FAQS

PLEASE FIND A LIST OF THE MOST COMMON QUESTION. IF YOU CAN'T FIND THE ANSWER TO YOUR
QUESTION BELOW, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH US DIRECTLY.

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GENERAL FAQs

    • What makes That’s Mandarin different from other schools?

      A lot! First and foremost is the quality of our teachers and teaching methods. Our teachers all work for That's Mandarin on a full-time basis. When they're not teaching, they're busy researching pedagogy and doing training. They participate in a comprehensive training program when they join the school, and continually receive additional training. They are well-versed in the unique teaching methods developed at our school, which have consistently been proven to ensure that students make the maximum amount of progress in a minimal amount of time. That's Mandarin believes strongly that our whole team can improve every day.

       

      --- Mandarin Café: Just as important as our teachers is our system – Mandarin Café. Our students don't spend their valuable class time writing down list after list of new vocabulary. Instead, right when you sign up, we'll open a personal account for you on Mandarin Café and, each time you learn new vocabulary or grammar, your teacher will enter it into your account for you. No matter where you are in the world, as long as you have internet access, you can review, re-use and refresh the materials you've studied at That's Mandarin. On the Mandarin Café platform, you also have the opportunity to listen to a recording of every new word you've learnt, so you're never unable to practice your listening and you can always work to round out your pronunciation.
      --- Phone App: In addition to the Mandarin Café website we also have a Mandarin Café phone App, this App is available for all our current & past students. It includes all the same features as the site, but can be used on and offline, so you can revise and review on the go!
      --- Our unique methods: We use our unique method "Link Word" to help you remember new vocabulary and "Story Telling" will help you to speak in whole sentences and start chatting with the locals!
      --- Tailored study plan: We make a study plan tailored to each student’s level and interests and we adjust the study plan based on their progress each month.
      --- Money back guarantee: Our money back guarantee is valid through the end of your first month. If you choose to cancel your classes, we will refund the cost of the remaining classes.
      ---  Our conductive environment: We provide a superb learning environment, from clean, modern classrooms to a wide selection of drinks that are always on offer. We would like to think we are offering students a fantastic value for their money, given the high quality of teaching and service we provide.

       

      For these reasons, we have consistently received positive feedback from our students. And we believe you will see great progress if you study with us!

    • How many students do you have? Where do they come from?

      On average, every year, That’s Mandarin welcomes more than three thousand students from all over the world. Students of all ages have studied at That’s Mandarin - we’ve had students ranging from 5 to 70 years old! However, most of our students average between 18 and 55 years old for Part-Time and Semester Programs. For our Beijing or Shanghai Summer Camp, students are between 7 to 17 years old. Most students come from America, Europe, and Asia.

    • Where are the schools located?

      We have one school in Beijing and one in Shanghai. Our school in Beijing is located in the Dongzhimen area, in the centre of the expat community. Our school in Shanghai is in Jing'an, near Jing'an Temple station and just a short metro ride the Bund. You can find our campus addresses and contact information here.

    • Which school should I study at – Beijing or Shanghai?

      It's up to you! If you've already spent time in Beijing, why not head to Shanghai? If you've had enough of the French Concession, come and see us in Beijing! We encourage students to learn a bit about each city and choose which one they think works best for them. The quality of our schools and teachers are the same in both cities, so it's up to you; which city do you think would be more fun?

       

      To read a bit more about each city, head over to our Learn Chinese in Beijing and Learn Chinese in Shanghai sections.

    • When are you open?

      Our business hours are from 8am to 9pm on weekdays, and from 10am to 7pm on weekends. Our specific class times are as follows:
      8:00 - 9:50 am
      10:00 - 11:50 am
      1:00 - 2:50 pm
      3:00 - 4:50 pm
      5:00 - 6:50 pm
      7:00 - 8:50 pm

       

      Students who take 1on1 classes can choose any slots they like. We can also arrange one class from 5-5:50 and 6-6:50 slots. If you want to take classes at other time slots, please contact us.

