Hutong School

Program Reviews

G Vincke
Gaetan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

HUTONG SCHOOL Website is the one i choosed to learn Chinese among so many other websites

Learning a language whatever your motivation, the enthusiasm you have, the time you have is a decision that requires commitment, humility and work, without forgetting consistency. It is above all daring, daring to make mistakes, repeat over and over again and admit that you will constantly forget what you have just learned.
I have long sought an environment and skills conducive to learning Chinese. It is an extraordinary language that deserves extraordinary talents to distil all its substance ...
I found him at the Hutong school ... With a patient, didactic, professional and above all attentive teacher while keeping the course of pleasure in learning the language. She worked on how to keep my motivation intact and even better, she strengthened it. For that alone, I recommend this site ..
The site is clear and interactive, I can revise my course the new words my grammar whenever I want. to. For the price, Compared to the benefit that I have from it, to the culture that I discover, to the professionalism of the teacher. This website is a real value for the price.

Default avatar
Candice
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fast progress due to engaging, motivating classes & amazing studytools

I have had Chinese lessons online before that were very repetitive and focusing almost only on learning characters & reading Chinese. I liked it therefore a lot that right from the start Hutong Schools' staff offered me a free level test: they really care about the student's needs. During the test not only my level of Chinese was evaluated but I could also mention my preferences for my classes and was advised a teacher, Solar, whos teaching style I found very suitable for my needs and goals. We largly talked a lot about the topics I was sincerely interested in, while at the same time I learned all kinds of new vocabulayr and Grammar structures. After class the online learning platform enables you to see the class notes, which I found very useful and easy to review this way.

What was your funniest moment?
I think when I mixed up the words for Birds nest and Bird Egg in class.
Birds nest is a name for the Olympic stadium in Beijing that I visited in 2014. Solar, who lives in Shanghai, really tried so hard to find out what I was talking about but of course did not uderstand what I meant: "A birds egg you found to have an amazing design and that you would love to visit again?" It was quite funny to realize my mistake with her.
Default avatar
Jessica
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing tech and platform I have used for my Chinese Learning.

So convenient !

I like all the teachers I had lesson with so far. They are all very professional and know how to teach me . amazing!

This is a very cool experience from booking a lesson to having the lesson in the platform directly, other than that, I can always focus on talking in class, because the notes is done by the platform and reported me after my lesson, super super cool.

It makes the reviewing very easy , I have all my lesson review in my dashboard, I check it with my phone on my way to work.

Default avatar
Pedro
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience

Studying on the Hutong School webapp has been a really rewarding and fun experience so far. The teachers were very engaging and the content was relevant for my level. Thanks to this school I have succeeded in taking my Chinese a couple of levels up. I'm currently still studying on the app, but I look forward to China's borders opening, and hopefully studying on site for some time, since according to some reviews I've seen, their on site learning facilities seem to be top quality too. Anyway, I can highly recommend Hutong School's webapp for anyone wanting to boost their Chinese!

Default avatar
Marina
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A month in beijing

It’s really easy to meet other people who you’re able to communicate with and the staff are all extremely supportive and friendly. The welcome parties at the start of the months are the most enjoyable but other tourist activities and group activities are also an amazing opportunity. There’s not many opportunities to meet natives within Hutong aside from staff but by exploring by yourself or with friends allows this opportunity anyway. The flats were in very convenient areas close to public transport, the school and other places like shopping centres and clubs. The school really sets you up well to ensure that you have people you can turn to when you need help, and that you’re pretty much independent. It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had ;)

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Seeing the ‘Beijing Bikini’ was a bit of a cultural shock, and was by far the most surprising aspect I saw
Default avatar
Jake
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Jake

As soon as I arrived at the school from the airport, I was immediately getting my bearings and meeting fellow students at the school. The overwhelmed feeling I arrived with quickly subsided as I was given a lot of attention from the staff who provided a lot of help settling me in.

Learning in a class environment, the level was perfectly tailored to me, pushing the upper limits of my capability so that I was always felt challenged and motivated. Whilst the pace of learning course content daunted me at the start, my teachers were always supportive and ensured I never fell behind. In the brief three weeks I was studying at the school, I went from barely clinging on, to fully engaging with the conversation in class. It made it all worthwhile when I could speak confidently in Chinese with Beijing taxi drivers and understand them even through their thick Beijing accents, as well as keep up with conversations to a much greater extent with other native Chinese speakers I met.

I am hugely grateful to my mandarin tutor back in England who suggested the Hutong School when I expressed and interest to study abroad. I couldn’t agree more with her high regards for studying a language in its country. I found it greatly rewarding studying in the fully immersive environment provided by the school. My family were particularly grateful to the school who supported us when we applied for a visa.

I have taken away a massively increased love of learning the language, and whilst I can’t replicate the ideal learning environment I found at the Hutong School, I have a keen interest to maintain a similar momentum of learning I developed there.

It’s a great pleasure to be keeping in contact with the amazing group of friends from across the world that I met at the school. Integrating with them at school and in self-organised events outside of school made it an all round more enriching time. I couldn’t have found a more likeminded crowd to explore Beijing with. I can’t think of many other opportunities in life where it’s possible to find a crowd with so much in common and such a similar internal drive. It’s set me up with an invaluable set of contacts for the future.

Default avatar
Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Two-month Intensive Chinese Language Programme

Overall I had a blast at Hutong School in Shanghai, and the fact that I only stayed for 2 months was regrettable.

