1 . Where do Silk Mandarin's students come from?
Our students come from all over the world, students from Europe and the Americas make up the biggest part.
2 . What kind of teaching materials do you use?
We use “HSK Standard Course” as our basis teaching book for Conversational Chinese, while for Business Chinese we use “BCT Standard Course” In addition, we use learning Apps, and our in-house-developed Videos, our Flashcards with Talking Pen and most of all we use our Slow Motion Technique which teaches you Mandarin with just one rule.
3 . Should I learn Chinese characters?
Yes, we recommend our students to learn Chinese characters. There are many good reasons to learn Chinese characters. It structures your learning and it gives you a beautiful insight into Chinese culture and history, just to mention two of them.
4 . How long does it take to become fluent?
That depends mostly on the time you can invest. We have students who reached HSK 5 level within one year while other students chose to go as far as HSK 2 or 3 in one year.
Travel & Arrival
1 . Does Silk Mandarin provide airport pick-up?
Yes, we provide airport pick-up and drop-off. If you like to make use of this service, indicate this option when you sign up.
2 . How do I get around in the city?
It is easy and cheap to get around using metro, bus or taxi. Shanghai is a very bicycle-friendly city, where bicycle-sharing systems, like Mobike are wildly popular.
3 . If I would like to travel in China can you help and advise me?
Yes, we definitely can recommend you some interesting and beautiful trips and can help you to prepare your trip. All bookings though must be made by yourself.
Money & Cost
1 . What is the Chinese currency?
Renminbi (RMB), meaning ‘people's currency’, is China’s currency, its symbol being ￥. It is also known as Chinese Yuan (CNY). Colloquially in Chinese, the Yuan is called “kuai”.
2 . Can I exchange money?
Yes, you can exchange money at airports, hotels, banks and exchange kiosks. It is advised however to bring a small amount of ‘just in case’ money (500 - 1.000 RMB) with you.
3 . Are there ATM's?
China is very ATM-friendly and throughout the city you can easily find an ATM to withdraw money. As in most countries a transaction fee is being charged.
4 . What are the costs of daily life?
That highly depends on your requirements, however, to cover your monthly living costs a minimum amount of around 10.000 RMB (1.250 Eur, 1.500 USD) is required, of which your accommodation will consume by far the largest part.
5 . Do I need a Chinese bank account?
If you plan to stay longer it is handy to set up your Chinese bank account, which can be simply done at a Chinese bank.
Health & Safety
1 . Do I need vaccinations before coming to China?
No vaccinations are required for entry to China, but be sure your inoculations are up-to-date. For the latest information on infectious diseases and health-related travel risks (including the latest update on the ever-changing situation with malaria), consult your family doctor.
2 . Can I drink tap water?
No, the tap water in China is not safe to drink, but it is safe to use it for washing and for brushing your teeth. You can drink boiled water or easily find bottled water in convenient stores everywhere.
3 . Do I have access to English speaking doctors?
Yes, Shanghai has several clinics with the latest equipment and English-speaking, foreign-trained doctors who deliver international-caliber health care. Expect to pay rates comparable to those in the West.
4 . Is China a safe country?
Generally speaking, China is a safe country and most people you will meet are friendly, honest, and trustworthy. Shanghai is not considered dangerous, unlike many other cosmopolitan cities. Like in all big cities you should be watchful and keep your belongings close to yourself.
1 . Do I need WeChat?
Since it's launch in 2011, WeChat has become the all-in-one tool for modern China. Make sure to download this app the moment you arrive as it is the favored tool of communication for its 980 million active users in China. You can pay with it at any place and for any product, like in restaurants and shops, order food to be delivered, shop online, pay your utilities. You can book train tickets, call yourself a taxi, you can also search for flats, transfer money to other bank accounts etc.
2 . Can I access western websites on the internet?
Yes, the easiest way to access western websites, such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter, is by installing a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. Best is to buy and install a VPN before you arrive in China. You should opt for a paid service, rather than a free one, as free ones can easily be blocked by the Great Firewall.
3 . Is there an international community?
Yes, home to more than 200,000 expats, Shanghai international communities are abundant and very easy to connect to, as like in many other cities
1 . Does Silk Mandarin provide accommodation?
Yes, we can help you to find suitable accommodation within 30 minutes travel distance to our campus. Please indicate the kind of accommodation you are looking for when signing up.
Passport & Visa
1 . Do I need a passport and visa to study in China?
Yes, you need a valid passport and visa to enter China. You can apply for a visa through the Chinese Embassy or Consulate-General of your country.
2 . Do I need a Student visa to study at Silk Mandarin?
No, any valid visa type will do. In case you plan to stay less than 30 days we advise you to apply for a Tourist visa instead of a Student visa.
3 . Does an X2 visa allow for multiple entries?
No, an X2 visa allows for one single entry only
4 . What are the requirements to apply for an X2 visa?
The requirements can differ somewhat per country, but normally the Chinese Embassy of your home country requires the following:
a.a passport that is valid for at least six months after the visa issue date and has at least one empty page;
b.a completely and correctly filled in visa form
c.a recent photograph;
d.an accommodation notice;
e.your study plan, showing that your main purpose in China is to learn Chinese with a minimum of 20 lessons per week;
f.our invitation letter;
(For more detailed requirements needed in your country, please check this website: https://www.visaforchina.org/)
5 . Can Silk Mandarin assist in the visa application process?
Yes, as government rules are subject to change we recommend you to contact us to assist you in the application process.
6 . How soon can I get my X2 visa?
Once you have applied for an X2 visa and comply with the requirements it normally takes 5 – 10 days to receive your visa.
7 . Can Silk Mandarin provide a Student visa?
As an officially licensed language school we can assist you in obtaining a so-called X2 visa, which is a single-entry student visa with a maximum stay duration of 180 days. As government rules are subject to change we recommend you to contact us to assist you in the application process.
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