    • What visa do I need and what is the visa application process like?

      First, we do not require a specific type of visa; all legal visas are acceptable to study with That’s Mandarin.

      --- If you don’t have a visa yet, we can provide a student X2 visa as long as you sign up for our selected programs such as the Semester Program or Teen Immersion Program. We might also be able to provide visas for other types of programs. Please contact us directly and provide your nationality, which course you would like to join and how long you would like to stay in China, and we will give you more suggestions.

      --- If you already have a visa and would like us to help you extend it, please send us an email to tell us the details about your current visa (type, date of expiry and issuing place, as well as your nationality, gender and passport number) at info@thatsmandarin.com (Beijing) or info.shanghai@thatsmandarin.com (Shanghai) and we will give you some suggestions.

    • How can I apply for a course?

      If you are in Beijing or Shanghai, you can come to our campuses directly to sign up. You can also choose the program you are interested in and apply online first and we will get back to you according to your application letter to introduce the program to you. If you are satisfied with our program and decide to register, then we will make a contract for you and you can come to sign up before classes start. Of course, you can also contact us by sending us an email at info@thatsmandarin.com (Beijing) or info.shanghai@thatsmandarin.com (Shanghai) or calling us at +86 10 5218 6432 (Beijing) or +86 21 6152 0017 (Shanghai) to inquire about the program first.

       

      If you are abroad, you can apply online first and we will reply to you as soon as possible to confirm your class requirements. We will then require a transfer of 50% of the tuition fee and full accommodation fee in advance as a deposit. You can pay the rest on arrival to the school. You can also ask your family members or friends in China to come to our school to pay for you.

    • When should students apply for their program?

      In order to guarantee a smooth application process, we recommend that students apply two to three months before they plan to arrive in China or they plan to begin their study. However, applications can be submitted anytime before the intended starting date if the student does not require accommodation, although we cannot guarantee there will be a space available. If students need accommodation, applications should be submitted at least 6 weeks in advance.

 

CHINESE CLASS FAQs

  • What kind of courses do you offer?

    We have a Semester Program and Part-time Program for adults and a Summer and Winter Camp for kids. Our Semester Program is designed for students who want maximum progress in a short time. This program has been very well-received - many students have greatly enjoyed and benefited from it. Our Part-time Program has a more flexible schedule, suitable for students who are working or studying in Beijing or Shanghai. In addition, we also have Online Classes for students who can't be here with us in Beijing or Shanghai!



    We also have a number of Specialised Programs that cater to specific language & lifestyle needs, such as our Gap Year Program, Tailor-Made Program, Chinese & Internship Program and Corporate Program.



    As for class content; we offer Survival Chinese, Business, HSK preparation courses and many other kinds of exam-centred Chinese courses, such as IB preparation, GCSE preparation, A level course, SAT test preparation, BCT and YCT preparation. You can check for more information about our exam Chinese courses here. The class will also be tailored to your Chinese level, interest and needs.

  • Which program is best for me and should I take private or group classes?

    If you work full time in Beijing or Shanghai, our Part-time Program (Beijing or Shanghai) with its flexible schedule will be your best choice. If you’re searching for a fast track to learning Chinese, then our Intensive Chinese courses (Beijing or Shanghai) could be just what you’re looking for! Once you have taken this first step we can move onto the most suitable class types and create a tailored learning plan to get your Mandarin where it needs to be!



    If you work full time and don’t have a fixed schedule or you have a specific study direction in mind (for example the law field or preparing for a certain exam), we would recommend our private class for you. Private classes are very flexible and more personalised to your interests and needs. You can decide when you would like to study, how many classes per day and how many days per week. If you need to rearrange your times in case of an emergency, just let us know 24 hours beforehand and there will be no charge. Of course, private classes are more expensive than group classes.



