Overview

The Mandarin Immersion Program is language immersion both at its best and most extreme. To get ready you will spend the first half of your program studying at our language school in Beijing together with other international students. However, the main aim of your time in Beijing is to get you ready for the most complete Mandarin language immersion China has to offer: Chengde (not Chengdu).

In Chengde there are no more expats, no international student community, nobody speaks English and you will be fully immersed in a Mandarin only environment. You will study Chinese individually, have no foreign class mates, live with a Chinese family and speak, hear, dream and live Mandarin 24/7.

  • The fastest way to learn Mandarin
  • Complete language immersion
  • No more English
  • Experience the real China
  • Traditional Chinese culture
  • Enjoy the beauty of Chengde
  • Learn Mandarin Fast

    Learn Mandarin Fast

    Immersion - live and study completely immersed into the Chinese language
    Great teaching - 1on1 Chinese classes taught by professional Chinese tutors
    Speed - immersion works - studying in Chengde gets you ahead a lot faster
    口语 - especially your listening and speaking skills will progress very fast

  • No more foreigners

    No more foreigners

    No expats - zero expat community in Chengde
    Banish English from your life - nobody speaks English in Chengde
    China only - no Starbucks, no international community, no English spoken
    No foreign classmates - all classes are 1 on 1

  • Chengde: the real China

    Chengde: the real China

    Chengde - China’s old summer capital and today UNESCO world heritage
    Standard Mandarin - the most standard Mandarin spoken in all of China
    Sights - old summer palace, Putuo Temple, wooden Buddha and many more
    Beauty - a city of 500,000 located in the mountains next to the Great Wall

  • Service & support

    Service & support

    Beijing - dinners, lunch club, great student community and a lot of fun
    Chengde - we help you to join a local football team, hiking group, choir etc
    Beijing & Chengde - 24/7 local support – if needed also in English
    The LTL family - a group of like-minded people exploring the real China

Chinese Immersion Program

Immersion works and there is no place better for learning Mandarin fast than the Qing dynasty’s old summer capital: Chengde. However, a complete language immersion experience is also a big cultural and linguistic challenge.

While at LTL Beijing we have a very fun student community at our school, in Chengde we separate students on purpose to make sure they aren’t tempted to speak English with each other. Most people in Chengde will have never met a foreigner before and there is very little western cultural influence here. That is why – unless you are already familiar with China and its culture – studying in Chengde can be quite a challenge and for a new arrival in China a bit too much. For this reason with the Mandarin Immersion Program you will spend the first half of your program in Beijing. Here our language school is located in the heart of Beijing’s Central Business District. We have a very fun international student community, it is easy to make friends with other students, we do regular school trips, eat lunch together and you can choose to study in a small group or individually. This will allow you to settle into China, improve your Mandarin and get familiar with the culture in more “protected” environment before moving on to complete Chinese language immersion in Chengde.

More information about Chengde

Chengde (not Chengdu)

Chengde (承德) is located in the mountains North East of Beijing. The 150km drive takes only about two hours, but the city could not be more different to China’s energetic capital. Since the Kangxi emperor built his summer palace – called避暑山庄literally mearning “Heat Avoidance Villa” – in Chengde to enjoy the cooler summer temperatures there, the city has been the second home of the Qing court. It was here that the Qing built the famous Putuo Temple, the world’s largest wooden Buddha statue and the enormous imperial gardens in which the emperors were rumored to tend to a small vegetable plot by themselves. When the Xiangfeng emperor had to leave Beijing during the Opium Wars he fled to Chengde and ultimately died. It was there where power passed to Empress Dowager Cixi, leading to the demise of the Qing dynasty and with it a glorious period in the history of the city. After the fall of Qing dynasty the Manchus and Chengde lost their political cloud. It last rose to prominence in 1952 when the accent spoken in Chengde was chosen as the basis of standard mandarin Chinese, but since then has a sleepy regional city that regularly gets confused with Chengdu, one of China’s largest cities and home of the Pandas.

