It’s a bustling epicenter that’s home to over seven million people.
It has one of the highest per capita incomes and some of the highest life expectancies in the world.
It even has more skyscrapers than any other city in the world.
And yet, with so many amazing facts, there’s one fact that many students may have missed: Hong Kong could also be the best thing that ever happened to your Mandarin skills.
That’s because when you’re looking to learn conversational Chinese, there’s nothing like an intensive Chinese course to set you up for success.
Studying Mandarin in Hong Kong is great not only for language skills, it can also help improve your motivation by showing you where your language skills can take you.
Hong Kong is an exciting place to take Mandarin classes. The local dialect is Cantonese, so it may not be the most obvious choice.
However, because the local dialect is Cantonese, there are also tons of Mandarin classes in Hong Kong, and they are phenomenally international, attracting locals, tourists and expatriates living in Hong Kong.
Not only does this create an exciting multicultural atmosphere, it also means that there’s an abundance of other students passionate about improving their Mandarin skills, which creates a more immersive classroom environment.
The Pros and Cons of Learning Mandarin in Hong Kong
There’s plenty to do in Hong Kong. Learning Chinese at home is great, but can you take breaks from your studying to enjoy cultural or historical sites? At the end of a long day of studying, can you take in dazzling city views from the top of Victoria Peak? Can you go for dinner and a stroll in Tsim Sha Tsui?
Nope—only Hong Kong offers these exciting experiences to fill your downtime. Like learning Chinese in Singapore, you’ll never run out of fun things to do if you choose to study Mandarin in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a hub, so flights to and from will likely be cheaper. Airfare is usually more affordable to large airline hubs, so you might be able to save a little money to reinvest in enjoying the city.
English is widely spoken, so you won’t be in over your head. Full immersion is great, but it can also be overwhelming, particularly for beginning speakers. In Hong Kong, however, English is widely spoken, so you can communicate comfortably without much effort.
Cantonese is the main dialect of Chinese spoken in Hong Kong, so you won’t get routine Mandarin practice while out and about in the city. While there are some Mandarin speakers, there are many more speakers of Cantonese and even English.
But guess what: Studying in Hong Kong will give you exposure to another cool Chinese dialect (Cantonese) that you may consider learning down the road.
Take the Trip of a Lifetime and Learn Mandarin in Hong Kong
Throwing yourself into an immersive experience can be overwhelming! Before your trip, try a little immersion at home first.
No one does immersion at home better than FluentU!
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You'll find a wide range of contemporary videos that cover all different interests and levels, as you can see here:
FluentU brings these native Chinese videos within reach via interactive captions. You can tap on any word to instantly look it up.
All words have carefully written definitions and examples that will help you understand how a word is used. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.
From the description page, you can access interactive transcripts under the Dialogue tab, or review words and phrases under Vocab.
FluentU's quizzes turn every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you're learning.
The best part is that FluentU always keeps track of your learning. It customizes quizzes to focus on areas that need attention and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. In other words, you get a 100% personalized experience.
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Yale-China Chinese Language Centre
Yale-China Chinese Language Centre is a popular language school with a host of notable alumni, including several ambassadors, so you could find yourself learning Mandarin with some very important people.
Beyond its prestige, however, Yale-China Chinese Language Centre also offers some great course offerings. The school offers Cantonese classes, programs for speakers of Cantonese and other Chinese dialects who want to learn Mandarin and, of course, Mandarin courses for non-native Chinese speakers.
Yale-China Chinese Language Centre offers a wide selection of course options, including exam prep courses, summer intensives, part-time programs, short-term workshops, private lessons and more.
Hong Kong Language School
Hong Kong Language School offers an array of both Cantonese and Mandarin courses.
Mandarin group classes are available as half-day courses, full-day courses or evening courses. These classes range from beginning through advanced level and can last from two to 16 weeks. There are also group classes designed to focus specifically on reading and writing Chinese.
Students can also take private lessons individually or with a private small group, allowing the lessons to be more customized.
Hong Kong Language School even provides corporate training for adults and classes for children. If you happen to have an employer who wants you to learn Mandarin or you have a child who’s coming along on your adventure, there are learning options to meet these needs, as well.
Q Language bills itself as “Hong Kong’s Premier Language School,” and it’s no wonder! They offer courses in not only Mandarin, but also Cantonese, English and Korean. The school offers modern facilities with a study resource library, a computer area and free Wi-Fi. Heck, if you need a little help with your visa situation, the school’s legal team will even help you process your student visa application!
Students come from 30 different countries, so you’ll likely make friends from all over the world.
Oh, yeah. The Mandarin courses aren’t anything to sneeze at, either. Available for beginning through advanced Mandarin students, Q Language offers four types of Mandarin courses: intensive Mandarin, one-on-one classes, small group Mandarin and weekend classes.
Intensive Mandarin offer 15 or 24 hours of study per week. Private or small group classes can meet for between one and 20 hours each week. Weekend courses meet for about three hours each Saturday.
Hong Kong Language Learning Centre
Hong Kong Language Learning Centre offers Mandarin and Cantonese courses for students from beginning to advanced levels.
At Hong Kong Language Learning Centre, you have a variety of course options. If you’re interested in daytime classes, there are courses that meet for two 50-minute sessions each day from Monday through Friday or courses that meet for four 50-minute sessions each day.
There are also evening courses that meet for two 50-minute sessions per day. If you want to focus on reading and writing, there are classes available during the daytime and evening that focus on these skills. All of these courses last for 10 days.
International Language Centre
International Language Centre has the largest variety of languages of any school on this list: Arabic, Cantonese, English, French, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish. So if you’re looking to study more than one language at a time, International Language Centre would be a great option for you.
But let’s get to the juicy stuff: International Language Centre’s Mandarin offerings. Courses are available for beginning through advanced students. Offerings include private lessons, group classes, intensive courses, in-house corporate training and courses for children.
Practical Mandarin Learning Centre
Practical Mandarin’s main focus is teaching Chinese to professionals and the families of professionals. While Mandarin is in its name, the school does also teach Cantonese.
Course offerings include private lessons, group lessons and intensives. Lessons are available for beginning through advanced students, and each level has distinct objectives, giving the course of study a clear focus.
Practical Mandarin also offers courses focused on specific topics, including exam preparation, business Mandarin, Mandarin for asset management and Chinese writing. There are also courses specifically for kids and teens.
Hong Kong Institute of Languages
Hong Kong Institute of Languages offers not only Mandarin, but also Cantonese, English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.
Hong Kong Institute of Languages focuses on teaching students ranging from beginning through advanced levels, whether they’re children or adults.
The school offers courses that focus on specific skills. For instance, there are listening and speaking courses, reading and writing courses and business courses. The school also offers crash courses, conversation courses and tailor-made Mandarin classes that focus on the content and needs of the students.
Work for a company that wants you to learn Mandarin? Hong Kong Institute of Languages also offers customized courses and other services for business clients.
If you want to study Mandarin in Hong Kong, check out these seven great programs for engaging, exciting learning. And add a stamp to your passport!
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