    If you have more time and would like a fixed class schedule and classmates to study with, then our Semester Program will be your best choice, with a maximum of 5 students to ensure a better learning environment. Of course, another benefit is that the group class is cheaper than a private class. However, please note that we cannot cancel or reschedule small group classes. If you can’t come to class, you can’t make it up later. If you are unable to come to your class or want to study from home, all your class notes, mock Chinese exams, language exercises and more can be found on Mandarin Café - our online Chinese learning platform that is free for you to use.

  • How many students do you have in your group classes?

    As we group students strictly according to students’ level, our classes have an average of 3 students, with a maximum of 5 students per class.

  • Will the classes be taught in English?

    All our classes will be taught in Chinese to give students a fully immersive Chinese atmosphere. Even for absolute beginners, our teachers will only use a little English to help you understand. We have some French, Russian and Mexican students who can’t speak English at all. Our teacher will use pictures, videos, gestures and body language to help students to learn. As your Chinese level progresses, less and less English will be used in your classes and you will be able to understand more and more every day.

  • What are your teachers like?

    Our teachers are all full time teachers. None are students, they're all graduates the vast majority of who have majored in teaching Chinese or in Chinese language. Those who didn't major in Chinese teaching, majored in subjects such as economics or law, making it easier for them to teach the relevant vocabulary for these subjects to more advanced students. Finally, because our teachers don't work on a part-time basis, when they're not in class, they're either researching or working on pedagogy, preparing classes, or doing training. If you want to see what our students think of our teachers, take a look at our Student Video Testimonials and see what they have to say!

  • Will I always have the same teacher?

    We cannot assure that you will take classes with the same teacher each class as it depends on both your and our teachers’ schedules. Usually, we will arrange more than one teacher for one student. In this way, students can be familiar with different pronunciation of different people. If you have a fixed schedule, we will try our best to arrange the same teachers for you. What’s more, we will ask for each student’s opinion whether they would like to change teachers after a period of time. Most importantly, all of our teachers have extensive teaching experience and have undergone our full training program. You can request a change of teacher if you are unhappy with the teacher assigned to you.

  • How will I know whether I will like your classes or not?

    We can arrange a free trial class for you so that you can experience our methods directly and find out what makes us different from other Chinese language schools. It will also give you a chance to meet our teachers and to discuss your exact requirements so that we can put together the best possible course for you. We will also give you some recommendations and make a study plan for you after the trial lesson.

  • How long are your classes and what does a typical class schedule look like?

    Each class lasts 50 minutes. As the vast majority of our students take more than one class per day, we find a ten minute break between classes to be both necessary and helpful. Having a break in between helps by giving students a bit of a rest and allowing them to process what they've learned.
    ---  For our Intensive 1on1 Class in Beijing or Shanghai, you can take 4 or 6 classes per day from Monday to Friday, and you can choose whatever time slots you like. For our Semester Program in Beijing or Shanghai, you will take 4 classes per day from Monday to Friday from 10-11:50am and 1-2:50pm, which are our most popular time slots.
    --- For our Part-Time 1on1 Class in Beijing or Shanghai, you can decide whenever you would like to study - how many classes per day and how many days per week. For our part-time small group class, you will take 2 classes each time and 1, 2 or 3 times per week.

  • What will my level of Chinese be after I have completed the program?

    Naturally, each student’s rate of progress is different, and depends upon a number of factors, including the frequency of attending class and individual aptitude for foreign languages. Generally speaking, even beginner level students will be able to say a few sentences in Chinese after just one class with us. If an absolute beginner commits to studying with us 5 days a week for 2 hours at a time, after just one month they will have mastered Survival Chinese, in which they will learn all the basics as well as necessary vocabulary and sentences for getting around Beijing or Shanghai. They will get a good grounding in grammar and sentence structure as well.
    --- Key vocabulary includes: self introduction, asking directions, exchanging money, ordering food, making appointments, shopping and simple bargaining exercises, expressing likes and dislikes, visiting hospitals, etc. You will even begin to put together short stories and conduct basic conversations with Chinese people. Each student’s progress depends on their starting level, studying length and effort put in.

