A Foreigner’s Perspective on China

Matthew Tye, better known as laowhy86, is an American YouTuber and Internet personality best known for producing entertainingly insightful video content on his time as an expatriate in China. His videos cover a range of different topics like the cultural differences that exist between the United States and China, what it means to be a foreigner in China, tips for expats residing in the country, and pretty much everything in between! The nature of his videos is both candid and comical in equal measure, and here’s a list of some of our absolute favorites from his YouTube channel.

Top 13 Videos from YouTuber, Laowhy86

5 Reasons You Will Love China

From the diversity of its languages and cuisine to the sheer humility and kindness shared by its people, China is a truly remarkable country, and this video highlights some of the things that make it so different yet so welcoming to foreigners.

Why It’s HARD to Have Chinese Friends

Is it easy to make friends in China? Is it not? How hard could it be? In this video, laowhy86 shares his experiences on what it takes to initiate and forge meaningful friendships with locals, and the challenges that may arise along the way.

Top 5 Underrated Places in CHINA to Visit

China is simply too big and too beautiful a country with way too many places worth visiting and exploring! While selecting just 5 places from a huge list of possible options is hard, it’s interesting to see which places laowhy86 recommends his viewers visit during their time in China. A somewhat subjective list, the video does leave one wondering: how has the gorgeous Guangxi landscape not made its way onto this list?

Chinese Girl Tries American SNACK FOODS

Watch as Tye and his Chinese wife make each other try snacks from their respective childhoods in this amusing video!

Stereotypes of Foreigners in China

You know what makes an extremely relaxed yet insightful video? Discussing some of the misconceptions about, and stereotypes associated with, being a foreigner in China over dinner and drinks. Tye joins his friend Prozzie in this hilarious undertaking!

What NOT to do in CHINA: Top 5 Things

A good watch for foreigners in the country, this video goes over some of the things any and every visitor in China should avoid doing if they don’t want to (mistakenly) stand out and embarrass themselves!

How Hard is Learning CHINESE?

Is Chinese really the hardest language on the planet? In this video, laowhy86 discusses why that’s simply not true, along with other misconceptions that are usually associated with learning the language.

Top 5 Weirdest Laws in CHINA

Did you know that you cannot use puns – yes, puns – in China? This is especially true for advertisements and anything else in the media. Weird right? Check this video out if you’re interested in learning about other weird laws that exist in the country.

Are You Fat In China?

Beauty standards are different in different countries. In this video, Chinese women talk about their ideal body types, pressures they’ve faced to lose weight, and body shaming experiences they’ve endured.

5 WEIRD Things CHINESE People Believe

The older the country or culture, the more superstitions it has, and China is a very old country with many different superstitions and unique beliefs. How do these beliefs differ from those in the west? Watch the video to find out!

十一 Why You Need Connections in China

It’s common knowledge that befriending locals (in any country) is a good thing. But how far can having local connections actually help you if or when you find yourself in a sticky situation in China? As it turns out, really, really far!

十二 Pokémon GO In CHINA

Okay, so everyone knows of Pokémon GO by now, but the important question for those of us in China is whether or not the game is indeed playable here. The answer to that question is a resounding “no.” While one can certainly download the application without any problems, China has blocked GPS signals, thereby making the game essentially pointless. Are there other versions of the game? Sure! Are they any good? As we find out in this video, not quite.

十三 What’s it Like Being a FOREIGNER in China?

If you’re an expat in China, you may have wondered what the locals think of you. If you’re not, you’ve probably wondered what life living in China as an expat is like. In this video Prozzie and laowhy86 go over these and other important questions.

Tye has been in China for over 7 years now and has been producing videos for a good portion of that time. You can watch more of his videos by clicking on this link and subscribing to his channel.

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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5 Reasons Everyone Should Study Abroad in China

The Middle Kingdom is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for international students, and it’s easy to see why. The following are five of the most relevant reasons to spend a semester studying in China:

Mandarin Is Among the Most Spoken Languages in the World

Presently, more than a billion people around the world speak Mandarin, and this number is only expected to continue growing. According to language forecasting models, Mandarin will be – along with English and Spanish – the dominant language in the decades to come. Those learning Mandarin today are including themselves in an ever-growing global trend, and better equipping themselves for an increasingly globalized world of the future.

