Study In China : Q&A
Study In China
Study Chinese in China from 1 month to 1 year and choose between 20 – 160 Chinese Classes with us while living and travelling in China. This will give you enough time to experience the Chinese Language in an intensive and immersive enviroment! Deciding to study in China is a big step to take. Here are some awnswers to questions you might face when beginning your journey
What is the difference between traditional and simplified Chinese?
Simplified Chinese characters can usually be seen in Mainland China and Singapore, whereas traditional Chinese characters are commonly used in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Therefore, whether you should choose to study in China simplified Chinese or traditional Chinese really depends on where you are going to stay.
How They Look!
The Chinese written language can be represented using either simplified Chinese characters or traditional Chinese characters.
How They Sound!
The pronunciation of both simplified and traditional characters is exactly the same if we are talking about standard Chinese (putonghua), the difference is rather based on different geographic locations.
Good To Know
The simplified form and the traditional form of a Chinese character still look similar to each other. Therefore, for example, knowing how to write a certain character in its simplified form, it’s not difficult to recognize its traditional form when you see it.
Which type of Chinese to learn? Mainland Mandarin vs Taiwanese Mandarin
Some foreigners choose to go to study Chinese abroad in Taiwan to persue their career, which is also a good choice. Although people in both Mainland China and Taiwan speak the standard Chinese (putonghua), there are still a couple of differences between “Mainland Chinese” and “Taiwanese Chinese”.
Firstly, as we’ve already mentioned in the previous section, people in Mainland China use simplified Chinese characters to represent the written language, whereas traditional Chinese characters can be seen everywhere across Taiwan.
Accents & Intonation
Second, people from mainland China and people from Taiwan speak differently, it’s mainly about accents and intonation. Some people think that “Mainlanders” speak Chinese more emotionally, and “unaccustomed gentleness” can be perceived in spoken Chinese in Taiwan.
Third, people from mainland China and Taiwanese sometimes use different words to describe the same object. For example, the word “pineapple” in Mainland China is expressed as 菠萝 (bō luó), whilst in Taiwan it’s expressed as 凤梨 (fèng lí). Another example can be “kiwi fruit”, people in mainland China tend to call it 猕猴桃 (mí hóu táo), whereas in Taiwan it’s called 奇异果 (qí yì guǑ).
Where should I go to study in China?
Many foreigners are puzzled by this question as there are a quite a few choices available for them. In order to answer this question, you need to take your budget and personal preferences into account.
If you are into Chinese culture and want to have a taste of authentic Mandarin Chinese, then Beijing can be the
ideal choice for you as it’s not only the capital, but also the cultural and political center of China. More importantly, the modern standard Chinese has developed based on Beijing dialect.
If you are looking for fascinating job opportunities and would like to live in a modern area surrounded by skyscrapers, then Shanghai is your destination. Being the financial center of China, Shanghai offers numerous job opportunities for both Chinese and foreigners. At the end of 2015, the amount of “non-Shanghainese” took up to 40% of the total population of Shanghai.
What’s the cost of living in China?
China’s economy is growing incredibly fast. On one hand, people’s life is getting better and better, on the other hand, cost of living, especially in large cities, has skyrocketed in the past few years. Many foreigners are interested in living in Beijing or Shanghai as there are more job opportunities available in large cities, another important reason is that it’s easier to integrate oneself into the local society in large cities because metropolitans are usually more open-minded and consequently more tolerant to foreign cultures.
How long will it take me to learn Chinese?
This is another question foreigners will normally ask themselves, or ask their Chinese friends. There are many factors need to be considered, for example, what courses do you take, how often do you get to practice with your Chinese friends, etc. There are many Chinese language school available in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai, which offer a variety of courses, for example, 1-on-1 classes, small group classes, summer classes, etc. Unlike studying Chinese at university, most of Chinese language schools provide a more conducive learning environment for students to quickly improve their language skills in a short time using efficient learning methods as the teachers focus on each individual student’s performance. Generally speaking, by attending a Chinese language school:
After Learning Chinese for 3 months you should be able to conduct basic daily conversations after three months of study.
After Learning Chinese for 6 months you should be able to use simple Chinese sentences to express your own opinions or thoughts.
1 - 2 years
After 1 -2 years of systematic study you are supposed to be able to pass HSK3 (intermediate level), this means you can comfortably discuss a wide range of daily topics.
After five years of studying chinese you will find there is a big gap between intermediate level and advanced level (HSK5 – HSK6), it will then take a considerable amount of time to master the knowledge to pass these two exams as they require students to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the Chinese language such as understanding idioms.
How’s the food in China?
China is famous for its cuisine. What is so special about Chinese cuisine is that the color, smell and taste are equally important for judging Chinese dishes. That’s why Chinese people regard eating as an art. In China, different regions produce their own local dishes and snacks.
Consequently, people from different regions of China have different taste preferences. For example, people from Hunan province are really fond of spicy food, whereas people from Shanghai may opt for sweet taste.
Fortunately, if you are not particularly fond of Chinese food, international food chain stores like McDonalds and Pizza Hut can be found almost every Chinese city, so ,you will be fine!
Most popular Chinese dishes: Chow Mein, Sweet and Sour Pork,Gong Bao Chicken, Ma Po Tofu, Wontons, Dumplings, Peking Roasted Duck & Spring Rolls
Can I survive in China if I don’t speak any Chinese?
Yes you can! There is always a way out! Although the old generation can hardly understand any English, young people, especially students, speak more or less some English. In large cities of China, it’s fairly easy to make Chinese friends as some Chinese people also want to improve their English by making foreign friends. Therefore, when you are in trouble, you will always find a friend to help you out.
For example, you can always ask your friend to write down where you want to go in Chinese and show it to the taxi driver, so that you will arrive at the destination safely. In addition, on public transport, all the announcements are made in Chinese and English, so you won’t miss your stop. Another exciting thing is that more and more Chinese restaurants have started to offer English menu, it obviously allows you to “optimize” your journey of exploring Chinese cuisine.
Should I take the HSK test?
It depends on what you need. HSK is China’s standardized test to test foreigners’ Chinese language proficiency. It’s classified into 6 levels, with level 1 being the lowest, and level 6 being the highest. Obtaining a Chinese proficiency certificate certainly has its advantages.
First of all, it certifies the possession of Chinese language skills when applying for a job in China, in fact, more and more companies have started to ask for a Chinese proficiency certificate when they hire foreign employees, some companies even state it in the job description as a requirement.
Second, if you are a student and would like to enter a Chinese university, it fulfills admission requirements when applying to different types of schools at various levels in China. Third, it’s also an advantage to hold a Chinese proficiency certificate when applying for a work visa in China. Therefore, if you plan to study or work in China, it would be wise to take HSK test. However, if you are in China just to travel or visit a friend, no need at all.