Gap Year in China with LTL

Experience China like never before with our Gap Year in China program.

Learn Chinese in China and explore one of the world’s most fascinating nations simultaneously.

Overall we have four Gap Year China programs, each with their own niche allowing us to cater for different preferences.

Gap Year in China

  • Gap Year in China
  • Study Abroad and Discover China
  • Become fluent in Mandarin
  • Four programs to choose from
  • Meet friends from around the globe

Our students become close friends and experience some once in a lifetime memories together with our China Gap Year program.

Perhaps you want to become fluent in Mandarin whilst working as an Intern? Maybe you want to experience “real China” where no locals speak any English? Or how about just creating your very own gap year, tailored exactly the way you like it?

Whichever option tickles your taste buds; you are sure to experience something like never before. China has a 5,000-year-old civilisation with a wealth of history and culture to delve into.

  • Your Gap Year in China

    Your Gap Year in China

    Experience China – Explore and delve into the Middle Kingdom
    Four Programs – Something for everyone
    Learn Chinese – Become fluent as you journey through China
    Friends for life – Build strong relationships with students and teachers

  • Best team in the business

    Best team in the business

    Teachers – Fully certified and ready to help you become fluent in Chinese
    Staff – Always here to help and advise
    Students – Our students are driven to succeed and motivated to learn
    United – Together we have a great time learning Chinese and socialising

  • Learn Chinese in China

    Learn Chinese in China

    Beijing – Full of history and culture including the Great Wall
    Shanghai – China’s economic capital is hugely popular with foreigners
    Chengde – The jewel in the LTL Immersion crown. No English influence
    All in one – The opportunity of a lifetime to study Mandarin and travel

  • 24/7 support from LTL

    24/7 support from LTL

    Staff – Between us we know China inside out, we can help
    LTL Family – Staff, teachers and students join forces to socialise often
    Inclusive – WiFi, drinks and even beer (after 5pm) included
    Location – All schools are ideally located and easy to access

Gap Year in China – Scope Out The Cities


Gap Year in China

We have four excellent Gap Year programs in China which all provide their own unique challenge.

Our Full Immersion Gap Year in China gives you the chance to mix the big city life in Beijing or Shanghai with Chengde, a city where you will not see a foreigner all trip.

The Chinese Language Year offers intensive study abroad for 36 weeks, over two semesters allowing you to achieve fluency in Mandarin.

If you want to teach English in China then our Chinese and English Gap Year is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Or if you wish for more flexibility then you can even build your own gap year in China.

Whatever Gap Year in China you wish to partake in, you are guaranteed to have the experience of a lifetime in one of the world’s most fascinating and fastest growing countries.

Full Immersion Gap Year in China

Learn Mandarin whilst experiencing full Immersion in China on your path to becoming fluent in Chinese. Experience the hustle, bustle and bright lights of Beijing or Shanghai before moving onto the much smaller Chengde (not to be confused with Chengdu), a city with no foreign influence, no Starbucks or McDonalds, and no English.

Stage 1 – Beijing / Shanghai

You will acclimatise to the Chinese culture as your start your trip in either Beijing or Shanghai, you decide. That, in itself is an adventure you will never forget. Shanghai’s incredible modern influence is littered with remarkable skyscrapers wherever you look. Beijing, equally large, has a whole host of Chinese history and culture to explore. Whichever you choose, you are in for quite an experience.

Stage 2 – Chengde

After this you will be whisked away to Chengde. A city with just 500,000 people (this is small in China terms) and no foreigners. You will live and breathe Mandarin and speak no English. This can be a testing experience. You must be warned if you aren’t sure about experiencing full Chinese Immersion, Chengde might not be for you. Chengde is very much “real China”, the pace is much slower, the people are friendly and the Mandarin spoken in Chengde is the most standard Mandarin you will experience in the whole of China. Chengde is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The city oozes Chinese culture so to experience this you must be aware you will not be able to speak anything but Mandarin to communicate with locals.

When can I start?

Starting dates for courses depend on the city you will arrive in. Contact us and we will give you further details on when you can start your experience with LTL.

Pricing (Chinese Yuan)

Our pricing below covers 3 month and 6 month Immersion Programs. Included in the price is return train ticket from either Shanghai or Beijing to Chengde and also a Survival kit which you can find out more about on our Services page.

