Program & Schedule
Our courses cover Mandarin, both spoken and written (characters and pinyin). They are run in small groups or, particularly for those at more advanced levels, on a one to one tutorial basis so your learning can be tailored to be more challenging.
Most Mandarin varieties have four tones, which for foreigners who speak English will find challenging. But Mandarin is also the largest of the seven or ten Chinese dialect groups by far, spoken by 70 percent of Chinese speakers and a huge area stretching from Yunnan in the southwest to Xinjiang in the northwest and Heilongjiang in the northeast.
This program offers Chinese language training at all levels. Whether you are a Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced, we have trained professionals who have studied TCFL (Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language) that can accommodate you.
We use approved teaching methods and offer flexible modules so that you can apply your newly acquired language skills in practical situations according to your specific needs - such as learning the language for leisure or work/business purposes.
Following initial language learning at our Centre in Fengyan, Skype meetings can be arranged so that tuition can continue remotely for individuals who wish to travel around China – or even after they have returned to their home country.
This week is the start point for those on their first visit to China and who have very little or no Chinese language. It covers the basics and will at least get you to the level of shopping for basic requirements and ordering food in a restaurant!
Beginner Level Classes
These focus on practicing everyday phrases and conversations that will help you to get by in a variety of situations. With it, you’ll be able to explore and get the most out of your visit in China: whether simply meeting and greeting people, buying local foods and bargaining for a good price, or travelling around. They will also, if you are teaching English in China, enable you to use classroom phrases that every teacher might need: ‘please be quiet’, ‘show me your exercise book’, ‘repeat after me’ are good examples. Our tutors will also accompany you on various visits so you can practice your skills. At beginner level, you can learn quite a few phrases in one week, however 4 weeks is recommended to make the most of it. To facilitate learning during these longer periods, ‘Skype’ tutorial delivery can be arranged after the first week, wherever you are in China, or even after you have returned to your home country.
Intermediate & Advanced Level
These courses are for those who have already attained some proficiency in the Chinese language through previous study and/or those who already have Chinese language qualifications. They will include written and spoken Chinese, using both pinyin and Chinese characters. These courses are intended to build fluency in both spoken and written conversations. They are likely to appeal to those who want to take their language learning further, whether to supplement the learning they may have had in their home country with a supported ‘immersion’ context, or whether they need that fluency to further their studies in China or business. For intermediate and advanced level Chinese language options, three to six months is recommended to achieve proficiency.
Once again, to facilitate learning during these longer periods, ‘Skype’ tutorial delivery can be arranged after the first week, wherever you are in China, or even after you have returned to your home country.
Aims & Objectives
- Improve your spoken and written Chinese through formal classes and cultural immersion
Monday to Friday
The exact schedule is subject to change depending upon your needs and requirements.
Typically however, after the ‘taster’ sessions in the Cultural Immersion week, there will be four hours of formal Chinese language training per day, five days a week plus homework/self-study and accompanied visits so that you can practice your Chinese in 'real life' situations.This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
Participant Criteria & Requirements
Minimum age: -
Maximum age: -
Minimum English level: Basic
CRB required: No
Passport copy required: No
Resume copy required: No
Required qualification: None
There are no specific participant requirements for this program.
Living & Location
Guilin is a province in southern China known for its dramatic landscape of limestone karst. In the majestic shadow of its mountains, on the edge of an authentic, rustic village lies our center - a 260 year old building from the Qing dynasty. Its surroundings invite walking and hiking and offer a stunning view of the hills, as well as of locals farmers hard at work!
This accommodation has western style toilets, a bar with a variety of drinks, snacks, and food all set in a unique Chinese atmosphere.
We have our in-house chef busy making food everyday for you! Expect typical Chinese food with rice and noodles in Chinese dishes styles. Vegetarian food is also available upon request.
We have fully trained Chinese coordinators at our centre. They are bilingual (Chinese – including local dialect, and English). They too live as part of the family at the Centre and are there to run scheduled activities whilst also assisting those who want explore the area or undertake self-organised activities. They are there 24/7 to deal with any problems participants may have.
There is a small local shop which sells snacks on site, but to reach ATMs and bigger shops, it is a 30 minute bus journey into town.
Our Centre is about 4 kilometres away from Lian Hua town. It is easy to catch a bus into town during the day – or to cycle. Gongcheng is the largest town nearby and is about 20 kilometers away. Once again there are frequent buses or shared taxis. Frequent buses also go from there to Yangshuo, 42 kilometres away.
