Studying Chinese is not just about memorizing characters and memorizing vocabulary, but about meeting people, making friends, and enjoying the experience. It is up to each student to decide which activities to participate in or whether to get involved in the school social life at all. If you prefer to fully focus on your studies, the choice is yours, but the option to join is always available.
Our students come from all over the world to Beijing to study Chinese, learn more about Chinese culture, and discover this fascinating country together. You classmates will be from tropical islands, Siberia, Europe, the US or just about any other place in the world with a flight connection to China. They might spend a whole year here to achieve full fluency, are in Beijing as part of a language holiday in China or university program, do an internship or work in China after studying Chinese.
Students at LTL are a very sociable bunch, with plenty of dinners, karaoke sessions, and holiday tours organized together. While you will decide yourself in which school activities you want to participate in, for most people the school quickly becomes a second home. When taking a break on our balcony with classmates, joining other students for lunch in the lounge or just doing homework together in the library you will quickly meet a lot of people from all over the world, all with the same passion: China
The first week
While for 1-on-1 students and students who studied Chinese before it is possible to join classes every Monday, most new students arrive on the Sunday before a group class starting dates. For the first night, we suggest to get some sleep and rest from what was most likely a long flight and prepare what will certainly be an exciting week. Starting dates are every two or three weeks.
Find below a summary of activities you will be able to take part in during a typical week with a starting date. For students who do not arrive on a starting date, many activities like dinners and karaoke might still be available that week, but some like the welcome breakfast only take place during weeks with a starting date.
All new students – and many of the old ones – meet at 08:00 at the school for our welcome breakfast. We first go for a walk around the area, to show you where to find the best shops, tastiest restaurants, help with questions and explain a bit about living and studying in Beijing. We then get a traditional Chinese breakfast together, costs vary depending on what you get, but are usually between 5 and 15 RMB.
At the school students can then decide what to do for lunch today. Most students order lunch at the LTL reception, which then gets delivered to the school during lunch break and we eat together at the school during the break. A great way to meet other students, but also to avoid the lunch rush, as Beijing’s CBD is a pretty busy place during lunch hours.
Note: Please always make sure you order your lunch before 10:00 or the day beforehand with Anna at reception as otherwise restaurants might not be able to deliver in time.
All students join for the LTL school dinner, either Beijing Duck or Beijing traditional hotpot. Always a fun night out, with plenty of food and drinks, a group of students usually carries on to the Sanlitun bar district afterwards.
Meet at 18:30 at reception. For costs we share the bill together which usually works out to between 50 and 60 RMB per person.
In Beijing, Friday is karaoke night. We all head out for a big night out Chinese style with plenty of beers, food, and signing. Combined with an all you can eat buffet, there are songs in Chinese and English and you can choose to join in or just listen to the others trying to do so. All levels of musical ability are welcome. Afterwards most students either choose to get some rest to be ready for the Great Wall trip the next day or continue on to one of the many Chinese discos in the area. Cost is usually about 100 RMB per person, including karaoke, food and drinks.
On the weekend we do a two day language holiday trip to the Great Wall, weather allowing. We leave on Saturday morning, to a wild section of the Great Wall, untouched by China’s tourism department and hidden deep in a valley in Huairou’s mountains North of Beijing. We then spend two days climbing the old sections of the Great Wall, exploring one of mankind’s greatest constructions, and the nature around it. For the night we return to an old little village close to the wall, once built to supply the soldiers manning the watchtowers. We then all join in for a traditional Chinese farmers dinner and watch the clear skies above the Northern Mountains, followed by joining a local village festival or just enjoying the quiet and peace.
Cost: 1,000 RMB, includes, transport to and from the wall, food, drinks, guide, accommodation (single rooms) and entrance tickets. As the Great Wall trip usually gets full very early, we suggest to reserve a place beforehand if you want to go.
Community is very important for us at LTL, and plenty of movie nights, clubbing, parties, and dinners are organized regularly by students and often teachers as well. In addition the school organizes activities for traditional Chinese holidays, dinners, activities, school trips in the summer, beijing ghost tours and skiing holidays in the winter. Providing an environment that allows students to get known to each other is a priority at LTL. People studying here are usually from very different backgrounds but are all fascinated by China, want to learn Mandarin, and explore this amazing country. That is what makes making friends so easy and rewarding. For a language holiday China offers a wide range of entertainment and we welcome you to be part of our little version of the United Nations in China’s capital.
As true Beijingers we of course support our local football team, Beijing Guo An. The LTL International Beijing Guo An Football Fan Club (LIGAF) meets for all home games and joins 50,000 Chinese football fans for a night of football, learning Chinese swearwords for the referee and other people we do not like, as well as singing not always 100% politically correct songs to support our team. Even if you are not a football fan, this is something that should be part of any language holiday in China. 国安必胜！
Our WeChat Group
As facebook is blocked in China, WeChat (微信) is the software that most Chinese use to communicate with each other. It is similar to WhatsApp, though it also has elements of other social media software too and a unique “look around” function to make new friends.
The first thing all LTL students do is join our LTL WeChat group, preferably even before arriving in Beijingou are up to date about what’s going once you arrived. This is where you have the contacts of all other LTL students and it is a great place to meet other students whom you have not met yet at the school. It is also where everyone plans weekend trips, dinners and sightseeing tours together, as well as share pictures and stories. Try downloading the application before coming to China, if there are any problems do not worry however, we show all our new students on the first day how to join.
Groups in WeChat are private and our group is only accessible to current or past LTL students. If you have not signed up for a course and want to read more about LTL check the LTL facebook site or contact us to talk to someone who is currently studying at LTL.
The LTL Xian Trip
When Beijing was nothing but a small fishing village, Xian was the capital of China’s empire, the starting and end point of the Silk Road, and probably the world’s main city at the time – bigger than Rome and wealthier than Venice. Join us on a weekend trip to visit one of the best preserved Chinese city walls and of course the fabled Terracotta Warriors.
LTL Student’s Stories
An awesome experience
I found it very easy to make friends at LTL, as the school has a very social environment and a great international student community. I already met the first people during the welcome breakfast on the first day of school. During the school Beijing duck dinner and the lunches on campus I started to meet people outside my class and made a lot of new friends from all over the world. On my first weekend I went out clubbing with a group of fellow students on Friday, spent Saturday at the Summer Palace with them and then Sunday in the Forbidden City with another LTL student. I found the LTL student community extremely friendly and open to new arrivals, I had a wonderful time and made friends with a lot of very interesting people, whom I will miss a lot.
– Sabrina, Germany