The Best Way to Learn Chinese
Begin your stay any Monday of the year and immerse yourself in Chinese language and culture with CLI as your guide.
A New Level of Personalized Service
For direct insight from CLI students themselves, please take a moment to explore our testimonials page.
Activities & Travel Excursions
Join fellow CLI students and team members for bamboo boat rides down the Li River, hikes up Guilin’s breathtaking karst mountains, photography excursions to the Longji Rice Terraces, cooking lessons with Chinese chefs, tea house visits to Daoist monasteries, and more. See the Included in Tuition section for details.
Joint Program with GXNU
CLI’s Study Abroad program welcomes students of all ages.
CLI’s Pengyou Program
The Chinese word for friend (péngyǒu, 朋友) includes two moon characters (月) side by side. Through the passage of time, and with the passage of each moon, long-lasting friendships are built and sustained. At CLI, we strive to provide an educational environment that leads to lifelong friendships, and the Pengyou Program is just one way we pursue this goal. If you choose to participate in the Pengyou Program, CLI will match you with a student from our local partner university who has also applied to join the program. We interview all candidates and make selections primarily based on personality and enthusiasm. We also require that all pengyous speak standard Mandarin, although many may also be excited to practice their English.
By taking part in the Pengyou Program, we ask that both you and your pengyou agree to the following:
- Local pengyous will take part in your orientation meeting, welcome lunch or dinner, and farewell dinner. CLI pays for these meals.
- Pengyous will have at least one meal together per week outside of CLI. No other international students are allowed to take part, but your local pengyou may invite his or her own local pengyous. You (the CLI student) are responsible for paying for your and your pengyou’s meal, but your pengyou’s pengyous pay their own way.
- You and your pengyou should take part in at least two activities together outside of CLI per month. As with the previous obligation, we strongly encourage that no other international students take part. Pengyous are expected to share the cost, if any, of the activity, but we also encourage you and your pengyou to take part in free or low cost activities, including visiting a park, arcade or shopping area; playing sports or board games together; or going to the local market to buy fresh produce to cook a meal together.
- Your pengyou will be available three hours per week to assist you with your Chinese language study. You can review material learned in class and/or practice your spoken Chinese during this time. CLI provides all pengyous with basic training in teaching Chinese and many are majoring in Chinese education at Guangxi Normal University. These language sessions are an excellent opportunity to work through problem areas and improve your Chinese.
When interacting outside of the program as outlined above, unless your pengyou strongly insists on covering your costs for any meal, activity, and/or taxi ride, all costs should either be shared 50/50 or covered by the CLI student. If you would like to swap pengyous for any reason, you may do so one time every two months for the duration of your study at CLI.
If interested in participating in CLI’s Pengyou Program, simply follow the instructions when prompted on CLI’s application form.
Harry Mattison“I arrived to Guilin at 5:00 AM, was picked up by a CLI team member, and found the CLI building with the colored lanterns outside, and that was really a great moment for me because everything here was perfect. The food has been superb, the room spacious, the sheets clean, the water hot, and so it was a very easy transition for... Read more “I arrived to Guilin at 5:00 AM, was picked up by a CLI team member, and found the CLI building with the colored lanterns outside, and that was really a great moment for me because everything here was perfect. The food has been superb, the room spacious, the sheets clean, the water hot, and so it was a very easy transition for me to come from an ideal of my own home to CLI. I highly recommend CLI mostly because of the teachers — the seriousness of their commitment and their desire to see that you actually learn Chinese. This is not a business as much as it is a cultural bridge. There’s a high commitment by the staff and the teachers to see that you actually accomplish the goals that you set out for yourself in learning the Chinese language.” Minimize
One-on-One Intensive Chinese
With 20 weekly hours of one-on-one Mandarin instruction, daily learning-based extra-curricular activities, a variety of housing options, and travel excursions to remote parts of China, CLI’s Immersion Program is carefully designed to maximize retention and learning speed, allowing students to rapidly improve their language level in as little time as possible.
Small Group Classes Option
Keeping with the CLI tradition of fully customizable language learning, we want to give you as many options as possible, and we do our best to make small group classes an option for students who request it. Setting up a small group class at CLI depends on several factors, including enrollment numbers, matching language levels, coinciding program lengths, and the preferences of other students. In order to maintain CLI’s high standards of instruction while allowing students the flexibility to explore other methods of learning, small group classes are generally capped at three to five students.
If interested in CLI’s small group classes option, please contact CLI’s Director of Admissions (email@example.com, subject line: “Small Group Classes”).
Three Unique Instructors
The CLI Method
For deeper insight into our course syllabi, frameworks, and structure, please see pages 24 to 105 in CLI’s Course Catalog.
Objectives & Assessments
Day to day objectives may include learning new vocabulary words, grammar points, radical sets, word pronunciations, idiomatic expressions, social etiquette, and so on. Short-term students are given a formal Chinese language assessment once every two weeks, and daily informal assessments in the form of homework assignments, in-class questions and games, and organic real-life interactions throughout the city of Guilin.
CLI Language Pledge Option
The CLI Method stresses the importance of total language immersion and thinking and speaking in Chinese as much as possible. To help foster these crucial learning components, CLI has a flexible language pledge program, which allows students to opt in or out at any time.
How does it work?
Opting in: The CLI Language Pledge is optional and flexible. If you put on your CLI Language Pledge wristband, you’re “opting in” to the CLI Language Pledge program. You must speak only Chinese while wearing your wristband. And members of the CLI Team will speak only Chinese with CLI Language Pledge students.
