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Cary Jacobson

“CLI’s greatest strength is its modern facility located in beautiful Guilin with the nearby college, restaurants, shopping and easy to use public transportation providing the perfect learning environment. That plus the river, mountains and lakes would attract any person interested in China. The CLI support staff from the directors to the cook have put together a very well organized facility and system that takes students seamlessly from the time of arrival in Guilin to safe housing (at the school, a private apartment or with a Chinese family) and language instruction. Organized and ad-hoc field trips expose students to the people and the many sites and activities of the surrounding area. The CLI Chinese instructors are native speakers especially educated, trained and selected for their ability to teach, as a team, all facets of Chinese to foreign language students. Several instructors work together, sometimes with interns, to develop and implement a program that best fits the students’ needs and goals, making adjustments as needed. CLI’s greatest strength is all of the above: To provide an environment where instructors and students come together with other native speakers in their natural setting to allow the student to meet his or her goals in a somewhat controlled but dynamic and completely Chinese society.”

Karin Zone

“The pace of the one-on-one classes always suited me. This also enabled time for interesting discussion not necessarily related to the curriculum, which I deem important to be important to further expand knowledge of Chinese culture, etc. Also, Ayi’s (the in-house chef) cooking deserves high praise. The variety and quality of dished was excellent!”

Helen Jacobsen

“Through one-on-one classes, I was able to focus on topics, vocabulary, and grammar that I most needed. The one-on-one classes, I was able to focus on topics, vocabulary, and grammar that I most needed. The one-on-one classes also allowed me to speak so much in Chinese that I really feel more fluent now!”

Michael Kehoe

“The teacher’s flexibility helped me address speaking issues I have had for a long time, because classes were tailored to practice the grammar I most struggled with. I also really appreciated the teacher follow-up. If I raised a question one day, the teachers prepared an exercise for that question the next day.”

Karolina Rysava

“The one-on-one classes are the best aspect of CLI – I have experienced many language courses but have never had one-on-one classes. It is the best way to study Chinese and I would highly recommend it to other students. My teachers were wonderful!”

Kyrea Njuguna

“CLI’s flexibility and adaptability to any kind of student is the school’s greatest strength. It helped me get comfortable with first testing out my current abilities and pitfalls and improving with confidence, such that I got into the habit of self-learning as well as relying on my teacher’s expertise. The most important aspect of the program is the one-on-one learning. I was constantly getting feedback, and this iteration of feedback helped improve my grammar immensely. I can now pay more attention to my tones, especially if there is a chance of misunderstanding.”

Hanna Lichtenstein

“The obvious [strength] here would be the teachers. However, I feel like another very great strength is the security of the CLI community. CLI allows me to be and feel independent, but also is a secure, safe and very reliable foundation to fall back on whenever need be. There wasn’t a day when I didn’t appreciate this foundation. The feeling of security in a foreign country is extremely important, and it allowed me to totally enjoy myself, and learn! In my opinion, the one-on-one style of teaching is the best. When combined with cultural immersion, and the necessity of speaking Chinese outside of the classroom every day, you can get an entire year’s worth of study in just one month. It’s amazing!”

Blair Marshall

“The people, of course are [CLI’s greatest strength]. CLI has attracted not only quality staff and teachers, but people who love life and create a positive and fun environment. It’s also very important having the interns to reinforce what is being learned in the classroom.”

Elizabeth Lazo

“How personal everything is at CLI is probably the school’s biggest strength. One-on-one teaching, on top of home-cooked meals, Chinese interns and so much more. Don’t ever lose that! It’s essential that CLI is so interconnected and active in the student’s everyday lives.”

Brendan Corney

“So many strengths! Having the Chinese environment where you speak with everyone day to day was the best feature. It meant I became used to speaking very quickly, with no option to fall back to English. I would definitely encourage everyone to keep this subtle pressure up!”

Gus Walsh

“In my opinion, CLI’s greatest strength is its teachers and staff members. Other than the fantastic jobs they do teaching students Chinese in the classroom setting, CLI’s teachers are eager to participate and facilitate outside-the-classroom learning, such as meals and activities, on the weekend and during the week.”

Graham Reinhard

“The immersion aspect of CLI is fantastic. In order to communicate with anyone, Chinese is a must. Living in an apartment with Chinese roommates really helped improve my Chinese language skills. The family/community aspect of CLI is like none other; everyone is always here to help which is fantastic!”

Michael Salmon

“The teachers were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. They went the extra mile to incorporate material into the classes that were relevant to my interests and working life.”

