LTL Mandarin School believes that Chinese study should not be limited to the classroom. For us, learning Mandarin means fully immersing yourself in China's language and culture from Day One.
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Choose from a number of our Chinese Gap Year programs and explore China whilst studying Mandarin abroad. Learn Chinese with our Immersion Program or enjoy complete freedom and build your own Chinese Gap Year.
Study abroad and visit three Chinese cities whilst learning Chinese with LTL Mandarin School. Our Multi City program offers a unique course where you will enjoy modern day China alongside historic and traditional China.
Visit the LTL Mandarin School blog as we cover a multitude of topics from life in China, reviews of Mobile Phone Apps, stories from LTL students past and present, plus much more.
10 world famous Chinese language learners tell you in the free Ultimate GuidEbook to Learning Mandarin Chinese their tricks, advice and what they recommend as the best ways to learn Mandarin.
What our students say about LTL
At LTL one thing is for sure, you will never feel alone. The entire staff are always available. As for the lessons you will be followed step by step, and everything is very flexible according to your needs.
Coming to Beijing through LTL Mandarin School for me was not just a study experience but above all a life experience. As soon as I arrived at school, I found a welcoming environment where people will make you feel at ease straight away.
At LTL one thing is for sure, you will never feel alone. The entire staff are always available. As for the lessons you will be followed step by step, and everything is very flexible according to your needs. The teachers are well qualified and at the same time they are able to create a relaxed atmosphere in the classroom.
The bonds that we have established with them go beyond the simple teacher-student relationship. At LTL Mandarin School I have had the opportunity to integrate myself into everyday Chinese life thanks to the many organized activities that allow you to relate with people from different countries. At the end of your journey, in addition to achieving your goal of study you will feel enriched on a personal level. Sure, there will be initial difficulties due to the linguistic and cultural differences. However, all the friendships that you can build will transform what is a simple study trip into an experience that you will carry with you forever.
I really liked that the lessons were entertaining or not after the lesson book was done alone but entertaining and easy. Working with native speakers has helped my listening skills.
I had previously studied Chinese as an optional subject at the University for two years in Germany. After my graduation, I wanted to go to China for a while to improve. In particular I wanted to work on my listening comprehension which was often neglected in my university course with about 15-20 students. After my arrival in Beijing, my worst fears came true, I did not understand a word…! The pronunciation of the real Chinese is very different from the perfectly pronounced recordings I had learned at home.
I had opted for the intensive course and thus I had four daily lessons in a small group (with four Italians) and then two hours of private lessons. Looking back, I underestimated how exhausting six hours of lessons are in one go (in such a small group or even alone). For the last few hours, I used to be a bit tired and heavy-handed, but luckily my teachers adapted to my pace of learning. I really liked that the lessons were entertaining.
In addition, I had decided to take the exam for an official language certificate (HSK3) in Beijing. I feared the “listening comprehension part” of the exam and I toyed several times with the idea of giving up and resigning from the exam. Luckily, my teachers had a lot of understanding and faith in me. They rebuilt me and systematically prepared me for the exam. Although I walked calmly, but not very self-assured, I took the HSK test. For me, coping with the test anxiety was a big step forward. Unfortunately, I do not have the result of my test now, but I am confident and feel that it went well.
Working with native speakers has helped my listening skills both at school and in everyday life. I still do not understand everything spoken in Chinese (even if I have to know the vocabulary), but compared to the first day, my understanding has improved a lot.
In everyday life I can make myself understand one way or another. I’m sad that time has gone so fast. Here I had not only made linguistic progress but also met many nice people and made friends. I will continue to work on my knowledge of Chinese and, if time permits, I will gladly return to China one day.
I did 5 weeks in each location, starting in Shanghai. I started from an absolute zero level and now I can use Chinese conversationally with my host family and in day to day life.
Hello! I am a recent college graduate from the USA. I did a 15 week intensive study program with LTL in all 3 cities. I did 5 weeks in each location, starting in Shanghai, then to Beijing, and ending my adventure in Chengde. I started from an absolute zero level and now I can use Chinese conversationally with my host family and in day to day life.
I am very glad to have found LTL, and that I chose to do the 3 city program. I found LTL on the Internet and decided to do all three cities because I wanted as many experiences as possible, and wanted to see more places in China. LTL is great for this because their staff give you insider information on the cities and recommendations on how and when to go to a site. They also organized trips to places I never would have found on my own, like a hike to a remote part of the Great Wall and the Shanghai Marriage Market.
When I arrived in Shanghai I had no idea if I had set myself up for months of pain or an awesome experience. Luckily, it turned out to be the latter, and the supportive, all inclusive atmosphere at LTL made adapting to the culture shock much easier. That and Shanghai’s international ties made getting around the city a great place to start to study Chinese. LTL Shanghai’s Alex and Fu Lala were so supportive. I never felt lost or alone despite being in a city of 24 million. The other students were wonderful, and we all commiserated on the daily 40℃ (104℉) weather. I took 4 hours of group classes and 2 hours of individual a day, so I not only had the opportunity to learn at my own pace, but also learned in a group which was often more fun and cooperative.
