The CLI Team

HSK 1 | My Dad Loves Drinking Tea

My dad is a doctor and this year, he’s 60 years old. He doesn’t like drinking water, but he loves drinking tea.…

HSK 1 | My Family's Dog

My family has a three-year-old dog named Rice. In the afternoon on Monday, August 6, 2018, my mom and I caught sight…

HSK 2 | My Chinese Homestay Family

After a long flight, I finally arrived at the airport. As I began searching for my Chinese homestay family, I felt tired…

HSK 3 | My Neighbor Little Xia

The first time I ever saw my neighbor, Little Xia, was on a hot summer day. Although the hallway of our apartment…

HSK 4 | Tooth Bugs!

One day while having breakfast with my host family in China, I noticed that my little host brother was watching me closely.…

HSK 5 | Chinese Gift Giving Etiquette

Ever since ancient times, Chinese culture has emphasized the importance of social conventions. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind proper…

HSK 5 | The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl

The seventh day of the seventh lunar month is a traditional Chinese holiday called Double Seven Festival, also known as Chinese Valentine’s…

The 100 Most Common Chinese Characters

Have you ever wondered what the most common Chinese characters are? In a language of approximately 50,000 individual characters, mastering the most…

The 10 Best Places to Visit in China

China is vast. In fact, it’s off-the-scale massive, and its diversity is really second to none. Choosing this country as your next…

Chinese Vocabulary For Coronavirus

The impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is now being felt around the world. The pandemic has taken over the news cycle,…

What is the Chinese Zodiac?

An important aspect of Chinese culture is the Chinese zodiac, which refers to a traditional 12-year astrological calendar based on lunar phases.…

Beautiful Photos from Guilin

Guilin is a sightseer’s dream, a photographer’s oasis, a nature enthusiast’s playground, and for the language learner’s of the world—Guilin is an…

What is Pinyin?

Many students of Mandarin Chinese are surprised to learn that before delving into the mysteries of Chinese characters (汉字 hànzì), they must…

The 2020 Chinese Holidays Calendar

The following charts provide the official schedules for Chinese holidays in 2020. Holidays are categorized as Chinese Public Holidays and Other Chinese Holidays…

Is Chinese Hard to Learn?

The Chinese language is often considered one of the world's most difficult languages to learn, but this sentiment is a major oversimplification.…

The 2021 Chinese Holidays Calendar

The following charts provide the official schedules for Chinese holidays in 2021, the Chinese Year of the Ox. Holidays are categorized as Chinese…

The 2022 Chinese Holidays Calendar

The following charts provide the official schedules for Chinese holidays in 2022. Holidays are categorized as Chinese Public Holidays and Other Chinese Holidays…

The 2023 Chinese Holidays Calendar

The following charts provide the official schedules for Chinese holidays in 2023. Holidays are categorized as Chinese Public Holidays and Other Chinese Holidays…

The 2024 Chinese Holidays Calendar

The following charts provide the official schedules for Chinese holidays in 2024. Holidays are categorized as Chinese Public Holidays and Other Chinese Holidays…

The 2025 Chinese Holidays Calendar

The following charts provide the official schedules for Chinese holidays in 2025. Holidays are categorized as Chinese Public Holidays and Other Chinese Holidays…

The 2026 Chinese Holidays Calendar

The following charts provide the official schedules for Chinese holidays in 2026. Holidays are categorized as Chinese Public Holidays and Other Chinese Holidays…

The 2027 Chinese Holidays Calendar

The following charts provide the official schedules for Chinese holidays in 2027. Holidays are categorized as Chinese Public Holidays and Other Chinese Holidays…

The 2028 Chinese Holidays Calendar

The following charts provide the official schedules for Chinese holidays in 2028. Holidays are categorized as Chinese Public Holidays and Other Chinese Holidays…

The 2029 Chinese Holidays Calendar

The following charts provide the official schedules for Chinese holidays in 2029. Holidays are categorized as Chinese Public Holidays and Other Chinese Holidays…

The 2030 Chinese Holidays Calendar

The following charts provide the official schedules for Chinese holidays in 2030. Holidays are categorized as Chinese Public Holidays and Other Chinese Holidays…

Top 10 WeChat Accounts To Follow

WeChat Official Accounts are worth your while. We’ve come up with a list of our favorite WeChat official accounts and provided a…

Why Teach in China?