Finola Hackett

“CLI’s greatest strength is the sense of community among students, teachers, interns and staff. The quality of the people here is outstanding and makes for a very open, friendly and conducive learning environment. I had never learned Chinese before, but was able to quickly pick up the basics without feeling overwhelmed.”

Nadia Lund

“The most important aspect of CLI’s intensive Chinese program was the one-on-one class, especially tailored for me. We focused on what I wanted to learn and I could ask as many questions as I wanted. [Everyone] was very organized and there was a lot of cooperation between students and staff.”

Laura Wishart

“I think CLI’s greatest strength is its staff. All the people working for CLI truly care about their students and promote a fantastic learning environment. The one-on-one classes really forced me to learn at a much faster pace than I would have [back home].”

Alexandra H.

“The teachers at CLI are outstanding. They are all enthusiastic and committed. When the weaknesses of the textbook and my weakness learning the material became apparent, [my teachers] worked hard to create supplemental materials to help me drill the vocabulary and grammar. The activities organized by [CLI’s Activity Manager] were fantastic. They really add to the experience of CLI. I learned many things about Chinese habits and customs I never learned in six years in Shanghai.”

Gudren Mattes

“The most important aspect of CLI’s intensive immersion program is the flexibility of the teaching methods used, the high quality of the teachers and their motivation to push me to the next level, and the fact that I received tailor-made language training with the best possible results.”

Jean-Claude Thelen

“CLI’s greatest strength is the friendly nature of the staff and students. The atmosphere at CLI is very good and all the people were easy to get along with. In addition, the extra-curricular activities made my stay even more interesting as I learned to play Mahjong, Chinese Chess, etc. Last but not least, my homestay family was absolutely fabulous and I would have not wanted to miss that opportunity for the entire world. I had an absolutely superb time.”

Tiago Coelho

“CLI is like a community-driven project that creates a great environment for students to learn Chinese. I felt completely comfortable living at CLI and almost only had to focus on learning the language. The complete availability of the teachers to help the students whenever they needed was also an important aspect of the intensive language program.”

Amy Glazer

“CLI is a very welcoming community. It was great to have somebody at all times I could turn to for help, either with my workload or just to feel comfortable in a new setting. CLI’s teachers care a lot about their students and how they are doing. They are also not bound to a set curriculum like most schools are, so they are able to focus on what the individual student needs.”

Daniel Del Bosque

“I appreciate CLI’s size, flexibility, and ability to accommodate students. Because it is a small community, it is easy to build relationships with the teachers and staff. I truly felt at home in Guilin.”

Anne-Marie R.

“Community. I loved the atmosphere at CLI: It’s relaxing, stress-free, and one finds him or herself always surrounded by some of the brightest and most caring people. I found this made my experience much more enjoyable and fun, and I learned a great deal about China and its culture by talking with the people there.”

David Purnell

“Each of my teachers first listened carefully to the description of my Chinese language background and then took that into account when developing supplementary materials. Their willingness to leave the text behind if needed and go in directions I wanted to know more about was very much appreciated. My teachers were always vigilant in improving my ability to express myself in Chinese.”

Harry Mattison

“I arrived [in Guilin] at 5am, was picked up by a [CLI] staff 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.”

Devon Dietrich

“The teachers here are CLI’s greatest strength. They befriended me; I am so appreciative for how well they took care of me and how much of themselves they shared. All the teachers truly cared that I enjoyed class and studied material I found useful and interesting. I learned more than I ever hoped for, and had fun the whole time. I can’t wait to come back! I love CLI!”

Emma Leeson

“CLI’s greatest strength is how well they look after their students leading up to and after arrival. CLI arranged someone to pick me up at the train station, show me around the city, and even take me grocery shopping. This makes all the difference when arriving somewhere new.”

Jake Kaplan

“CLI’s greatest strength is the ability to form relationships with teachers. They also become your friends and can really help you experience the city and achieve a better understanding of both the Chinese language and culture. CLI is awesome; I can’t wait to come back!”

Wilson Griffith

“After studying at CLI twice now, I’ve found that the greatest advantage of learning Chinese here is not only the one-on-one class environment, but also that being located in a smaller city, like Guilin, provides students with a perfect atmosphere for truly learning the language.”

Kasey Crumpton

“The most useful aspect of CLI’s program is the one-on-one instruction. It brought me from not being able to speak at all, to the point where I could understand the people around me and hold basic conversations in just five weeks.”

Justin Ryals

“CLI’s greatest strength is its tight-knit community of not only teachers and ‘Pengyous’ who truly desire to help students learn, but also the fellow students. CLI really has a welcoming family environment!”

