Omeida Chinese Academy

Program Reviews

Becky
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Like the other reviewers, I only have good things to say about my month at Omeida. I went during the summer, peak time, and things were smooth and well organized. I took morning classes and spent the afternoons studying and the evenings exploring the cute town of Yangshuo.
The teachers and all the staff were nice, and there was lots of activities to keep me busy on my free time. I had a great summer there.

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Matt
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

really good teaching at a really good price, I will be going back! They have classes every day which are flexible so you can change the time of the class just by speaking to them. Volunteer programme is good because you get free accommodation. There is really good rock climbing in yangshuo, just make sure you go with someone who knows what they are doing! You wont be disappointed if you go to Yangshuo omeida

Response from Omeida Chinese Academy

Hi dear Matt, thank you a lot for your review. We are looking forward to studying with you again this year. See you in June :-)

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Julie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My husband, ten year old daughter and I had a wonderful experience at Omeida.
Although it was only a short two weeks, I got my foot wet and can definitely say that it's all positive! I wanted to jump in! I was so envious of all the others who were staying longer....8, 9 months or even a year. I vowed I'd find a way to do the same in the future. Definitely a place I'd feel comfortable recommending if you like both social life and learning. The staff is always more than willing to help with a very warm happy smile. Yangshuo is calling me back!!!!

What would you improve about this program?
The social events were all in English. I'd like to see more opportunities to practice speaking listening to and speaking Chinese during these events.
Response from Omeida Chinese Academy

Thank you Julie for your positive comment and your suggestion!
Hope your family, especially the little girl enjoyed the holiday in Canada.
We all looking forward to meeting with you again in the future.
And we will try harder to encourage our students to speak Chinese as much as they can out of the classroom :-)

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Patty
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I just got back from my time at Omeida's and I want to share some specific examples on how well they are organised with their genuinely warm familylike approach of the students.
Only 2 1/2 weeks before arriving at Omeida's I had decided to go to China and because this was my first time, I didn't want to go to a big city where you drown in the crowd, therefore Yangshuo with the surrounding mountains seemed the perfect place. After contacting Omeida the staff understood immediately that there was no time to loose and reacted quickly by informing me what to do to get the visa and by sending me the necessary documents to apply. They even checked with me whether I received the visa in time or not. I was very impressed by their availability and saw this as a good sign. Thank you, Wanda!
I had arranged for a pick-up service from Omeida and upon arrival at the airport the driver was waiting for me with a huge smile that never left his face, by the way. We tried to chat with each other, he spoke a little English, so it was not easy, but I can tell you that we laughed a lot. I had so much fun already just by being in that car, looking around and discovering the beautiful countryside. Anya, thank you and please thank the driver again for me.
For the lessons I had 2 teachers, they were both not only very bright with great teaching skills, they were also very patient and lovable. They put the students needs first and they know exactly what that need is. My brains were really put to work, I needed that because it had gotten lazy! I like to compare it with Chinese massage: on that moment it may hurt a little bit, but afterwards you feel the great benefit.
Anyway, their teachings gave me quite a few aha moments. Thank you so much, Wency and Suzan!
No matter your question, the entire staff, the ladies who take care of lunch and dinner, and Mr. Omeida himself are very friendly and pull you right into the family atmosphere. As a natural reaction the students welcome you also as part of the family and you are immediately well received and invited to something, which is very nice and helpfull, because if there are no issues you can totally focus on your language study. I can truly say that I got the experience I wanted and that coming to Omeida's was my best decision of the year.

What would you improve about this program?
During the 2 times 10 minute breaks you hear the students talking in anything but Chinese, which disrupted a little my trying to stay in the Chinese thinking. But of course I could have started the discipline myself in trying to communicate in Chinese with them, which I didn't, I took the easy way :)
Response from Omeida Chinese Academy

Patty, thank you, thank you for such a detailed review about your great experience at Omeida. It makes us very happy to hear that it was the best decision of the year!

We always try to encourage students to speak Chinese as much as possible not only with our staff, but also with other students in Chinese Academy.

Perhaps we should make a spot, for example that people who are sitting on the sofa in the student lounge should only speak Chinese between each other. Thank you once again for sharing your experience with us! We really appreciate it!

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amelia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was my second time coming to Omeida. I spent four weeks there last year, which was a great experience, so I decided to come back for another four weeks and I was certainly not disappointed! The teachers are still wonderful, they are doing a great job and really care about your progress. So do all the other members of the staff, and they will help with any problems, organizing weekend trips, airport/station transfers etc. As the classes are really small (I usually was with 2-3 people) teachers can really focus on you and help you with your personal problems. Besides, the cultural classes are very interesting and the weekend outings often take you to places you might not be able to reach on your own.

Yangshuo itself is a beautiful town which offers such a wide range of spare-time activities that there is no chance of getting bored. The mountains just call you to explore them by bike or on foot and for those who like to go out in the evening, there is a big selection of bars to choose from.