For starters, whatever the teachers do, they do so in the interests of their students. They are professional and they try their best to cater to our needs and preferences. My laoshi kept me interested and engaged in every class, and she gave me more than I requested. She helped me to reconnect with my Chinese heritage that I went home with a newfound appreciation for the culture and the elegance of the language.

What the city has to offer, from a variety of Chinese cuisine to innumerable scenic and historical spots, is also a reason why this programme is highly recommended. Although Shanghai may not be as formal as Beijing, the culture is still very much alive there. One of my personal favourites was the palpable solidarity among the elderly during Guangchang Wu! In addition, the public transportation is superb, so it’s extremely easy to get around in Shanghai as well as to explore out of Shanghai.

Participating in school activities is a must! Some can be overpriced, but there are plenty of them to pick and choose from. If I hadn’t gone to any, I wouldn’t have been able to further experience the true lifestyle and culture of Chinese society, and I wouldn’t have met some of the most interesting people coming from all corners of the world.

Certainly, not everything went smooth and perfect. In my case, the application process took longer than necessary. Should the same thing happen to you, I recommend calling the office directly to get immediate and clearer response to your queries. Another tip is to contact the programme director or your consultant in private in case of any urgent matters since not all staff are readily available to assist 24/7.

For me, the trouble at the beginning was totally worth the fun and learning I experienced in Shanghai.

What would you improve about this program?
1. Better and more thorough explanation of the selected programme (early notice would be greatly appreciated)
Talking from my personal experience, I felt indignant when I was told that my class would have to be cut short from 4 to 3 hours, as the status of my class had changed from group to private with my classmate's departure. I understand that school policy dictates so, however, I was told at the start that I was entitled to a 4-hour class, and I was not made aware of the different permitted class hours for private and group.
If only this detail had been highlighted to me on the first day, I would have been happier to abide by the change.

2. Better information concerning housing
When I came, the bedding was not clean and the AC was broken. It would be great if a room check is done before the new student's arrival, and perhaps they can be notified about things they may have to buy for themselves (e.g. new set of bedding, towels, etc.). If this is too much work, existing occupants of the apartment can help with giving this kind of information to their new roommate.

3. Make textbooks cheaper
I think having to pay 180 kuai for a beginner textbook is unreasonable. I know there are textbooks that are much cheaper, selling at 30 kuai each, and those are textbooks for higher levels, and they seem to have much more content in comparison with those for beginners. It would be nice if the disparity can be minimised.

In conclusion, I think applicants have the right to be fully informed with regards to what they should be expecting when they come to Shanghai. If this is done well, students will surely have a better experience of studying at Hutong.
Default avatar
Luca
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience with Hutong School in Shanghai

It all started in early 2012. A friend of mine told me about Hutong School, and how he had a great experience with it, in Beijing. I decided to try it myself, and got in touch with the school through their website. The staff immediately proved to be a great help, and in a short time I had booked an intensive study program. I arrived in Shanghai in July 2012: a boy who worked for the school was there waiting for me, and accompanied me straight to my apartment (included in the registration fee): spacious and clean. In the following days lessons began, 4 hours a day from Monday to Friday. I was entrusted to my teacher after a brief test, concerning my knowledge of Mandarin. In addition to the lessons, the school organized various activities and involved staff members and students: martial arts lessons, Chinese cuisine, group dinners, trips etc. It is definitely worth it, and it has left me beautiful memories. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn Chinese, in China, having fun while learning!

What was your funniest moment?
When I attended to the Chinese Noodles making course: I really struggled with it. At least, in the end they were edible!
Default avatar
Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

3-Month Intensive Language Program

I have had an enduring interest in learning languages and had taken a Chinese (Mandarin) language course in college; however, I learned more in 3 months living in Shanghai than I did over an academic school year at a university. I was given an initial, informal screening to determine my strengths and weaknesses. That helped both the teaching staff and me come up with the best course for my interests. There was no hassle or pressure for me to reach a goal for the school, but focused mainly on my goal and potential. The coursework and content were thoughtful and tailored to help me become more fluent in the language. The teachers emphasized correct speech and pronunciation, which is invaluable to any language learning, and also helped develop all aspects of the Chinese language including reading, writing, and correct grammar usage to help me express more meaningful thoughts and phrases. The academic work was just as rewarding as the friendships I made during my time here as I still keep in touch with my former classmates and teachers. I highly recommend this school and program for anyone interested in an authentic Chinese language program at any age or ability level.

Read my full story
Default avatar
Tommy Fris Munk
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A crazy adventure, overflowed with remarkable memories.

A great organization that takes good care of you. From day one I was met with open arms by the Hutong School staff, which made the transition easy. Regarding some my own thoughts before going abroad. Like, where am I going to stay? How will I create friendships, and whom can I call in an emergency situation. Hutong School provided an important social structure, and offered plenty of social events throughout my stay. They provided the much needed comfort, and administrative support, that help you to solely focus on your stay abroad. I lived in a cosy apartment, shared with other students. The housing complex even had it’s own friendly security personnel. Which was absolutely unnecessary, but none the less reassuring.

My Shanghai adventure had a huge impact on who I am today, both as a person, and as a employee. I'm forever grateful for the opportunity, and humbled by the caring staff of Hutong School.

Tommy Fris Munk Jensen, Denmark.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Showing up on the first day of my internship. I'd been in contact with the company, and the ever so sweet staff. Even with my former work experience, and previous travels. Meeting them, and finishing my first day of my internship was a definitely a nerve-racking moment. After that experience, I became more confident, when facing difficult challenges.