Michael Dufresne

“I think CLI’s greatest strength is the intimacy it fosters amongst students and teachers. One not only learns while they are here, but makes lasting friendships, which in turn provide a more comfortable medium in which to practice Chinese.”

Jerome Brassens

“I loved CLI’s variety of teachers. It allows for various ways of speaking, accents, points of views and expressions. The mix of speaking/listening, writing/reading and grammar classes was also very important. It gave a great overview of the language.”

David Purnell

“CLI’s greatest strength is the professionalism of their teachers. They kept my progress on track. The most impressive aspect of the language program is the coordination of the instruction. Three teachers, always on the same page, despite each dealt with a different aspect of the language.”

Benjamin Horn

“The community of Chinese teachers is certainly CLI’s greatest strength–providing a core group around which students and friends can revolve. They are always willing to practice Chinese with you and go out on weekends as well. This community made me feel at home.”

Mira Brown

“The teachers are really friendly and I feel like they care about us. They took the time to get to know us, they teach very well, and they explain things clearly. It helped me feel welcome in Guilin and I think my Chinese improved quite a bit!”

Karen Shiu

“Overall, the system at CLI is very good! Everything one learns is customized to one’s desires. I was able to improve my speaking, reading and writing, and listening skills. While studying at CLI, I was able to work on all areas of the Chinese language.”

Eric Schneider

“The most important aspect of CLI’s program is the friendships you establish with the teachers and other students. This allows you to learn from your peers, as well as your teachers. I would recommend this program to any of my friends in a heartbeat!”

Ian Costanzo

“CLI has many strengths. The school’s employees and atmosphere, city orientation, and student support all provide an excellent introduction to the school and China in general. Overall CLI has an excellent program for learning the Chinese language and culture. I have learned a lot during my stay here.”

Angela Sicken

“The teacher-student ratio is ideal and leads to an environment where you really immerse yourself in the language. The one-on-one classes are great! You really get to talk in Chinese everyday and the class format allows you to tailor the course to your own interests.”

Maria Khalaf

“CLI was on top of everything from transportation to food to hotels. It made me worry less about those things and allowed me to focus more on my interactions with Chinese students and the learning experience in general. Thanks to CLI for making this trip the most memorable and fun it could be!”

Alex Wright

“CLI is unique in that it allows for full immersion in the language – personal instruction and time with local students all contribute to this. Without this deep level of interaction I would have felt like a tourist in a Western bubble, but instead I was able to experience China on a deeper level.”

Kelly Wood

“The CLI staff helped me discover Guilin and was always available to answer any questions I had about the city. I truly appreciated my teachers’ efforts to tailor each class to my specific needs. Particularly useful were the daily scenarios we practiced, such as ordering food, buying tickets, etc…”

Kate DeJong

“I really enjoyed the staff and other students at CLI. I had a fantastic time getting to know not only the local people, but all the students from various countries. CLI is a unique place. I hope one day I can return to Guilin and CLI.”

Michael Chung

“The sense of community and the teachers are amazing! The teachers really care about the students and adapt their teaching methods to meet the needs of the student. I really enjoyed these aspects because it made learning Chinese a lot more fun and effective.”

Sanne Albers

“CLI has the perfect combination of good quality education, cool teachers, interesting activities, and great lunches! My stay in Guilin was very useful for improving my Chinese because opportunities to speak Chinese are everywhere. I had an unforgettable experience and would recommend it to anyone.”

Mark Robinson

“In my opinion, the one-on-one training by highly qualified teachers is the strength of CLI. My instructors were smart, friendly, patient, and encouraging. Everybody here was such a pleasure to work with. This has been one of my best vacations.”

Matthew Temple

“I really enjoyed my time here. I was surprised by the high quality of the living arrangements. The classes were intensive, but fun and very interesting. The teaching staff works well together, providing a smooth and seamless class atmosphere.”

Thomas Unwin

“CLI’s greatest strength is the learning environment that exists. The relaxed atmosphere and personal touch make it easy to want to study in your free time. CLI’s weekly activities were also great, as there was always someone to share a drink or dinner with. Using three teachers per student is fantastic as it increases the chances you will work out the style of learning that works best for you. I also felt completely comfortable in the knowledge that if I’d wanted to change a teacher, I could do so with no awkwardness.”

Melanie McKinney

“Everything the staff does at CLI is one of its many strengths. The whole team is always on hand to help with anything, even telling hairdressers not to cut too much hair off! We felt very at home. The class structure was perfect which makes speaking fun and easy.”