For those who are passionate about adventure, education, or traveling, teaching abroad offers the opportunity of a lifetime. Not only does it…

The Anatomy of Chinese Characters

Reading and writing Chinese characters is often considered the most ambitious challenge that language students face in order to achieve fluency. Indeed,…

10 Reasons to Study Mandarin in Guilin

1. Great public transportation of Guilin Near and far Guilin is connected with buses, 面包车, domestic and international flights, conventional & bullet…

Learn Basic Chinese Words

Are you considering visiting China or looking for ways to connect with Mandarin-speaking friends? Whatever your reasons for learning basic Chinese words…

What is Skritter?

Skritter is a fresh, inventive way to master Chinese characters. If you’re not a current user, take the following steps to get…

China Loves Chili Peppers

If you have traveled to the Middle Kingdom or shared a meal with a Chinese family, you’ll know just how important chili…

Chinese Traditional Shadow Plays

Have you heard of Chinese shadow plays, an art considered by many to be the world’s first ever form of puppetry? Traditionally…

Why study abroad in Guilin?

As if spending a semester abroad in China wasn't reason enough, we felt compelled to list 12 reasons (among countless) why you…

The Most Popular Foodie in China

Trevor James, a.k.a. “The Food Ranger”, is hands down the most popular food vlogger and YouTuber to be producing content in China…

What to Experience While Studying Abroad

Guilin offers an endlessly flowing river of opportunities to students studying abroad. Each individual student who studies with CLI is unique and…

The New York Times Goes to Guilin

At CLI we’ve always known that Guilin is beautiful and we’ve been on a mission to share the beauty since our founding…

The Ben Hedges Interview

We had the privilege of sitting down with Ben Hedges, founder of Learn Chinese Now, and discussing a variety of topics including…

Former CLI Student Gives TED Speech

 Shh! Don't share your goals. Derek Sivers, former CLI student, provides a compelling argument as to why we should keep our…

Chinese Taiji

Join Dayong, a CLI team member since 2009, as he learns about Master Huang's journey into tàijíquán. While watching the video, follow…

Practice Your Chinese Skills

At the Chinese Language Institute we understand and hold a deep respect for the process of gaining fluency in Mandarin. Learning Chinese…

Top 25 Videos from Chinese Class 101

CLI has churned through hundreds of videos by ChineseClass101.com to compile this list of 25 videos covering must-know Mandarin vocabulary. We've extracted…

10 Useful Videos from Learn Chinese Now

Learn Chinese Now has been posting excellent Mandarin language learning videos to YouTube for over three years. We've compiled our 10 favorite…

Jack Ma Speaks with Charlie Rose

Not only was Jack Ma, 马云 Mǎ Yún, rejected from Harvard when he first applied, the university rejected his nine subsequent application…

What DID Confucius say?

Confucius has had and continues to have a huge influence on Chinese culture, especially when it comes to ideas about education and…

What is Anki?

If your goal is to memorize lots of new information (think: Chinese characters), consider utilizing a spaced repetition system. Studies show that…

Happy Halloween from CLI

Halloween in Guilin, China from Chinese Language Institute on Vimeo. Happy Halloween from CLI! 万圣节快乐! Check out more videos by CLI.

A Fun Southern Chinese Game: 猜码 Cāimǎ

What is 猜码 (cāimǎ)? The joyous shouts of 猜码 (cāimǎ, literally meaning "guess number") can be heard rumbling through barbecue joints, restaurants,…

American Mandarin Society

If you're looking to improve your Mandarin skills while increasing your knowledge of U.S.-China relations, we highly recommend exploring the resources offered…

The Rise of Soccer in China

As a student of any language knows, practice is the most important key to retention. By finding fun and interesting ways to…

Are Hanzi Important?

