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12 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE MOVING TO CHINA FOR SCHOOL

We all know about the hustle and bustle of China. The business, the rapid growth and change.

People are travelling to China for a holiday, to study abroad or to learn the rich history of the beautiful temples. While a lot of westernized amenities are now available in China, it is still this raw, authentic, ancient country that is looking to be explored.

Here are 12 things you should know before coming to China to study Mandarin.

CHINA RECOGNIZES ONE CURRENCY – ITS OWN

In China, the official currency is the yuan. It’s also known as RMB, and notes are available in 1RMB, 10RMB, 20RMB, 50RMB, and 100RMB.

Businesses in China do not accept any other currency, not even the US dollar or Hong Kong dollar. If you don’t have your RMB notes, you won’t be getting anything you’re hoping to purchase.

CHINA LIKES CASH


Head to the bank and withdraw your cash because you’re going to need it.

While many businesses like larger hotel chains and upscale restaurants accept Visa and Mastercards, China likes cash. The majority of businesses and tourist attractions use cash instead of the card system.

DON’T TIP IN CHINA

The Chinese do not tip, which means you should not tip either while living abroad.

USE YOUR HAGGLING SKILLS

People in China love a good deal. Outside of chain stores, it’s possible to practice your haggling skills. You do not have to accept the market price or the first price offered.

MANDARIN IS THE MOST SPOKEN LANGUAGE

While there are hundreds if not thousands of locally spoken languages, Mandarin is the most spoken language. Download a Mandarin translation app if you’re not fluent! Or take an online Chinese course with Keats before you come to China.

LISTEN FOR THE TONE

Mandarin has 4 tones in language. It’s called tonal language, which means the same word can and often does have four different meanings. To learn more about the tones, read our blog post on the Mandarin language.

DRIVING IN CHINA


If this is your first time in China, you’ll soon realize that roads in China are rather busy.

If you’re courageous, get behind the wheel of a car. China drives on the right-hand side, which may be the opposite side of the road for you. If you’re not feeling overly brave, you can walk or use public transportation.

BRING TOILET PAPER

Think this is a weird tip?

Well, some bathrooms do not provide toilet paper, and we don’t want you to be left without. Hotels and nicer restaurants will have it available, but it’s always a good idea to carry a roll with you or a box of tissues.

KNOW A FEW KEY PHRASES

With Mandarin being the most spoken language, to save yourself, know a few key sentences before arriving in China. We suggest knowing the translations for:

-I don’t speak Mandarin. Can you speak [add your first language]? (Characters) 我不会说中文,你能说[ ]吗?(Pinyin) wǒ bú huì shuō zhōng wén, nǐ néng shuō [ ]ma?-Where is the washroom? (Pinyin) wǒ bú huì shuō zhōng wén , nǐ néng shuō【 】ma ?

-Please take me to [add school location]? (Characters) 请带我去【 】. (Pinyin) qǐng dài wǒ qù【 】

-How much is this? (Characters) 这个多少钱?(Pinyin) zhè ge duō shǎo qián ?

CHOOSE YOUR CONVERSATIONS CAREFULLY

In the western world, it’s normal for us to criticize the government and the people running the government. It’s different in China.

The indoctrination in school and state media is normal in China, so if you’re planning to strike up a political conversation, know what’s acceptable and what’s not.

YOU COULD HAVE TO COPE WITH AIR POLLUTION


Depending on where you live in China, air pollution may be an everyday struggle for you.

Larger cities like Beijing have serious air quality concerns. Many people wear masks daily outside. Smaller cities like Kunming have better air quality, and masks are not normally worn.

VISAS FOR CHINA

One of the most important things to know when traveling to China is that they do not offer visas upon arrival.

This means before you travel to China, you’re going to need to apply and be approved for a study abroad visa.

GO AHEAD… BOOK YOUR FLIGHT

China is a country whose vast landscape encompasses grassland, desert, mountains, lakes, and rivers. It’s busy with locals, tourists and study-abroad students.

With more than 1.4 billion people living in the country, it’s a great option for studying overseas and learning Mandarin, the most spoken language in the world.

To learn more about Keats School in Kunming, China, contact us today. We offer 8 different study courses, and we’ll even help you get a Chinese visa.

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OVER 7300+ STUDENTS HAVE STUDIED AT KEATS

Matteo

Matteo | Italy

Small Group Chinese Class

I really enjoy studying Chinese in Kunming at Keats. The teachers are great and my classmates are awesome. It is an unforgettable experience for me. I also got the chance to travel to other places in Yunnan. Those places are amazing and you definitely need to visit these places when you study Chinese in China at Keats.

Kristen

Kristen | Canada

Small Group Chinese Class

I have really enjoyed the Chinese course in China at Keats and meeting the teachers here and the students. We have a lot of fun in class. It is a really great school to learn with good teaching methods and a really good textbook, examples and games, and everything.

Pakorn

Pakorn | Thailand

Small Group Chinese Class

It is very convenient to come to Kunming from Thailand. I really like my Chinese class and my Chinese improved a lot in a few months. There are many benefits of learning Chinese. The best thing I like about Keats is that it is in Kunming, a city with eternal spring. There is so much to see in Kunming and you will love this city after you come.

Josh

Josh | USA

Small Group Chinese Class

I really had a wonderful experience at the school. The teachers are very very friendly. In my class, we practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing. We play games and other fun activities. We have trips around town. The staff at Keats is phenomenal. My teacher is one of the best teachers I have ever had in my educational experience. She comes in with a smile every day.

David

David | Australia

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

It has been notable because I have met a lot of people who I met first time last year like me to come back to Keats this year. The teaching has been fantastic. The teachers carefully prepare each lesson. I think this one-on-one approach is really a great way to rapidly increase your level of Chinese and increase your confidence and fluency with the language.

Judith

Judith | USA

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

Listening and speaking in the classroom every day has improved my communication skills. After three weeks, my new words and sentences became more and more natural and fluent. Now I am used to thinking in Chinese, and I understand better what other people say, to be able to have real conversations with other people.

Dr. Med. Beatrice

Dr. Med. Beatrice | Austria

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I decided to learn Chinese in Kunming because I like smaller cities and I like the climate here. We had four hours a day study here and my dear teacher taught me very much and never lost her patience with me. It was a really wonderful experience to be here and I recommend Keats school and the teachers here to everyone who likes to learn Chinese in China.

Rients

Rients | Netherlands

Small Group Chinese Class

Kunming is a great place to learn Chinese in China because not many Chinese on the street speak English. Keats has been a great school for me and a lot of other foreigners who studied in China recommended it to me. I think they are all right. The study method here is really structured. They make learning Chinese really easy. There are also a lot of cultural and natural places to visit.

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