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JenniferW

Short course recommendations?

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JenniferW

I want to spend April somewhere in China, with lessons 5 days a week. This is for personal interest, not in preparation for an exam. I've studied Chinese before but have had a break for a number of years. So I probably need to start with some one-to-one classes, to work out what I remember and what's forgotten.

 

I don't want to spend my time somewhere with high levels of pollution - any recommendations?

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Check out CLI in Guilin

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abcdefg

 

17 hours ago, JenniferW said:

So I probably need to start with some one-to-one classes, to work out what I remember and what's forgotten.

 

Keats in Kunming is a good option. For one month of study, I would stick exclusively with one-to-one instruction. Don't even think about a class or group lessons. That would be frustrating and wasteful. 

 

The weather in April is usually very pretty here. Sunshine and flowers. Would mention that Kunming has several language schools, but Keats is the one with which I'm most familiar. 

 

Wherever you go, most of the students will be quite a bit younger. About half will be serious; about half will be there on a lark and not very focused on their studies. 

 

Kunming's air is not pristine, but it is better than many large cities in China. For real-time AQI information it would be best to check a couple of websites. This is one good one: https://waqi.info/. The Kunming measuring station on this map that is closest to Keats is the one labeled "Dongfeng East." 

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thechamp

I am interested in doing this in April too!

 

I did this prior to taking HSK 5 many years ago, and studied in Yangshuo. It was nice because there are a lot of activities to do in that or near that town e.g rock-climbing, cycling, hiking etc. The night life is also fairly lively as it's a tourist destination so there are lots of restaurants too.

 

I would probably go there but I am interested in Kunming but for me the ability to climb in the afternoon is the deciding factor!

 

i think I'll do 2 or 3 weeks in April

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JenniferW

I know Kunming a bit, but from ages ago, working somewhere west of there for a year. I'd looked at Keats website, remembered there used to be lots of positive comments about them but that a change of management had not had the best effect?

 

I'd also been looking at an option in Qingdao - assuming the air quality can't be the worst! So thanks for the link to checking on this for real.

 

Does anyone know of anywhere in Jilin?

 

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abcdefg
11 hours ago, JenniferW said:

I'd looked at Keats website, remembered there used to be lots of positive comments about them but that a change of management had not had the best effect?

 

I'm not aware of any change in management. When did that supposedly take place?

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xiaolang

I went to Qingdao using https://internchina.com/

Can only recommend them. The great thing is that they're in smaller cities. They also offer courses only I think, just get in touch with them, they're super friendly and will help for sure!

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JenniferW
12 hours ago, abcdefg said:

I'm not aware of any change in management. When did that supposedly take place?

 

A good number of years back, and it's a memory of a comment from someone who'd been there several times. Are you in Kunming now?

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JenniferW
12 hours ago, xiaolang said:

I went to Qingdao using https://internchina.com/

Can only recommend them.

I've contacted them to see if they can offer what I want.  I'm doing this for personal interest, so their internship programmes are not what I'm looking for. What did you do with them?

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xiaolang
Quote

I've contacted them to see if they can offer what I want.  I'm doing this for personal interest, so their internship programmes are not what I'm looking for. What did you do with them?

 

I did an internship with them in Qingdao where I studied Chinese in the morning and worked at a company in the afternoon. However, there were also people there who only did language study. They also have options on whether you want to do a homestay or a normal room. I did a homestay, was definitely good for my Chinese I would say.

 

From what they offer, I've been to Zhuhai and Qingdao. If you go in April, Zhuhai might be a great option weatherwise. If you go in summer, Qingdao is probably better, in Winter, Zhuhai is definitely nicer.

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abcdefg
16 hours ago, JenniferW said:

Are you in Kunming now?

 

Yes, I'm in Kunming now. 

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JenniferW
On 11/27/2019 at 4:18 AM, abcdefg said:

I'm in Kunming now. 

I've visited Kunming several times but almost 20 years ago! So I can imagine how much the city's developed and grown since then. What I want to do is the traditional sort of thing of spend mornings in language classes and have the afternoons for other things, which for me will mean going to parks, museums, any art galleries I can find, and sitting drawing in a sketchbook. I don't mind doing some homework in the evenings and wouldn't mind adding in some calligraphy classes. Most cities can give me that and I've done it several times in Beijing. But I last did that in 2011, and was not enjoying the levels of air pollution, nor the large amounts of time you can spend sitting in traffic going nowhere. I'd been looking at Qingdao because I've never visited it, nor anywhere in that province. For the north-east, I worked in Shenyang and always remember people's comments about the Jilin 'dialect', which is why I also had that on a shortlist. The choices are probably too many!

