Omeida Chinese Academy

Program Reviews

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Choua
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It is an experience and place that will stay with you long after you leave. Who knows, maybe you will end up going back like so many do, for the learning, the friends, the teachers, the mountains, the rivers, the caves--the good times. The small class sizes, usually around 4, are taught by experienced teachers who can teach to the class as well as the individual. You will learn about the language, the people, the culture, and most of all, meet amazing people whom you would never have otherwise met by staying at home. And being there will make you a part of this exclusive, amazing family. Yes, like all things, Omeida is what you make of it. However, what makes Omeida special is that it has all the ingredients there for you to succeed and experience something that you will never forget. So if you're looking for schools in China but don't want to be in a big city environment, then I can say after having studied there for 5 months Omeida should be one of your top choices.

What would you improve about this program?
Make available more quiet study rooms, either at the school or nearby, especially in the evenings.
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Anne-Lorraine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you are looking for a place to learn Chinese (both in and out-of-classes), do biking and make some friends, Omeida can be the place for it!

Regarding myself, I came in Omeida for a few weeks in July and December. Both were enjoyable but different experiences - super, super hot in Summer, quite cold in Winter. Usually, the Chinese classes are small (3 to 5 students), which is great for practice. My teachers - Tommy and Yuri - were lovely & really professional teachers, able to handle students with slightly different levels. Apart from classes, you can have a Chinese language partner and/or a Chinese roommate (I was super lucky, but some people might prefer the private rooms).

And when you are not studying? Well, the landscapes are truly amazing - with hidden villages or waterfalls - perfect for biking, rock-climbing, hiking, running or simply scooter-riding. These activities will fill your weekends (or even weekdays), in addition to the activities organized by the school (e.g. pizza night, rice terraces, bamboo rafting). Speaking about the urban side, Yangshuo is not an enormous city, but you can find a decent amount of restaurants, bars and bubble tea shops.

Another word is that it is quite easy to meet people from all kinds in Omeida - University students, backpackers travelling across Asia, employees making a break, etc. Plus, the staff is really welcoming. So you won't feel alone!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
For those who like biking and stay for 3 weeks or more, invest in a bike! The pink/blue city bikes are okay, but mountain bikes are better for exploration or long distance. Some shops sell or rent bikes at a fair price (ask the students who are here since a long time), and you can also buy one on Taobao (very good deals there).
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Andrew
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was originally drawn to Omeida based on the glowing reviews posted on TripAdvisor, Workaway and GoOverseas. Unfortunately, the first two sites have since deleted Omeida, based on general policy decisions. It's a shame, as this is a wonderful school in a lovely small city.
I was at Omeida for six weeks. I took Chinese lessons half the day and spent two hours a day providing English conversation for students from China. The Academy has a brilliant set-up. There is a Chinese School, where you will find bright and imaginative students from all over the globe. Then a block away is the English School, populated by hard-working and very friendly students, many of whom have left their home, spouse and children in different parts of China. They have come to Omeida for three months, six months, twelve months, in the hopes of learning English so they can get better jobs.
Most students at both of the schools fall in the 25-35 year old range, although there are students as young as 18 and as old as 68. Students form both schools fraternize at lunch and dinner, which is held in the canteen area of the Chinese School.
Our accommodations were very comfortable. A single room with a private bathroom and space for a desk for two. It was air-conditioned, which was a real plus during the months I was there. Potable water was available from a dispenser on the staircase. It's just a two minute walk from your room to the school.
Yangshuo is a charming small city with scenes from old China - vendors setting out produce on mats on the sidewalk, pickup trucks randomly pulling into town carrying walnuts, pomelos and other edibles, traffic lazily moving through the streets. Everywhere you look there are towering karats, shaped like upside down ice cream cones.
The school has fun Chinese cultural events on Wednesday afternoons and wonderful Saturday trips, which are a great opportunity to bond with your fellow students. The Administration is responsive and does an excellent job running the school.
After our stay at Omeida, we did your standard tour of China. It paled in comparison to our time at Omeida.

