China | Expat Life

Where to find intensive Chinese language programs in universities in China

October 5, 2018
intensive chinese language programs china university shanghai

China is big! There are many universities that offer intensive programs of Chinese language, but how do you choose the one right for you? Especially, considered this might be the very first time for you in China. The choice of the right place and course can become overwhelming. Somebody will probably tell you that the proper, “standard” Chinese is the one spoken in the capitel, Beijing. I also believed that, and that’s why I spent a few months in Beijing, at the beginning of my life in China. The truth is, Chinese speak Mandarin in every big town, and they also speak one dialect at least. Even Chinese from Beijing speak a slang that it takes some time to get used to. And furthermore, the “overlooked” cities have quite a few advantages.

If you don’t have any particular campus in mind, first spend some time collecting a bit of information about Chinese provinces and cities, to get an idea of which would be suitable. I’ve compiled a list so you can have a pick and get some inspiration. I have also linked to the introductory pages of Chinese language courses in different universities.

This will save you a lot of time! However, this doesn’t want to be an exhaustive list of colleges.

Intensive Chinese language programs China university Beijing
Jiaotong University in Beijing


Speaking in general, coastal cities are the most developed and are home to thousands of foreign citizens who push you to communicate in English rather than Chinese… This is something to consider.

Let’s start with some of the most developed, “westernized” coastal cities:


the capital, famous for pollution! Certainly worth a visit, but are you sure you want to live there for a few months/one year?

Language and Culture University

Normal University

University of Communication


I landed a teaching job there but couldn’t bear the traffic and the extreme noise of the district the school was at. Tianjin has the same air quality issues of Beijing, plus the weather gets pretty cold in winter!

Tianjin University


north-east of Beijing, it is said to be one of the cleanest cities in China and home to a big beer festival during summer.

Dalian University of Foreign Languages

Dalian University of International Business and Economics

Liaoning Normal University College for International Education

intensive chinese language programs china university
Lotuses on West Lake in Hangzhou


my favorite metropolis in China; rents are high, compared to other cities, but maybe you will be lucky enough to be able to study there.

Foreign Languages University

East China Normal University

Fudan University International Cultural Exchange School

University of Communication


just one hour from Shanghai by train, a historical city with a balanced atmosphere, paths in nature and the the panoramic West Lake. This is another city which I’d love to move to, in China, together with Xiamen.

Zhejiang University


intensive chinese language program china wuhan
Buildings in Wuhan University


Wuhan University


considered a “southern city” as the name which means “southern capital” suggests. It’s home to historic heritage sites, traditions, and night life.

Nanjing University


my second home, an island-city, famous holiday destination for Chinese thanks to long beaches, a subtropical climate, and night snacks; just a ferry ride from the Taiwanese island named “Jinmen”. Unfortunately, the Chinese language Program has moved off the island.

Xiamen University

intensive chinese language programs university china
Myself enjoying the sunset at the beach near Xiamen University


one of the most developed commercial ports in China and also the Chinese part of Hong Kong, which is reachable by MRT.

Shenzhen University

Hainan Island

the southernmost island of China, with tropical weather, monkeys, resorts, beaches and blue waters.

Hainan University

If you wish to travel and see the natural beauties that the western part of China offers, or if you prefer to study in towns with fewer foreigners, you can check out:


the capital of Sichuan province, with hiking trails, bamboo forests and high mountains.

Sichuan University


in Yunnan province, which is home to many of the 56 Chinese ethnic minorities and one of the top destinations for nature-lovers and ethnologists in China (Dali, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Xishuangbanna).

Yunnan University

Yunnan University for Nationalities


I’ve gathered a bunch of handy tips on how to prepare for moving to China to study Chinese in this post! I’m a former expat to China and student of Chinese language and culture, everything I share I have learnt through personal experience in more than ten years. I’d love to hear your thoughts about it, please leave me a messge or a comment.


intensive chinese language programs china
20 intensive language programs in China


  1. Great list of places I can go and learn Chinese, very informative. I’m currently learning Thai, I think adding Chinese onto of that would burn out my brain haha but I’ll remember this for the future! Always looking to expand my knowledge.

  2. Helpful info here.Definitely worth reading I were going to study Chinese in China. I’ve sent a good bit of time in China but have no language skills.

  3. Lovely post on my first visit to your blog :)…..loved to know so much about your experiences in China…….would love to read more of your posts and connect……..some day in the future you can think of planning to visit India, equally as diverse and beautiful as China, and also the land of the birth of Buddhism……:)…..and Calcutta is my home in India, on the eastern part…

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