11_Literal_Translations_of_Chinese_Words.jpgWhile studying any foreign language, your teacher will no doubt tell you not to translate words or phrases literally back into English. Well, sometimes doing so uncovers accidental, or not-so-accidental, gems. Below are a list of eleven words in Mandarin whose characters translated word-for-word back into English reveal some insight into their naming process, or at the least, help make them easier to remember...
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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. 



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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:

  •  {fastsocialshare}Hanyu.svg

    It's no secret that learning Chinese is difficult, but you can certainly have fun doing it! I've compiled this list of my top five favorite digitial tools to help with learning Chinese. It's worth noting that I am a beginner so this list is probably most appropartate for those in the beginner to intermediate range. 

  • help living in china
    Sign up
    for a CSA
    program with
    a friend &
    receive a
    5% Discount
    Click here to apply now

    • Overview

    • Application Only

    • Help On Arrival

    • Find An Apartment

    As China is developing and more and more students are interested in coming to China, the levels of support required by students is changing.  We understand that sometimes it can be more difficult and stressful than expected when trying to relocate to China; however, we also understand that sometimes students don't require the full package support provided by CSA. For those students who prefer just a bit of assistance with a particular aspect of their program, we also want to make sure you have the backup needed – regardless of where you may need the support. Enter... CSA's living in China support packages (to the rescue!).

    If you opt to forego our full package assistance for studying Chinese in China (you study abroad rockstar, you!), you can also select our services à la carte. There are 3 different options to choose from:

    Follow the links above to purchase a package or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions! 
    Apply Now Sign up today and let CSA worry about all the hard stuff!

    Read more

    Chinese University Application Assistance Package Only (US$150)

    The CSA Chinese university application assistance package is designed for students who are looking for an independent experience in China, but would like a little help with the paperwork beforehand. We will assist with making your application to any university in Beijing, Shanghai, or other Chinese cities and advise on all queries before you get here.

    The application you fill out for attending university in China is quite different than the format, style, or expectations of the kind of apps you are used to. Let CSA help coordinate your application to your Chinese university of choice, retrieve your application materials and acceptance letters, and coordinate safe mailing procedures from China direct to your doorstep. For a nominal fee, you can free yourself of the worry of "getting in" or not!

    What services are included?

    We're glad you asked! Students who sign up for this package can expect...

    • Pre-departure assistance
    • Chinese University Application Submission
    • Chinese University Application Fee (usually around US$100)
    • Document Retrieval from University
    • Arrange Document Delivery, scanned or originals as needed
    • Assistance with Visa Application issues/questions

    More information

    If you're ready to study Chinese in China but paperwork gives you a headache, this assistance package has your name on it. Let us help your life in China starts off on the right foot (and at the right university, no one likes to walk into a classroom they're not supposed to be in!). Feel free to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions. 

    Or purchase this package here! (US$150)

    Apply Now Sign up today and let CSA worry about all the hard stuff!

    Read more

    Help On Arrival Package (US$500)

    What is more fun than getting off a plane in a new country and trying to figure out how to get to your dorms or apartment? Not many things, but if that sounds like an added stress to studying abroad, this is the package for you. With CSA's airport pick up and transfer package, you'll be able to land in China and get where you need to be (without all the headaches of figuring out public transit systems or risks of getting ripped off by your taxi driver!). We'll also show you around, introduce you to other CSA students and be available for your whole stay in case you run into any problems - it is like an insurance policy, we're there if you need us!  

    For those arriving in China and looking for a little help in navigating your first trip into the city, you're in luck. If you are not confident in your Chinese skills, communicating something as simple as where you'd like to go with your cabbie can be a monstrous task.

    Let CSA do the dirty work for you, and help make your first moments in this fascinating country special, not stressful.

    What services are included?

    CSA wants to ensure the transition to life abroad is a smooth one - this program includes...

    • Airport Pick-up
    • Local area orientation (restaurants, supermarkets etc.)
    • Assistance buying a local SIM card on arrival (app/mobile payments setup etc.)
    • Help open a local Bank Account (and any other errands!) 
    • Welcome Dinner
    • University Registration assistance when you arrive 
    • Meet up with the other CSA students and be kept in the loop! 
    • 24-hour on the ground support while you are in China, including medical assistance. More Information ►

    What's NOT included?

