As China’s importance worldwide is increasing, learning Mandarin can a very valuable asset for your future. There are two main options for people who want to come to China to study: university courses or private schools.
The first option is to spend a semester or a year to study Mandarin in university. A majority of Chinese universities propose language learning programs for foreigners. Most of the time, these programs have a duration of minimum one semester (4 months) up to several years. The classes are regrouping around 20 students from all around the world, which really creates a multi-cultural experience. Usually, language students have classes either in the morning, either in the afternoon, which allows them to have time to review their classes and follow other interests during their free time. To know more about each program proposed by Chinese universities, please refer to CUCAS, a useful website that lists all programs available to foreigners in China.
For Mandarin classes in University, some people in our network have recommended Shanghai Jiaotong University School of International Education. The contact person for programs at this university is Mrs. Wuying Zhao, Director of Admissions office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In a private school
The other option is to attend classes in a private school. In these smaller structures, classes and service are much more personalized. You can study from one week to several months or years, in group or in private 1-on-1 lessons. These programs are usually more expensive than the university programs; however you will be able to improve your Mandarin skills much faster. These schools also propose cultural events and activities for students to learn more about Chinese culture.
Our recommendation for such private classes is Mandalingua, a school founded by a Swiss expat in China.
Organizing your experience in China by yourself is possible, although it requires a lot of time and dedication. For more tailor-made experience, you can contact Integrate Chinese Life; a company founded by two Swiss entrepreneurs, who proposes packages that include classes, accommodation and integration services.