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Can anyone recommend any good courses in Beijing where I can study mandarin for up to three months?

I live in London, and I plan to go later this year.

There is a lot of information on the internet, but I'm not sure which one to go for.

I just wanted know people's personal experience of these courses.

Many thanx,


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There are so many!

Most people on this forum who are, or have been, studying have no doubt already contributed to many topics answering (from their personal perspective of course) that very question.

I'm sure Roddy will come along soon and suggest you use the search facility, but I'm here to do the same thing :)

I'm also from London and have picked BNU to study at, later this year. The main language universities are BNU and BLCU. The main Universities which also do languages are Beida and Tsinghua. However, search these forums and make up your own mind. Don't even rely just on my list above, as I'm no expert.

Being a control freak, I went to Beijing last November (my first ever trip to China) just to have a look around and to make up my own mind rather than going on random internet testimonials and the English-language versions of the institutions' own websites (which tend to be rubbish).

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I'm sure Roddy will come along soon and suggest you use the search facility, but I'm here to do the same thing

Sorry Ju_de, but your post is a prime example of how to not get information. You ask for recommendations without telling us a single thing about what you are looking for - university / private school? Intensive / part-time? Expensive / cheap? Advanced / beginner? You then ask for personal experiences of 'these courses' again without specifying which courses, or indicating if you'd already read the fairly significant amount of information on here, and if so what specific information you are still looking for.

Basically, if you do some research and frame a specific question, you'll hopefully get some help. Expect to be spoonfed and you'll go hungry.

You've also posted it in someone else's topic, so I'll seperate it out for you.


PS I'm actually not as mean as I sound.

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If you want mainly to learn to speak - which in itself would be an acheivement in three months if you've not studied much before - try the Taipei Language Institute (link down at time of posting - temporarily i hope). They only do one to one classes, and they're pricey, but their teachers are consistently good and you can organise your own schedule.

I went from pretty ropey to pretty fluent in about 50 hours at this place - after 2 1/2 years of evening classes in the UK. I think it would have taken much longer to make that much progress in group classes, so unless you have a pretty strong background already, I think one to one classes are the way to go...

See also these threads on Bridge School and Juncheng Edu (which sounds like it might be a good place to combine class and one-to-one lessons).

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roddy- many thanks for the advice - sorry, I'm new to this - but I will remember next time :wink:

I have been taking weekly classes for nearly 3 years - but i'm still not fluent, very much lacking in the reading and writing, so I would like to work on all areas of the language.

Ideally, I would like to study at an university in Beijing, doing an intensive course for 30 hours a week for three months.

I have come across a course organised by prcstudy.com, which seems to suit my needs.

It offers flexible dates, intensive courses, and is based in Beijing.

I have heard a lot about the Beijing universities, but hardly anything about the prcstudy course.

Has anyone attended one of their courses or heard anything about them?

Also, with respect to accomodation, would it be better to stay with a host family or to stay in student dorms?

Thanx. :)

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With that kind of background, i think you could become pretty fluent with say 4 to 6 weeks of 10-15 hours of one to one classes, especially as the course load would leave you lots of time to chat to random strangers in beijing. (Also you don't get classmates to hang out with, so you tend to spend more time out and about.)

I found that trying to use hanzi-based books, which i opted for when i first arrived, massively slowed down my learning process - too much to think about. I switched to the TLI (Taipei Language Institute) materials. These are really well thought out, and focussed on core vocab and really get the important structures of chinese across well. And ALL the teachers i had (maybe 6 in total) were well trained and familiar with the materials. You can also get tapes of the main dialogues, which help with listening & embedding the structures further.

I don't know about your priorities, but it seems to me you can study reading or writing quite effectively alone, while three months in beijing is a golden opportunity to get speaking well. And with your background and good teaching it should be quite doable. But three months isn't that long, and if you spread your efforts too thin, you risk getting not very far in multiple areas...

And 30 hours a week could leave you with little time and energy to get chatting outside the classroom, which is easy in Beijing and worth as much as one to one tuition once you start actually communicating...

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There is another set of options besides the BLCU and BNU, etc. There are a number of schools that are what you might call HSK prep schools. Some of them also do a pretty good job on oral Chinese. Most of them have mostly Koreans and Japanese that already can read/write 400+ Chinese words. If you are assertive...one option might be to spend the next months focusing on reading and writing then sign up with a course with them. The courses are intense, classes usually are small < 10 people and, best of all, since almost all of them (in my experience) are Korean most of them can't speak English so you would have to communicate with each other in Chinese. Also, because they are not anglos it would not seem unnatural to talk to them in Chinese, whereas with my classes with other anglos it always seemed kind of....dumb to speak to them, very unnatural. I also found that they were rather intense students, something that helped me focus on my studies.

Before I go on any further...I have been in China for 7 years. At first while teaching English I tried to study Chinese but could not manage 2 languages in my head at one time. Then 2 years ago I quit teaching and focused on studying in a school that offered one on one, yi dui yi. I found it difficult to study in this situation because there was no peer pressure from other students to motivate me to study.

I share some of this to you as of way of saying - to maximize your choice of a school you have to understand yourself very well - what makes you tick? What encourages you? What turns you off? Do you like challenges? or hand holding?

Good luck!

BTW, the schools I mentioned at mentioned tend to be the cheapest and can also get a visa for you.


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Hi Guys,

Which educational strategy would you suggest for me?

I'm not a total beginner at Mandarian. But it's rusty since the last time I studied it was 10 years ago. I already speak a tonal language (Cantonese), and I'm hoping to really work my butt off this year to pass the HSK advanced level exam. At the end of the day it's my own motivation that'll get me through the exams, but I don't know which school is best able to help me achieve this goal.

I've heard that the teachers at the BLCU got their jobs because of family connections and are paid a basic salary so they're uninterested in really helping their students. The person who told me this said that the private school teachers are paid according to the number of students that enrol in their classes, meaning that they have an extra incentive to help students. Is this untrue?

If you have experienced both a BLCU course and a private language school please share your thoughts!

Thanks again guys,


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