Total Duration Beijing Chengde Price in CNY
3 months Immersion 6 weeks small group class 6 weeks 1-on-1 class 35,730
6 months Immersion 12 weeks small group class 12 weeks 1-on-1 class 67,830

Accommodation Prices

We have a number of accommodation options on top of the Immersion program which include shared apartments and homestays. Our apartments are a great option if you are travelling on a budget. For information regarding our Chinese Homestays visit our homestay page. Homestay’s will include breakfast and dinner. There are various options for vegetarians, vegans and any other dietary needs you may wish to inform us of.

Duration Beijing/Shanghai Chengde Price
3 months 6 wk shared apartment 6 wk homestay 25,967
3 months 6 wk homestay 6 wk homestay 31,054
6 months 12 wk shared apartment 12 wk homestay 47,160
6 months 12 wk homestay 12 wk homestay 52,560

NOTE – The Beijing apartment included in the table above is the small room option in our standard apartment. An upgrade to the large room or downgrade to the economy apartments are all possible. Contact us for more information.

Chinese Language Gap Year

Study abroad in China for two university style semesters to help you achieve Chinese fluency. Enjoy our popular small group classes which have a maximum of six students and an average of less than three students per class.

Every student has their say, every student speaks Chinese and close bonds are formed between students and teachers.

Each weekday you will study for four hours making your weekly study at school total 20 hours. Each semester lasts 18 weeks meaning you enjoy 36 weeks of Chinese study in total but if you wish to extend you you can.

You can speed up your Chinese progress even further by opting to stay in one of our carefully selected homestays in China. After 36 weeks of intensive study and with the potential of living at a homestay many students would expect, and do, reach HSK4/5 meaning fluency in Chinese.

Starting Dates

When can I start?

Starting dates for courses depend on the city you will arrive in. Contact us and we will give you further details on when you can start your experience with LTL.


Both Beijing and Shanghai Chinese Language years are the same cost. Please note if you wish to upgrade your accommodation to a Chinese Homestay then contact us and we can arrange this at an extra charge. Your Mandarin will naturally progress quicker at a homestay and overall, 80% of our students opt for a homestay.

If you’d like to try out a single semester lasting 18 weeks, then please do take a look at our Beijing Semester and Shanghai Semester Programs.

Program with no accommodation: 53,488 CNY Program +36 weeks accommodation*: 111,088 CNY

Included in the price of the Chinese Language Year is:

  • Study materials
  • 20 hours of small group class
  • 36 weeks of Chinese study
  • Survival Kit
  • Support from LTL staff 24/7

*Accommodation is the standard shared apartment – small room

Chinese and English Gap Year

Our Chinese and English Gap Year is ideal if you are on a budget but still want to learn Chinese in China. The program totals 22 weeks with your first four weeks spent learning Chinese at either our Shanghai or Beijing school, you choose the city.

After you’ve settled into China and have some Chinese under your belt you will enjoy 18 weeks teaching English in a smaller city outside of Beijing or Shanghai.

It’s a truly great opportunity to explore China’s wonderful history and culture, whilst still learning the language on a budget.

LTL will provide you with 2000CNY per month and an apartment whilst you teach English to Chinese students. This is ideal if you are on a budget or looking to spend less money.

Please Note – There is a Registration fee for this program which is 500CNY.

Homestay Program: 16,000 CNY / Apartment Program: 12,500 CNY

NOTE – Homestay program includes homestay accommodation, half board. Shared apartment program includes a large Room shared apartment, en suite bathroom, no board.

Included in the price of the Teach English in China Gap Year is:

  • Small Chinese group classes for four weeks
  • Shared apartment (large room) based in Beijing or Shanghai
  • 18 weeks of English teaching in another city in China near Beijing or Shanghai.
  • Accommodation and 2000 CNY per month courtesy of LTL whilst teaching English
  • Transportation from Beijing or Shanghai to the school where you will teach
  • 24/7 support along with access to the LTL student and teacher community
  • Airport pick up and drop off at apartment.

When can I start?

Starting dates for courses depend on the city you will arrive in. Contact us and we will give you further details on when you can start your experience with LTL.

Build your own Gap Year in China

We also give you the chance to build your own gap year in Asia. Build the program you want, when you want and where you want.

