Guilin was chosen as CLI’s home for a variety of reasons – it’s warm; it’s a safe distance from the poor air quality of China’s biggest cities; it’s simple to navigate; local residents are exceptionally friendly and engaging; the cuisine is excellent; and the city has been famous for its stunning natural beauty throughout Chinese history.

An Ideal Learning Environment

learn in guilin

Guilin’s balance of vibrant, modern city and surrounding countryside creates the ideal setting to pursue Chinese fluency, and folks at CLI and in Guilin are very willing to interact. Guilin features gyms, yoga studios, department stores, universities, countless restaurants, upbeat nightlife, great public transportation networks, an international airport, three bullet train stations, and much more.

Guilin maintains China’s rich traditional culture while enjoying all the comforts brought on by China’s rapid modernization.

Guilin vs. China’s Largest Cities

“I like that CLI is located in Guilin rather than a larger city because it encourages you to use Chinese in daily experiences.”

– Craig W., Immersion Program

By way of their own study abroad experiences in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and Guilin, CLI’s founders experienced firsthand the crucial advantages a smaller city like Guilin enjoys compared to its megacity alternatives. Guilin’s friendly environment and active population make learning Chinese a pleasure.
guilin has beautiful mountains
Bustling street in Guilin, China, a great place to learn Chinese

Guilin is an ideal Mandarin learning environment because:

  • Relatively few expats live in Guilin, and few locals speak English, which provides students plenty of language learning opportunities.
  • Guilin locals are friendly, curious, and often seek to engage with international students.
  • In Guilin students are exposed to both China’s northern and southern Mandarin accents, which gives learners a sharper ear and more well-rounded command of the Chinese language.
  • Guilin provides an optimal balance of cost and quality of living; see the cost of living section in CLI’s FAQs for additional insight.
  • Guilin’s famous natural environment is protected by law, making the air and water much cleaner than other parts of China.

“Most Beautiful Under Heaven”

guilin mountains

The proverb 桂林山水甲天下 (Guìlín shānshuǐ jiǎtiānxià) proclaims 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.

Guìlín 桂林 literally means “Osmanthus Forest” due its large number of osmanthus trees. Their sweet fragrance graces Guilin each autumn, only adding to this wonderful city’s mystique and allure.

Your Gateway to China

“One month in Guilin was more productive than an entire year of coursework in a normal college class.”

– Allie R., Immersion Program

Your home at CLI presents you with endless opportunities to discover China. A breathtaking natural landscape offers a hiker’s paradise, an array of restaurants and bars provide an exciting social scene, and CLI’s language learning community delivers countless chances to engage locals in conversation. Guilin is a wonderful place to dedicate yourself to learning Chinese.

Location of CLI and Guilin

That’s us, 喜爱中文培训学校 (Xǐ’ài Zhōngwén Péixùn Xuéxiào), right in the middle of the accompanying map!

喜爱 (Xǐ’ài), a transliteration of CLI, is the official Chinese name we selected for our school license in ChinaUse the map to zoom out and see where we’re located within Guilin, and zoom out even further to see Guilin’s location within China.

CLI is a 10-minute walk of the main gate of Guangxi Normal University, a 2-minute walk from the nearest coffee shop (run by our friends at the Junshe Boutique Guest House), and an even closer walk to five small soccer fields.

We’ve been extremely fortunate to call the CLI Center home for the past ten years. We can’t wait to welcome you to our community in Guilin!


Floating Down the Li River