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The best way to learn a language is to live, eat and breathe it...

Take Mandarin Language courses at the University of Yantai in Shandong Province. A typical class size is 25 students, and the teaching staff are professors or lecturers who are accredited and experienced in teaching Mandarin to foreign students.

The course is designed to immerse international students in the Chinese language and culture. All areas of the language will be covered in your course: reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, phonetics and vocabulary.

You can do this course even if you are a complete beginner with no knowledge of Mandarin. If you are advanced level, or have just a little Mandarin, that's fine too.

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Start Dates All year round, subject to school terms - you choose your start and finish dates. Not available during July and August (school vacation) or mid-January to mid-February.
Duration Minimum of 4 weeks, up to 1 or 2 Semesters Course. Subject to visa requirements
Requirements Minimum age 17. No qualifications or prior knowledge of Mandarin necessary
Price Full Price List
What's included Arranging your program,
Course Fees and Materials

Full pre-departure support and assistance,
Payment Protection insurance

Meeting you at Yantai airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support.
Certificate of Completion
What's not included Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas, Food, Return transfer to airport.
Who can do this Project? This project is open to all nationalities and all ages over 17.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in learning Mandarin  or gaining a new skill for their CV or Résumé, or expanding their learning for university credit or requirement.
Also suitable for anyone just wanting to study abroad or who has only a short time available for the placement.


  • Knowledge of a language spoken by billions of people worldwide, a language that is growing in importance at the same speed that China itself is growing in importance in world affairs.

  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into the Orient and the fascinating Chinese culture

  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.

  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market.

  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!


Mandarin Language Courses in China

The Mandarin Course for foreign students has been running at Yantai University for 15 years. A typical class size is 25 students, and the teaching staff are professors or lecturers who are accredited and experienced in teaching Mandarin to foreign students. The course is designed to immerse international students in the Chinese language and culture.

All areas of the language will be covered in your course: reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, phonetics and vocabulary. These will be taught via a variety of topics which will relate to aspects of Chinese culture, society and history.

Each semester there are around 100 International Students enrolled on the course at various levels. Many of these students are from Korea and Japan, and there are also often students from the UK, France and the USA. This project will give you the opportunity to meet people from a variety of different cultures; not just from China, but from all over the world!

Some of the courses currently on offer include: Spoken Chinese, Chinese Comprehension (Pinyin, Grammar and Writing, Reading, Chinese Listening Comprehension.

Course Length:
You can choose to do a length of course that suits you, i.e.:

  • 4 weeks

  • 8 weeks

  • the full course, which lasts for one semester. In China, a semester will vary between 3 months and 4-and-a-half months in length.

Course Dates:
There are two semesters every year and the dates each year are approximately as follows, but may vary in some years very slightly:

  • 1 September until 24 December

  • 1 March until approximately 5 July

You can begin your course at either of these times, regardless of how long you wish to stay, but you must start your program on one of these two start dates.

Winter vacation runs from 25 December to 28 February and if you're doing a program that includes this period, you can spend this time travelling around China, or doing a self-study course, or private tutoring, whatever you choose to do.

Levels of Study and Course Credits:
Classes are available at various levels, so no matter what your level of Mandarin is, there will be a class to suit you. We can offer beginner, elementary, intermediate or advanced classes. Around 50% of the students on the course are Beginners.
The University will assess your level of competency in the language when you arrive and will allocate you accordingly. Regardless of how long your course lasts, you will obtain a certificate at the end of your study time.

Each semester you will also obtain around 20 credits, and these can often be credited to your university course in your home country. [If you wish to take advantage of this option, you must check that your university will recognise this qualification before you leave, as it does vary between institutions.

Daily Schedule:
The course takes place from Monday to Friday, running from approximately 8am to 3:40pm. You will have homework in the evenings, in much the same way as you would during a similar course in most countries, and you will be expected to complete this to the deadline set by your teachers. Your weekends will be free and this will allow some time for relaxing, travelling and sightseeing

National Holidays in China
All projects will break for Chinese National Holidays. The main events are:

  • Chinese New Year - usually sometime in late January or early February. All projects will break for 1 or 2 weeks for New Year

  • May Holiday – usually the first week of May. Most projects break for 3-7 days

  • October Holiday – usually the first week of October. Most projects break for 3-7 days

"A typical day would be- go to class at 8 until 11.40 and, depending on the day, studying reading & writing, spoken Chinese, listening and/or comprehension. The teachers are all really qualified. I was in a Korean class where the teachers only taught in Chinese and although that may sound a bit of a challenge, which it is at first, it helps you improve 10 times faster and you get to mix with different cultures more and make some cool friends.