Today Chengde is little known outside of China and the pace of life is markedly slower than in Beijing or Shanghai. Located in the mountains, the city offers a very high quality of life though with fresh air, great food and a very relaxed life style. Yet the sights and history in Chengde are astounding and the city today is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. Just exploring the old summer palace and its gardens can take days. The city is built inside the mountains along the Rehe (热河 or “hot river”) river and is divided into the old town, containing the summer palace, eight outer temples and most of the other sights and the modern part including the new university town. The city has no expat community, and nobody speaks English, but the Mandarin spoken is considered the most standard in all of China.

Life in Chengde

You will be completely immersed into Chinese culture and the language environment, studying Mandarin individually with no contact to other English speakers. Life in Chengde mainly revolves around food, hanging out with friends, sports, drinking beer and discussing how foolish the people living in a big city like Beijing are. Before you will go there we will have a pre-Chengde meeting with you where you will tell us about your hobbies and interests. Based on this we will put you in touch with local Chinese clubs or groups of friends to go hiking, play football, learn Chinese square dancing or anything else that interests you. The city actually has surprisingly much to offer in activities, especially with regards to sports and arts.

However, Chengde is a complete Chinese immersion experience. This means you will need to be open to a very different culture and life style that is might be completely different to what you are used to. You also need to be willing to make friends and hang out with local Chinese, as there is no foreign community. If you are looking for a more international life style and studying environment please do not choose this program. Have a look at our courses in Beijing or Shanghai instead.

Starting Dates

If you have studied some Mandarin previously, you can start your language immersion program on any Monday. If you are a complete beginner, you should start your Chinese course in Beijing on the following dates:

  • Jan 8th 2018
  • Jan 29th 2018
  • Feb 26th 2018
  • Mar 19th 2018
  • Apr 9th 2018
  • Apr 30th 2018
      • May 21st 2018
      • June 11th 2018
      • July 2nd 2018
      • July 16th 2018
      • July 30th 2018
      • Aug 13th 2018
      • Aug 27th 2018
      • Sep 17th 2018
      • Oct 8th 2018
      • Oct 29th 2018
      • Nov 19th 2018
      • Dec 10th 2018

Program Options

We offer three different Mandarin Immersion programs which are as follows:

 Program Beijing Chengde
Standard 20h/wk Small Group 20h/wk 1-on-1
Individual 20h/wk 1-on-1 20h/wk 1-on-1
Intensive 20h/wk Small Group & 10h/wk 1-on-1 30h/wk 1-on-1

Pricing

It is possible to join the program for as short as a month or up to a whole year. Below you find some sample durations, however other durations of course no problem to arrange. Please contact us for a full price list.

Weeks Standard Individual Intensive
4 14,810 18,646 22,483
6 19,837 25,350 30,862
8 24,381 31,408 38,435
10 28,439 36,819 45,199
12 32,377 42,069 51,761
14 37,223 48,531 59,838
16 42,069 54,992 67,915
+2 wk +4,846 +6,462 +8,077

Includes: Survival Kit Standard Beijing & Chengde, Transport Beijing – Chengde and back by bus/train, all tuition fees, Beijing airport pick-up, text books and 24/7 support.

Does not include: Accommodation

Accommodation: Homestay

A homestay is the best way to immerse yourself fully into Chinese culture and language. You will have your own bedroom, either with your own bathroom or shared with other family members. Living with a family is not just a place to stay, but a cultural and linguistic immersion experience that will give you insights into normal Chinese life that very few people have. Many students also make friends for life, visiting their homestay families regularly afterwards. Before you come to China we will ask you to fill out a questionnaire telling us about your preferences for your family, including special requests like pets, vegetarian or vegan food, allergies etc.

The food: One of the best parts of living with a Chinese family is being able to eat home cooked Chinese food. Great quality, varied and always plentiful there is nothing that is more important in a Chinese family than eating well. In Beijing we recommend the breakfast & dinner option, as you will be having lunch with other students together at our school most days. In Chengde both the breakfast & dinner and the all meals options are suitable.

To improve your Mandarin quickly, we recommend to stay with a homestay in both cities. In Beijing about 80% and in Chengde 95% of our students live with a homestay.

Shared Apartments Chengde

You will have a room in a centrally located apartment in Chengde. It comes with full access to the kitchen and living room, as well as WIFI and all bills included. Depending on the apartment you might either have a private bathroom or share it with your flat mates. Of course you will be the only foreigner in the apartment. This is a good budget option, however please note that in China flat mates do not always talk that much with each other and you might find it a bit more difficult to make friends and settle into the city without the support of a host family.

