I had taken Chinese lessons on and off several times over the course of probably 4 years and each time I was very disappointed with the results and I couldn't figure out why regardless of my efforts, my language proficiency never improved. I honestly thought Chinese was a language that I would never grasp. On a whim I decided that I would give it one last try and if I was going to do it I would fully immerse myself. I looked online for Chinese language schools and I saw the name Hutong school and after reading many reviews and giving the proposition serious thought, I decided to submit and application. After I submitted the form I was contacted by Astrid, who I would like to personally commend. I was constantly barraging her with questions and concerns at all times and she never was anything but extremely pleasant and incredibly helpful the entire way though. She is also very personally invested in making sure the students are having fun and adjusting well, and she makes sure to invite you to all the school outings and parties so you always fee included. If it hadn't been for her reassurance I probably wouldn't have gone through with the program. Moreover, as soon as I started classes I could tell it was different from lessons I had in the past, the teachers are phenomenal, and do an incredible job to make sure you completely understand the basics and then move on slowly building off of that. They aren't reading out of a phrase book like so many schools. They will make sure you understand everything they teach and you will be creating your own sentences and conversing in Chinese much sooner than you think. I was so impressed; before my original classes were over I signed a contract for an additional several months of lessons because I never expected to learn as much as I did in such a short time. Also I would like to add that the accommodations were better than expected. I truly can't recommend the school or Astrid for assistance if you take classes in Shanghai enough!