  • I want to take the HSK; can I do this at That’s Mandarin?

    Yes, That's Mandarin’s campuses are certified HSK examination centres, so you can register and take the test at our school. We have a lot of students who have studied with us in preparing for the HSK and passed the test successfully, and we would like to do the same for you. We will put together an exam prep study plan tailored to your Mandarin level in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

  • Is it possible for me to have class at my office?

    Yes, we can arrange for a teacher to go to your office for class during periods when your schedule requests can be accommodated. Because of the travel and time involved, we will add extra fee 100RMB each time. However we believe it's best for students to come to our school for classes. We aim to give our students the best possible advantage in learning Mandarin, and we want to ensure that every student gets those same advantages. In our school, you'll have a strong language environment, which will greatly improve your ability to learn the language and practice. It also allows us and our students to maximize our resources and online layout, and provides a strong framework for learning that makes it easier to progress. If a student still wants to have class in his or her office, we will try our best to arrange it on the condition that the office is not so far and the teachers’ schedule permits.

  • Can I register for group classes for 6 months or more?

    For our part-time small group class, we start many new classes at different levels every month. Naturally, each student’s rate of progress is different, so we design our group class as 30 or 50 classes. When you finish one class, our teacher will judge your level and will suggest which class you can join next. In this way, you can keep taking the part-time group class for 6 months according to your schedule and progress without the risk of missing class if your schedule changes (as the schedule for the group class is fixed and cannot be rescheduled).

    For our Semester class, students will take 80 classes intensively for one month, so students will make great progress very quickly. In this way, it can be difficult to find enough students with a similar level to start a small group class after just two months of study. It can also be difficult finding students who are keen to study similar material as you. Therefore, we recommend students to take intensive 1on1 classes after two months of group class. Of course, if you want to study with your friends who are at the same level and have the same studying interests as you and would also like to take an intensive group class, we will be glad to arrange one for you.

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FINANCIAL FAQs

  • Where can I find information about the pricing?

    You can find information about the pricing for our different Chinese Program options in Beijing or in Shanghai.

  • If I am not satisfied with the classes after I have registered, what can I do?

    Our school will provide students with a native Chinese speaking full-time teacher who has undergone our school’s full training program. If a student is unhappy with the teacher assigned by our school, the student can request a change of teacher. If after that you are still unsatisfied and you choose to cancel your classes, we will refund the cost of the remaining classes. Please note that the money back guarantee is only valid after the program starts. Furthermore, the program participant must claim in written form that they are not satisfied with our services within the first month of the program. In this case we will fully refund the cost of the remaining classes.

  • Are cultural activities, excursions and field trips including in the price? What kind of activities do you provide?

    Most cultural activities are included in the price of the Intensive Chinese Program. Excursions and field trips cost extra depending on number of participants and season. If you take one of our other programs, cultural activities and excursions can be included for an extra cost. Contact us for more information.

    We organise film screenings, excursions and a variety of cultural events including Mahjong nights, cooking lessons, calligraphy and many others. All activities are designed to help you experience Chinese culture and get to know your fellow students, our events focus on fun, learning and being social. Most of our activities are free to our students. For our events schedule for Beijing click here, for Shanghai look here.

  • What can I do if I am unable to finish my classes in China/on one campus?

    Students can use their private classes in both our Beijing and Shanghai campuses if necessary. If you will leave China, you have two options. First, you can take a Skype class with us whenever you have an internet connection. Second, you can transfer the remaining classes to your family or friends who are in Beijing or Shanghai.

  • Can I change to another program even after I have already started, or cancel my program before class starts?

    A program including accommodation cannot be changed or altered after registration. All other program changes must be made in writing to That‘s Mandarin at least 4 weeks in advance of the change or program start. The date of the notification will be considered to be the date our office receives your email notice. Any additional payments due because of the change must be paid immediately. Any refunds owed will be sent by cheque upon completion of the program. Any program change will be charged with a 500RMB service fee. However, the deposit fee will not be refunded in case a participant cancels his/ her program prior to the start of the program.