Chinese Hanzi, or characters, are often considered the most daunting component of the Chinese language. However, many students of Chinese also feel…

Guilin Featured on CNN.com

Yesterday CNN featured an article on Guilin’s Princes’ City. You can also read more about 王城 (Wáng Chéng), the “Princes’ City”, in…

What Does Guilin Mean?

The names of Chinese cities often reflect physical features of the place they're in. Beijing 北京 means "Northern Capital"; Hong Kong (Xianggang)…

China Seminars 2015: 一路平安!

Each year, CLI partners with high schools and universities around the world to create one-of-a-kind, fully customizable study experiences in China. On…

CLI Featured Photographer: Peter Stewart

Simply put, Peter Stewart's photography is astonishing. His images, taken throughout China's Guangxi Province, are vivid yet surreal. As a fine art…

The Four Drivers of Language Learning

To start this week’s post, let’s engage for a moment in a thought experiment. First, imagine losing all ability to communicate with…

王城, Guilin's "Princes' City"

Guilin is steeped in thousands of years of rich Chinese history and tradition. One of the best known historical sites in Guilin…

Meet the Team: Summer

Name: Summer 刘春平 Hometown: Guilin, Guangxi, China 广西桂林 Job title: Student Activities Manager 学生活动主管 We are happy to introduce Summer, CLI's Student Activities…

Guilin's Flying Tigers

Many people don’t realize that the U.S. and China were close allies during World War II – and that Guilin played a…

Happy 2015!

We're already halfway through our first month of 2015, and Chinese New Year is just around the corner in February. Above are…

Farewell, Study Abroad Students!

Last week, CLI said goodbye to a very special group: our fall semester Study Abroad students from SUNY New Paltz. CLI hosted…

Homestay Potluck Dinner

On Friday, CLI hosted its annual Homestay Potluck Dinner to celebrate our homestay families. Each person brought one dish -- and with…

Dumpling Party!

包饺子! CLI recently hosted a dumpling making party in the CLI kitchen! Dumpling making is often a social activity in China, with…

Meet the Team: Susan

Name: Susan 潘姿 Hometown: Yizhou, Guangxi, China 广西宜州 Job title: Study Abroad Manager 留学项目经理 We are happy to introduce Susan Pan, CLI's Study…

How Not to Learn a Foreign Language

Remember those endless hours you spent agonizing over Spanish or French grammar in high school? Or all those late nights studying Chinese…

A Chinese Thanksgiving

CLI takes great delight in gathering the community together for a celebration – especially if good food is involved. Although not traditionally…

CLI Perspectives #21

This week we wrap up The University of North Florida's contributions to CLI Perspectives. Alex Wright, Morgan Irvin & Ryan Leirvik share…

CLI Perspectives #20

This week the University of North Florida's contributions to CLI Perspectives continues again. Michele Pierson, Trey Brooks and Patricia Willis share their…

CLI Perspectives #19

University of North Florida's contribution to CLI Perspectives continues. This week Allison Gordon and Katherine DeJong share some of their favorite moments…

CLI Perspectives #18

The second installment in this month’s, University of North Florida themed, CLI Perspectives is courtesy of Maria Khalaf and Robyn Haywood. Aside from…

CLI Perspectives #17

One of CLI’s many joys is welcoming groups of university and high school students to China. This summer, students and faculty from…

CLI Perspectives #16

Stuart Ratcliff is no stranger to Asia. After traveling in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Nepal, Stuart decided teaching English in Beijing would…

CLI Turns Four!

After 1460 days of fun, hard work and dedication, the CLI community came together this weekend to celebrate its four-year anniversary! Over…

CLI Perspectives #15

Bryan Herbert, CLI Immersion student, first came to China through James Madison University on a three month study tour. However, after the…

CLI Perspectives #14

This week’s CLI Perspectives is brought to us by Chris Nguyen. Chris has always loved travelling, but doesn’t like the feeling of…

CLI Perspectives #13

Mark Robinson, founder and president of HandicappedPets.com and the inventor of the Walkin' Wheels adjustable dog wheelchair, was initially motivated to learn Chinese…

The Year of the Snake at CLI

The lunar calendar is coming to an end, meaning it is time to celebrate one of China’s most traditional holidays. Chinese New…

Studying Chinese in Nature's Hot Tub

There may not be snow in Guilin, but winter is still winter and with the changing seasons come new opportunities to experience…

Guilin is Full of Warm Holiday Cheer

Trees inside living rooms, lights draped on houses, jolly old men in red suits ringing bells outside department stores, and cars pouring…

CLI Featured in the China Daily!

