Hutong School


Hutong School provides study, volunteer, and internship options in Beijing and Shanghai, China. Students from all around the world join Hutong School for personalized Chinese lessons. Classes begin at the beginning of every month, and students have the chance to learn Chinese at their own pace!

Hutong School's professional internships are geared towards students looking for an international internship experience in Beijing. Hutong has partnered with national and multi-national companies to provide students with hands-on experience during their time abroad. Check out the options below to see which one is right for you!

Students in China with Hutong School

Programs from Hutong School

Program Reviews

  • Rhea
    Age: 19-24
    United Kingdom
    School of Oriental and African Studies
    Living in Beijing and studying at The Hutong School

    After studying Mandarin at SOAS University in London(a hilarious but unfortunate name as SOAS means STD in Dutch..) I decided to further develop my language skills in Beijing and my choice of institute was The Hutong School.

    The Hutong School not only offer language classes (from beginner to advanced) but also help with accommodation, visa (which is a little more complicated when not visiting for tourism), finding cheap tickets and anything you could possibly need help with. They also organise social events, which is nice when living somewhere you don't actually know anyone.

    After a 10+ hour flight with a short stopover in Helsinki I arrived early in the morning. I picked up my suitcase, made my way to the exit and looked for the Hutong School representative.

    The representative in question was no less than Bruce Lee himself. No, I'm serious, 1.71m, black hair, died 41 years ago.. Well, I guess the name was just a mere coincidence. Anyways, Bruce Lee was just lovely and I would meet him quite a few times during my stay in Beijing. He took me to my apartment and on top of being picked up by China's most famous actor,Bruce informed me that my neighbour was none other that Jackie Chan himself! I staked out but never caught a glimpse..

    My apartment was located in Dongzhimen, a really nice and central location only 4 bus stops from the school, 2 stops to Tiananmen Sq. and 2 tube stops from Dongsi and Dengshikou where I usually stay when in Beijing. The apartment was, as I guess could have been expected, not quite as "nice" as presented on the website. There were cockroaches, it was dirty and located in a building that was generally pretty run down. However, this too had it's charm and as the location was great and a proper clean improved it a lot, I called it home.

    I had 4 roommates; a Dutch guy who arrived the same day I did and would be there for 4 months doing an internship at the Dutch embassy whist learning Chinese, two Columbian brothers who had been in Beijing for 7 months, an American guy who had lived in China for 2 years already and worked for The Hutong School at the time.

    After settling in, Bruce took me to register with the local police, as a "resident" you need to register and always carry this form with you. He quickly showed me where the supermarket was and took me to The Hutong School to get a level assessment, arrange my schedule and to meet my teachers. The school is, well, on the contrary of what one would expect and is implied by the name, not actually located in the Hutongs (traditional Chinese style courtyards & houses), but located on Sanlitun bar street - probably the most popular tourist street in Beijing - think Kao San Rd in Bangkok. Not to mention the school, quite opposite of a house in the Hutongs, is a massive skyscraper with The Hutong School located on the 15th floor. Obviously less charming but it did make for great views.

    I had a 2 hour private class every day and my teachers were just lovely (as were the rest of The Hutong School staff my I add).Being in China and constantly being immersed in Chinese improved my Mandarin so much.

    How could this program be improved?

    Definitely cleaner apartments (cockroach free!), better lesson plans & guidance and more activities.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 0
    Response from Hutong School
    Dear Rhea, Many thanks for your review. As we always strive to keep improving our services, we mostly appreciate any feedback! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed your stay at Hutong School and I hope you still keep speaking Chinese! As for the apartment, cockroaches unfortunately are inevitably present in Asia. We were however aware of the problem, and the apartment has been made cockroach free. As you mention, we can improve our lesson plans & guidance, I touched base with our education staff in Beijing, and they didn't receive any complaints from you regarding this during your stay. We would be happy to know why you were unhappy with your lesson plan and the guidance you received so we can make improvements for our future students. Feel free to shoot us an email anytime ( Thanks again for the review Rhea and wishing you all the best! -Haike
  • Sylvain
    Age: 19-24
    Perfect Program to study chinese and to have an oversea experience

    I had really great time studying at Hutong School. The teacher, Mo laoshi, is really comprehensive and very friendly.
    My internship was really interesting, integrating an international team and developing new projects! Thanks for all the staff!

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 5 Inspiring: 3
  • Amerigo
    Age: 19-24
    Shanghai, China
    Shanghai branch

    When i first applied online to the courses the first thought i had was "people will be cold and heartless, foreigner school in china...doesn't sound like a good deal".
    I couldn't have been more wrong. The first contact with the staff was through email and since i haven't had any problem whatsoever dealing with them about anything.
    I had few issue appling for my visa but i've been helped a lot by the kindness of the staff who supported me since the first email i've sent them.
    I arrived in the middle of the night and there was a guy from the school waiting for and saving me from the savageness of being a new "laowai" in the airport - if you've ever been in southern Asia, it feels the same: taxi drivers touching, screaming at you and overly concerned airport staff that look a bit suspicious -.
    Anyhow, as soon as i started classes i realised how it feels like home to be at hutong school, how people is always there for you.
    Classes themselves are small and cozy, teachers are usually around my age or so and usually extremely friendly.
    As a matter of fact my teacher was so concerned about my health she brought me straight to the nearest farmacy and dealt with the ladies at the counter - and also helped to communicate with them suggesting words -.
    Hutong school is simply an extrimely good place to study in, nice people around great staff and heaps of free extra activities that make you feel they really care about you.
    Such a shame i can't afford to stay more at the moment, i'd love to stay here 'till my chinese gets decent!

