Why come to study in Kunming?

Study Chinese in KunmingThe people of Yunnan Province have a saying: “The mountains are high and the emperor far away.” Tucked into the southwest frontier of China, Yunnan was for a long time considered a center of lawlessness, barbarianism, and incivility. Nowadays, it’s one of China’s busiest travel hubs, especially for those who love outdoor activities.

Located on the Yunnan plateau, the province boasts colossal mountains to the north and dense jungles to the south. The capital of Yunnan Province, Kunming, has been laid siege to by sultans from the west, Mongols from the north, and Japanese bombers from above. With Burma, Laos, and Vietnam lying directly south, and Tibet to the west, Yunnan is home to 25 different ethnic minorities, making Kunming one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. Yunnan’s unique topography, plethora of natural beauty, and rich melting pot of cultures make it unlike any other place in China. In fact, the only thing that stays relatively homogeneous in Kunming is the weather. Often called the “City of Eternal Spring,” Kunming’s yearly temperature generally ranges from 10ºC (50ºF) to 25ºC (77ºF).

Yunnan’s unique topography, plethora of natural beauty, and its rich melting pot of cultures make it unlike any other place in China.

Kunming has always been a major transportation hub, and that has not changed in the present day. In 1913, the French completed the Indochina Rail line which connects Kunming all the way to Hanoi to exploit Yunnan’s copper resources. The line is still in use today. During World War II, it was the terminus for the famed Burma Road, through which Allied forces sent supplies to the Chinese to aid in the fight against Japan. Once the road was blocked by Japanese forces, pilots flew over the peaks of Nepal to airdrop supplies into Kunming. Today, there are direct highways from Kunming to its southern neighbors Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Burma, as well as to its northeast neighbor Tibet. Moreover, upon the renovation of the Stillwell Road, there will be a highway that connects Kunming to India. It’s a great starting point for world travelers.

As a smaller city than Shanghai or Beijing, and further away from the well-populated coast, Kunming is very popular with students looking to study Mandarin in an environment with very little Western influence. While Kunming does boast a large international population, most foreign students studying Chinese in Kunming are actually from the Indian sub-continent and southeast Asia. Students hoping to mingle with mostly Chinese-speakers are encouraged to study Chinese in Kunming. Moreover, its status as a smaller city distanced from more developed areas means that the cost of living is significantly lower than in big cities such as Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. Because of its beautiful scenery, fantastic weather, and small Western expatriate community, Kunming is actually our third most popular destination behind Shanghai and Beijing. Students looking for something more adventurous should consider studying in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China’s original “Wild West.”


Quick CSA Fact Kunming has a very comfortable climate ranging from 15 - 25ºC all year round.
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