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September 2015 issue

Contents
News
News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agency Survey
Direction 1
Direction 2
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2 Industry Faces
Tertiary Focus
Special Report
Destination
Regional Focus
Course Guide
Spotlight1
Spotlight2
Market Analysis
Grapevine

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Learning Mandarin in China




Chinese language learning has moved into the mainstream. The market is now maturing, with the result that competition among schools is intensifying and choice is increasing, as Jane Vernon Smith reports.


Whereas, a few years ago, people tended to learn Chinese for “hobby and travel” purposes, says Kevin Zhang of Beijing-based Capital Mandarin School, today, it is for reasons of business and teaching Chinese abroad.

As Margherita Liu, Manager of Mandarin Zone Language School, also in Beijing, highlights, more and more international students are aware of China’s economic development, and there are more opportunities if they can speak Chinese.

Students are also being encouraged by their schools to learn Mandarin from an early age, as Emma Devine from Xplore - The World! points out. “There is no doubt that China is playing a more prominent role in Western commerce and culture, and there is certainly more emphasis being placed on learning Mandarin in schools, especially at A-level,” she says.

Student nationality trends at Chinese language schools tend to underline this point. Julie Kong of Mandarin Spring in Shanghai, who comments that her school is receiving growing numbers of students from Spain and Italy, believes that this is because the economy in China is much better than in their home country and so it is easier to find a job in China.

Similarly, Romain Tournier, General Manager and Co-Founder of the Tailor-Made Chinese Center, which has schools in Beijing and Shanghai, has witnessed an increase in students coming from France, Germany, the USA and Italy. “They all have big business with China and almost no growth in their home market. It’s a way for them to be more competitive on the job market,” he suggests.

The USA is well represented at many schools in China, and Kevin at Capital Mandarin School observes that “the US dollar still goes a long way”, while Julie at Mandarin Spring notes that visa policy has been favourable for students from the USA over the past 10 years.

For Kevin, the top nationalities at present are American, Russian, German and Spanish. Russians are becoming more prevalent, he points out, a trend that he expects to continue, as business between Russia and China grows.

While the USA and European countries tend to have a strong presence throughout, That’s Mandarin is seeing a general uptick in students from the rest of Asia and Oceania, and is starting to see growth from South America, according to International Business Development Manager, Libby Chick.

At the same time, Kirsty Mattinson, Head of International Recruitment and Support at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) in Suzhou, which receives students from all parts of the world, has seen a rise in numbers of late from Indonesia, Korea and Russia. As Kirsty highlights, with the launch of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) development initiative in 2013 to promote cooperation and connectivity between China and the rest of the Eurasia region, numbers from these countries are set to grow further. “Educational outreach, especially around scholarships and transnational learning, are likely to increasingly flow along these linkages,” she observes.

As Kirsty observes, the Mandarin language is increasingly taught in schools and Confucian Institutes around the world; as China has grown in importance in international business, a number of new trends are emerging with it.

According to Margherita, students are coming at an earlier age, and, she says, “More parents want their kids to learn Chinese”. The demand for intensive study is also growing, according to Kevin at Capital Mandarin, a demand that XJTLU has sought to meet through introducing a series of summer language programmes to provide an opportunity for intensive Mandarin study for students enrolled in full-time education. In addition, “We are seeing more students who have studied some Chinese before,” points out Kirsty at the university.

Xplore - The World! has recently launched its first summer camp in China due to demand from students worldwide as well as in China. “We do a lot of work with local partners, schools and universities in the country and as a result we were invited to set up a camp not only for Chinese students but to bring over international students for them to integrate with,” says Emma. “We have a balanced group this year made up of English, German, Spanish and US students. We hope for 2016 to also welcome students from other parts of the world such as South Africa, Korea and Japan, where Mandarin is a very popular language to learn.”

Emma adds that they hope to expand their provision in China next year. “We are looking to open up at least one more camp in 2016 and we are looking to attract more of the domestic market. At the present point we are also considering including a one-week camp in Taiwan to add a different dimension to participants that travel with us,” she says.

Julie at Mandarin Spring, meanwhile, notes that, “More and more young people choose to come to China for further study… Some of the students can easily get a full scholarship issued by the Confucius Institute. Most of the learners will be able to get more job opportunities after learning the language.”

