Hutong School: Study Chinese in Beijing & Shanghai
89% Rating
(53 Reviews)

Hutong School: Study Chinese in Beijing & Shanghai

By Hutong School Reviewer Verified Badge   Reviews (53)   89% Rating

Study Chinese in Beijing or Shanghai! Hutong School offers a unique Chinese study abroad program in China. Located in the city centres with personalised lessons for all students, Hutong School ensures you have the opportunity to learn Chinese at your own pace. Classes are focused on small groups with an average of 4-5 students per class, ensuring that you make the most out of your study abroad experience in China! Every student has a personalised one-on-one plan, taught by our enthusiastic bi-lingual teachers who have excellent academic backgrounds and interpersonal skills. Classes are offered year-round at the beginning of every month!

Locations
Asia » China » Shanghai
Asia » China » Beijing
Accommodation
Apartment
Language
Chinese
Steps
Online Application
Starting Price
$0.00/week
Cost Description
- Chinese classes (20h/week)
- Accommodation (all utilities included)
- Cultural activities (2-3/ week)
- Airport pick-up
- 24/7 general assistance

Rating Values

  • Academics
    86%
  • Support
    88%
  • Fun
    80%
  • Housing
    85%
  • Safety
    91%

Program Reviews (53)

Anonymous

Not quite what is described

3/10

Hutong School claim to assist you with the Visa process, however I found this to be false. After 3 attempts applying to the London Embassy with the documents Hutong School provided, I was ‘advised’ to make false bookings on booking.com and tell the embassy that I was staying there, in hindsight I should have just booked a hotel rather than staying in accommodation that the school provided.

Upon arrival at Shanghai I was left at the airport for 20 minutes on my own with no contact from Hutong, after a few attempts I finally got through to the school and was told they were on their way.

The school describes the accommodation as ‘modern, clean and very comfortable’, and ‘in every apartment we house 3 to 4 students’. It can be argued that not one aspect of this is true. Throughout my month stay I was housed with only 1 other student, who was twice my age and was doing an internship whereas I was doing the Mandarin lessons. Due to the nature of the internships I rarely saw him as he left very early and returned very late. So in essence I lived on my own which is not something I would have signed up for had I known beforehand. To call the accommodation modern and clean is an overstatement, upon arrival the flat was filthy, especially in the kitchen. The only cooking facilities were a half-broken microwave and a hob. The photos online are of one select flat in Shanghai, my flat was nothing like this. I made the school aware of my concerns, however I was told that my flat was ‘normal’ for Shanghai, and there was nothing they could do to move me to a different flat. I went to a friend’s flat from Hutong a couple of times and theirs was like the photos, so I suppose it’s potluck whether you live in the accommodation described. Had I known the actual living conditions and who I was (or wasn’t) living with, I would have definitely just booked a hotel, considering the school accommodation is actually more expensive than a hotel in Shanghai.

The 4 hour Mandarin lessons however, were actually very good. I only had 2 other students in my class throughout the month along with 2 different teachers meaning that the four hours didn’t seem as long as I thought. In my lessons it was a variety of learning from the textbook you buy from Hutong along with everyday words and phrases used in China. For example by the end of the month I could easily order food from a restaurant and direct a taxi. I was lucky enough to meet some people doing internships in Shanghai around my age so I spent most weekends and evenings with them, however there wasn’t really a great emphasis to integrate new students as a lot of people had already been there for a considerable amount of time.

Jonathan
Male
20 years old
Geneva
Geneva College

A hint of China

9/10

Certainly, for discovering China (it was the first time for me) and immersing yourself in it's deep and ancient culture, a good guide is required.
After reading a few reviews and wondering wether this would be the right option or not, I just decided to place my trust in Hutong school. Good choice.
To make a long story short, I spent 4 beautiful months with the school, its friendly personal and the people I met there. Teaching, activities, receptionists and co-workers are all helpful and kind, and the atmosphere good. You'll always find somebody to help you, to share a meal with or just to talk to. It was as well really quick to meet new people and make friends.
The lessons are efficient: their limited number of persons and their schedule (that you can change in case of need) allow you to practice and learn chinese in the right way according to your capacities. I highly recommend it.
I'll always have good souvenirs, and maybe to the next time!
Thank's to you guys.

