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Learn Chinese in Shijiazhuang

Shijiazhuang (石家庄shí jiā zhuāng) is the capital city and main economic center of the Hebei Province. It is located on the edge of the North China Plain and at the foot of the Taihang Mountains. Shijiazhuang is considered a relatively important city in China as it borders both Tianjin (about 1hr 30min by express train) and Beijing (about 1hr by express train). Due to its advantageous location, Shijiazhuang is often considered one of the ideal options for learning the Chinese language. Is it true? Let’s find it out together!

It is the transportation hub in the north of China.

Shijiazhuang is a comparatively young city. It was an unimportant town until the construction of the Zhengding-Taiyuan and Beijing-Hankou railways. Since then, Shijiazhuang has become an important regional transportation hub in the north of China, contributing to its importance. Convenient transportation attracts more population and resources for this city.

Shijiazhuang also has a comprehensive city transportation system consists of both buses and subway. It only takes approximately 10-20 minutes to travel by taxi or metro to most places within the city.

If you’re planning on exploring the north of China, then Shijiazhuang could be taken as an ideal base for traveling in the north of China. No matter which transportation you’re taking, flight, train, or ship, you can always have easy access to this transportation.

However, transportation does no good for its education. Though Shijiazhuang is home to many universities and institutions of higher learning, which boast great accomplishments and rich historical background, there are not many qualified private education resources compared with its neighbors and other provincial cities such as Kunming. When learning a second language in an immersive environment, the private language school is always better than public universities. Check out the reason why through the post: WHY PICK A LANGUAGE SCHOOL INSTEAD OF A UNIVERSITY.

Terrible climate and weather

In terms of environment and climate, Shijiazhuang has fewer rainfalls, and its air is relatively dry. Although it has distinctive features in four seasons, its spring and autumn time, which are better than the other two, lasts for a relatively short time. Besides, the air quality is poor due to the lack of green plants and the sandstorm blowing from the plateaus in the north and west. There is a lot of dust in the air, and sandstorms are prone to occur in spring. The smog problems here have been serious in recent years. Although the local government strengthens environmental governance all the time, the living environment of Shijiazhuang is still not ideal. Compared with other southern cities in China, Shijiazhuang is a very unlivable city.

As for the most livable city in China, it must be Kunming, the capital city of the Yunnan province. Kunming is the new transportation hub in south-western China, which even impacts the south-eastern Asian areas. It’s known as the “Eternal spring city of China” for its spring-like climate throughout the whole year.

Check out more about Why You Should Learn Chinese in Kunming Yunnan

Less dialect impact on Mandarin learning

The biggest advantage of learning Mandarin in Shijiazhuang must be the less dialect impact it has on Mandarin learning for international students. You might have heard that there are so many different dialects in different areas of China. That’s because, in terms of culture and language, China is also a melting pot that integrated so many different regional cultures and histories.

You will find that there are fewer differences between the northern dialects compared with the southern dialects. It’s mainly because of the geographic features and the development of the cultural and political centers in different dynasties.

Local people in Shijiazhuang are friendly, and Shijiazhuang also provides an ideal environment to study Mandarin Chinese due to the clear Mandarin accent of the residents. The Shijiazhuang dialect is close to the standard Mandarin, even more than the Beijing dialect. The Beijing dialect has too many “r” syllables.

Less authentic cultural experience

Shijiazhuang is a comparatively young city, which lacks historical background and cultural diversity.

To better experience the authentic Chinese living style and its colorful, diverse ethnic minority group culture, you’d better turn your sight to Yunnan province and its capital city, Kunming.

Not just because of the various touring spots nearby the Kunming city, such as Dali, Shangri-la, Lijiang, and Xishuangbanna, but also because of its unique ethnic culture and customs. The population in China is classified into 56 different groups according to their own customs and traditions, which contribute to the country’s diversity and regional characteristics.

In Yunnan Province, where Kunming locates in, 25 ethnic minority groups inhabit here. You would have a great chance to explore these unique and splendid ethnic minority group cultures and customs. Out of Yunnan, there won’t be a second place in which you could have the same experience or the same precious memory out of Yunnan.

A better supported and well-constructed language learning community

I strongly recommend Kunming city as your learning destination because you could find a better language learning community, the KEATS School community here.

If you’re studying at Keats School, you will gain more opportunities to experience Chinese culture outside of your efficient study time. In school, various types of Chinese cultural lessons are available for your choice. Chinese calligraphy, Chinese cooking, Chinese chess, TaiChi, Chinese cooking, Chinese instrument learning, and many other traditional Chinese handicrafts are popular activities. You will have a chance to enjoy a free language exchange event and free weekend excursion hosted by Keats School. Outside of school, it’s convenient for you to reach different modern pubs and commercial areas if you want. There are also various foreign restaurants and supermarkets for you to purchase imported products. You wouldn’t feel being isolated or disconnected from the familiar western civilization.

Pick up an appropriate destination for learning Chinese in China is the most important decision for a Mandarin learner. After reading this post, I’m sure you’ve already weighed the pros and cons of learning Chinese in Shijiazhuang and finding out that Kunming city is a better destination for mastering your Chinese language skill.

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Sanny | USA
Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I have to say it’s tons of fun. I have been here for 2 weeks. Not knowing what it was gonna be like, I was more than surprised at how great it is. The teachers are great, they are understanding. They do a Chinese language program that suits just you. The location is perfect for learning Chinese in China.

Joep | Netherlands
Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I have been to Keats School to learn Chinese for 4 times now. The reason for coming back to this school is pretty much that the teachers I did work with were very good Chinese teachers. I make it a 5-year plan or even a 10-year plan to come back to this school.  All the teachers have methods of looking at what your skills are. They are aware of at what level you are. I think it is worth for everyone.

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.

Robert | Netherlands
Small Group Chinese Class

Since last semester, we started studying Chinese at Keats. It was the best choice we can ever make. It is a really good school. The classes are a lot of fun, you learn a lot, but very interactive, so you talk a lot which means it is not just books and writing. Kunming is a really pleasant city to live in, especially if you compare it to other cities in the east. If you like to travel, if you like to study Chinese in a fun way, Keats has the best Chinese language program for you.

Paul | UK
Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

All teachers are really lovely. The teaching level at Keats is so much higher. I really love the city. It is very comfortable to get around. I fully recommend Keats. It is a great place to study Chinese in China. We are looking forward to coming back again later this year.

SJOERD | Netherlands
Small Group Chinese Class

We use a lot of games to learn grammar and new words. We have really good teachers, really patient. She helps us a lot. Our class is really nice and we have people from all over the world, different countries. We often discuss topics in Chinese in our class. I live in the dorm of Keats. It is very convenient. I don’t have to spend time traveling. You can just focus on learning Chinese.

Stew | UK
Small Group Chinese Class

The place is very cool. I am with a great group of people in my class, so coming to classes is very enjoyable. It is fun, we have a lot of discussions, games, activities. Our teachers are also very good, very supportive. Learning Chinese is intimidating at the start because you have so many questions. But I would advise coming to Keats because the atmosphere for learning is great. It is very relaxing. I would recommend the school.

Hilary | USA
Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I’ve had a really great time here. I’ve studied a lot with my teacher who was fantastic. Keats School tried very hard to match its students with really good teachers that their personality works very well together. I really enjoy studying Chinese at Keats and I will definitely come back.

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