10 Reasons to Study Mandarin in Guilin

Great public transportation of Guilin

Near and far Guilin is connected with buses, 面包车, domestic and international flights, conventional & bullet trains (it’s now 2.5 hours to Guangzhou from Guilin by bullet train).


Ideal city size at 1 million people

Guilin is large enough that it offers many of the options you’d expect of a modern city yet Guilin’s small enough that you can traverse the city in about a 30 minute bike ride or 12 minute taxi cab ride (which would cost roughly 15rmb, about $2.50 USD).


Guilin has both city + rural lifestyles

Guilin has the feel of a hybrid between country and urban. Downtown is bustling with excitement while riding a bicycle 20 minutes in any direction will take you to tranquil countryside.


Guilin’s fresh, delicious food

There are markets and fruit vendors every few blocks. Guilin’s cuisine is based on fresh, in-season ingredients. Beyond specialities like 米粉,Guilin boasts countless restaurants representing the many varieties of Chinese cuisine. You can also find an assortment of international eateries in addition to six vegan restaurants.


The Guilin accent is a beautiful blend of the many Mandarin accents

The Chinese accent spoken in Guilin could be described as being based on the northern accent with southern qualities. As a foreign student learning to recognize and understand the nuances of accents you’ll be empowering yourself to understand all accents throughout China. Conversely, learning in the north will not prepare you for travels around the country.


The vast majority of locals don’t speak English or other foreign languages

Mandarin is the common language of Guilin. Every interaction you have in Guilin is a language and cultural learning opportunity. cal·ligrafia efímera

Photo by Xavi


Guilin is full of friendly locals interested in sharing Chinese culture

Guilin has few foreigners which means locals go out of there way to make new foreign friends. With seven universities, Guilin has a young energy and demographic eager to engage in cross-cultural exchange.


Guilin’s low costs

Guilin’s cost of living is affordable. When budgeting between $500-$1000 USD per month for food, housing, transportation and fun one can lead a very comfortable lifestyle in Guilin. The average income of a local resident is less than $400 USD per month.


Guilin is one of the cleanest cities in China

The Chinese government has limited the factory industry in Guangxi favoring Guilin’s clean air, water, and environment.


Guilin’s scenery is the most beautiful under heaven: 桂林山水甲天下

Arriving to Guilin is like entering a Dr. Seuss fairytale land. You wouldn’t be surprised to spot a friendly magic dragon flying amidst the undulating karst mountains. Aside from being surrounded by vast countryside, there are over ten large parks throughout the city. We hope to study Mandarin in China together some day soon. Don’t forget to follow CLI on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


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Opening image by Helminadia

Top 10 Videos from Yoyo Chinese

In this installment of CLI’s favorite Mandarin learning videos we are sharing our top 10 favorites from Yoyo Chinese. Yoyo Chinese has an impressive nine years of video lessons covering all levels of Mandarin. If you’re not yet familiar with Yoyo Chinese we think you’ll agree that the host, Yangyang Cheng, is a joy to watch and her teaching style is easy to follow.

#1 Chinese medicine vs. Western medicine – Intermediate Chinese

This video gets at the heart of the cultural debate between Chinese vs Western medicine by asking random Chinese citizens “if you got sick would you go to see a Chinese medicine or a Western medicine doctor?” Watch and learn practical vocabulary while gaining further insight into Chinese culture.


#2 How Should I Address You? – Intermediate Chinese

In this intermediate level video Yangyang teaches us a variety ways of addressing people. For example, “您怎么称呼” (nín zěnme chēnghu) means “how do I address you?”


#3 Yoyo Chinese Tips (rang4) – Beginner Chinese

In this quick one minute video Yangyang introduces the verb 让 (ràng) and gives us several examples of how to use it.


#4 How to ask someone to do something – Beginner Chinese

This lesson expands on the usage of 让 by demonstrating when to use 让 (ràng) vs 问 (wèn).


#5 You look beautiful – Beginner Chinese

This next video introduces us to 起来 (qǐlái) and its proper grammatical structure.


#6 It sounds beautiful – Beginner Chinese

Next Yangyang expands on 起来 and its usage.


#7 Learn Mandarin Chinese through songs (I have good news) – Intermediate Chinese

This next video changes up the pace. Yangyang teaches us a song called 我有一个好消息 (wǒ yǒu yí ge hǎo xiāoxi) which translates to I have good news. 听起来很好听!;)


#8 Yangyang’s interview with Cameron Diaz, Seth Rogen and Jay Chou (周杰伦) – Expert Chinese

This is an excellent expert level video. Watch Yangyang interview Asian pop star, Jay Chou, and American actors, Cameron Diaz and Seth Rogen, about their time together making Green Hornet.


#9 Chinese Learning Strategies – Expert Chinese

Here’s another change of pace. In this video we meet Yoyo Chinese course designer/writer Albert Wolfe. Albert is one of the creative voices behind Yoyo Chinese’s grammar and intermediate video lessons as well as the author of the popular Chinese learning blog laowaichinese.net.


#10 How to sing “happy new year” in Chinese? (中文儿歌新年好) – Intermediate Chinese

In the spirit of the holiday season this last video teaches us how to sing Happy New Year in Mandarin.


We hope to study Mandarin in China with you some day soon. Don’t forget to follow CLI on Twitter @StudyCLI and on Instagram @StudyCLI.

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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 a farewell dinner and roller-skating event on their last day. Congratulations to our New Paltz students on completing a semester in Guilin! 你们辛苦啦!We hope to see you in Guilin again soon!   Good luck to all of our Study Abroad students! Stay in touch and keep studying your Chinese!   The CLI Team   CLI-Homestay-Families-Winter-2014-0001