Jonathan

Marielle
Female
26 years old
Beijing, China
Other

Fantastic School

9/10

I have studied Chinese at the Hutong School twice: my first time there was in 2009-2010, when I began learning Chinese and participated in the Intensive Chinese program for 6 months. I successfully took the HSK test at level 4 after those 6 months. My second time at the Hutong School was last year, when I took 2 months of private classes after work. I lived in Hutong School housing during both periods. My experience with Hutong School has been fantastic both times: particularly when I first came to China at age 18 in 2009, they offered the best support and social environment I could have hoped for as a teenager moving to a unknown foreign city. Through their classes, activities and community, I was introduced to China and slowly but surely, Beijing became like a second home - which is still is to me today (I live and work in Beijing these days - which I don't think would have been the case if I hadn't had such a great time at the Hutong School the first time I came here). Having also studied Chinese at a well-known Chinese university (Peking University) for a year, I can also testify to the fact that their classes are of a very high standard. Studying Chinese in relatively small groups, my Chinese progressed much faster at the Hutong School than at university here. I therefore wholeheartedly recommend the Hutong School to anyone wanting to come to China to learn Chinese.

elisa
Female
Voghera
Other

Chinese Language at 360° - to better understand China

10/10

I've arrived more than 2 months ago in Shanghai. It's my first time in China and my first challenge with the Chinese language. I'm really glad of living this opportunity, Shanghai is amazing and you could find everything you are looking for. Speaking mandarin adds positive point at this experience, as it is important to understand better the real life and the culture of Chinese people, if you'd like to live here. During my Chinese class I learn not just a language, but lots of important tips about the city and life here, given from my teachers. The welcome party organized by the school are a great opportunity to meet other students and to have fun. The apartment where I live is located in a really well connected district, just 3 subway stops from the school. Everything is comfortable and easy to reach. I love Shanghai and I would not come back home!

Sini
Female
22 years old
Switzerland
Hibernia College

Studying chinese in Beijing

9/10

Studying at Hutong school in Beijing was not only about studying the chinese language and culture, but also about meeting students from all over the world where you can learn very much from each other! It made my experience unforgettable!

The good points about the intensive program is that you're focusing only on your chinese studies and you're learning in small groups (4-5 students) which help you to improve and learn very fast! My chinese improved very quickly( communication+writting) : within 3 months! I would highly recommend the chinese intensive course!
The teachers in Beijing are hard workers, are always willing to help you for anything and they are very fun!
Overall it was a really great experience and I'm still learning chinese!
And don't worry about having no friends, it's very easy over there to make friends as long as you're willing to meet people and the staff is always there to help you!

How can this program be improved?

It would be good maybe to establish small tests at the end of each book in order to evaluate better the level of chinese of the students and see where they need to improve.

Josee
Female

Beijing Hutong School

8/10

Très bonne école où vous pouvez apprendre assez rapidement, en travaillant aussi beaucoup par vous même, j'ai eu une excellente professeur qui était vraiment à mon écoute, étant débutante ce n'était pas évident ! J'y suis restée 4 mois, et je retourne 2 mois à Shanghai. Beijing est une ville magnifique, tellement de chose à voir, et la cuisine est fantastique ! Je m'y trouvais en plein hiver, il y fait très froid, mais je ne regrette pas !

TRANSLATION:
Very good school where you can learn fast enough, also working a lot by yourself, I had an excellent teacher who was really listening to me, being a beginner it was not obvious! I stayed there for 4 months, and I returned to Shanghai for 2 months. Beijing is a beautiful city, so much to see, and the food is fantastic! I was there in the middle of winter, it is very cold, but I do not regret!

How can this program be improved?

Pour les cours rien à dire, mais je dirais que plus d'activités communes organisées pendant le week end seraient une bonne chose.

TRANSLATION:
For the classes nothing to say, but I would say that more joint activities organized during the weekend would be a good thing.

Jaehoon

Great place to start in Shanghai

9/10

I found hutong from Google, even though the webpage is pretty well done, I was still hesistant until I met the people at hutong. First, it was great that I could communicate in English and get answers to my questions (believe it or not, not many people speak English in china). Second, all the people at hutong school are very friendly. And, don't worry about having no friends in china, cause they organize fabulous activities in which you can participate and make connections and friends. Last but not the least, teachers here at hutong are pretty good. They are prepared for the class. As long as you are willing to follow their instructions you will catch Chinese    pretty quickly. I am planning on staying in shanghai for a year until next March, and I am definitely sticking with hutong.

Godfrey
Male
31 years old
Manila
Other

Learning while having Fun

9/10

The best thing about Hutong School is the events they organized. My life in Beijing became interesting and more fun because of this events. Another great is the staff of the school as well. They are friendly, approachable and accommodating.
With regards to learning Chinese, I can't compare with other institution but my life becomes easier after a month of attending the class. I can have a simple conversation in restaurants and taxi drivers.
The rate of Hutong school is comparable to others as well

Esther
Female
19 years old
Amsterdam
Other

My stay in Beijing

8/10

My experience with Hutong school overall was great! The best thing about Hutong School for me was the community, it's crazy when you visit a country where hardly anyone speaks English and you don't know the language (yet). The staff at Hutong School as well as the other students made me feel welcome and at home so quick and easily that the language/culture border with China seemed not so much of a big deal anymore. Hutong School organizes a lot of fun activities which make life in China even more fun than it already is.