Once you arrive here you are looked after well by the university and in fact I am coming back next year to continue studying Chinese for a further 4 years to obtain a degree. I think that about describes how good it is..." Louis Potter

University Campus



During your course, you will live at Yantai University Hostel with the other students who are on the course. Currently, the hostel is a four storey building located on Yantai seafront, but the University is in the process of building a second hostel and once this is completed, you may stay in either location.  

You will share your room with another person, either a Travellers Volunteer or another foreign student who is on the course at the same time as you. If you prefer privacy and would like a room to yourself, we can arrange this for you, but there will be a supplementary cost involved.

Each room has two beds, a bathroom solely for the use of that room, a table and chairs, plus a telephone and TV. The hostel is a five-minute walk away from the University building in which you will take your classes.

On this project, your food is not included in the price of the placement. This is in order to give you flexibility in where you choose to eat and also in planning your budget regarding how many times you choose to eat out in restaurants and how much you want to pay.

There are seven dining halls on campus that serve meals throughout the day and most students choose to eat most of their meals on campus in one of these dining halls. Meals are paid for in cash and are extremely cheap, particularly compared to Western prices. For example, at time of writing, a meals cost between 2 and 5 RMB (currently there are approximately 15 RMB to £1 Sterling or US$1.80).

There are also many restaurants and street stalls in the surrounding area, serving a variety of delicious Chinese and Korean dishes. One of the many pleasures of living in foreign countries is the opportunity to try out different restaurants and the vast array of different types of food.

A good tip in any foreign country is to find out where the locals eat - the food there is usually excellent and reasonably priced!


Mandarin Language Courses in China
Accommodation Block

Mandarin Language Courses in China

Got any questions? Please email us: info@travelersworldwide.org

Yantai University, where the course is based, is 10 minutes from the city center by bus. The University is vibrant and buzzing, home to many students, both Chinese and from other countries around the world. The building overlooks beaches on one side and Shandong’s stunning mountains on the other.

There are many small shops and street stalls, a busy market and a selection of Chinese and Korean restaurants running along the coast. You'll live on Yantai University campus and mix with thousands of students.

Learning Mandarin will be of benefit to you both during your life in China and afterwards. Within the country, very few people outside the education system speak English, and while travelling around China there are frequent opportunities to strike up conversations with people who are as curious about you as you are about them! Learning Mandarin will enable to you speak with these people, thus enriching your time here immeasurably, as you find out things about the culture and the way of life that someone without language skills simply would not have access to.

On a larger scale, Mandarin is one of the 5 major UN Languages, and is the most widely spoken language in the world. One out of five people in the world speaks Chinese as their native language! China is changing faster than just about any other place on Earth; even a short stay here will demonstrate this fact.  The recent entry into the WTO has only accelerated this trend. 

In 1997, as the rest of Asia slid into depression, China was forging a path forwards and has continued to develop steadily, embracing world trade in a way that few had predicted. As a result of all this change, it is predicted that China will continue to grow and become a major player in world affairs and business in the coming few years. The ability to speak Mandarin will be of great benefit to anyone hoping to participate in affairs of business or culture on the world stage...

It's also a really fun language to learn, and even more fun to master, as it's so very different to so many Western languages. With Mandarin, not only will you be able to impress the people of China, but probably your family and friends back home too.

Whatever your circumstances, the opportunity to learn more about this ancient and fascinating culture from an insider’s perspective is one not to be missed!

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our team who will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.

China is still a developing country in a period of transition. The living standard falls short of what we are used to in the West. The Chinese culture and heritage is totally different to Anglo-Saxon or Western cultures. However, the people are very friendly and will help you all they can, and, of course, our China Organiser will look after you extremely well during your placement.


Feedback on projects in China

Part of Yantai University Campus

Volunteers proudly displaying their course completion certificates!


While on your placements, you can also book some Optional Add-Ons to make the most of your Travel Experience.

