study chinese in beijing

  • 45 Ways to Boost your Chinese skills

    45 Ways to Boost Your Chinese

    Are you quickly realizing that your semester courses on Mandarin just aren’t cutting it? If you really want to start taking your Chinese seriously and tigao that shuiping, check out these (sometimes ridiculous) ideas for boosting your Chinese skills. 

     

    STUDY IN CHINA

    Hard luck, but your language skills are never going to be up to scratch if you continue to only study the language in your home country. The act of attending Chinese classes, whilst in China, is an unbeatable method for improving your language skills. The entire experience will be your classroom. From the moment you wake up til the moment you say “Wan an,” you’ll be living, breathing, and experiencing a world defined by Chinese characters instead of your mother tongue. It’s AWESOME and it works!

  • 5 misconceptions students have about studying in China

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    Studying in China is not for the faint hearted. Not only are you battling language barriers left and right, you’ll also be tackling an entirely different education system, one that’s heavily reliant on examinations, repetition, and face - and that’s after you’ve squared away your registration, housing, and placement tests!
     
    For those first-timers coming to China, the easiest route to go will be to arrive with a study abroad organisation (like CSA, ding ding ding!) or through your home university. If you’ve done the short-term study thing and are looking for something with a little more meat, you might very well be able to organise a year+ long program directly at a Chinese university. However, be aware of these (sometimes hard to swallow) truths about life in China for students:
     
  • Being Patient With China

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    Turns out there is something else that is absolutely necessary to pack when you are getting ready for your semester or summer abroad in China. Now, we’re not advocating for leaving everything else behind (that passport and electronic dictionary will be handy after all), but we can’t stress enough how important it is that you don’t forget to pack… your patience.
     
    Being patient, whether or not you identify as having this skill at the moment, is the key ingredient to your overall success while studying Chinese in China. Without it, you will get caught up in the small little frustrations (that eventually turn into heaps of frustrations) that are inevitable when you move to a foreign country, especially one as unique as China. 
     
    You’ll need to pack…
  • Best Ways to Learn Chinese Characters

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    So it is that time of year again when we students at CSA have to dust off the text books, head down to the stationary shop to stock up on supplies and get down to the nitty-gritty aspects of learning Mandarin, which is of course character memorisation.
     
    I often get asked the question by both new and reoccurring students, “what is the best way to learn (hàn zì– Chinese Characters)?” Well, let me make it very clear by telling you there is no ‘best’ solo method in my humble opinion, its down to the individual, their educational study techniques as well as their educational background. What I can answer though is “what is you’re personal preferred method of learning 汉字?”That one is simple enough so let me provide you all with some suggestions:
  • Choosing The Right Study Abroad Company

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    DSC 2190So you’ve nailed down the destination of your study abroad program. Woot! You are embarking on a great adventure, on a road lined heavily with dumplings, bicycles, a complicated writing system, a super-duper long wall and some of the most far-out architecture you can even imagine.
     
    Despite your confidence in where you want to take your studies, now’s the time to think more proactively about WHO you want to study in China with. (Who? Like my friends? My mom? My grandma?) No, no, no. What we mean is… what company you’d like to study in China through.

    As of now, there are three main ways you can study in China:

  • Doing Business in China

    Business Meetings in ChinaFor anyone interested in doing business in China no doubt many of you have read websites giving you tips and tricks for business etiquette; but is most of it true?

     

    In October 2014 I will be making my 10th trip to China, 90% of which has been for work related purposes.

     

    Using the Austrade guide to doing business in China I have added and adapted to what I believe you can expect, with a few extra tips and tricks. I will forever consider myself inexperienced when it comes to doing business in China (because how can you begin to understand a country that has thousands of years of culture behind it) but I hope these basics will give you a good grounding for what to expect. 

  • From Nanjing With Love

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    lolAnother successfully completed CSA trip means its time for another blog by yours truly.

     The weekend of the 23rd / 24th of May saw myself and eleven other able bodied 留学生 (international students) nip down to the literal opposite of Beijing (Northern Capital) known to the rest of us by the name Nanjing (Southern Capital).

    Having visited during the summer of 2014, I was determined to get a CSA trip to this wonderful and completely underrated city often overlooked by its more popular neighbours in the form of Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou.

     

    Our trip began with a slight hitch at Wu Dao Kou Subway Station as we battled to group everyone together amongst the rush hour crowds of the Beijing Subway. An hour later though, much to my relief, we all found ourselves outside Beijing Station ready to swap the hustle and bustle of Beijing for the clean air and tranquility of its southern counterpart.
  • It's Great Wall Camping Time!

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    Ladies and gentlemen, sit back and relax as I am going to tell you a little story. Sitting comfortable? Good! Where do I begin? Ah yes ahem… There are two things I particularly dislike in today’s society; the first is global inequality, which continues to blight our world, the other? Well, it’s camping…
     
    Let me be clear, I do really like to spend time outdoors, it’s just, well… you can have too much of a good thing right? Sure getting out of the city once in a while can yield some great recreational moments, but after a while, once the novelty has warn off, you kind of remember how it often lacks good bathroom, Wifi, sleeping and tea & coffee making facilities. I guess I have just never understood how camping can really exist as recreational activity these days when we have these things called ‘houses’ which have all of the afore mentioned (including wifi).
     
