Shanghai, then easily get back to Wuxi in the evening. Wuxi has direct subway service from Wuxi Railroad Station to the university.

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mungouk
3 hours ago, NinjaTurtle said:

The best thing is live near Shanghai but not in Shanghai.

 

Similarly Suzhou might be worth considering. 

 

 

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GabrielaVD

Hi, I would recommend you to choose something that adjusts to your pocket since all schools use the same books to teach Chinese. Also, if you have the chance, take a look at unis inside China, Beijing and Shanghai are full of foreigners, and a lot of people speaks English, so probably you wont have to force yourself into learning Chinese. About the dialect of Shanghai, every province and most cities in China have their own dialects, it doesnt matter where you go, chinese people will speak at least their dialect and mandarin, except for the northwest, where mandarin is the standard language. Goodluck!

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NinjaTurtle
8 hours ago, mungouk said:

Similarly Suzhou might be worth considering. 

 

Right you are, Mungo Jerry!

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abcdefg

OP -- You need to do a search. Dozens of people have asked the same question here before. Back when Roddy was still active day to day, several years ago, he put together an excellent "decision matrix" that took all the major variables into consideration. I don't have time to search it up for you, but it would be well worth your trouble. Or maybe one of the "junior administrators" remembers and could post a link. 

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js6426
45 minutes ago, GabrielaVD said:

Hi, I would recommend you to choose something that adjusts to your pocket since all schools use the same books to teach Chinese.

 

I'm not sure this is entirely correct.  Even at the university I am studying at, the degree program uses different books to the short courses.  You only need to hit the book shop to see how many books are available, and so I highly doubt every school in China is using the same books.  The books may all be similar, but not the same.  Furthermore a class consists of a lot more than the books.  I have one teacher that hardly spends any time in the books at all, they are just a very loose frame around which he bases the class.  Then you have to factor in what classes you actually take.  Different schools may provide different extra classes you can attend etc.

 

So personally I would say there is a lot more to think about than just the price. 

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DavyJonesLocker

I think you should also consider that if you're coming to China it would be a waste just to select a place to study and not take advantage of what the specific place has to offer. 

 

Studying Chinese is a long long road. You will only still be nowhere near the half way point by the time you leave so best appreciate your time when your here. 

 

As to selecting a place, the big cities will have a lot to offer in terms of night life and maybe as a young man that might interest you. I know several young people here in Beijing who really love it here, however given they constantly hang out with foreigners their Chinese learning is hampered significantly. Also in big cities you need to be a lot more proactive in speaking Chinese as the amount of English speaking Chinese is not insignificant. Furthermore there is not much of an interest from locals to interact with you as you as there are plenty of foreigners here. You really can easily get by here without knowing a word of Chinese. 

 

I personally think there is too much emphasis placed on the need to go to Harbin and such places to  learn "standard" Chinese. As long as a region doesn't mainly speak a dialect you will be fine. You will be taught putonghua. English learners don't all go to live in Kent, UK to learn English right (noting there is no such thing as standard English)?

 

Tianjin is really a nice smallish city. They speak standard Chinese, city is well developed too. 

 

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LARPtimus Prime

When I was in Harbin I found the mandarin spoken there almost unintelligable. Keep in mind this is a few years ago and I can handle it better now that my Chinese is better. Compare to Shanghai or Beijing where I didn't have much of a problem. I think in Harbin people speak in a very think northern accent that would probably hold you back if you are just starting Chinese. 

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GabrielaVD
22 hours ago, js6426 said:

the degree program uses different books to the short courses.

 

Oh, it could be bad. Some friends and I reached to the conclusion all schools use the same books since we took a year of chinese language in different cities and unis, maybe thats why I was biased to think that way and that could have been just a coincidence 😮

 

22 hours ago, js6426 said:

a class consists of a lot more than the books

 

totally agree

 

22 hours ago, js6426 said:

there is a lot more to think about than just the price

 

I gree, althought, sadly for me, the price would be the most important factor. I would say to OP we are all biased by our own experiences, but it seems we all like the places where we studied, so maybe OP will also enjoy wherever she/he chooses, hopefully :) 

 

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