In general, the atmosphere at Omeida is just really friendly and relaxed and you will learn a lot of Chinese during your stay!

-- 2014 --

I had a really awesome time at Omeida! The teachers are really great. I was a complete beginner when I came to the school and the only word I could say was ni hao. But after four weeks of intensive course, I was actually able to have small conversations with Chinese people if they made an effort. Besides, I also learned some characters. The size of my class was between 1 and 3 people, which made my progress very fast and I always felt challenged. I really enjoyed that. In addition to that, my teachers kept encouraging me all the time, so I never felt like giving up. They actually made Chinese seem easier to learn than I ever expected.
Besides, the school took really good care of me in every aspect. I could always ask them for help when I wanted to organize a trip, an airport transfer or just a piece of advice for a weekend activity. This way I never needed to feel lonely or lost. Furthermore, they also organize great spare time activities!

Yangshuo is a great place to stay - there is so much to do, so many places in nature to see that you are not going to feel bored. In the evening, there are also a lot of places to go to.

In my opinion, the food in the canteen was ok, though I got bored with it after some time. But then, I suppose that's normal for canteen food, so I think it's ok and if you don't want to eat there, it is no problem to cancel your meals.

I personally was very lucky with my room, it was really nice, and I even had a western-style bathroom, which is, however, not quite common here.

So - you should definitely go to Omeida. It's absolutely worth leaving the big cities to come here, you will have a great experience!

Response from Omeida Chinese Academy

Amelia! Thank you very much for your descriptive review about the wonderful time you had in Omeida, Yangshuo and its surrounding area. We really appreciate the time you took to write these kind words about us.

It was great to have you study with us at Omeida twice already and we really hope to see you once again next summer!

P.s. We wish you would be with us today in our cultural lesson- we are making moon cakes as the Mid Autumn festival is approaching. Happy moments, dear Amelia and all the best!

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Steen J.
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I studied at Omeida for 3 weeks in the summer of 2015 and I was so happy to study there. From day one a large group of students welcomed me to the school and invited me to dinner with them. I was so welcome from day one. Apart from this big group of good friends the school staff is good at arranging weekend-trips which help give the school a really nice environment for learning and at the same time have a fun time while you are in Yangshuo. This great social environment was a great boost to the also really good classes at the school. I had 60 hours of lessons over a period of 3 weeks (2 weeks normal and 1 week intensive). The teachers were very engaged in their job and often spend several hours until late at night preparing. I started from no chinese skills at all and in three weeks I am now able to handle the most basic things while I travel around China. If you have more time I would though strongly recommend that you do more classes than I have done or at least try to squeeze in more intensive classes, since these give really great results. I was really happy to have 2 weeks of free afternoons to see Yangshuo though.
In conclusion Omeida is a really good place to start your Chinese learning and if you go there you can be certain that the staff and the other students will welcome you with open arms, and that you will have a great time.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked to have more events that were focused on bringing the students from morning and afternoon classes together. I felt like there were many of the afternoon students, which it took a while to get to know.
In my stay there was a really good group of students that were welcoming to all new - Make sure to work on keeping a group like this going, I felt so welcome when I arrived!
Response from Omeida Chinese Academy

Steen, thanks a lot for your review, we really appreciate your words. We are very happy that you had a great time here in Omeida. All the staff and students miss you already! Come back!

Yes, you are right, in order to improve Chinese even more, we definitely recommend to choose an intensive course. Or its always possible to combine few weeks of standard course and then few weeks of intensive Chinese learning. Omeida is very flexible!

And of course, we strive to maintain the homely atmosphere at Omeida, where everyone knows each other and is sharing ideas, dreams and hopes. We are so happy that we have this friendly group who support each other and really welcoming.

Lots of love,

Omeida

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Stephen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I'm a PhD student joining a lab with mostly Chinese native speakers, so I thought I should learn Mandarin and earn the opportunity to practice more with my labmates later.

The teaching was superb, and the language partner program provided excellent infrastructure to continue learning outside the classroom and really get a fully immersive experience.

What really made my time in Yangshuo special, however, was the laid-back atmosphere of the school, the friendliness of the staff and other students, and the surrounding natural beauty. I've never before had a time in my life that was so carefree, where my "job" was just to talk and listen and learn. The staff were all really focused on student happiness, and often organized weekend outings. The teachers and staff were more than just their job titles, and without exception became friends with every student, eager to share more of Chinese language and culture both inside and outside the classroom.

If you come here, you will learn, which was my goal -- but you will probably come away with a bit more than just that.

What would you improve about this program?
There are some things like the canteen food which could be improved, but given the price and the fact that meals can be canceled and refunded quite flexibly, I don't think this is a huge issue.

The biggest issue, in my opinion, is that the teachers and staff aren't paid enough. As a result, the turnover rate for teachers tends to be fairly high, with teachers leaving, returning, and new teachers coming in fairly regularly. I could be wrong, but I don't think very many of the teachers have been around for more than a year or two. Although there are lots of costs besides teacher salaries that go toward running a school, the proportion of tuition that goes toward teacher and staff salaries is still surprisingly low (Chinese are very open about salaries and I did some arithmetic).