  • Fancy 5 weeks in Shanghai learning Chinese in one of the worlds biggest and most exciting cities?
  • Why not then head to Beijing for a further 15 weeks and kick on your Chinese further with individual Mandarin classes in China’s capital.
  • You could finish off with 16 weeks in Chengde where you will be sure to achieve fluency in Mandarin. No foreigners, no English, no Starbucks. Welcome to real China.

This is just an example of what you could build. Come and chat to us to find out more. The China Gap Year can last as long as you wish so you can build it however you suits you best.

Have a play around with our calculator to get an idea of the programs you can build and the costs involved.

Choose City

Customize Your Program

What our students say ...

Noah  Testimony for LTL
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I am really enjoying my experience in China. It's really easy to make friends, as everyone is in the same boat. We are all new to China and discover things together. I'm really happy that I came here for my Gap Year. 

Read More

Taitti Testimony for LTL
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I studied two and a half months with LTL - and I loved it. I had a full Chinese immersion experience, spending time in Beijing, Chengde and also travelling around China. My teachers Helen and Felix were both fantastic.

Read More

Samuel  Testimony for LTL
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Samuel initially studied at LTL with group classes and then moved onto tailored 1-on-1 classes later in his program. Watch this interview on YouTube to hear more about his story of studying Chinese in Shanghai: 

Read More

Kevin Testimony for LTL
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Between my bachelor and master studies I performed a gap year in order to collect enriching experiences. During my self organized gap year I spent six months in China, with the support of LTL. 

Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be able to travel outside of class?

Absolutely, you cannot come to China and not take advantage of this incredible country.

China is incredibly diverse and Beijing, Shanghai and Chengde offer a wealth of incredible memories. You can also venture as further afield as you wish. The more you explore, the greater the experience.

You can for example join one of our weekend trips to see the Terracotta army in Xian, the gardens in Suzhou or the beer festival in Qingdao. You can also spend breaks like Chinese New Year or long weekends exploring other parts of the country from visiting the Ming Tombs in Nanjing to climbing the Himalayas in Tibet. China is huge and there is a lot of fun to be had.

Do you have lessons over Christmas?

As Christmas isn’t a holiday in China most schools and offices remain open for business.

However, you are welcome to return home for Christmas, we’ll need to adjust your program though so please discuss this with us before you come to China.

What are living costs like in Shanghai, Beijing and Chengde?

Chengde is, not surprisingly, the cheapest of the three cities and you can get by on very little each month and still live a decent lifestyle.

Beijing, being a capital City and Shanghai being the metropolis it is means both cities are much more expensive than Chengde but you can get by for little if you are shrewd.

For every smart, expensive restaurant there are hundreds of local restaurants and street vendors which provide wonderful, local food for example.

How about making new friends?

This is the easy part. Making friends at LTL is a given. Many will actually become friends for life such is the nature of the community at LTL.

Students come and go every week so there will always be new people and many students spend many evenings together studying, socialising and exploring. Our staff are also very sociable and enjoy getting involved with students too. We are one big family and it means making friends is so easy.

Can you help me build a gap year?

Sure, if you need advice on what is the best program for you just start a live chat with us or drop us an email.

We offer many different opportunities and flexible study abroad programs so rest assured we will find something for you.

What happens with the internship?

If you wish to partake in an internship in China whilst studying Chinese then we will set you up with one. Speak to us about your preferences and we will do our best to find the most relevant match to you.

Further details we can discuss with you personally to make your experience in China as smooth and comfortable as possible.

Can I expect to reach fluency after a gap year in China?

Fluency doesn’t just come to you, it has to be earned but after 36 weeks this is certainly possible. Staying at a Chinese Homestay will increase your chances dramatically.

Studying outside of class and completing your homework is also essential. So far all of our students have, at the very least, reached HSK4 from a China gap year.

A lot depends on what you put in outside of school but if you want it and work for it, you will get it. Enjoy the experience and don’t ever give up.

Other Programs

  • Beijing Semester


    Study Chinese in China with our 18 week long Semester Program aimed at helping you achieve fluency. This intensive program covers four hours of Chinese will bring you to at least HSK3 level and maybe HSK4.

    Learn More

Ask us a question!
  • LTL Avatar Irene Magnosi
    Irene Magnosi, Student Advisor

    Welcome to LTL Mandarin School!

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