    You’ve probably by now gathered the idea that I’m not a big fan of camping, I don’t see any shame in that. So imagine my trepidation when I wastold invited to attend this semesters ‘CSA Great Wall Camping Trip’.  I figured I’d recreate an honest written account of said trip as I have done with all the other CSA trips this semester, so here goes:
  • New Year’s Day 元旦

    NYE 1As it is New Years Eve, we thought we'd give you a little explanation of some Chinese Vocab, as well as some of the customs associated with it here in China! In order to help with a little vocab we thought we'd also write it in Chinese so you can practice a little on the way!

  • Ordering Food at your University Canteen

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    After my first visit to China in a student capacity it soon occurred to me I had a bit of a new problem I had not really experienced in my previous visits as a tourist, how was I to order food by myself?
     
    While I cannot deny that this was somewhat of a problem on my past visits to China as a tourist, I never really strayed too far from English speaking company or touristic zones meaning I could often find English translations or a ‘tourists best friend’ – a restaurant with pictures.
     
  • Physical Examination in China

    chinesedoctorThe following is a small excerpt from a book I may or may not be writing:
     
    “A medical check up! Again? I only did one six months ago, can I simply not use that?” I said with some bemusement, with a dash of rising realisation. “No, its no longer valid as you can only use it once,” – came the swift yet damning reply. My crime? I had been home during a study break to see my family as well as get a new visa. My punishment? Another health check-up courtesy of the Chinese government, I sighed in resignation to my impending fate…
  • Reflections on Studying in China

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    rei-chel

    I'm a third generation Malaysian Chinese who's been living in New Zealand for the past decade. The three main languages that I know are English, Malay and Mandarin - ranked specifically in that order to reflect my level of proficiency in each. I’ve been to quite a few places but the prospect of coming to China scared me even more than when I went to an ex-Soviet country for 2 months (I stuck out like a sore thumb as I could barely read the Cyrillic alphabet). Last year, I had a gap in between my jobs so I decided to bite the bullet and go to Beijing for 3 months to work on my kindergarten-level Mandarin.
     
    I’m so infinitely glad that I did because I loved the experience so much more than I thought I would have.
     
    Why? Well…
  • The 6 Biggest Misconceptions About Studying in China

    the most confused traffic signsStudying in China is not for the faint of heart. Not only are you battling language barriers left and right, you’ll also be tackling an entirely different education system, one that’s heavily reliant on examinations, repetition, and face - and that’s after you’ve squared away your registration, housing, and placement tests!

    For those first-timers coming to China, the easiest route to go will be to arrive with a study abroad organization (like CSA, ding ding ding!) or through your home university. If you’ve done the short-term study thing and are looking for something with a little more meat, you might very well be able to organize a year+ long program directly at a Chinese university. However, be aware of these (sometimes hard to swallow) truths about life in China for students: 

  • The China FAQ

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    During a recent Skype call with my family, I suddenly had an epiphany. I used to think it was just Chinese people who used to ask the same old questions about my time in China, but in reality, us Westerners are equally guilty of it too. As I sit here in the office listening to this weeks band of choice (Mumford and Sons) on a quiet Monday I figured I’d answer these questions once and for all. Partly because it would make a good blog, and partly because next time some old family friend starts up the familiar template of questions, I can just pass them a card with a link to this blog and talk about something more pressing like ‘how Crystal Palace’s season went’. 
     
  • The importance of experiencing “real Beijing”

    real beijing

    (or at least what is outside of Wudaokou….)

    On numerous times I have heard fellow classmates tell me that they are heading home soon and in their whole time here they haven’t done anything except for activities based in Wudaokou.

    Alarm bells go off in my head! I think to myself…. your about to leave a country that has thousands of years of history without experiencing one single cultural or historical site? Wow!

    Many people don’t seem to realise what an opportunity they have when they come to Beijing to experience something that will be unlike anything else they can experience in the world.

  • The Lazy Sunday – Beijing Style

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    If you are a regular reader of the CSA blog, you will no doubt have seen multiple blogs encouraging noble attributes such as hard work, commitment and mental endurance. Well intentioned as they are, they fail to take into account some of the realities of studying Chinese in China. I like to think I live a very disciplined life, I don’t smoke or drink (much), I’m financially prudent to an extent and usually do all my homework on time. However, I do have one major weakness. What is it I hear you (not) asking? Is it fast cars? Beautiful women? Both? No, it’s much less exciting but equally awesome, it’s the frequent ‘lazy Sunday’ of course.
     
  • Why you should study in Beijing, NOT Shanghai

    tiananmen square

    The votes have been tallied. The experts have weighed in. The world has paused, reviewed the top-dog cities in this crazy country of China, and awarded me the prestige of bringing the outcome of their discussion to the masses.

    Beijing is the better Chinese city.

    NOW - before you scroll like mad to the bottom of this article to give me an earful in the comments, you need to hear me out. For Chinese language learners, there is no better city in China for studying abroad than Beijing. No, we aren't saying it is better for travelers, businessmen, or tourists per say, but for students wanting to study Chinese in China,you can't find a better city.

    Still not convinced? Read on to discover the ways living in Beijing will positively impact your Chinese language skills!

  • Beijing

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    3610 Capital Mansions,
    6 Xinyuan Nan Road, Chaoyang
    Beijing, 100027
    Phone: (+86) 10 8468 3799 
  • London

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    154 Bishopsgate
    London EC2M 4LN
    United Kingdom
    Phone: (+44) 0207 377 84 
  • Hong Kong

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    Rm 604-7 Dominion Centre
    43-59 Queen’s Road East
    Hong Kong
    Phone: (+852) 800 968 924 

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