For those students seeking a formal qualification in the language, the Chinese Proficiency Test, known as HSK, is available. This has now been brought in line with the Common European Framework, according to Julie, as has the curriculum at Mandarin Spring, thus allowing students to compare and refer more easily. She adds that the school has designed a new HSK curriculum to enable students to learn the language faster. Intensive, semi-intensive and part-time programmes are all available. With more and more business people in Shanghai taking the test, the school has also designed ‘early-bird’ evening and weekend classes.

In addition, Kirsty foresees a growing demand for pre-university courses focussed around this exam, as more students – from Africa in particular – choose to pursue their higher education in China.

As the market matures, flexibility is increasingly in evidence, and That’s Mandarin has witnessed a growing desire for part-time courses during the week. “In order to cater to those needs,” Libby explains, “we have created a new course package at a cheaper price.” She adds, “The nature of our curriculum makes That’s Mandarin incredibly flexible.”

The school is also prepared for a growth in online study at the expense of study abroad. With the growing cost of living in China – especially in Beijing and Shanghai – Libby maintains that it is now expanding its provision into this area. At the other end of the spectrum, she also notes that more people are interested in immersive experiences. “Not simply cultural events, which all schools provide, but chances to do more than scratch the surface,” she concludes.

In this context, providers are generally optimistic about the outlook. However, there are some warning signs. As Margherita observes, the market is currently developing very quickly, and, “it is easy to start a school in China, but hard to survive for a number of years.” She believes that competition between schools will intensify, and that only high quality schools will last the course.

This, on the other hand, is good news for students, with, as Romain points out, the quality of classes gradually increasing.
jvs@studytravel.network



Visa focus

According to Kirsty Mattinson, Head of International Recruitment and Support at Xian Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, “Visas for studying in China are certainly becoming more rigorous, as China matures as a student destination.” At the same time, “There are now additional visa categories to suit different student types and durations of stay. We rarely have visa rejections, but,” she warns, “some nationals may require a longer application period.”

One point highlighted by Margherita Liu of Mandarin Zone in Beijing, is that only official universities can issue student visa forms (JW202). Meanwhile, Julie Kong, Program Coordinator at Mandarin Spring, Shanghai, observes that the Chinese government is restricting Tourist (L) visas and Business (M) visas. Each applicant, she explains, has only one-to-two months’ validity, with a maximum of one month’s extension allowed, and she underlines, “Students will be fined if they violate the rules.” She adds that long-term visas are becoming more and more difficult to obtain, and the government has strict policies regarding general visa issuance in a few countries, such as Pakistan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and some other African states.

Other categories of client to pay particular attention to include those looking for internships. Romain Tournier, General Manager and Co-Founder at Tailor-Made Chinese Center, based in Beijing and Shanghai, notes that internship visas are also becoming more and more difficult to obtain.

“Many of our younger students want to come to China and intern while they study with us,” comments That’s Mandarin’s Libby Chick. “But it isn’t an option for them to intern on a tourist visa, and we can only offer student visas to students who [are] studying with us for at least six months or study every day. Many of the students also looking to intern don’t have the time to have that many lessons per week.”


Useful tips

Form JW202 is needed by students attending university in China in order to obtain their student visa. Obtained from university upon acceptance.

The busiest months for Chinese language schools are June and August, so booking in advance is advised.

The main Chinese language proficiency test is the HSK.
Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of StudyTravel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company

Country

Telephone

Email



LANGUAGE

INTERNATIONAL
Alpadia Language Schools  
Amauta Language School  
CERAN Lingua
International  
don Quijote  
EF International Language Centers  
ELS Language Centers  
Enforex  
Eurocentres  
Eurolingua Institute  
International House World Organisation  
Kaplan International
English  
Kings Education  
LAL Language Centres  
Oscars International  
PGL  
Pro Linguis  
Quality English  
Sprachcaffe Language Plus 
St Giles International  
TLG - The Language Gallery  
Twin Group  
Xplore  

ARGENTINA
BASP - Buenos Aires Spanish School  

AUSTRALIA
Ability English  
Cairns Language Centre  
English Australia  
ILSC Australia  
Impact English College  
Monash College  

