CSA Programs

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What are your admission requirements?

A: For University Programs:

  • Aged between 18-60
  • Have completed high school or equivalent 
(exceptions are sometimes granted)
  • Peking University - Have minimum knowledge of 800 Chinese characters

For Summer / Winter / Short Term Programs at Universities

  • Students over the age of 15 are eligible to apply and attend with parental consent.
  • Summer Programs include the months of July and August only.

For Private Academy / School Programs

  • There is no age minimum or limit for the private language school programs offered through CSA as they cater to all students.

Q: Will I receive documentation upon completion of my program?

A: Yes! All university programs provide students with a certificate of completion at the end of their program. Students must attend the required minimum of classes to be eligible for this certificate.

Certificates of completion are not available from private language schools. However, CSA can provide a document confirming all the details of your program if that is sufficient.

Q: Can I receive university / college credit for work completed on my program?

A: The universities that program participants attend are internationally accredited; therefore most international universities accept credit received from these schools. Many of our students in the past have received credit for their coursework completed here. CSA assists students in obtaining any information and documentation required supporting their request for course credit. Of course, the final decision to offer academic credit is up to your university.

As every university is different, we encourage you to check with your individual university in regards to your accreditation requirements.

Q: I have to leave the program a week early – will this effect my grading?

A: Exactly when you leave your program will determine the effect of the grading process. Exams at the universities are generally scheduled in the final week of your program with a graduation celebration on your final scheduled day to issue your participation certificates and overall results.

This of course differs for each university and school – some schools are more flexible with their program schedules than others.

Q: Can I arrive before my course starts?

A: Of course! CSA recommends that students arrive on one of the specified arrival dates for each program, which are selected so that you have a couple days to settle into your accommodation, make new friends, and explore the local area!

However, if you need to arrive before or after your program's official start date, or extend your stay after the official end of your program, this can be arranged for a small additional price.



Q: What lessons / topics does my course cover?

A: The classes focus on all parts of the Chinese language - speaking, listening, reading, and writing. There is also emphasis on Chinese skills that allow students to take advantage of the study abroad environment and be able to communicate in daily life.

In class, students generally go over vocabulary, practice reading the text, learn grammar points and sentence patterns, do conversation exercises with other students, do some language drills, and many other activities that allow for rapid acquisition of the Mandarin language.

Q: How many hours a week will I study?

A: The Mandarin classes at most universities and schools run from Monday through Friday for a total of 20 hours of university time per week. Classes are taught in 40-50 minutes periods with short breaks provided in between each.

Students in the CSA Intensive program have an additional amount of time of 1-on-1 tutoring with an experienced, private tutor. You can choose from 5 or 10 hours of tutoring per week (which works out to 1 or 2 hours per weekday).

Q: What are the lecturers and teachers like?

A: The professors are very experienced in teaching Chinese to foreigners and are considered experts in the field.

Q: What is the teaching methodology like in China?

A: The teaching methodology in China will be a bit different than what most people are used to - but it is effective for learning Chinese! There are a lot situational dialogues, so you'll be learning sentence structures along with general vocab. There is also a large amount of cultural and historical learning in the textbooks, so while your are learning the language, you'll also be learning more about China in general.

One of the biggest differences is the emphasis on previewing and not just reviewing. It is expected here that before you walk into a class a certain amount of preparation is done beforehand. Say you're just about to start chapter 3 of a book. If you haven't learnt all the new vocab yourself, before the class begins, you'll be completely lost. A lot of students are thrown off by this when they first arrive, but once you get into the habit of it, its not too bad!

Q: What size are the classes?

A: Class sizes range from approx 10 students in private schools and approx 20 students in university classes. Every student should have lots of opportunities to ask questions and practice Chinese with the teacher.

Q: What part of my day will classes be?

A: Generally classes are scheduled first thing in the morning until lunchtime to allow the rest of the day to be used for additional tutoring sessions, study time and homework completion. However, class times do vary at some universities depending on the institution and your class level.

Q: Will I be given homework?

A: Yes – it's generally best to spend 2-3 hours per day studying and completing homework. This is a tough program because we want you to learn Mandarin. A great way to study and keep on top of things is to sign up for our Intensive program and have the private tutoring sessions focus on the homework set for you in class.

Q: How do I know what level to start at?

A: Every student will take a placement test after registration to determine which class and level is most appropriate to begin their studies. This placement is given to all students, whether you are a complete beginner or have studied Chinese in the past.

Q: How long until I can expect to be fluent in my Chinese?

A: Most universities structure their courses to accommodate every level of student, from beginner to advanced. If you follow the courses from complete beginner level to the end of the advanced level, it should take you approximately 3 years. This includes study during summer and holiday breaks.

However, everyone is different. Some learn faster than others, and since you take a placement test at the beginning of each semester, it is possible to skip a level if you have progressed faster than expected. Therefore, completing all the courses is possible in less than 3 years.

Another thing to consider is that it is not necessary to be completely fluent or to have taken all the courses to be able to live and work in China. Students finishing the beginner level should already be able to use Mandarin in daily life and hold simple conversations.

Q: What is the advantage of private tutoring?

A: The Intensive program offers private tutoring, which most students find very helpful in advancing their Mandarin studies. Not everyone is good at learning in a classroom environment, so this really depends on your learning style. We find that students who have difficulty with speaking and listening benefit the most from the individual tutoring.

Also, the tutoring sessions are arranged to fit your schedule, making the extra study time easy and convenient. Many students choose to arrange their sessions in the afternoon after class, and typically students choose the location as well (e.g. in the CSA office or at local coffee shops). You can even have your tutoring sessions at home, it's that convenient!


Q: What documents are needed to apply to CSA language course?

A:Certain documents are required when applying to universities in China. They include:

  • Passport
  • Passport Photo
  • Proof of your most recent level of education (degree/diploma/school transcripts)
  • Detailed Application Form
  • Application Fee of USD$150

Q: Why do I have to pay an Application Fee?

A: Application Fees are required for all universities and private schools. It acts as a deposit to secure your place on the program. Without paying the application fee, your application will not be accepted and your place on the course cannot be guaranteed.

Q: Is the Application Fee refundable?

A: Unfortunately no. Once CSA receives your Application Documents and Fee, we process your application to secure your place on the university or private school course. Once we have paid the fee, we are unable to refund it.


Apply Now Sign up for a CSA program with a friend and you both receive a 5% discount!
  • Beijing

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    3610 Capital Mansions,
    6 Xinyuan Nan Road, Chaoyang
    Beijing, 100027
    Phone: (+86) 10 8468 3799 
  • London

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    154 Bishopsgate
    London EC2M 4LN
    United Kingdom
    Phone: (+44) 0207 377 84 
  • Hong Kong

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    Rm 604-7 Dominion Centre
    43-59 Queen’s Road East
    Hong Kong
    Phone: (+852) 800 968 924 


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