I do think that Hutong School is a bit overpriced, especially the housing. Also the pictures of the housing on the website don't match the apartment you will get, the apartment is perfectly fine just nothing like the pictures.

Yannick
Male
29 years old
Shanghai
Brunel University

Shanghai Hutong School

9/10

Originally signed up here as the location was practical and close to my office. The class sizes are small which is good for learning. The teacher is very good and extremely patient with the class. Having attended classes in other schools I find that the methods used by this school are more effective at teaching colloquial Chinese which is what I'm looking for. Overall I think this school has a good atmosphere and I am very happy with my experience here so far.

Emma
Female
Shanghai
Smith College

My Hutong School Experience

9/10

I have been at Hutong School since August and have really enjoyed my experience here. The classes are just want I was looking for in an intensive language program, and the teachers and staff are super friendly and helpful. In addition to classes, the school offers several activities each week which are great for learning more about Chinese culture or meeting new people. I would definitely recommend this program if you are looking for a Chinese language program in Shanghai.

Nadine
Female
25 years old
Amsterdam
Other

HSK 4

8/10

I had a great time at Hutong School Beijing and was really pleased that I was able to pass my HSK 4 due to the great teachers I had. I definitely enjoyed the atmosphere and people there, especially the fun events that were organised. I was also lucky that I was able to do a homestay for a couple of weeks which was an interesting experience.
I definitely recommend taking Chinese courses in Beijing since the teachers are great and Beijing a fun city is to experience China in.

Bart
Male
24 years old
Shanghai
DeVry University

Interesting to discover language, culture and people

8/10

I had a great stay in Shanghai. I did an internship in the hospital and twice a week I studied Chinese in the evening. The Hutong school helped me with applying my visa and they were always ready to help me for small questions. The people who work for the Hutong School in Shanghai were really open minded and were always in for a talk. Besides the Chinese lessons there were also a lot of cultural activities. These activities have learned me to understand the Chinese culture and during these activities I have met a lot of new people, many of them have become my friends!

Thanks for all :)

Reed
Male
23 years old
Chicago, IL, USA
University of Connecticut

Intensive Language Program - Shanghai

10/10

As I am typing this, I am almost 2 months through a 5 month intensive language program at Hutong in Shanghai. Like many people reading this review, I was once searching the internet trying to decide which language school would be the best for me. I can confidently say that Hutong was undoubtedly the right choice among all the school options.

First, and most importantly, my Mandarin teacher is simply exceptional. She is incredibly patient with every student and knows proper teaching techniques to help us develop our Mandarin. It is easy to tell that she truly cares about my classmates and I. She dedicates herself to making sure we understand everything that she is teaching, which is crucial for such a difficult language like this. Also, her schedule is very flexible too, which is a huge benefit for us students. I came to Shanghai with absolutely zero knowledge of the language. After nearly two months, my Mandarin has substantially improved to the point where I feel confident in my ability to make it through the every day interactions with the local people using only what I've learned. I'm still excited to figure out how much more I can master in another 3 months.

The staff at Hutong are exceptional. They are a close-knit group who are very easily accessible, if you need it, and are very friendly. They organize a few events every week, which helps with getting to meet other students in the school. Some examples of the events they organize are KTV (karaoke) nights, welcome parties at a bar, archery in the evening, Mahjong lessons, and more. I would highly recommend these events, as it is probably the best way to meet the wonderful staff and other students.

Perhaps the only thing I would mark Hutong down for are the apartments. While I can't speak for every student's living situation, the bedroom I started off in was quite small. There was barely enough room for a bed, a closet, and a dresser. The other bedrooms in my apartment were quite larger though. Because every student is on a different schedule here, I think I got lucky, as a couple of my original roommates returned back home, so I was able to move into a larger room. Don't let this deter you from Hutong though. The apartment itself was more than suitable and my roommates have become some of my closest friends here. Hutong has hired a maid to come to each apartment and clean it a couple times a week as well. If there is an issue with your living situation, just contact the staff and they can probably move you into another apartment if you wish. Besides, you shouldn't even be in your room that much when in a large city like Shanghai!