    If any of these additional services listed below sound appealing to you, you might consider our additional assistance packages or a full-support program while studying Chinese in China.

    • Assistance finding an apartment/room
    • Police registration
    • Your Chinese university application coordination

    More information

    Ready to take that giant leap into the great unknown and move abroad to China? With the help of CSA, you'll be able to do it without missing a beat. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions!

    Or purchase this package here! (US$500)

    Apply Now Sign up today and let CSA worry about all the hard stuff!

    Read more

    Find An Apartment Assistance Package (US$500)

    We are constantly working on the best way to help students get out to China. In recent years the price of accommodation in China has significantly increased, but at CSA we can’t and won’t lower the standards of where we are willing to place our students when they sign up for CSA apartments. What we can do is help students out who are on a budget. This might mean they are willing to live in slightly less appealing apartments that we couldn’t usually offer, or even shared apartments with 3 or 4 other people in them. As a way of trying to help out new arrivals in China, we’ve put together a Housing Help options for those straight off the plane.

    How It Works

    Sign up for the "Find An Apartment" option with your CSA Program and we’ll be there at the airport to pick you up on arrival in China as usual. We’ll then take you to whatever hotel or hostel you have booked. If you need advice on where to stay before you arrive, just let us know and we can recommend plenty of good options depending on your budget! We’ll arrange a time to meet up with you over the next day or so to start the housing hunt. You’ll be assigned a CSA staff member who will take you around for the next 2 days acting as your translator and help you contact as many local agents as possible. They will be available for you for two days, each an 8 hour day. After the two days, we’ll have taken you around the area and put you in contact with as many agents as possible so you should be set to go. We’ll still be available after these two days over the phone though if you need any more help.

    Please note that the housing rental system in China is a little different, typically the agents don’t keep the keys so expect long days and a lot of waiting. We advise that you bring a book or something to keep you occupied. Or you can just practice your Mandarin with the CSA staff member to give you a head start before your classes begin!

    Have you already organized your own housing, but are nervous about any issues that may come up? No problem, sign up for our Property Management Package and we'll throw in 24hour phone support for any housing issues you may encounter. We will assist with any problems as they arise and provide assistance to get the problem solved in the quickest and most efficient way.

    Trying to navigate rentals and tenancy in our home countries is hard enough as it is. Tack on a language you aren't fluent in, a foreign system, and different cultural expectations and you're in for a real headache (and the potential for being scammed). Instead of relying on some joe schmoe you found in the local classifieds, let CSA roll up their sleeves and get down to business. We'll help with your billing and setting up your utilities and communicate with your Chinese landlord on your behalf, leaving you with the task of simply moving in and turning your new house into a home.

    What's more, our services don't just stop there - should any issues arise during your stay in China (think: late-night power outages or a broken refrigerator) we've got your back. We'll help you through the thick of it and coordinate with the local servicemen to ensure your needs are met. Let us help you make your life in China a little easier.

    What services are included?

    • 3 full days of apartment hunting with a CSA Staff Member
    • Negotiating rent
    • Negotiating agency fees
    • Signing contracts
    • Police registration 
    • Phone support for your accommodation issues/questions
    • Any maintenance needed (cost covered by student)
    • Help with lost keys
    • Heating/air con issues
    • Help with paying bills
    • Setting up internet/wifi
    • Communication with landlords
    • Any other issues that may arise!

    More information

    Renting in China can be a difficult process for even the most advanced Chinese-foreign language speaker; the intricacies of the system are even more difficult to explain to outsiders. CSA's collective experiences living in China have us prepped and ready to tackle the real-estate scene head-on in your behalf. Or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions!

    Or purchase this package here! (US$500)

    Apply Now Sign up today and let CSA worry about all the hard stuff!

    Read more

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    276253 Papel-de-Parede-Meme-Jackie-Chan 1600x900
    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’. 
  • 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.

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    Why not come to China to study Mandarin and then use your skills to see this amazing country. We can help you plan your trip so that you will have an opportunity to travel to some of the ancient wonders of the world, as well as some cities that most people have never heard of! 

    Read more

  • Teaching in China offers great rewards

    Experience more than just the language by taking part in China Study Abroad's Volunteering program. While studying the language you will also have montly weekend trips to rural locations throughout China as well as helping out at a local Beijing orphanage. Designed to help you get the most out of your time in China! 

    Read more

  • 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.

  • 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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