Opting out: We recognize that different students have different needs and different modes of learning. Keeping with the CLI tradition of fully customizable language learning, students can “opt out” of the CLI Language Pledge program at any time simply by removing their wristband.
Although the CLI Language Pledge program is optional, we strongly encourage all students to participate, regardless of language level. The more you challenge yourself, the faster your Chinese will improve!
Dates & Fees
Arrival & Orientation
CLI Meal Plan
- adding one class-day to the end of your Immersion Program for each class-day missed due to holidays;
- attending the corresponding number of class hours missed via CLI’s online one-on-one option; or
- adding the corresponding number of hours missed to your class-days while in Guilin (i.e. adding extra hours to your regular class-days).
All three class make-up options are arranged free of charge.
- September 30 – October 2, 2019 (Monday-Wednesday)
- January 1, 2020 (Wednesday)
New Year’s Day
- January 20 – January 31, 2020 (Monday-Friday, Two Weeks)
Spring Festival (Chinese New Year)
- April 6, 2020 (Monday)
Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day)
- May 1, 2020 (Friday)
- June 26, 2020 (Friday)
Dragon Boat Festival
- October 1 – October 6, 2020 (Thursday-Tuesday)
Mid-Autumn Festival & National Day
CLI Tuition Chart
|Private Room at CLI||Homestay||Private Apartment*||Apt. w/ Chinese Roommates*|
All tuition amounts are listed in US Dollars (USD)
*Apartment options subject to availability
†1, 3, 5, 7, and 9-week terms available under “Desired Term” in CLI’s Application Form; tuition equals average of weeks immediately before and after
‡On average, 4.35 weeks per month (e.g., CLI’s 6-month program is 26 weeks)
The famous Chinese proverb 桂林山水甲天下 (Guilin shanshui jiatianxia) claims that “Guilin’s scenery is the most beautiful under heaven,” and rightly so.
Surrounded by picturesque limestone mountains, the bustling city is comfortably located along China’s famous Li River in the gorgeous province of Guangxi. Guilin’s natural landscape has proven so charming throughout history that it is even celebrated on the back of China’s twenty-yuan bill.
Included in Tuition
20 Weekly Hours of Chinese
Support & Emergency Assistance
Activities & Travel Excursions
In addition, CLI helps students organize optional local travel on select weekends and provides free travel arrangement assistance (e.g. ticket-purchasing assistance, safety tips, travel itineraries, recommendations for lodging) to all students who wish to travel on their own. Students are encouraged to take advantage of breaks and long weekends to explore China’s diverse cities and provinces. These excursions allow students to take a broader look at southern China’s rich culture and offer an additional opportunity for students to practice their Chinese language skills. Popular travel destinations include the Longsheng Rice Terraces, Yangshuo, Nanning, Guangzhou, Kunming and other locations throughout Southwest China.
Private Room at CLI
CLI’s homestay option provides direct insight into a typical Chinese family’s lifestyle. If you choose this option, you’ll be provided a private room in the host family’s apartment. Apartments usually consist of a dining area, family room, kitchen, two full bathrooms, and three bedrooms. Host families provide dinner daily, but it’s up to you whether you’d like to take part in these meals. All homestays are within comfortable travel distance of CLI, and we carefully select our host families from within the CLI community.
CLI’s homestay program is the most immediate and intimate way to immerse yourself in Chinese society and culture – each day becomes a learning experience. Western students living in a Chinese household quickly learn cultural intricacies they may not otherwise encounter. For example, one rule that is fairly universal in Chinese households that students are often surprised to hear is that underwear and socks are not to be washed in the family’s laundry machine. Most Chinese families require that these items be washed separately by hand.
Many CLI students have built lasting bonds with their host families, and have cited shared meals and family excursions throughout the city and its surrounding areas as some of their most memorable experiences.
Apartment with Chinese Roommates
A minimum program length of three months is required to take part in this housing option.
The CLI Scholarship
- What are the three main reasons you wish to learn the Chinese language?
- How does Chinese language proficiency fit into your short- and long-term personal, professional, and academic goals?
In addition to scholarships awarded directly by CLI, there are countless online resources available to students seeking financial aid for study abroad. Please see the other info boxes in this section for links to some available options.
General Financial Aid Resources
www.iefa.org– Provides a college scholarship search and grant listing, as well as international student loan programs and other information promoting study abroad.
www.fafsa.ed.gov– The U.S. Federal Student Aid office provides money for college to eligible students and families, including grants, loans, and work-study.
www.studyabroadfunding.org– Features detailed descriptions of hundreds of study abroad scholarships, fellowships, and grants for U.S. undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students, as well as working professionals.
www.internationalstudentloan.com– Offers access to a range of student loan options for U.S. students studying abroad.
Study Abroad Scholarship Sites
www.borenawards.org– U.S.-based undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for full scholarships at CLI through the National Security Education Program’s (NSEP) Boren Awards, which provides fellowships and scholarships to US citizens studying in critical regions.
www.gmsp.org– The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) program was created by Bill and Melinda Gates to aid underrepresented minorities (Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Islander Americans, African Americans, and Native Americans) in achieving an undergraduate education.
www.clascholars.org– This scholarship is open to any student who is presently attending a College Language Association (CLA) member college or university and wishes to study abroad.
www.rotary.org– Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships make up one of the world’s largest privately funded international scholarship programs, and are open to citizens of countries all over the world.
www.jkcf.org– Scholarships are provided through the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and abroad who demonstrate high achievement and financial need.
www.iie.org/gilman– The Gilman Scholarship Program offers study abroad awards for undergraduate students who are receiving the U.S. Federal Pell Grant at a two-year or four-year college or university.