posted by Alveoli on January 30, 2012 | 10 comments
Hi everyone,

I've resolved to improve my mandarin this year (... I think I've said this for 5 years running..) but this year I'm really going to do it!

Buy an improbable number of flash cards - check

Finding the best podcasts - check :)

Book myself into an immersion course in Beijing - need help on this!

I'm hoping to fly in for a month or so to do some seriously intensive cramming between jobs.

Does anybody have recommendations?
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huyilin on January 30, 2012 | reply
I highly recommend BLCU (Beijing Language and Culture University) 北京语言大学. I have just returned from a semester there at the Intensive Institute 速成学院, 6 hours a day of excellent teaching. Absolutely worthwhile. They have study programs that last a month, 12 weeks, 20 weeks or a whole semester.
hans.castorp.tahiti on August 19, 2012 | reply
Yes, everyone seems to agree: BLCU is really a good place to learn mandarin chinese.

Unfortunately, dates won't do for me in december: their december program begins 05/12 and I'll be on vacation from 17/12 only (to 13/01) :)

Thank you anyway!
Echo on January 30, 2012 | reply

I would say BLCU too, or IUP. Although you may find the content (or the textbooks) they teach is not that interesting, they are much better than a lot of those private Chinese companies in Beijing/China.

clickertricks on February 7, 2012 | reply
Alveoli mentions being there for a month. That's really too short to enroll in say a BLCU course. I'm thinking of being there for 3-4 weeks this year too... been mulling about maybe hiring a private tutor to have daily chats with. The other time will probably be spent dao4chu4 zou3zou3, hopefully not getting lost. The idea is to force me to use Mandarin in everyday situations. I also might take a train to Shanghai and spend some time there. It's sort of a variation on what Benny the Irishpolyglot is doing in Taipei right now.
Alveoli on February 8, 2012 | reply
Thanks for the ideas all.

I've decided to go totally immersive and have my own personal bootcamp in Dalian! 1 month, 4 hours a day, 1:1... or bust. It's a lot more affordable than Beijing and I can live in the same building as the school (TLI).

As clickertricks pointed out... none of the universities had courses that suited my schedule. I can also recommend BLCU - I spent 2 months there back in 1999. Beijing feels like a whole different place now...

Any fellow Dalian based-learners, give me a shout - would be great to meet up! Will be there throughout March.
hans.castorp.tahiti on August 13, 2012 | reply
Hi! Looking for courses too, un December. How was tour bootcamp un Dalian ? :-)
gdeboeck on August 18, 2012 | reply
I would highly recommend 8 weeks at BLCU, I have done this in 2010. The teaching is excellent and over the weekends there are excursions to Inner Mongolia, Xi'an among others. In 2011 I spent 9 weeks in Xi'an taking 3 hours of Chinese a day plus 6 hours per week on history of the Silk Road. The teaching at Shaanxi Normal University was of lesser quality IMO but the Silk Road part was great. The program organized through Alliance for Global Education (check their website) include a two week excursion on the Chinese part of the Silk Road. This was the highlight. Bottom line got to BLCU but spend at least 8 weeks instead of 3-4.
hans.castorp.tahiti on August 19, 2012 | reply
Thanks to everyone for your answers. Unfortunately, I'm a teacher so I can't choose dates for my holidays. In december I'll have "only" four weeks: from 17/12 to 13/01... :)