    How could this program be improved?

    Probably accommodation system could be improved.
    A little minority of people, which i belong with, is financially self-supporting and i believe that there's should be a wider choice of sharing-house. I woulnd't mind to share a double room if its costed less. Simply as that, there's people who don't really mind sharing a room and save a bit of money for the everyday life as there's a lot of people asking for more privacy.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 3 Inspiring: 2
  • Ella
    Age: 19-24
    My time at Hutong School

    Since I started to learn Chinese in my home country, I knew I would go and visit China one day. Back then, I didn't know how quickly my wish would be fulfilled. Because of given circumstances, I took the chance and chose to take the internship program at Hutong School. I must say, I do not exaggerate when I tell you: I had the time of my life!

    Starting from the beginning, I have to say, that this school was the only Chinese language school located in China that fulfilled all my wishes and needs from the beginning: not only that I had the chance to gain professional work experience, I also could decide whether I would like to take additional Chinese classes. Moreover, they offered accomodation, trips around the city, and 24/7 service was included.
    Honestly, this school was the only school that offered all this (and even more) for a reasonable price.

    After my arrival, I had (and still have) a great time! Of course, China is a beautiful country that is totally worth to go, with their wonderful and interesting culture, history, sights and landscapes (and food!!). However, the staff from Hutong School do their best to make my time here even better. My work from the internship placement is diverse and interesting, my colleagues are lovely and help me out whenever I messed up something (which happens a bit often, but noone complained yet and I won't complain that noone complained yet!)

    The Hutong School team always tries to help me out with any issues I have and they make my time here as comfortable as possible. I heard stories from other students who told me the same so I can tell: They're really there for you!

    Last but not least: My Chinese lessons. To be honest, I'm not the most hardworking student, but my teacher never loses her temper and her lessons are always varied and interesting. I learn a lot about the Chinese culture from the first hand.

    The only thing I could complain would be the accomodation. I share a great apartment with two very nice roommates, a nice (but small, but the sizes varies) sleepig room and two bathrooms(!), which prevents a lot of struggle, especially when there are only girls in a shared apartment! :) Nevertheless, some of my other schoolmates (if only a few) didn't really like theirs.
    Further, the kitchenware wasn't too much. At least not enough to cook a big meal. Since I really like to cook, I am not too hapy with this (though it's very cheap to buy this on your own).
    However, I hear that the staff already works on both issues so I don't think, this will be a huge problem for future students.

    To sum it up:
    Do I like China? Oh yes!
    Do I recomment Hutong School? You bet!
    Would I go to Hutong School again? Absolutely!

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 4 Inspiring: 3
    Response from Hutong School
    Dear Ella Est, Many thanks for your nice review. I can speak for the entire team of the Shanghai office when I say it is (has been) a great pleasure having you here! All our apartments are equipped with basic cooking utensils, but we're indeed looking to expand them. Lazy student or not, don't give up on your Chinese language learning, whatever your next move will be after finishing your internship! Best, Haike
  • Nikai
    Age: 25-30

    I spent a month in the Beijing branch, improving my Chinese. The atmosphere is pretty good at Hutong school. The school is not that big and there are enough activities so that it's pretty easy to meet other students and spend time with them.

    The majority of students are probably in their 20's, staying for 1 to 3 months and have no prior knowledge of Chinese. If you're looking for a good time in a gap year/exchange period, Hutong school is a good place to be, however for me, it was also important to improve my chinese.

    If there is a group for your level (for beginners there always is), you have 2 hours of speaking class and 2 hours of character class. The groups are usually small enough (2-5) to make for an intensive experience. If you want private classes, you can have 1 hour of private class instead of 2 hours of group class as well.

    What I really liked about Hutong school is that the teachers/staff are quite flexible towards your lesson program. For example: If you are somewhat advanced in speaking but neglected learning characters, you could take 3-4 hours of character class and after you catch up, change back to normal. This is extremely useful for the non-beginner student who knows in which areas he's lacking, and something you can't get in a cookie cutter course at a Chinese university.

    The private classes are also excellent. It really gives you a chance to make your own lesson. The standard group classes follow a textbook approach, but in your private class you can do whatever you like, from discussing movies to conversation drills, to grammar exercises. The teachers are really great, as they are willing to try a lot of things.

    How could this program be improved?

    The accommodation is really not as modern as the website states. The first apartment I was put in when I arrived was quite depressing. After explaining the situation to Hutong, they showed me another apartment and let me decide if I wanted to move there. Glad I did, it was much better, looked like a home instead of a run down warehouse.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 2 Inspiring: 0
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