What would you improve about this program?
The teachers are excellent. My only suggestion would be that they tilt the conversation in the classrooms so it is more student-based.
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Abbi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I stayed for three weeks. I liked the small class size. In my first week I had one on one tuition. The learning was placed well and the teaching fun and engaging. I had 3 hrs of classes each day in the mornings before my class I walked out cycled into the countryside. Yangshuo is an absolutely stunning place. I could stare at the mountains all day but in the afternoon I had classes. The school also provides meals at the cafeteria and the food is excellent. You eat with the other students including the Chinese students who are learning English it's a great cultural Exchange. I also chose the option of staying at the school hotel which is only 1 minutes away from the school. The school is in a lovely laid back part of town. After school you can watch the locals getting on with their lives it's a fascinating experience.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would stay for longer. I was only able to stay for 3 weeks this time and commenced the course as a total beginner.
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Dome
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I spent six weeks at Omeida learning Chinese last summer and it was a great experience! Wonderful landscapes, kind people, professional teachers and a good vibe. Back home I tried the Chinese online course offered by Omeida and I was surprised by the quality of the lessons, I learned even faster!
Everyday I had the opportunity to volunteer with some chinese students who were learning english and thanks to the language partner program I had the chance to have interesting conversations with chinese people and practice what I learned in class.
Every week the staff of the school organised some cultural activity or some outdoor activities around Yangshuo. It's worth saying that the landscape there is incredible, you will never find anything similar around the world.

I suggest it to everyone!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I ate some strange cereals with tea salt and oil, it was not the best :P
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Sylvia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

10/10 Location

The school is located just outside the "CBD" of Yangshuo by that i mean West St etc. I actually prefer it because food, massages, groceries are 60-80% cheaper than being in West St itself.

9.5/10 Course

The courses are great for beginners, i would say you absorb the content quite quickly and can start practicing it with locals in every day life. The 0.5 stars are missing because you get grouped with people in a classroom environment and they might be stronger than you in some areas like reading and writing but you might be stronger in areas like speaking. It's hard to cater for everyone and they do a pretty good job at allocating students to the right levels.

10/10 Activities

The school holds activities throughout the week. On Wednesday you have cultural workshops, Thursday is social night at a bar then Saturday is a school organised trip. The Saturday trips are awesome. You get to go on hikes, tea plantations, kayaking on the river, bicycle riding through quaint towns, swim in the river etc. They actually take you to spots that tourists don't know about and only locals do. It's reasonable in price too.

9.5/10 Value for money

You definitely get bang for your buck here. I am pretty sure i searched the whole search engine to make sure i was getting the best price possible for the best school i could find. I compared other schools and they were about 30% pricier. The 0.5 stars are lost because i still think for China tuition is on the pricier end. Considering my daily budget on food here is US$5 a day, comparing that to tuition seems like a vast difference.

9/10 Overall

I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I think it's a really special place, they go out of their way to make things work for you when you have changes in circumstances which i appreciate. Worthwhile doing some study here if you want to build on your Chinese. You meet great people from around the world and have the option of having a local Chinese language partner which is super helpful. I

jane balancing herself in front of a waterfall in plitvice lakes, croatia
Jane
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

For my first time volunteering solo abroad, Omeida sets the bar high. Yangshuo, China is an absolutely gorgeous place surrounded by mountains, combined with both modern amenities and rural lifestyles. I had the absolute pleasure of spending a month volunteering in their marketing department. The work isn't difficult at all, as the marketing manager works with your skillset and is adept at showing you the ropes. After your shift, you're free to do whatever you'd like. Whether it be bike rides along the river, hiking through caves, board game nights, or dancing in Chinese discos, there's always something to do here. There's an eclectic mix of students and volunteers from all over the world, and there's always new friends to make each week.

