Most of our non-native team studied Mandarin in a Chinese university semester program in Shanghai or another city at some point. Classes were huge, teachers often underpaid, lessons short, teaching methods mostly outdated and classes cancelled whenever there was a holiday. As a result, Chinese language progress was slow.
At LTL our semester program could not be more different. Besides the obvious differences in teaching quality and smaller group classes, the program is designed to not just spend some time studying in China, but to get your ahead in Mandarin as fast as possible. Lessons last a full 55 minutes. All classes you paid for you will get, even if there are public holidays – of which there are quite a few in China. We have a modern curriculum that, for example, focuses on writing characters in the age of mobile phone communication. This is very different to spending countless hours learning to hand write characters you will probably never write on a piece of paper again. All students get to speak during class regularly. Support is always available, in emergencies also 24/7. And finally we of course have the best teachers in Shanghai. If a university in Shanghai had a great teacher, they either already work for us or want to do so, as we simply pay a lot better. This also means our semester program costs a bit more than at a university. If you think it is worth paying a bit more to get a modern and efficient Mandarin semester program of course up to you. We certainly think it is.
We have a wealth of accommodation choices at LTL. We offer a number of Shared and Serviced Apartments where you can stay in the same room or complex as local Chinese and International students. The most popular choice is our Shanghai Homestay option which 80% of students take up. This involves living with a Chinese family, having meals cooked for you every morning and evening, and becoming part a family. It’s a unique and special experience. Visit our Shanghai Homestay page for more information. Our teach English Homestay is also very popular. You gain all the benefits of living with a Chinese Homestay but teach a family member English. This is cheaper than the Homestay option but you still gain all the same benefits.
It sure can but a lot depends on the work you do outside of class. Studying in class and then speaking English after class every day makes your job much harder. This is why Homestay’s are a popular option. They speak zero English to you and this helps immerse you into a really Chinese experience. Making local Chinese friends, studying hard outside of class and having a passion for the culture all help push your Mandarin skills ahead faster.
In Shanghai you couldn’t be better placed to get stuck into a wealth of activities. Every week we have a whole host of social events which many LTL students, staff and teachers join in with. You will be sure to make friends with fellow classmates and students and explore Shanghai together. Maybe you’ll join a local club and meet people there. Shanghai is full of endless possibilities where modern China meets traditional China. There are also some beautiful cities in towns a short train ride away.
You will and this is essential when learning Chinese. Each student, before they start the Shanghai Semester, will chat to our Director of Studies and take a quick assessment where we can gauge your Chinese language level. You will be paired with students of a similar level based on this and assigned the perfect teacher likewise. Obviously if you are a complete beginner you will join a class of fellow beginners.
Great to hear you are interested in joining. Feel free to start a live chat below or contact us and we will get back to as quickly as possible.