'Reading and writing, arithmetic and grammar do not constitute education, any more than a knife, fork and spoon constitute a dinner.'
- John Lubbock
RWC’s Language Program is a unique, effective program that incorporates classroom knowledge with real life. Learn Chinese while you experience China.
Why Real World Chinese Language
Imagine yourself in a classroom. In front of you lies a textbook which you have been reading from for the past hour. You have memorized the necessary vocabulary and feel quite certain that you have understood the essential grammar. The class is dismissed, and instead of closing your textbook and filing your new knowledge into the back of your mind where it may lie dormant for weeks or even months, you are guided to a nearby site, where you immediately begin to use the knowledge you have learned. All around you the air is buzzing with words, most of them new - but after a few moments you begin to recognize them. Suddenly you find your mind alive, engaged in the vigorous activity of using what you have just learned and discovering more words, noticing the subtleties of intonation and observing the impact of gestures. You shift your backpack and feel the textbook inside – the textbook that was your foundation of knowledge. But here, at the site, with people around you, this is where your mansion is built, and your main course is served, for there is nothing more alive, more memorable than the experience of life itself.
At Real World Chinese, we have one main goal: we want your language education to be more than what you learn from a textbook. We want you to learn real world Chinese, not just the words you are taught in a classroom every day. We want you to come away from China with the ability to remember running your fingers over the rough surface of the clay bricks of the Great Wall, and remember the words you used to describe that moment, in Chinese.
We want you to not only learn Chinese, but also to experience China. We combine the knowledge you have learned in a classroom – regardless of your level of understanding Chinese – with a phenomenal immersion program, consisting of after school tutoring, electives, and “study adventures”: interactive events and guided tours to some of the most popular destinations in the area.
|You begin your day at the most celebrated and internationally recognized university of the city, either in Beijing, Shanghai or Xi’an, where experienced native teachers and professors focus on the essential language-learning components - reading, writing, and speaking – through the key building blocks: phonetics, vocabulary, and grammar. Your teachers will use a variety of educational tools to facilitate your language education, from listening exercises, to real life role playing, to the practicing of your brush stroke. The classes are small, with a maximum of twenty students, so you have the opportunity to ask questions and receive help when needed.
We want you to use the knowledge you have learned, so after class, you have a choice. Depending on the day, you can attend after school tutoring where you can receive individual help and meet other students at the university. Or, you can join one of the many unforgettable study adventures and explore a site such as the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, the Lama Temple, Tian'anmen Square, or the Forbidden City. You won’t have to be bogged down with the details of finding money for entrance tickets, or registering to see a show; we will take care of all that for you. If you are registered for the business program, you will visit a local corporation like IBM, Nokia or Sony and experience the various types of work environments in China.
At the end of your day, you will have yet more options. If you are exhausted from your adventures, you can return to your lodging – which we take great care to match with your living style – and collapse into bed, read a book, or perhaps correspond with those who are far away from you. Or you can attend one of the social events that we will have organized – perhaps it will be playing basketball, learning to sing karaoke, watching a Chinese movie, or attending a local festival. Regardless of your decision, we will take care of you and ensure that you do not feel alone in a foreign country.
- Total immersion in the Chinese language
- Unique methodology: learning by doing
- Small classes averaging 5 students*
- Total Beginner to Proficient classes available
- Short Term programs: 4 to 12 weeks
- Long Term programs: Semester or Academic Year
- Language Exchange Program with native speakers
- Intensive language classes
- Free after-class language tutoring
- Personal study advisor available
- Free Electives: language and non-language focused
- Experienced native Chinese teachers
- Free guided tours, excursions, and activities
*Small class available at Beijing Academy of Chinese Studies (BACS)
Structure and Schedule
At Real World Chinese we want you to have a complete educational experience. We have created our language programs based on the experiential educational philosophies of David A. Kolb and Peter Jarvis, both of whom founded the theory that learning occurs best once a person has direct contact with a situation that involves all of the senses.
We have divided the program into five sections:
- Core Courses
- Partnered Language Exchange
- Social Activities
These sections do not exist as independent entities; rather, they work together to create a complete, thorough education experience. By participating in the four extra components (electives, tutoring, partnered language exchange, and social activities) you are transferring and reinforcing knowledge and skills learned from the core courses. This is our unique language wheel methodology.