This project can also be combined with any of our other projects in China, or you could even do a second project in a different country in Asia (or elsewhere) - thus doubling your adventure and enjoyment!


YANTAI (烟台 Yāntái
A busy fishing port which sits on the Shandong Peninsula, North-East China and lies between the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea, overlooking Korea and Japan. . Its 'out of the way' feel makes it the perfect place to experience a slice of provincial Chinese life. The fact that it is seldom visited by foreign tourists makes it an absolutely wonderful place in which to live and study. Here you will REALLY feel like one of the locals.

Yantai is a beautiful seaside town and popular summer retreat, with its fair weather and boundless coasts. Yantai has the flow of provincial Chinese life with a flare of Western restaurants and wonderful tourist sites. A few examples of these are:

Druid’s Irish Pub and Restaurant and Jackie’s Cuisine; both offer a great selection of Western food and music, thus being the perfect remedy for those moment home sick moments.

Popular Tourist attractions:

Long Island: A unique geographic location, compromising of 32 islands, with over 200 different kinds of birds migrating through the islands each year.

Penglai: Is a very popular tourism destination, due to its magnificent Panglai Pavilion , which has often been referred to as the place of the gods in Chinese mythology and one of the four greatest ancient pavilions in China, perched on a cliff top overlooking a ever changing landscape of ocean.

Nanshan Park: Boasts a range of fun activities: The zoo which has a range of animals including Panda’s, a beautiful lake which you can hire paddle boats and an amusement park with rollercoasters and bumper cars.

Yantai Hil: North of the city, is the living museum of Western treaty architecture, telling a story of Colonial-era integration between the British and Americas.

Other attractions here are also Dragon Temple, Beacon Tower and Stone Ship.

Yantai Museum: An architectural wonder, with buildings exquisitely carved and painted by Merchants from the Fujian Province, as a place of worship to the Goddess of sailors. Spaced over 3,500 square meters, it’s called “a treasure of carving art” and something that must be seen and experienced.

BEIJING : (北京 / Běijīng)
Beijing is the Capital of China and also its cultural heart. You'll find everything here that you imagine when you think of China... chaotic hustle and bustle, skyscrapers crammed next to temples and plenty of monuments to China's long and complex past. On your project here you'll be among Famous Temples, ancient Hutongs (alleyway communities) the magnificent Forbidden City & Tiananmen Square and the immense Great Wall of China!

In our opinion, some of the highlights of the country are:

The Army of Terracotta Warriors outside Xi’an - 6000 soldiers and horses that were originally designed to guard the tomb of an ancient Emperor. 2000 years old, these warriors were discovered by accident in the 1970s by peasants digging a well! Every figure differs in facial features and expression, and they make for an amazing sight!

Tropical Xishuangbanna - China's very own South-East Asia complete with sunshine, Thai style temples, Dai minority dancing and water splashing festivals! Here you can explore tribal villages on the border with Burma, or trek through the rainforest.

Northern China, along the path of the ruins of the Great wall, also has many sights, and a slightly rough-around-the-edges charm. Here, you can visit the Gobi desert & climb enormous sand dunes in Gansu Province or explore ancient grottoes and caverns full of religious art & Buddha statues at Dunhuang or Datong. You can even spend a night camping out under the stars in a yurt on the epic grasslands of Inner Mongolia. Here you might find yourself taking part in traditional Mongolian wrestling or drinking the local spirit (hopefully not at the same time!)

China's big cities - The economic and cultural and centres of this blossoming nation can be found in its 3 big cities - Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. These cities are practically alive with energy and each deserve a visit during your time in China. They represent the glitz and glamour of China's future and everything that's hip in China's new youth, with the rich history of Chinese culture running strongly through them.

The far North-West - Xinjiang Province in the far North-West of China next to the borders with Mongolia & Kazakhstan is a multicultural melting pot of Han Chinese, Uyghurs (the local Muslim people) and Kazakhs. Here you can visit Tian Chi, a lake halfway up a mountain inhabited by nomadic Kazakh people or take part in local grape making in the desert around Turpan

To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country, please click here.

Support & Backup: To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your program, please click here.

Panda Conservation in China

"I had a lot of fun teaching and found it really rewarding: one of the best things that I have ever decided to do." Lina Joshi on her teaching placement in China