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    IMG 0242If I could pick any city in the world to live in right now, it’d be Beijing. I suppose that’s why I’m here, but my path through American high school means I’m limited to staying for the summer. I was here last year, and coming back to Beijing seemed like an obvious choice, but in the interest of expanding my understanding of China I planned to leave the capital to volunteer in Anhui province for some time as well. Other than that I had no plans to leave Beijing, but surprises happen all the time in China. On CSA's Great Wall Camping trip I made a new friend, Ben, a German living in Shanghai for the summer. And so a week later my friend, Aneesa, and I are boarding the high speed train on the way to figure out what Shanghai is all about. 



  • BEIJING-TRAFFIC 1795950c

     I have the luxury of living beside a rather picturesque mountain in the outskirts of Beijing. I wont lie to you all, its lovely! Not too polluted, very cheap, perfect. Except for one thing, Beijing is a big city, and I live a tad far (11 km) away from my university (BLCU) which I must attend every weekday morning for class. This leaves me with the slight problem of commuting the distance during the famous Beijing rush hour. To help you put my problem into perspective, Beijing has over 20 million people, all of whom seemingly want to get on the exact bus I want to at 0730 on a freezing Monday morning. I am not alone in this probpem though, no matter where you live in Beijing you will at somepoint have a commute on your hands, whether it is to your university, local supermarket, tutors house or just downtown Beijing. The following is my attempt at a transport graduates review of Beijing’s transport network to allow for some little extra planning before coming to China:
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    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…
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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.
  • fast foodComing to China can be a little bit daunting but also exciting as you travel in to the unknown. Most people do a bit of research before they take their flight to prepare themselves for what to expect. We have learned that China is nothing like what people expect! Read about what I learned after my arrrival and a few things I wish I knew before I studied abroad in China!. Be sure to read part oneof my two-part reflection!





  • chinese foodAs an American, I am accustomed to lots of delicious fake Chinese food. Always fried to perfection, somehow made shinier than a new car, and finally packaged in iconic Chinese takeaway boxes. American Chinese cuisine is very satisfying. It is often even prepared by Chinese-Americans, who were born in China, which leaves us thinking that it must be authentic...sort of.

  • Dalian SquareSo you’ve made the decision to study Chinese, but still haven’t decided where in China? Most people are drawn to the big citis of Beijing and Shanghai, but they may not be the best options if you want a really immersive and intensive language experience. Before you make your final choice on which city to study and live in, have a look at the reasons below why a smaller city like Tianjin or Dalian might be the study experience you’re looking for!


  • Emma-Wallace.Scholarship


    By a way of quick introduction, my name is Emma Wallace, I’m from the Gold Coast in Australia and I have recently been awarded with the China Study Abroad (CSA) summer scholarship. I leave this Friday 1 August for a month of intensive Mandarin at Beijing Mandarin Academy (BMA). As part of my trip back to China I will be writing a series of blogs for CSA, so I hope that you find them enjoyable, inspiring and most importantly helpful and informative! For those of you that are considering coming to China to study Mandarin, all I can say is do it, do it, do it.

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    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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