CLASSES: CORE COURSES
There are two types of programs available to learn Mandarin Chinese: standard and intensive.
HOURS PER DAY
Monday - Friday (20hrs/week)
Monday - Friday (30hrs/week)
Classes are scheduled for the morning, five days a week. Each day you will have four classes, each fifty minutes long, with a ten minute break in between. The Intensive Program will follow the above schedule, with an additional daily two hours of one-on-one tutoring, totalling six hours per day.
Upon your arrival at your selected destination, you will be given a brief written and oral test in order to determine your proficiency of Mandarin Chinese, and to ensure that you are in a comfortable education environment. Whether you only know how to say Happy New Year or could argue your way out of a speeding ticket in court, there is a class that can accommodate you. The six levels of proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking are as follows:
More than 300
More than 800
More than 1,500
More than 2,500
More than 3,500
Total Beginner (Level 0)
- Total beginner or with little background in Mandarin Chinese and Chinese phonetics with
knowledge of less than 400 Chinese characters
- Unable to communicate on simple and basic everyday topics in Chinese
- Provide solid foundational learning, focusing on teaching Chinese phonetics by
incorporating tone exercises to ensure that students learn correct Chinese
pronunciation and intonation
- Help students to begin developing Chinese listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills
with the use of pinyin and Chinese characters
- Introduce the basics of Chinese grammar and simple sentence structures
- Teach necessary vocabulary and survival Chinese for students to conduct simple dialogue
exchanges for basic daily life requirements and needs
- Train students on how to write basic Chinese characters by introducing the radical system
(Chinese character composition), different types of brush strokes and stroke orders
- After completion of the course, students should be able to engage in basic and simple
conversations; recognize over 400 Chinese characters/expressions; and be
ready to progress into the Beginner level.
Beginner (Level A)
- Understand the basics of Chinese phonetics
- Can communicate using simple and basic sentences and know fewer than 800 Chinese
- Provide more foundational learning to help students improve advanced Chinese
pronunciation and sound recognition by focusing on use of proper phonetics
and intonation with accuracy
- Help students improve and further develop their listening, speaking, reading, writing,
and vocabulary usage skills
- Teach students to master the basics of Chinese grammar, while introducing the usage of
slightly more complicated sentence structures
- Assist students to broaden their vocabulary and formulate various consolidated ideas and
thoughts in Chinese for daily communication under a wide range of topics
- Help students learn to write more complicated Chinese characters with focus on using
advanced brush strokes and stroke orders and use of proper writing techniques
- After completion of the course, students should be able to engage in everyday
conversations;recognize over 800 Chinese characters/expressions; and be ready to
progress into the Elementary level.
Elementary (Level B)
- Know more than 800 Chinese characters/expressions
- Have a grasp of basic Chinese grammar and sentence structures
- Can engage in simple everyday conversations using complete sentences
- Help students express and communicate oneself in Chinese with fluency and correct
- Help students learn more complex Chinese grammar and major sentence structures in a
systematic and intuitive manner
- Assist students in comprehending short stories that focus on improving grammar while
introducing practical and more advanced vocabulary concerning a number of
topics related to culture, history, and society
- Teach students how to direct a conversation in varied situations according to their thoughts
using words in their proper context
- Teach students basic Chinese idioms, proverbs and colloquial sayings to be incorporated
into their daily Chinese communication
- Further help students develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills to
enable better expression of student’s opinions and ideas in a rational and logical manner.
- After completion of the course, students should be able to engage in daily everyday topics
with a bit of sophistication; recognize over 1500 Chinese characters/expressions;
and be ready to progress into the Intermediate level.
Intermediate (Level C)
- Know more than 1,500 Chinese characters/expressions
- Have a grasp of Elementary Chinese grammar and sentence structures
- Can engage in daily everyday topics and express oneself with a bit of sophistication
- Establish a finer and more extensive vocabulary background with the aim of enabling
participants to functionally express themselves in broad and specific contexts with people
from different backgrounds
- Focus on reading and writing compositions, as well as understanding more complex
grammar and sentence structures by learning rhetorical expressions which would enable
students the ability to express themselves eloquently in an effective and persuasive manner
- Help students to become increasingly fluent by doing paraphrasing exercises to retell
stories or articles while inciting students to engage in lively debates
- Introduce more practical situational texts to provide a greater awareness of Chinese
culture and society, as well as the use of more sophisticated Chinese idioms
- Introduce students to advanced writing in various styles including prose, poetry, and
- After completion of the course, students should be able to gain a deeper understanding of
the Chinese culture, converse on a wide variety of topics in practical and situational context;
express themselves in an articulate manner using more complicated sentence structures;
recognize over 2500 Chinese characters/expressions; and be ready to progress into the
Advanced (Level 5)
- Know more than 2,500 Chinese characters/expressions, including idioms
- Have a grasp of Intermediate to Advanced Chinese grammar and sentence structures
- Have the ability to engage in practical situational context and express themselves using
complicated sentence structures
- Teach students higher-level subject matters related to politics, economy, literature, and
society, as well as to have in-depth debates and detailed discussions.