The staff here is incredibly welcoming, quick to accommodate any requests or take you to their favorite local BBQ spot. Their positive attitudes are incredibly contagious and will always plan fun group activities that make it easy to break the ice. This was incredibly valuable to me as a solo traveler, because I definitely left a family behind in Omeida. The dorms are basic, but there's plenty of storage and space. The food is delicious and family-style, so meals are a different experience each time.

I left Omeida wishing I could stay longer, which is probably the best feeling I could have gotten from this whole experience. One thing I do have to say is that because there's a lot of freedom here, your time is here is what you personally make of it. For me, I had the time of my life.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Yangshuo is a wonderful place to practice your Chinese, as locals here are kind and patient. Omeida creates an environment fit for both serious and casual Chinese learners, so have an idea of your study/volunteering schedule before you come!

Don't feel intimidated by Yangshuo either! Though it's not a major city, it's very tourist and foreigner-friendly (there's plenty of English-speaking restaurants and bars with friendly expats). The map is simple, making it easy to navigate and explore outside the town as well.
Yan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I have currently been studying for over three months. This Chinese school is fantastic. Not only have I exceeded my objectives, I have also made unforgettable friends, I have learned about Chinese culture and most of all I have spent my time, in Yangshuo along with its astonishing sceneries, having fun. The school is perfectly situated; I can get peace time by climbing mountains, wandering or jogging around the city, and when I want to socialize, I can go the gym, go to KTV’s and bars at night and all the activities that Yangshuo has to offer me. I like studying in Yangshuo because people are very pleasant to talk to and confortable to speak chinese to. Furthermore I always feel safe walking outside at night. The teachers at school are very competent and competent. The subjects of the lessons given are very interesting and useful in daily life. Day by day I have seen myself and my classmates progress and achieve goals that we had far from expected. The staff and teachers are very kind and always willing to speak Mandarin with you. Therefore, I gain every day in confidence, assurance and knowledge. I have five more months to go and I’m sure that I will continue enjoying my time at Omeida.

Agata
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hello, totally I spent more than half a year at Omeida being a volonteer and learning Chinese. For me it turned to be the most exceptional place for learning Chinese as the education there is very well organised, groups are small (on my level there were just 1-2 students in the class), teachers are very nice, patient, ready to explain and give examples.

I loved the place where the school is located as it's just 10 minutes cycling to the countryside, and 20 minutes to the famous Yulong River. You can explore the place by bicycle or scooter as there are many paths leading to different mountains, and lots of climbing spots.

Volonteering at Omeida is great as well, nice opportunity to teach English and make more friends among Chinese students. They come from different places of China and having conversation class with them can help you to discover China better. And it helps to save you money as well, if you have one volonteering class a day (Monday-Friday) you get free food or free accomodation, if you do two classes you get both.

So I definitely recommend the school for learning or for volonteering, you will love and come back! As I did ;)

Julie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I stayed at Omeida Chinese Academy for one month volunteering in the marketing department. I had a really great time during my stay and I can only recommend Omeida to anyone interested in going to China!

As a volunteer I would work 4 hours in the mornings Monday-Friday, which was perfect as it gave me time to go explore Yangshuo and the beautiful countryside in the afternoons. During my stay my main task was to help prepare Omeida's summer camp program, which included contacting potential schools and designing a pricing flyer.

In return for my work, Omeida would provide free accommodation and food (lunch and dinner). The accommodation was very nice and only a 2 min walk from the school. Every week Omeida organizes social and cultural activities for volunteers and students (BBQ, karaoke, hotpot dinner etc.) which I would usually attend. It's a great opportunity to learn more about Chinese culture and get to know the other students studying at Omeida. The environment at Omeida is really nice, very relaxed and everyone is very friendly!

In the weekends I would usually go explore the surrounding countryside. Yangshuo has some of the most amazing scenery ever! There is lots to do and see, whether its exploring some of the hidden caves and waterfalls, going on bike rides in the countryside or hiking up one of the karst mountains to enjoy a breathtaking view of Yangshuo.