BRAZIL
Instituto Cultural IDIOMA  

COLUMBIA
Spanish World Institute  

CANADA
YMCA International Language School  

COSTA RICA
Academia Tica  

CUBA
Study Team Cuba  

CZECH REPUBLIC
Carlsbad International School  

ENGLAND
ABLS - Accreditation Body for Language Services  
BEST in Bath  
Communicate School  
English Language Centre Brighton  
Experience English Group  
Heart of England Language School  
Inspiring Learning  
International House London  
Islington Centre for English  
Liverpool School of English  
Living Learning English  
Manchester Language School  
Oxford Royale Academy  
Sidmouth International School  
University of Liverpool  

FRANCE
Alliance Française Lyon  
Alpine French School  
Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne  
Ecole de Tersac  
France Langue  
inlingua La Rochelle  
Institut Français Riéra  
International House Nice  

GERMANY
BWS Germanlingua  
F+U Academy of Languages  

IRELAND
Atlantic Language Galway  
Donegal Language School Equestrian & Surf Centre  
Emerald Cultural Institute  
Galway Cultural Institute  
Horner School of English  
International House Dublin  
ISE - International School of English  
MEI Ireland  
University College Cork Language Centre  

JAPAN
Intercultural Institute of Japan  
Kai Japanese Language School  
Sakura House  
Yokohama International Education Academy  

MALTA
Feltom Malta  
IELS - Institute of English Language Studies  
Magister Academy  

NEW ZEALAND
Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology  
DynaSpeak  
English New Zealand  
University of Otago  

NORTHERN IRELAND
International House Belfast  

PHILLIPPINES
Paradise English  
PANAMA
Habla Ya Language Center  

PORTUGAL
International School of the Algarve  

SCOTLAND
Experience English Group  
Kilgraston Language and Activities School  

SOUTH AFRICA
Bay Language Institute  
EC Cape Town  
Education South Africa  
Eurocentres Cape Town  
Good Hope Studies  
Inlingua Cape Town   
Interlink School of Languages  
International House Cape Town  
Kurus English  
LAL Cape Town  
Language Training Centre   

SPAIN
CLIC International House Spain  
Escuela de Idiomas Nerja  
Estudio Sampere  
Live Madrid SC School  
Malaga Instituto  

THAILAND
British International School Phuket - BCIS  
USA
California Language Academy  
EF International Language Centers  
Summer Study Programs  
University of California San Diego  

SECONDARY

CANADA
Calgary Board of Education  
Caps-I  
Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board  
Eastern Townships School Board  
Edmonton Catholic Schools  
Edmonton Public Schools  
English Montreal School Board  
Golden Hills School Division #75  
Greater Essex County District School Board  
Greater Victoria School District  
Halton Catholic District School Board  
Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced  
ITTTI Vancouver  
Langley School District #35  
Louis Riel School Division  
Ottawa Carlton District School Board  
Oxford Royale Academy  
Pembina Trails School Division  
Powell River School District #47  
Simcoe County District School Board  
St James - Assiniboia School Division  
Thames Valley District School Board  
Waterloo Catholic District SB  

ENGLAND
Chaucer College Canterbury  
Chichester College  
Oxford Royale Academy  
Queen Ethelburga s College  

USA
Barrie School, The  
High Schools International - HSI  
Menaul School  

TERTIARY

INTERNATIONAL
Hult International Business School  
CANADA
Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology  
Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology  
Georgian College  
North Island College International  
St Clair College  

ENGLAND
Bromley College of Further and Higher Education  
University of Liverpool  

IRELAND
University College Cork Language Centre  

NEW ZEALAND
University of Otago  

PORTUGAL
International School of the Algarve  
USA
Summer Study Programs  
University of California San Diego  

VOCATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL
Hult International Business School  

ASSOCIATED PRODUCTS/ ORGANISIONS

AUSTRALIA
English Australia  

ENGLAND
ALTO  
British Council  
Campus Living Villages  
IALC  
IELTS  
Quality English  
Trinity College London  
Twin Group  

JAPAN
Homestay Technologies  

NEW ZEALAND
English New Zealand  

SPAIN
Andalucia  





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