- Class work includes reading newspapers, watching films and documentaries, and listening
to news broadcasts enabling students to grasp the meaning of more sophisticated
Chinese messages and information while building up higher vocabulary required for
- Assist students to use advanced Chinese in order to express their opinions and insights
with precision, vividness, and richness in a very logical and comprehensive manner
- Teach students how to write formal business letters and correspondences
- After completion of the course, students should be able to discuss general and specialized
topics, raise complex questions, and express their opinions clearly; recognize over 3500
Chinese characters/expressions; and be ready to progress into the Proficient level.
Proficient (Level 6)
- Know more than 3,500 Chinese characters/expressions
- Be able to read and comprehend newspapers, periodicals and understand radio
broadcasts and television programs
- Express oneself systematically using appropriate expressions and language norms.
- Help students to become literary scholar with sophisticated knowledge and understand
classical Chinese literature and Chinese philosophy;
- Assist students to gain further proficiency in understanding and expressing in-depth,
intellectual comments on news reports, television, and radio broadcasts
- Provide a practice forum for students to discuss and debate on contemporary issues
- Help students to develop a solid knowledge and comprehension of Chinese idioms with full
and extended knowledge about Chinese culture and language
- Teach students how to express themselves in a highly academic level, tackling the most
complicated and complex sentence structures while being able to summarize and analyze
all kinds of Chinese literature
- Assist students to gain an even better understanding of Chinese linguistic concepts and
theories in order to understand modern Chinese language
- After completion of course, students would be at a highly proficient Chinese level with the
ability to discuss and debate on complex issues; recognize over 5000 Chinese
characters/expressions; and have a complete and thorough knowledge of the Chinese
In order to ensure your Mandarin skills are developed in the best possible way, the classes have been divided into the five key language developing areas: reading, writing, listening, speaking (oral), and grammar.
Reading: Classes will focus on building vocabulary and strengthening reading comprehension, with a focus on accuracy and speed.
Writing: Classes will introduce and develop the composition of characters and stroke orders of radicals, or bushou.
Listening: Classes will focus on improving listening comprehension of spoken Mandarin at regular speed. At the beginner level the primary focus will be understanding basic facts; at the advanced level the primary focus will be developing implicit comprehension and drawing inferences from complicated passages.
Speaking (Oral): Classes will facilitate the development of proper pronunciation and intonation, and will help students recognize common stress patterns in Mandarin.
Grammar: Classes will introduce and develop proper sentence structure, word order, spelling and colloquial expressions.
||We understand that learning a new language can be overwhelming and confusing. Mandarin is not the same as English, in its structure or in its usage of Romanized lettering. We therefore have after school tutoring available, using hand-picked English speaking tutors to help you with your studies. You have the option of one-on-one tutoring or group tutoring. In either setting you will be able to ask questions about the daily topics, have an extra lesson if you were ill and unable to attend the morning’s class, or practice, practice, practice.
PARTNERED LANGUAGE EXCHANGE
What better way to get to know all the secret parts of China and to polish your Mandarin than to connect with a local Chinese student? This program is very simple – you have the opportunity to practice your Mandarin in a conversational manner, eat real Chinese food and get to see some local sights that are off the beaten path. In exchange, you help your partner with his or her English, and share a little bit of your culture. You create your own schedule of where and when to meet… and who knows? You may just find a friend for life.
We want you to have the best experience learning Mandarin, and we want you to capitalize on the richest resource you have at your hands: the fact that you are in China, not at home with only a book in front of you. To help your Mandarin skills grow, and to combine a little of Chinese culture with education, we offer a series of free after school electives.