  • What types of payment do you accept?

    For students who are already in Beijing or Shanghai, we accept both cash and credit cards, which can be any Chinese cards, VISA and MasterCard.

    For students who are abroad, we will send you a link and you can pay the tuition online, in this way, only Visa, MasterCard, American Express and JCB can be accepted. You can also pay by bank transfer or through PayPal.

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ACCOMMODATIONS FAQs

  • What accommodation can That’s Mandarin help me get?

    At our Beijing and Shanghai campuses, we can arrange a variety of accommodation options including homestays and several different types of hotel accommodation to suit all budgets and individual needs.

    We strongly recommend our home-stay and shared apartments. For those of you who choose home-stay, you will live with a real Chinese family, enabling you to practice your Mandarin on a daily basis whilst experiencing Chinese life and language in a real-life setting. In a shared apartment, you will have your own room, but will live with one of your new international friends, providing ample opportunity to practice your Mandarin together.

    If you would like further accommodation options, feel free to contact us via email at info@thatsmandarin.com (Beijing) or info.shanghai@thatsmandarin.com (Shanghai) alternatively you can call us at +86 10 5218 6432 (Beijing) or +86 21 6152 0017 (Shanghai) to inquire about the program.

  • What is your home-stay accommodation like?

    Our home-stay families have all been carefully chosen! Most of the hosts are teachers or office ladies whose children are studying abroad or recently married, leaving them with a spare room. They have all hosted home-stay students before, so they can speak some or fairly simple English. Generally, they offer one bedroom for one student, including free Wifi, 24-hr hot water, air conditioning and a shared bathroom. Please let us know your specific moving-in/out date, and we will send you detailed information about the home-stay families who are available at that time.

  • Can I find my own accommodation?

    Of course! However, for students who will only be staying in Beijing or Shanghai for less than 3 months, we strongly advise arranging accommodation through That's Mandarin. It can be very difficult to find a landlord willing to rent out a room for only a short time period in Beijing or Shanghai, and the price is often driven up by a short contract. In addition, because we can guarantee the comfort, safety and quality of our accommodation, we feel much more comfortable knowing our students are secure. Please contact us at info@thatsmandarin.com (Beijing) or info.shanghai@thatsmandarin.com (Shanghai) or call us at +86 10 5218 6432 (Beijing) or +86 21 6152 0017 (Shanghai) for further details about the price for this option.

  • What happens if I leave early?

    No refund will be given for early returns. However, if you must cancel your program due to a personal emergency, please notify That‘s Mandarin in writing as soon as possible prior to your departure, and we will review your claim. That’s Mandarin reserves the right to make the final decision on any refunds.

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HEALTH AND SAFETY FAQs

  • Who provides health insurance?

    That’s Mandarin requires each student to organize her/his own health insurance, which will be valid for the duration of the program.

  • Do I need to get any vaccinations before travelling to China?

    We advise you to visit your doctor prior to travel to check with them which vaccinations they recommend. Be aware that for some vaccinations, you may need to go over several weeks, so make sure you check with your doctor far enough in advance.

  • What happens if I get ill?

    In the event of illness, a representative from That’s Mandarin will take you to the hospital if required and will help you to acquire any medicine you need.

  • Do you provide airport pick-up and drop-off services?

    Yes, we can provide both airport pick up and drop off services. Just let us know your departure or arrival information at least 2 weeks in advance, and we will promptly get back to you with pricing information.

  • If students are travelling on their own, what kind of services do you offer?

    For all students, we can offer airport pick-up and drop-off, to ensure everyone gets to their accommodation safely.

    For those staying in our serviced-apartment accommodation, you will stay in an apartment with other That's Mandarin students.

    If you are in a home-stay, you will be shown how to get to and from campus. Under 18s, will be escorted to and from campus each day. Breakfast and dinner will be provided by the host family.

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