Five weeks flew by and I found myself taking the bullet train to Beijing and my new school. The summer was coming to an end and my classmates changed from college students to travelling professionals. Over the course of my trip, my classmates ranged from a 17 year old Spanish girl starting college that autumn to a 68 year old former German diplomat who had worked in the Beijing Embassy. I’m glad I chose to go to Beijing because, though Shanghai is amazing and looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, Beijing has all of the classic sights and so much history! My classes were once again excellent. Instead of hot weather, we commiserated about how crazy the subway was in the mornings.
Chengde was again a big change and a great experience. Chengde is different because there is no actual school location and all classes are individual. That being said, my homestay was great and I saw huge improvement in my Chinese. In my 5 weeks there I saw 3 other foreigners. It really is a true immersion, and after my first week I was tired using all Chinese all the time. But after a week I started to become comfortable. I would recommend Chengde to anyone looking to focus on their Chinese culture and language study, because the isolation forced me to stop using English speaking classmates and independently work on my Chinese.
All in all, I have had a great experience at LTL. I leave China with a new skill, friends from all over the world, and the ability to live and travel comfortably in one of the biggest, most influential countries in the world. Thank you LTL for an amazing language and cultural experience!
To find out more about Maggie’s experience with LTL you can watch her video interview she kindly offered to take part in. She discusses the Multi City program in further detail alongside her other experiences as she studied Chinese throughout China.
When I arrived to Shanghai, after organizing the program with LTL, we started classes and they were really great! My teacher was amazing, we really clicked! That’s always a good feeling
My name is Stuart, I’m from Australia but my parents are from South Korea. I studied medicine in university, and wanted to go with my friends to China to do a Chinese study program. While Googling for places to study, I found the LTL website. Me and my friends decided to search a bit more, and found that LTL had a lot of reviews! One amazing review site listed 25 reviews with really high ratings. I then called the school and talked with the school director, and he got me really impressed. The guy seems like he really knew his stuff, not to mention he also sounded very interested in helping me learn Mandarin, regardless of coming to this school or not. That’s a great feeling : )
When I arrived to Shanghai, after organizing the program with LTL, we started classes and they were really good! My teacher was amazing, we clicked instantly! We were having an Individual 1on1 program, and it was organized well, and my teacher also hung out with us after class, so it was really easy to make friends with her. The environment of the school was really great. We had a lot of fun LTL dinners, and the social presence of the school director really rocks! The atmosphere was very casual, which felt very welcoming, and I enjoyed hanging out and talking with the staff after and in-between classes.
I can say that originally I didn’t want to go to Shanghai. Shanghai didn’t win me over, LTL did!
I definitely want to come back and study again at LTL if I’m able to 🙂
I attended class 2 times a week in the evening, but I felt my language, and most importantly my confidence with the Chinese language improved. I hope to go back to the school.
In 2017 I had recently moved to China and wanted to kick-start my Chinese language learning, mainly concentrating on speaking and practical use. LTL certainly did not disappoint! They were extremely flexible with my not-so-flexible work schedule, and I was even able to join onto a course half-way through. My job demands regular changes to my schedule so the fact LTL adhered to this was just ideal for me.
It was a group course, but often it turned out that I was the only student, so I also got some one-on-one practice with my teacher, Lucy. I attended class 2 times a week in the evening, but I felt my language, and most importantly my confidence with the Chinese language improved.
Lucy structured lessons based on life in Beijing, and she would structure learning materials around my level. We would also only speak in Chinese (when possible!) meaning it was great language immersion. By the end of it I didn’t want the lessons to be over!
I hope to go back to the school in a few more months for another language boost.
Although I was mainly preparing for my exams I can see how easy it would be to immerse yourself into the culture of Chengde. Foreigners are so rare that everyone is very excited to chat with you.
Hi, my name is Zander and I came to China after finishing my Master’s degree at university. In total I was in China for 10 months, which included 7 months in Beijing and 6 weeks in Chengde (both at LTL).
I decided to come to Chengde because I was preparing to take the HSK 6, and wanted to experience full immersion. While I enjoyed Beijing, I had lots of English-speaking friends and knew how easy it was to be distracted there. Chengde appealed to me because it is pretty unknown to foreigners.
I stayed in a homestay which was located directly opposite the main train station in the main area of town. My family was a couple, their two young kids, and the mother’s mother. They were lovely, always very kind and I liked the eldest kid so much we would play games together pretty often. Each evening the grandma would invite me out dancing but I was usually studying so didn’t go too often. The food was excellent (best I’ve had in china, honestly) and there was always too much.
Although I was mainly preparing for my exams I can see how easy it would be to immerse yourself into the culture of Chengde. Foreigners are so rare that everyone is very excited and happy to chat with you. I attended my teacher’s friends wedding which was a real experience and she managed to integrate me quite well into her friendship group.
If you are looking for the ‘real China’ which feels quite distant when visiting the megacities of Beijing or Shanghai, Chengde is likely to be the place for you. It’s really almost like going back in time.
I passed my HSK 6 which I was very pleased with, and would attribute lots of this to the focus and direction that the learning-environment of Chengde provided. If you are willing to take the plunge, I couldn’t recommend it more.