There are days where you will not have many opportunities to spend your money but food, drinks and snacks can all be purchased cheaply. Around 100 Yuan a week should be more than enough. You will however need much more if you are looking at ‘extras’, such as self-organised trips during the week (e.g. to the street barbecues in Gongcheng). Take note that the nearest ATM that accepts international bank or credit cards is half an hour away by car so if you have such plans, you should get cash out at the airport upon your arrival, or in Yangshuo while you are there.
Activities & Events
No scheduled activities outside the program.
Sights & Surroundings
There are so many wonderful sights and places to visit in this area. A guide book can tell you everything you could want to know, but here are a few ideas we recommend:
The Li River
This river spans 80km from Guilin to Yangshuo and is decorated with rolling hills, unique cliffs, caves and comfortable boats and should not be missed. Especially popular among Chinese tourists is a spot close to Yangshuo that is portrayed on the 20 Yuan bill.
A picturesque city famous for its surrounding hills, rivers and bar streets. Lots of activities offered including rafting, biking, rock climbing, a stunning light show on Li River and much more. Make sure to spend at least one of your weekends here.
Seven Star Park
Famed for its rock formations, the park includes many different attractions including the Flower Bridge, Seven-Star Cave, Camel Hill and even a zoo!
From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.
Name: People’s Republic of China
Population: 1.37 billion
Language: Standard Chinese
Currency: Renminbi (Yuan) (CNY)
Time zone: CST (UTC +8)
China covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometers making it the 2nd largest country by land area. It is not only the country with the largest population in the world but it is also one of the largest economies laying claim to being the world’s largest exporter and 2nd largest importer of goods.
It is a country of incredible cultural history boasting one of the earliest ancient civilisations dating back to around 2800 BC. Its landscape is equally rich in diversity, ranging from its forest steppes, its deserts in the north and subtropical forests in the south to its 14,500km long stretch of Pacific Ocean coastline. All of this makes China an incredible and exciting place to be, both in what it has to offer today and the story of its past.
Due to the vast expanse of land that China covers both in terms of longitude and latitude, the climate varies greatly from place to place. Generally, the climate pattern in China is characterised by dry seasons and wet monsoons. The rainy seasons mainly span from May to september but this pattern is less consistent in the some areas such as the dry northwest.
The difference in season causes a pronounced disparity in temperatures between winter and summer. Whilst the summer offers warm temperatures almost everywhere, the winter can cause temperatures to drop significantly, especially in the northern areas of China.
The southern provinces start to experience the monsoons first, starting in April and May. The winds start to blow north in June meaning that northern provinces receive the rains around July and August, and the rains start to come to an end in September and are generally completely over in October. The northwest of China is the only area that avoids the monsoon climate.
China is one of four great ancient civilizations with 3,600 years of written history, and its culture both past and present is incredibly profound. Whilst Chinese cultural identity has many common, unifying elements, it is a country that represents 56 ethnic minority groups, the largest of which is the Han Chinese (900 million people), with other groups including the Tibetans, Mongols, Naxi etc. The significance of this is that each group to an extent creates their own culture and so within the vast expanse of China, depending on where you are, cultural variety is plentiful and there to be explored!
The country is currently ruled by The Chinese Communist Party. It is officially atheist, but is slowly and surely becoming more tolerant towards the practice of religion. The five official religions in China are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism. Due to the fact that it is only in recent years that tolerance of religion has made any progress, the practice of other religions is not formally recognised, although are often tolerated especially in the case of ancient Chinese beliefs. Currently about a quarter of the population practice Taoism, Confucianism and other traditional religions.
There are 8 different styles of traditional Chinese cuisine, and traditional food can be found everywhere in China. Other styles adopted into Chinese cuisine and that might be found in China include Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian, Indian and American cuisine.
The staple foods used in Chinese cooking include exactly what you would expect: rice, noodles, and vegetables with sauces and seasonings.
The attitude regarding food in China is generally “waste not, want not” meaning that it not just uses a wide variety of both plants and animals, but every part of these plants and animals are used in some way. For westerners this might mean that there are a few things on the menu that you may not be used to and might want to avoid.
Due to the scale of the country, it isn't surprising that each area of China has a unique style of cooking and the ingredients very much depend on the natural agricultural produce of the specific region. For example the south of China uses far more rice than the north, where wheat is its main ingredient, a reason why noodles and dumplings are much more common. Southern food is also typically more spicy than that of the north.
Common Chinese dishes include: Sweet and Sour Pork, Gong Bao Chicken, Ma Po Tofu, Wontons, Dumplings, Chow Mein, Peking Roasted Duck and Spring Rolls