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mungouk
On 11/25/2019 at 12:22 AM, JenniferW said:

work out what I remember and what's forgotten.

 

Have you considered taking this step on-line, before you go to China?  Then you can make much better use of the classes while you're there.

 

There are lots of good teachers over at italki.com.

 

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abcdefg
15 hours ago, JenniferW said:

What I want to do is the traditional sort of thing of spend mornings in language classes and have the afternoons for other things, which for me will mean going to parks, museums, any art galleries I can find, and sitting drawing in a sketchbook.

 

Kunming has plenty of parks, museums, and galleries. This is one of my favorites. It is 10 minutes by taxi from Keats. https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/55348-a-minor-kunming-park-昙花寺公园/

 

I've written short pictorial reviews of several other local spots in the Kunming section of this forum. https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/forum/53-kunming/

 

 

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JenniferW
11 hours ago, abcdefg said:

pictorial reviews of several other local spots in the Kunming

Thanks for the link - good to see more than the typical website photos of the city. You're doing a good sales job for the city.

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JenniferW
On 11/28/2019 at 12:14 PM, mungouk said:

There are lots of good teachers over at italki.com.

 

I'm checking and revising characters with TofuLearn (suggested by someone else here). I'll have a look at italki.com

On 11/27/2019 at 12:01 AM, xiaolang said:

I did an internship with them in Qingdao where I studied Chinese in the morning and worked at a company in the afternoon.

I've been in contact with them and they don't offer what I want. I only want morning (half-day) classes - not the work placement. Plus you have to be registered as a full-time UK student, which I'm not.

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abcdefg
20 hours ago, JenniferW said:

You're doing a good sales job for the city.

 

Not my intention.

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zhouhaochen

First things first: I work for LTL Mandarin School!

 

If you want to study somewhere with good air, a beach and a good immersion environment, the new LTL Chinese School in Beihai might be something to look at. We started the first courses this summer but are still in soft opening mode, so there is a 40% discount on our normal prices at the moment which might be an incentive.

 

Alternatively an immersion program in Chengde could make sense if you want to improve your Chinese very fast and don't mind a completely immersed environment (which is culturally very challenging so its not for everyone) or if you want to really get away from it all go to Taiwan (careful though: traditional characters abound)

 

As a long term Beijing I want to make the case that the air quality in Beijing has improved significantly over the last few years.

 

If it was me, I would do a combination program Beihai and Chengde, but I am very much into Chinese language immersion and I am not sure if that's what you are looking for. Also with only 5 weeks moving between cities has also some disadvantages, so that depends.

 

As I said, I work for LTL so I can and will not make and recommendations regarding LTL, but if you have any questions regarding any of the cities or programs I am happy to answer. I developed pretty much all of these courses and spent quite a bit of time in all of these cities.

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JenniferW
On 12/2/2019 at 9:41 AM, zhouhaochen said:

First things first: I work for LTL Mandarin School!

I studied at LTL in Beijing in 2011. That was very good - but I don't want to study in central Beijing this time so I will look at the Beihei option (on your website).

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zhouhaochen

Hello Jennifer,

 

oh we must know each other then 😀 I am the guy in the middle in the picture at our school back then (should have been some time around 2011? Not exactly sure when it was taken - I wasnt very good with pictures back then, the whole marketing thing took me a while to understand). Not sure if you remember the two ladies, one is Maria who was back then one of our teachers and now is a student advisor (married with a beautiful daughter) and the other Hui who was our Chinese immersion specialist. She now lives in New Zealand, but just visited us last week in Beijing at our new school which was a very happy reunion for old times. I look a lot older by now....

 

Okay, enough thinking about the old days. In todays worls, personally I think Beihai is a great option especially with the current discounts. We are starting soft opening in Chengdu and Xian in case you are also interested in some other "smaller" cities than Beijing/Shanghai.

If you have any questions regarding any of those cities, feel free to ask here - or you can of course email the address on the website for information and one of my colleagues will get back to you with details if you dont want this all to be so public.

 

The questions I usually ask someone before making any recommendations are

- What is the main aim of the trip (culture, rapid language learning, tourism etc.)?

- Whats your current Mandarin level for speaking/listening/reading/writing?

- What is your approximate budget?

- Any thoughts on accommodation?

- Any specific areas of your Mandarin you want to work one (tones, characters etc.)?

- Do you know the exact dates yet you would like to come?

- Any specific preferences regarding cities to go to you have?

- Any concerns/worries you have about the course/school/city/accommodation etc.?

 

Have a great time and let me know if you need help with anything.

WeChat Image_20191206085125.jpg

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