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Education in China
This page offers general advice regarding Educational Issues in China (September 2008)
Learning Chinese:

We are very proactive concerning languages in general, and offer free support for those wishing to learn either Mandarin or Cantonese.

China has 7 distinct languages, and 57 general Internationally distinct dialects. All of these can be written in Mandarin characters. Each Ethnic Minority, or City, and town; may also have it's own language and a few specific characters. There are also spoken languages only for women, and some older forms of Calligraphy earn the right of language status

Chinese languages are very complex for Westerners. They are conceptual languages, used via the artistic side of our brains (Unlike Western tongues). Mandarin is the standard language of China, is spoken by over one billion people (1, 000, 000, 000). By contrast, Cantonese is spoken by around 350, 000 million people worldwide (Similar to English and International Spanish), but is the language most ordinary Chinese people who live outside of China speak

30% Rule
About 30% of Cantonese words are extremely similar to Mandarin. So are a different 30% of Japanese words. 30% of Khmer languages share common Cantonese words, but no Mandarin. However, pronunciation, and especially intonation are extremely different for all

Cantonese for Idiots
I am currently writing a Cantonese for Idiots guide - basically a very easy way for you to make appropriate sounds, ordinary Mainland Cantonese will immediately understand. This is not the revered and small Hong Kong dialect that all Western phrasebook's use! This is what all Mainland Cantonese actually speak. And it is very simple to use.

I am currently on Second-Edit, and checking this with both Cantonese friends, people I meet in the streets, and have a couple of Westerners trying it our for real - I hope to publish this next year (2008)

You are also welcome to our English and Cantonese Salons, held locally in Foshan, Nr. Guangzhou, Guangdong Province - please follow menu links top left of page for more details

Teaching English in China:

We have placed, and offer on-going support for English teachers in Guangdong Province.

Usually these are TEFL, TEOFL vocational teachers, who may feel stranded in a bewildering country. We offer simple personal contact, and an insight into Chinese educational practices + what they expect from you. Contact Us immediately if you are in trouble, or seek free and impartial advice

We can also place Teachers with schools and Universities, or find you extra-curricular teaching opportunities in both the private sector, and 'One-to-one'. We are not an agency, nor affiliated to any - we just live here and know a lot of people

Study in China:

We are very well connected and offer assistance for all types of study and related activities in China - especially Guangdong Province. Areas include:

University Courses - from one semester to 4-years at Bachelor Level, and shorter periods at Masters Level. State run Universities usually require Mandarin as a core subject for foreign students. Private Universities are always more flexible, and expensive. Age range from 18 upwards, and mature students very welcome. For example, ZhaoQing University has an excellent English website with both video guides and galleries

Summer Camps - All our camps are based in modern Universities, and have specially trained International staff who also speak English. Camps can be quite varied, some focusing on Chinese language and culture, whilst others are geared more for activities such as Kung Fu, or general local tourism and significant cultural exchange

Schools and Kindergarten - Primary assistance and advice for those living in China with young children. Choosing the right educational establishment is a major task in your hometown - it is far more critical for your child's future to get this right in China. We also suggest your child is exposed to Chinese language at the earliest possible opportunity - as it only gets more difficult the older you get!

Placement - One year placements available for University students. Our connections with both Western and Chinese Companies operating in China mean we can tailor a placement for the demands of your course

Employability - If you are serious about maximising your chances of employment after completing studies, we strongly recommend you consider one of our Employability schemes run in conjunction with local factories we know well. Normally this would be a one-year project, but do consider a summer recess also - especially as this empowers your cv. I have written an associated Prospective Employers Interview Questionnaire which you may find enlightening:

This simple Q&A guide shows - how you choose to spend your summer months may reflect on your chances of future employment.
Summer Holidays Questionnaire with Employer Answers

The following are quite detailed, but provide you with serious support:
What is Employability?
Interview Questions from Employers

Gap Year - Taking a year out is now considered to be a great gift for your Personal Development. We can help find you the right place to be, such as volunteering on Panda conservation or Great Wall restoration project. Work experience and travelling options are also available, as is our unique point of contact if you want to do it yourself - simply keep in touch so we know you are ok, and call us immediately if you get stuck or are in trouble. Easy

Exchange Schemes - for Students, Teachers and Officials. Let us know your area of interest so we can advise you about the best options
This information is as supplied by the Chinese Embassy in UK, as dated 20th June 2008, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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