Language Approx. number
of speakers
 1. Chinese 1,197,000,000
 2. Spanish 414,000,000
 3. English 335,000,000
 4. Hindi 260,000,000
 5. Arabic

 6. Portuguese 203,000,000
 7. Bengali 193,000,000
 8. Russian 167,000,000
 9. Japanese 122,000,000
10. Javanese 84,300,000

Source: infoplease.com

One of the Fastest Growing Economies

China consistently ranks among the fastest growing economies on the planet, and its rapid growth shows no signs of stagnating anytime soon. Most of the world’s largest multi-national companies have business interests in China and are constantly on the lookout to hire individuals that can speak the language, have lived in the country, and have experienced the culture firsthand.

Rank Country GDP Growth
Rate %
1 Ethiopia 10.20
2 Turks and Caicos Islands 9.40
3 Monaco 9.30
4 Cote d’Ivoire 8.50
4 Uzbekistan 8.50
4 Nauru 8.50
7 Republic of Ireland 7.80
8 Laos 7.60
8 India 7.30
9 Bangladesh 7.08
10 Dominican Republic 7.00
10 Tanzania 7.00
10 Cambodia 7.00
10 Myanmar 7.00
14 Chad 6.90
14 China 6.90
14 Democratic Republic of the Congo 6.90
19 Uzbekistan 6.80
20 Papua New Guinea 6.60

Source: Wikipedia (mostly 2015)

It’s Affordable

Living in China is significantly less expensive than living in most countries in Europe or the Americas, and even some countries in Asia. Tuition/education costs, rent, transportation, food, and entertainment expenses are lower here than in most places, and this means students can enjoy a higher quality of life without breaking the bank.

Immense Cultural Heritage

One of the oldest civilizations in the world with a long and proud history stretching far back in time, China is a country teeming with immense cultural heritage. One can get a sense of this cultural pride and heritage almost anywhere in the country, and those living here can witness, firsthand, the blend that takes place between long-standing traditions and rapid economic development for the future on an everyday basis.

The Country’s Natural Beauty

The fourth largest country in the world, China has a distinct and diverse landscape. From the karst mountain formations around the Guilin area in the South to the gorgeous Tibetan plateau in the West to the booming metropolitans of the East, there are simply too many beautiful places worth exploring in the country.

The following testimonials were given by students who have studied with CLI:

“ I wanted to learn Mandarin and study in China, but the big cities were way too much for me. CLI and Guilin were perfect. I fell in love with the place, and had a comfortable environment in which to learn about the country.”

~ Babar

“CLI offered assistance with applying for the visa, getting to CLI from the airport or train station, familiarizing with the city on arrival and basically anything else that I needed to know before I left home or when I got there.”

~ Peter Cahill

“I attended CLI for 5 weeks and I truly loved every minute! Everyone from the teachers, to the staff were fantastic! Everyone was very accommodating, warm, friendly and supportive of me learning Mandarin. Guilin was beautiful, even though it was winter and some times cold & rainy, it was beautiful. I loved the city, the local people were very nice and polite. The local food was fantastic and very, very inexpensive. The food was so good I am now a snob when in comes to Chinese food.”

~ Brian Mason

Contact us to learn more about studying abroad in Guilin. You can also find CLI on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.


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Photographs of Guilin’s Beauty

The beauty of Guilin, China is undeniable. Freelance photographer and Instagram’r, Anna Kwa, does an excellent job highlighting the picturesque views of Guilin. Scroll through and enjoy!

“Guilin’s scenery is the most beautiful under heaven.”

– Chinese proverb

Stay #cormorant #bird #fishing #liriver #yangshuo #guilin #guangxi #china #anna_kwa #nikon #d750 #nikkor70_200mm #travel

A post shared by Anna Kwa 柯颖娜 (@anna_kwa) on

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

Allie Riggs, CLI Alumni

Follow Anna Kwa on Instagram or by liking her on Facebook and following her on Twitter.

We hope to study Mandarin in China together some day soon. Don’t forget to follow CLI on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


Share the knowledge:

Follow CLI for Chinese learning resources: