CLI: Chinese Immersion Program in Guilin, China

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About

Immerse yourself in Chinese language and culture with CLI! Located in the picturesque city of Guilin and officially affiliated with Guangxi Normal University (GXNU), CLI provides the premier intensive Mandarin program in China.

The fastest way to reach Mandarin language proficiency is through CLI's immersion program. CLI Immersion includes 20-weekly hours of one-on-one instruction with three highly qualified, unique CLI instructors. One-on-one instruction provides constant student teacher interaction, immediate feedback, and accelerated language learning that is often lacking with large group classes.

In addition to language courses, CLI offers weekly activities and monthly travel excursions, including cooking classes, game nights, tours of Guilin and much more. CLI warmly welcomes you to learn Mandarin Chinese in China!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 24 reviews
  • Academics 9.8
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.8
  • Program Selection 10
  • Pre-departure Help 10
  • In-program Support 10
  • Impact on Student 10
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 24
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Phil
10/10

This is an outstanding language school

I have studied twice at CLI; first in late 2015-16 for six weeks, and then for three months in 2018. I didn’t hesitate to return.
When I got back to Brisbane in November 2018, my regular teacher was shocked (positively) at the progress I had made in that time.
The CLI teachers are engaging and interesting people and committed language teachers, and really good at what they do. One on one classes really turbocharged my learning. They allow for a mix between structured study around a textbook, and free conversation around topics that interest the individual student.
Studying Chinese in Guilin means you are surrounded by the language; you get to practise it with cafe staff, taxi drivers and CLI’s large contingent of friendly and helpful interns.
Guilin is an incredibly beautiful, comfortable and modern city.

How can this program be improved?
I gave CLI a 10 for all categories, because it is truly excellent, but that’s not the same as perfect. The two most significant improvements they could consider would be to reduce the normal schedule of class from ten (x 2 hours) per week to 8, so students have more free time for revision and practice alone.
The second would be a greater emphasis on drills, ie practising phrases when speaking and eriting, because when an English speaker studies Mandarin, we need to “rewire” our language brains through repetition as well as in conversation, etc.
But I am not a language teacher, and they may have good reasons for disagreeing with these.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Oluwasayo
10/10

CLI - An Absolutely Awesome Place

The most important thing about CLI is the people. I came in at 12:00 midnight on the day I arrived, yet the intern that received me took me out to find something to eat.

The Teachers are amazing. When CLI says the Class is one on one, it is indeed one on one. The teachers are looking for your strength and your interest and teaching in an absolutely contextual manner.

Most places “talk” about being a community, CLI is a place that is actually one. People enfold you with love and generosity. Administrative staff are so responsive and approachable and the interns, oh the ever serving, ever willing, ever helpful interns!
Please if you are registering, just pay for the meal plan! Chifu’s cooking is delicious and very healthy. The discussions at the table is absolutely enlightening.
I can go on and on - extra curricular activity, group trips locally and to tourist spots, the natural beauty of Guilin, the simple safety of the environment.., I must stop here! Just go now and register! Gentle Tania will work with you for a perfect experience. I am definitely coming back!

How can this program be improved?
Know your Pinyin - at least - before you come. Don’t come as a blank slate.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Daniel
10/10

4 Weeks in Guilin

Guilin is a beautiful location, and it is very easy to make weekend trips to small villages or big cities, or to any of the local tourist attractions.

CLI itself is a great environment. There are plenty of comfortable areas to just hang out between classes, or quiet places to study. The classes are challenging but also relaxed and fun. The teachers are very easy to get along with.

The 'pengyou program' is not as advertised, though for the better. There are a bunch of interns/chinese university students who basicaly hang out in CLI common areas. They are incredibly freindly and helpful, they will almost always be enthusiastic to have a chat in chinese regardless of your level, or help you with your homework, or help you buy a sim card for your phone etc. You will probably end up getting to know some of them quite well.

The community in my experience is really supportive of people at every level. Its never too early in your mandarin studies to come. There are heaps of people who arrive with basicaly no chinese and in 2-4 weeks have learnt as much as they might have in a year at home, there are also students who have been studying for years and are already at a very high level.

I can't wait to go back :)

How can this program be improved?
The classes are 2 hours each, with a 10 minute break about half way. I think it could be better to take a 30 minute break to go for a walk or play some game, and have two 45 min lessons. I only thought of this after leaving or I would have asked my teachers if we could try this.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Angela
10/10

Incredible learning environment

CLI is a welcoming, challenging, encouraging, helpful, home-like environment. You will be surrounded motivated, dedicated students, and helpful friendly interns. One-on-one class is an ideal way to learn. But of course you need to be self motivated, push yourself, and take advantage of every opportunity to communicate in Chinese. Guilin is a beautiful, safe, cheap, convenient, quiet friendly little city. Take time to explore, but the best way to take advantage of CLI is to make it as much a full-immersion experience as possible!

The teachers are professional, skilled, and very patient and flexible. If you know how you learn the best, they will work with you to develop the lessons in that way. If you are a beginner and have no idea where or how to learn Chinese, they will still tailor it to your specific needs, with reasonable but challenging expectations. I could not have asked for a better learning environment.

How can this program be improved?
All the activities and outings offered at CLI are great! However, there are students of many different levels at CLI. For more advanced students who want true immersion and more opportunities to use Chinese outside of class, perhaps offer some activities that will be only in Chinese.
Yes, I recommend this program
Radia
10/10

If you're choosing between programs, pick this one!

I absolutely loved my time at CLI. I am currently teaching English in Jinzhong, China. As a requirement for my position, I was to attend a language program over the summer to begin learning Chinese. From the moment I got to Guillin, I felt safe, supported, and ready to learn. As a first-timer in China, I was nervous about being able to navigate the city by myself, but within a week I was able to find my way around. I loved my classes, and finished one and a half books in 6 weeks. I went from not being able to say anything in Chinese to being able to hold simple conversation. I love my teachers and am really thankful that CLI's structure makes it so you can build actual bonds and even friendships with your teachers. I also loved my home stay family, although if I were to choose again I would probably stay in the CLI facilities, given that I felt I couldn't stay out late to be respectful to my host family (although I love them, and they did help my Chinese get better! Navigating the first few weeks was hard since they do not speak English, but we managed!)

My only comment is you must be self motivated to learn in this program-- a lot of what the teachers do is guide you into self-study habits and review material with you that you will also need to go over by yourself. Because it is one-on-one, you realllllly must come prepared to learn and pay full attention. That being said, I loved my teachers and do not think I could have advanced as I did without them.

How can this program be improved?
Unsure, maybe more transparency about the pengyou program. The website makes it sound like you are paired with a Chinese student, when really you can just chat and make friends with any of the CLI interns on your own, there is no official pairing.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Phillip
10/10

Great School

Had a great time at CLI, very nice people, teachers, and community. I thought that the curriculum and teachers were challenging, and improved my mandarin. I thought that my mandarin improved more during the month at CLI than in the last five years I had previously studied mandarin. It is also fun interacting with locals, for example ordering local food, playing soccer or basketball, and going shopping. I am excited to return soon.

How can this program be improved?
it's great
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Dana
9/10

CLI summer 2018

I am 14 years old and have been studying Chinese for 4 years about 2 days per week. My written skills are far better than my spoken. I attended CLI this summer for two weeks and I am feeling more confident about speaking.
My sister was also with me and more experienced and she also had a great experience. The teachers are fun and teach well. They helped me with my tones and radicals and speaking.
Our room was nice, air conditioned which is needed, it’s really hot in Guilin. The other students were nice and the activities and weekend trips were fun and educational.
I hope to go back again next summer for a longer time and I would like to continue to work on my fluency.
We took a separate trip to Youngshuo to see the Impression Sanjie Liu and it was incredible.
I had a great experience and highly recommend.

How can this program be improved?
Would like to see some weekly group classes in the evening.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Amanda
10/10

3 Weeks at CLI

CLI is an absolutely wonderful place to improve your Mandarin! I was initially sceptical about how much I could learn in 3 weeks but CLI definitely surpassed my expectations. The teachers were lovely and tailored lessons to my learning speed so I could quickly complete chapters and move onto new material. Housing was clean and spacious, and very convenient as it's located directly above the classrooms. I really enjoyed the activities organised by CLI, especially the weekend trip: they were fun, affordable and well-structured. I had a great time in Guilin, thanks to the interesting people I met at CLI, my teachers and the welcoming locals. Would definitely recommend CLI to friends interested in learning Mandarin and looking forward to returning (hopefully soon!)

Yes, I recommend this program
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Samuel
9/10

Best place to get fluent in Mandarin

If you:
- Are a self motivated student
- Are serious about achieving fluency in Mandarin
- Can afford the tuition

...then there is likely no better place in the world to study Chinese. To really master a language, you need an enormous amount of time speaking with native speakers one-on-one. This school has a great environment in a quiet city in a beautiful part of China where you can do this all day with excellent instructors. I would recommend CLI without hesitation if you are serious about mastering the Chinese language. I have studied several foreign languages, and this is the best language learning environment I have seen in general.

Since you don't have classmates, and people come and go not confined to a particular schedule, the social scene can be a little awkward, so I suggest come to Guilin to focus on the language.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Harry
10/10

2nd Time Attending, Still Amazing!

CLI is an amazing experience and is equally amazing in helping your language. This was my second experience ; once with my family for a 2 week stay in an apartment - this was a wonderful experience all round. I returned alone ( I am 14) for a 4 week stay with a homestay family. This experience was even better! My family were wonderful and included me in many activities. The 4 week immersion was really really helpful to language learning and I cannot wait to go back. CLI acivities and excursions are fun and the teachers and interns are so kind and helpful. They are there to ENSURE you learn Chinese, but in a really good and professional way.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Agnes
10/10

Great experience in learning Chinese

I spent 2 months at CLI improving my Chinese. The support was fabulous from the beginning till the end, exact and prompt, providing proper answers to all my questions. The teaching was brilliant as I had three different one-on-one teachers who all had different styles and from whom I can learn different things. They were all really caring that I progress and used various methods. They were also very flexible - if I asked to change something, they were eager to follow, and I personally find them all very nice people. The programs CLI organized were all very diverse and quality programs from tea house visiting to weekend trips. The area where the school located is a bit out of the city center, but it is a very nice area with all facilities nearby. I can only recommend CLI to everyone, who wants to enjoy a personalized and flexible Chinese learning experience!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Hanne
9/10

Great environment for studying

I went to study at CLI for 3 weeks. Previously I had been doing self study at home partly with a teacher for two hours a week. I thought that the CLI immersion program was great. I particularly enjoyed the one on one lessons but also liked having three different teachers. My aim was to improve my listening comprehension and my fluency in speaking. I really enjoyed studying at CLI. The teachers are great and very enthusiastic. I will I could have stayed longer.

How can this program be improved?
I think that this is a great program. The only aspect I found disappointing was that the pengyou aspect couldn't get implemented. It was explained that the pengyou candidates were busy at university.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Emily
10/10

Incredible Experience

My two sons attended CLI for a 2 week immersion experience. As one of the boys is just 13 my husband and I decided to go along too. We didn't attend classes, but explored the city of Guilin for 2 weeks. I had reasonably high hopes of CLI, but my expectations were well exceeded. The whole experience was so positive I will be re-booking my children to return in 6 months time. The boys' teachers were patient, professional and fun. Their language learning was really accelerated over a fortnight. It isn't just the lessons, but the whole culture of CLI which is so fantastic. The boys chose to stay on at school every day for many hours playing Chinese games, chatting with the wonderful student interns and enjoying the community aspect of the school. Numerous activities are available to enjoy each week - bowling, visiting a local school etc, and these were great fun. CLI apartment accommodation is first rate - big, roomy, pleasant, and at all times we felt safe and secure. The city of Guilin is charming, deliciious cheap and safe-to-eat food, excellent public transport and everything you might need in the shops. When one of us had a small medical issue CLI helped us enormously by sending a student intern to help with translation.
We were picked up from the airport, dropped off at the station, welcomed, farewelled - honestly it was just exceptional. I couldn't recommend CLI more highly.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kit
10/10

Immersive language course

I spent 4 weeks in Guilin at CLI, and cannot imagine a better experience for improving my Chinese. Having previously self studied Mandarin for 2 years, I was a potentially difficult student as I had a reading ability and vocabulary way above my speaking level. However, my teachers were extremely helpful and able to adapt to my needs so that my Chinese speaking progressed rapidly.

The service was very professional and the language school is a relaxing environment to study or relax. Particularly valuable were the many opportunities to speak to and make friends with native speakers, whether during lunch, activities, or talking to the language school's interns who are always around. Guilin is also a pleasant city with a relaxed environment, good air quality and relatively few locals who speak English, encouraging you to use your Chinese.

I genuinely would recommend CLI to anyone who wants to learn Mandarin and has the opportunity to do so in China.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Dan
9/10

My two weeks in Guilin

I came to Guilin with the goal of getting a lot done in a very short span of time. I did not go away disappointed. CLI does a great job, even for those only staying for a short spell, of sweeping away most distractions so students can concentrate on improving language skills. As I said at my farewell dinner, I was most impressed at the dedication of the teachers, which ensured I came to class as well prepared as I could be. In my view, nothing substitutes for one-to-one engagement between student and teacher. On top of that, having three teachers gives real depth to the instruction. Well done CLI!

How can this program be improved?
I didn't witness any obvious weak spots during my two weeks at CLI.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About The Chinese Language Institute (CLI)

The Chinese Language Institute (CLI) is an innovative language and cultural center located in Guilin, China. Housed in its own 5-story language learning center and officially affiliated with Guangxi Normal University, CLI offers the fastest track to...