More great news from the Chinese Language Institute! Another major publication recently featured an article about CLI -- this time it’s the…

CLI Perspectives #12

Nati Tamir, former Ambassador of Israel to Australia, New Zealand, and Finland, has been to many places around the world, but not…

CLI Perspectives #11

As the saying goes, "it's the little things in life" that are the most important, and CLI Study Abroad student Kelsey Cute…

CLI Perspectives #10

Alex Gavis had never planned on learning Mandarin. In fact, she started heading down the French language road. But after taking a…

CLI Welcomes New Students!

This week CLI is bustling with the start of a new school year. Everywhere one looks there are new faces, new smiles, and a…

CLI Perspectives #9

Mikko Helimo shares his language journey in CLI Perspectives number nine. Mikko was first bitten by the Chinese language bug while studying…

CLI Recommended by Frommer’s

In its 2012 China travel guide, Frommer's made the following endorsement of CLI: "If you would like to extend your time in…

CLI Perspectives #8

The eighth installment of CLI Perspectives is written by Immersion Program student Jason Rogers. Jason shares his story of trekking the Guilin countryside on bicycle.…

CLI Perspectives #7

CLI’s most recent contributor to the CLI Perspectives series is Jason Campbell. Jason Campbell, CLI Immersion Program student, came to China in…

CLI Perspectives #6

Matt Kao, CLI Immersion Program student, wrote this week’s CLI Perspective. Before coming to CLI, Matt had previously been introduced to the…

CLI Celebrates the 4th

CLI celebrated the red, white, and blue with its second full house of the summer season, welcoming students from a variety of…

CLI Perspectives #5

This weeks’s CLI Perspectives story is brought to you by Elia Sommerlad, a true citizen of the world, having lived in Africa,…

Early Summer China Study Tours!

Last week, CLI was delighted to roll out the red carpet for two college-level study tour groups hailing from four different universities.…

CLI Perspectives #4

This week's CLI Perspectives blog entry is written by CLI Immersion Program student Cory Donovan. Cory moved to China in January 2012…

CLI Perspectives #3

The weather is heating up in Guilin with summer just around the corner, so today we take a look back at cooler…

A Day in Paradise

An adventurous group of CLI students and teachers found themselves in paradise this weekend – a fool’s paradise.  愚自乐园, or Yuzi Paradise,…

CLI Perspectives #2

Is learning Chinese difficult? What kind of experience will I have in China if I can’t speak Chinese yet? What does authentic…

CLI Perspectives #1

Is learning Chinese difficult? What kind of experience will I have in China if I can't speak Chinese yet? What does authentic…

A Note from CLI's Educational Director

After more than two years of educational consulting and nine months as CLI's Educational Director, in September I bid a heartfelt farewell…

Learn Chinese on Skype

In the age of global communication, learning Chinese online is easier and more convenient than ever before. An estimated 40 million people…

Introducing CLI's New Learning Center!

CLI is proud to unveil our new 5-story Mandarin learning center, completed just in time for the Chinese Spring Festival! Featuring twelve…

CLI Featured in the Washington Post!

CLI is proud to announce that it was recently featured in the Washington Post! The article includes interviews with CLI's founders, Robert…

Autumn Travel Excursion to Longsheng

This past weekend CLI led our fall students to Guangxi's famous Longsheng rice terraces (龙脊梯田) for two days of exploring Yao and…

Summer Travel Excursion to Yangshuo

This past weekend CLI led our summer session students to Yangshuo (阳朔) for two days of bike riding through Guangxi's karst landscape,…

Welcome to the CLI Blog!

CLI’s blog is a forum for team members, students, China experts and Guilin’s international residents to share their experiences in and thoughts…