The electives are divided into two categories: language and non-language, although actually even the non-language classes will help improve your Mandarin skills. These electives are mostly done in the afternoons within the universities and are provided at no extra cost. The individual institutions are always adding new electives so please inquire about what is available when you arrive.
Language: Chinese Character Writing and Chinese Song Classes
Chinese Character Writing: A supplementary class to writing classes. Focus is on further development of characters and the radical system.
Chinese Song Classes: An introduction to both traditional folk and modern (pop) Chinese songs. Lyrics are written in both pinyin (Romanized letters) and hanzi (Chinese characters) in order to further strengthen reading and speaking skills.
Non-Language: Chinese Painting, Calligraphy, Traditional Chinese Massage and Medicine, and Taiji Quan (Tai Chi)
Chinese Painting: An introduction to one of the most popular traditional Chinese painting techniques - water colour painting, taught by a professional artist.
Calligraphy: An introduction to the ancient and sublime art form of Chinese calligraphy. Learn the eight styles, how to hold the brush, and the proper order of strokes. Students will select one style and develop their skills.
Traditional Chinese Massage and Medicine: An introduction to the ancient Chinese view of the human body and the causes of illness. Remedial techniques will include herbal medicine and massage.
Taiji Quan (Tai Chi): An introduction to the softer and more fluid martial arts, with a focus on internal power to improve health and wellness, both physically and mentally.
To keep you entertained and connected, we offer a range of social activities. Here is a chance for you to meet other English-speaking students like yourself who are learning Mandarin, and immerse yourself in a variety of activities that are designed to keep your blood flowing and your language skills developing. Try your hand at the Asian phenomenon of singing karaoke in a real karaoke bar, complete with costumes, choreography, and flashing lights. Your first social activity will be the Welcome Lunch, followed closely by any of those listed below:
- The Peking Duck Feast
- Bowling nights
- Karaoke nights
- Movie nights
- Friday Bar and Club nights
- Snowboarding trips
Once a month Real World Chinese will also host a dinner and social evening where you will have the opportunity to share your experiences and stuff yourself silly with all the rice, soup and assorted Chinese dishes you can imagine.
We have been in your shoes. We know what it’s like to enter a new country and feel alone, and look around the classroom and feel like you don’t know anyone. To help you feel more at home, we provide you with a personal academic advisor, who is there to help guide you through your academic experience in China. Whether you are lost in the building, desire advice on your course selections, or want to find a group of similar students who share your interests, your advisor will be there to help you, any time you need it.
Cities and Universities
Real World Chinese Language Program is available in 11 cities, and here are some of them:
Click a City to learn more about other cities and host universities.
Hangzhou Kunming Nanjing Tibet Dalian Guangzhou Tianjin Xi’an
We understand what it’s like to travel to a
foreign place, and we want to eliminate the worry, anxiety and
stress. That’s why we will provide your accommodation based on
your needs – whether that is staying with a host family,
having your own private hotel room, staying on campus at the
university, or sharing an apartment.
information on accommodation,
Program Dates and Fees
Click a City to find other universities’s dates and fees.
Hangzhou Kunming Nanjing Tibet Dalian Guangzhou Tianjin Xi’an
You should apply for an F-class Visa. F-class visas are usually issued for 1, 3 or 6 months depending on the duration of the course. If the study duration is not covered by the initial visa approval, an extension will be made by the host institution and RWC on arrival. Some academic year students may be qualified to apply for an X-class Visa. Some embassies and consulates may issue an L-class visa regardless of the purpose for entering China. In these cases the visa can also be converted on arrival. You may need an Invitation Letter, Admission Notice, or Visa Application for Study in China (JW202 form) to obtain a visa. These documents are provided by RWC when enrolment has been completed and Total Program Fees paid.
Emergency and Medical Insurance
Our Real World
Chinese include Emergency Travel and Medical Insurance, which
covers emergency medical and dental treatment, pro-rata return
of program fee in case of curtailment, personal liability and
For further information on Insurance, click
Applicants must be:
- 18 to 60 years
old (with exceptions)
- In good health
- A high school
Free transport from the airport in city you choose to your accommodation is provided.
The following important pieces of information are required at
least 10 business days before your arrival:
Arrival date, Arrival time, Arrival place, Bus/Train/Flight Number,
Airline/Bus company, Place of departure Participants are met
at their arrival point and accompanied to their
For On-line Application, click
For Application Form, click