There could be lots of other costs that I don't know about however, and the aforementioned may just be a sad necessity required to keep the cost of tuition relatively low compared to other places.
Response from Omeida Chinese Academy

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us, Stephen! We are very proud of the achievement you made during your 8 weeks of Chinese study at Omeida. We also loved your leaving note you wrote; it is hanging on our board in the student lounge at the moment.

It makes us a little bit sad, that you might have gotten the impression that Omeida does not treat their staff and teachers well. It is not only very important for us to make students feel happy and fully satisfied with their studies and time in Yangshuo, but also we strive to make our staff and teachers work experience in Omeida as best as possible. Without our dedicated staff, Omeida would not be what it is today. We fully value and appreciate their efforts to make Omeida a more beautiful place. Therefore I would like to share some facts with you to clarify the situation:

- As in majority of companies around the world, there is a probation period with lower salary in Omeida as well, after that the salary increases accordingly. There is also a full package of benefits that comes apart from the salary including annual bonus, various discounts, staff trips and free accommodation.

--During summer time we will hire some temporary experienced and professional teachers to meet the demands of increased students. This is one of the reasons you saw the some teachers leaving.

-- Many of our teachers work on long-term contract such as Wency, Zhuge, Cindy, Anya etc. Some Chinese teachers (teaching English in our English college) have been working here for nearly 10 years such as Leilei, Erin, Maisie, Joe, Jake, Stone, Jack Wang and even our cleaning staff Auntie Liu and Auntie Zhang. Without stable and reliable staff, we could not expect nice and positive feedback from our students, not to say our students’ number grows year by year.

--Our management team is working hard to make Omeida a bigger brand with more students, based on which we can improve the working environment and provide more competitive payment to our staff. We value every single employer and appreciate their hard working to make Omeida a home for both our students and staff.

We really appreciate your honesty. Hope you can return in the future and study with Omeida again. We wish you to keep making a great progress in Chinese language and culture learning!

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Phil
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Everything you could ever want from a Chinese school is right here. Studying during the day, socialising with the English students in the afternoon and going out to eat delicious food in the evening.
The teaching standards were of extremely high quality and I felt that everyday my Chinese was improving an incredible amount.

What would you improve about this program?
If there was any suggestions I would make, it would be to spend a little more time testing students first to make sure they are in the correct class for their level. A number of times students were added whose Chinese Level was either to low or too good and this disrupted the class. Another suggestion would be for the rooms to be better cleaned and there was some dust under the bed and on the ride table.
Response from Omeida Chinese Academy

Hey Phil, thanks a lot for your review and for suggestions. We always strive to improve our service and facilities, therefore feedback is greatly appreciated.
It is awesome to hear that your Chinese level improved a lot and that you had a great time here with us, at Omeida.

We will definitely take into account your suggestions regarding Chinese level testing of new students. As well as will let our room service know that they might have missed some dust under the bed and on the table, so next time it would not happen again.

We wish you happy moments! and of course, keep learning Chinese!

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Luna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I completely fell in love with the magical surrounding area of Yangshuo and the homely atmosphere of Omeida Chinese Academy. Everyone in the Academy is always smiling, very positive and ready to help you with any question you might have. And of course teachers are very friendly and professional.
The area of Yangshuo is so picturesque, rivers flowing, limestone mountains are all around you. You can cycle around, go rock climbing, visit little typical Chinese villages, eat local food, practice Tai Chi, yoga. Seriously the options are endless.

You only live once, don't even doubt and come to Omeida and Yangshuo straight away! I am sure you will have a time of your life!

Response from Omeida Chinese Academy

Awww, thank you so much Luna for your review! We are very happy to hear that you are one of the many people who fall in love with Yangshuo, its surroundings and our school.

We strive to make a positive difference in lives of our students. Your positive words make our job meaningful!

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Tammy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Yangshuo is a wonderfull place to learn Chinese and there are so many activities you can do during your free time, like renting a bike, hiking, rock climbing, swimming, clubbing and so on.
Omeida is a great school with nice people and very good teachers. They support you in every situation around your daily life in Yangshuo. Regulary social activities planned by the staff give you the chance to explore Yangshuos surrounding or learning Chinese games, dances or kalligraphy.
The integrated English academy for Chinese people gives you the chance to stay in contact with Chinese people, so that you can practise your Chinese intensivly.
I can totally recommend Omeida, if you like learning Chinese with open minded people, during social activities, sports, life close to the nature and if you like to have a close contact to local Chinese.

Response from Omeida Chinese Academy

Dear Tammy,

Thank you so so much for you review!
Omeida fell in love with you too, we miss you very much here...
It was really great to spend these few weeks with you, going climbing, cycling, playing scrabble hahaha!

Please come back as promised!!!