Exploring China Through Language Learning

The benefits of learning Mandarin in China on our Mandarin Service Adventure program

Did you know that nearly 25% of the world speaks some form of Chinese language? If this fact is causing you some serious FOMO right now, you’re in luck: now is the perfect time to dive into language learning, and there is no better way to hop on the Mandarin train than to go straight to the origin!

For optimal exploration, our program spends time in two very different regions of this expansive country: remote, historic Shaxi in the south is our main home away from home, which is a world away from bustling, densely-populated Beijing where we wrap up. When all of China is your classroom, each outing and excursion is an opportunity to try out your new vocab--a trip to Shaxi’s famous open air market becomes a Mandarin scavenger hunt, every van ride a chance for a Mandarin singalong, and dinner at the cozy, tucked-away Shaxi Cultural Center an impromptu Q & A with the owner on ideal dumpling-making technique.

GLA’s Experiential Language Curriculum™ combines time in the classroom with immersion through community service, excursions and cultural activities. Whether you’ve never uttered a “nihao” in your life or you’re bordering on fluent, our experienced instructors meet you at your level to deliver a curriculum that is both challenging and level-appropriate for every student.

Language learning aside, China is so incredible on so many levels. While a visit to the Great Wall is likely on your bucket list (and not to worry, it’s on the itinerary!), China is also home to many lesser-known wonders. The Naigu Stone Forest is an expansive, picturesque labyrinth of giant limestone pillars that are more than 270 million years old, and unique to this particular region of the world. We also have the rare opportunity to visit Shibaoshan Mountain--Imagine hiking through a peaceful forest, to emerge and behold an enormous, decadent temple carved into a cliff face, with breathtaking views of the valley below. You may be surprised at how many activities we pack into three weeks!

Sometimes, it’s the simple pleasures that are the most memorable, and the best way to become truly immersed in the culture. Spend a day working on a rural farm, volunteer in a local school and and sample fresh, fragrant regional cuisine, including tons dishes that you won’t find on a typical Chinese takeout menu back home. It’s all part of getting to know this deep and complex culture!

China: Mandarin Service Adventure is open for enrollment and still has spaces left for 2019!