Overall, you'd be doing yourself a favor by choosing Hutong. I can't imagine that a better Mandarin school even exists. Hutong has greatly exceeded all of my expectations. They definitely really do care about your progress with the language and your comfort in the city.

John
Male
22 years old
Shanghai, China
Tulane University

Great Intensive Program

10/10

I came to Hutong in February for an intensive Mandarin program for 3 months. So far I am halfway through and I am learning so much! I feel my Mandarin proficiency improving everyday and look forward to taking the HSK 4 next month. Over just three months, my class will have covered material for the HSK 3 and 4, so we definitely move at a rapid pace. I recommend this program for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the language daily and wanting to experience life in such an awesome city. Hutong puts on many programs every week that makes meeting other students very easy. From game nights to organizing dinners and bar nights together, there is always something going on. There are many students from all over the world, so there is plenty of cultural exposure, even beyond Chinese culture. This program is great and I think it is the step to take if you are looking to see a dramatic improvement in your Mandarin level.

Paz
Female
26 years old
Argentina
Other

I will definitely go back!

10/10

Doing the Intensive Chinese Program at Hutong School was actually one of the best decisions I've ever made.

I decided to go to this school (all the way from Argentina!) after lots of research, and I'm sure I made the correct choice!

From the first moment I had a program consultant who helped me with everything, even with the visa process; when I arrived they fetch me in the airport, they showed me my neighborhood, the way to the school and to my apartment, wich was actually nice and well located.

Every day I would take the metro to the school and have four hours of group class, my teacher Rebecca, a native Chinese of course, was kind and patient but also made us study a lot, wich help me sat for HSK 2 exam at the end of my staying.

The school staff is so nice, they are very welcoming, always available and ready to help; they also organize cultural activities every week, wich helps not only to get to know the Chinese culture but also to meet other students from all over the world and get to make friends.

I actually enjoyed my time at Hutong School and would definitely go back :)!

How can this program be improved?

None

Isabelle
Female
20 years old
Shanghai, China

Hutong School

9/10

I joined the Hutong School in September and immediately felt at home. Due to the small class sizes, international atmosphere and activities that are organized there was no difficulty getting used to the new surroundings. The teachers do all they can to make sure that you study as efficiently as possible and really tailor their classes towards your specific needs. I got from an HSK 3 to HSK 4 in just 2 months thanks to their program! The activities they organize really allow you to learn more about Chinese culture and history and integrate in Chinese society.

Cheryl
Female
20 years old
Katy

Great time!

10/10

I was placed in an internship by Hutong School for 1 month, and it was fantastic! I stayed in an apartment in the middle of the city, right on the subway line. The apartment was in a very convenient location and let me explore the city with my friends. I also enjoyed the structure of the apartment, as I got my own room but also had flatmates. I got to meet other people from around the world as well, and we had a great time together! The apartment was well-furnished and in great condition. Thank you Hutong for a great time in Shanghai!

Alexander
Male
30 years old
Tilburg, Netherlands

Living in Shanghai

10/10

Ni hao - I have been to Shanghai to do an internship for an automotive supplying company for two month in 2015! I would have loved to stay longer but it is quite hard to get a visa to do so!
Everything beside my work was organized by Hutong School... accomodation, trips and of course language courses
It is a lot of fun to learn Mandarin and to explore this totally different culture! Through the school and its events get get in touch with a lot of other students which makes the stay much more enjoyable!
My accomodation although it was about 2 hours away from my office was fantastic - we had three balconies on the 28th floor which provided a stunning view over Shanghai and its monuments!
Zai tian

How can this program be improved?

Maybe a better connection between the local students who are in the city!

Laurence
Female
24 years old
Bruges

Definitely going back!

10/10

I followed the Intensive Chinese Program in Shanghai and had classes everyday from Monday to Friday, 4 hours a day, so my Chinese really improved on a daily basis!

I was really surprised by how much we were taught in one day and was happy that I got to expand my vocabulary so quickly. My teacher's English was really good and she taught in a very structured way. She also gave us homework everyday and from time to time we had a small test, something I definitely appreciated because this really encourages you to study and practice your Mandarin after school hours.

Besides teaching Mandarin, Hutong School also organizes weekly activities, ranging from cooking classes to tai chi, movie nights or even trips to other cities in China. Like this, you meet a lot of new people and you're constantly immersing yourself in the Chinese culture.

I loved everything about my stay in China and I would definitely want to go back! Highly recommended :)

About The Provider

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Join Hutong School to study, intern or volunteer in China. Founded in 2005 in the Hutongs of Beijing, Hutong School has over 10 years of teaching experience. We now have locations in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Chengdu. All our programs are focused on full immersion

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