For further shared apartment, homestay, teach English homestay or serviced apartment accommodation options in Beijing please check the relevant pages on this page.

Accommodation Prices

Beijing

Please have a look at the different Beijing accommodation pages for prices and details regarding accommodation in Beijing.

Homestays Chengde

It is possible to book your homestay for as long as you want to. Please find below the prices for some sample durations. All Prices in CNY.

Duration Breakfast & Dinner All Meals
2 weeks 5,330 6,229
3 weeks 7,328 8,565
4 weeks 8,883 10,382
8 weeks 16,433 19,207
12 weeks 22,651 26,475
Extra week 1,888  2,206

Includes:

  • Accommodation at selected Chinese host-family
  • Your own bedroom
  • Meals (depending on option)
  • Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free homestays available
  • Internet and utilities
  • You will leave your Beijing accommodation on the Sunday before going to Chengde and depart from Chengde on the Saturday. If you want to arrive earlier or stay longer this can be arranged. Please contact us for a price quote.

Shared Apartments Chengde

Duration Prices in CNY
2 weeks 2,370
3 weeks 3,400
4 weeks 4,327
8 weeks 8,243
12 weeks 12,364
extra week 1,030

Includes

  • WIFI and all bills
  • Your private bedroom
  • Shared or private bathroom
  • Access to all common areas in the flat

Note: To ensure a complete immersion environment, apartments are shared with Chinese flatmates only. Only a limited number of apartments are available, so if you are interested in this option it is a good idea to book early. Contact us to check current availability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I go to Chengde and shorten my time in Beijing?

Yes you can, but you will need to be ready for life in the real China. For students who have not previously been to China we do not recommend going to Chengde directly but first settle into Chinese life in a more international environment.

How much Mandarin do I need to know to participate?

There is no minimum language requirement to join the program and it is possible to join as a complete beginner without problems. Due to most people in Chengde speaking textbook standard Mandarin, in our experience most student’s spoken Mandarin level improves rapidly and they bridge the language gap very quickly. The biggest challenge is living in such a different culture without any foreign or international community around you. To succeed in Chengde is much more about your openness and willingness to adapt to another culture than your current Mandarin level.

What if I need help?

Chengde is complete language and culture immersion, but of course you are not alone there. Our local Chengde team is always available to help and support you if needed – if necessary also in English.

Is it safe in Beijing and Chengde?

Both Beijing and Chengde are incredibly safe cities. You can walk alone through any part of either city at any time of the day or night. China is one of the world’s safest countries to live in.

Which Chinese level will I be able to achieve?

While progress of course always depends on the individual, language progress with the Mandarin Immersion Program is very fast. As an idea, usually a complete beginner taking the intensive immersion program with homestay would usually reach HSK 4 (B2) level within about four to five months. For a beginner, full fluency (HSK 5 or 6) can be achieved within about seven to twelve months, depending on the options chosen. The intensive program will get you ahead fastest, while the standard and individual options are roughly similar in terms of language learning speed. Students who live with a homestay usually improve faster, especially with their spoken Mandarin.

Note: we know it is a bit confusing, but the differences between HSK levels become bigger the higher you get. For example the step from HSK 5 to 6 is much bigger than 2 to 3.

Where will I study?

To avoid the temptation to speak English with other students when meeting each other before or after class, your mandarin lessons will be taught at your homestay or a tea shop or restaurant close by.

How will I get to Chengde?

You will take the train from Beijing to Chengde and be picked up at Chengde train station by our Chengde co-ordinator who will then bring you to your homestay or shared apartment.

Which days will I be traveling?

As a standard, arrival in Beijing is on a Sunday, you will travel from Beijing to Chengde on a Sunday and leave Chengde on a Saturday. If you want to book additional days’ accommodation in either city or have specific travel date requests this is usually possible. Please contact us to let us know what you are looking for.

Instead of Beijing, can I start the program in Shanghai too?

Yes you can. It will mean a bit longer traveling time to Chengde, as Shanghai is further away, but everything else is the same. Have a look at our Shanghai Chinese immersion program (link http://www.ltl-shanghai.com/chinese-immersion/)

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