Richard Potts

“CLI’s greatest strength is the quality and dedication of its staff. Teachers were always prepared, flexible, and able to give clear answers for any questions I had. The one-on-one instruction with different teachers allowed for a level of attention and personal tailoring that is second to none.”

Bruce Fitzwater

“The language environment both inside and outside of the classroom, and the faculty at CLI significantly enhance the quality of the student experience. With highly qualified teachers and a great set of textbooks, it is easy to design a curriculum to meet your needs.”

Sylvia Kunakom

“CLI is well aware of what foreign students experience when coming to Guilin. My stay here has been unbelievably easy despite the fact I don’t speak much English. Everyone at CLI is very accommodating, friendly and helpful. The selection of the homestay family was perfect!”

Chris Lippard

“CLI’s greatest strength is the feeling of complete immersion through one-on-one lessons and social activities. I was able to use the Mandarin I learned in class almost immediately afterwords due to CLI’s proximity to Guilin’s everyday life.”

Jason Rogers

“Because the classes were one-on-one I was able to ask any specific question I wanted, without embarrassment. This helped me understand concepts the way I needed to understand them. The teaching method and community atmosphere made CLI feel like my home away from home.”

Trigg Ferrano

“The small class sizes and energetic staff make CLI a great place to study Chinese. The most important thing was having class daily. It allowed me to practice immediately what I learned the day before.”

Leslie Sheets

“CLI is very organized with great facilities and nice teachers. CLI added a lot to my Guilin experience, providing great support in studying Mandarin. I really enjoyed having three different teachers, each one focusing on a different particular language skill.”

Claire Moynahan

“The comfortable environment that facilitates the 'immersion' aspect of the experience is excellent. Staff was always available to give tips about the city. The most useful aspect is CLI’s location in Guilin, so learning can extend outside the classroom and into tangible, real world experiences.”

Mikko Helimo

“CLI has great teachers and staff. They were essential in helping me reach my language goals. The one-on-one language immersion style allowed me to fully customize my classes according to my needs.”

John Paisley

“The sense of community at CLI is very strong and there were many more opportunities to practice Chinese than in the four hours of class time per day.”

Jason S. Campbell

“The one-on-one teaching of the language was by far the most important aspect of learning. By this I continually felt as though I was able to work at my personal pace and always had resources for furthering and enhancing my study.”

Christianne J.

“CLI’s teaching staff is comforting and caring. They are not only teachers, but friends who will take you around Guilin and help you get acclimated to the city. CLI’s environment is conducive to learning because everyone is speaking Chinese, therefore making it easier to learn Mandarin.”

Matt Kao

“CLI’s greatest strength is the friendliness and amazing level of helpfulness found in its staff toward all of the students. It made me feel extremely comfortable when speaking Chinese.”

Olivia Ford

“CLI provides a calm, simple, no stress atmosphere. I love being able to learn at my own pace. CLI helped me feel like I had a personal experience.”

Matt Kao

“My teachers’ knowledge of both English and Chinese and how the languages differ was very helpful. It is wonderful how the teachers interact with their students outside of the classroom as well. The group lunches and group outings added to a warm and family friendly atmosphere at the school that enabled us to practice speaking without being embarrassed. Everyone is welcomed and encouraged.”

Anna Kender

“We enjoyed the flexibility of the program and the way the teachers made learning fun. The CLI community makes you feel like part of the family.”

Mike Kender

“The fact that the teachers interact with students outside of class gives us more opportunities to improve our Chinese skills. CLI’s social and cultural activities also helped to augment the learning process. The program’s flexibility also allowed me to slow down the pace and was also able about topics I am interested in.”

Katya Tetzlaff

"CLI offers a great sense of community and friendship. This makes China less like a scary foreign land and more like a different family.”

Josh Lee

“When eating lunch or when hanging out at CLI in between classes, I really felt like CLI was a family, one that keeps getting bigger. Of course the education was important, but more than that, the sense of community and friendship had a larger impact on me. The teachers were always willing to help me with anything outside the classrooms whether it was sending postcards, how to talk to the taxi driver, or going to buy things at a local store. I was also able to meet many people through the teachers and by the time I left CLI, I had become friends with many of their friends. This is the beauty of CLI. Relationship building while learning Chinese.”

Grace Cleland

“Studying with CLI is perhaps one of the most unique and unforgettable experiences I have ever had. My trip was enriched so much by the vast array of experiences I had as a result of CLI’s connections.”

Guilin karst mountains, a lake, and a pagoda

Learn Chinese in Guilin

Learn Chinese in Guilin