Fantastic! Even better than I had hoped for!

Ratings
Overall
10
Academics: 10
Support: 10
Fun: 9
Housing: 9
Safety: 10
Review

I planned to spend 2 weeks at KCE this spring, but ended up extending an extra week because it went so well! If you want to make serious progress on your Chinese, in an enjoyable setting this is the place!
Highly recommended!

Overall: The teachers and staff were really kind and welcoming. Helly was very helpful sorting out the details by email before, and very accommodating in terms of what I was looking for. The weeks I was there there were between 4-7 foreign students. I know how easy it is to spend all your time speaking English in a big program, so it was nice to chat at lunch and do a couple things on the weekend, but not be surrounded by English all the time!

Classes: I really like the set up of the one on one classes - 2 hours in the morning, a couple hours break with lunch in between and 2 hours in the afternoon. This was much less overwhelming than 4 hours in a row and I felt like I could make good use of the afternoon session having had some time to learn and review in the break time.

Homestay: This was really important to me and did not disappoint. My host 'mom' was actually around my age, and her 5 year old son was only there on the weekends. A little different than many family situations but meant we had lots to talk about! I think this practice was key to a lot of the progress I made. She was really nice and made good vegetarian food. I helped her with a little English, but we used Chinese almost all of the time. I would definitely recommend a homestay!

For background: At the time I had been living in another city in China for 3 months and meeting for 4 hours a week with a teacher as well as studying on my own. I was studying around HSK 2 material so had some basics but it was hard to practice longer conversations in day to day life because of my low level. Living with my english speaking husband and relying on his much higher Chinese level also made it tough.
Even with just 3 weeks at KCE I made a huge leap forward, particularly in being able to speak more fluidly and in my listening skills.
I didn't need help navigating China life (i.e. already had a Chinese cellphone and bank card, could buy train tickets, etc etc) but from what I heard from the other students they really went the extra mile to help people who had just arrived - airport pickups, travel plans, day to day necessities etc.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
2016