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This unique Chinese Immersion Shanghai program allows you to gain a real insight into modern-day China from two very different perspectives and learn Mandarin quicker than ever before.

Students spend the first half of their Chinese language course at our central Shanghai school.

This is within walking distance of the city’s most famous nightlife and shopping districts before heading off to the immersive environment of Chengde to complete your course.

  • Chinese Immersion Shanghai Program
  • Shanghai & Chengde – Polar Opposites
  • Maximum language progression
  • Explore China off the tourist-trail
  • Overcome cultural challenges
  • Flexible duration and starting dates
  • Full 24/7 support in both locations
Dinner with the homestay family!

Support staff are also on hand to help you settle into daily life in China – from showing you the cheapest cocktail bars on our Wednesday night outings in Shanghai, to helping you open a Chinese bank account.

Your teachers will encourage you to start speaking Mandarin from Day One, whatever your level.

Maximum Language Progress

Confidence: Overcome language and cultural barriers
Full Immersion: In Chengde no-one speaks English
24/7: You’ll be using Mandarin, and only Mandarin

Survival Kits Included

Transport: Private airport pick-up and trains included
Paperwork: Help to arrange your SIM card, bank account etc
24/7 Help: We are only a phone call away if you need us.

A Team You Can Trust

Professional Teachers: Degrees and years of class experience
Established Homestay Network: Your home-from-home
Full Support: Staff on hand to help you settle into life

The Best Of Both Worlds

Shanghai: Meet other Chinese students from around the world
Chengde: Ancient palaces and temples in the mountains
Combined: The perfect Chinese Immersion Program

Chinese Immersion Shanghai Program

The minimum duration for an Immersion Program is 4 weeks, of which you will spend 2 weeks in Shanghai, then 2 weeks in Chengde.

However, you can sign up for anything from a 4 week to a 24 week program.

After your experience in Shanghai you will then take the train to the city of Chengde, China’s old Imperial Summer Capital, nestled in the mountains of Hebei province.

Although it’s home to UNESCO World Heritage palaces and temples, Chengde has managed to stay off the tourist-trail, and so you are unlikely to meet any other foreigners during your time here.

There is certainly no expat community or import supermarket in Chengde – this is real, authentic China, where you will need to draw on everything you’ve learned so far.

The second half of your language program will be all about complete immersion – studying in 1-on-1 Mandarin classes, and speaking Chinese to everyone you meet.

VISA NOTE Be aware what visa you get given and how many days it applies for alongside number of entries. Students generally, may only stay for 180 days per entry. In case you are looking for a longer course, you are of course very welcome to apply for a second visa and return to the school to continue your studies.

Trip to Chengde together with the Chinese homestay
Trip to Chengde together with the Chinese homestay

Chinese Immersion Program Options

There are four different program types to choose from, with different class timetables. Small Group Mandarin classes are an option at our Shanghai school, and 1-on-1 classes in Chinese language or culture classes are available across both cities.

Your timetable will run from Monday to Friday, with classes spread evenly across the week.

 Type of Immersion ProgramShanghaiChengde
Standard20h/wk Small Group20h/wk 1-on-1
Individual20h/wk 1-on-120h/wk 1-on-1
Intensive20h/wk Small Group & 10h/wk 1-on-130h/wk 1-on-1

Immersion in China – What our students say

Chinese Immersion – Pricing (Chinese Yuan)

The Chinese Immersion Program packages include:

  • All tuition, textbooks and learning materials
  • Private Airport Pick-Up from Shanghai
  • Transport by train from Shanghai to Chengde
  • An LTL Survival Kit for each city
  • 24/7 Emergency Support and access to the LTL Social Program

The Immersion Program packages do not include:

Chengde Survival Kit Standard

Train Ticket from Shanghai to Chengde – We will arrange and book your transport from Shanghai to Chengde by train.

Chengde Train Station Pick-up – We will organise for you to be picked up from Chengde train station and taken to your accommodation to make the last part of your journey as east as possible!

Ticket for Chengde Mountain Resort – Explore one of Chengde’s most famous attractions: the Mountain Resort with an entrance ticket provided by LTL.

Chinese Culture Class – Get a taste of Chinese culture by taking part in one free class, some example options are a calligraphy class or Kung Fu class.

4 wks18,98224,09929,216
6 wks25,54832,85440,160
8 wks31,44640,71849,990
10 wks36,72547,75658,788
12 wks41,43054,03066,630
14 wks47,73062,43077,130
16 wks54,03070,83087,630
+2 wks6,300 / 2 wks8,400 / 2 wks10,500 / 2 wks
Prices are all in CNY (Chinese Yuan/Renminbi)

Chinese Immersion Program Start Dates

We ask that complete beginners who want to do the Standard Immersion Program start on one of our official Small Group start dates, as listed below.

If you already have some knowledge of Mandarin Chinese, then you are welcome to start your Immersion Program on any Monday of the year.

Official start dates are:

  • 28 Nov, 2022
  • 19 Dec, 2022
  • 2 Jan, 2023
  • 6 Feb, 2023
  • 27 Feb, 2023
  • 20 Mar, 2023
  • 10 Apr, 2023
  • 8 May, 2023
  • 29 May, 2023
  • 19 Jun, 2023
  • 10 Jul, 2023
  • 31 Jul, 2023
  • 21 Aug, 2023
  • 11 Sep, 2023
  • 16 Oct, 2023
  • 6 Nov, 2023
  • 27 Nov, 2023
  • 18 Dec, 2023

What’s Living in Chengde Like – Daniel’s Experience


Do you have classes appropriate for my level?

You will have Small Group classes at the Shanghai School if you opt for either the Standard, Intensive or Culture Immersion Programs. If you’re a complete beginner, then classes begin at least once a month on the official start dates (see above). If you have studied Chinese before, then you will have a personal language assessment with our Director of Studies before your arrival, based on which we will assign you to the appropriate existing group.

If you are already at approximately HSK 3 level or beyond, then we cannot guarantee that there will be an appropriate Small Group class for your level. We recommend that you opt for the Individual Immersion program, where you will follow a personalised learning plan in both Shanghai and Chengde.

How much Chinese will I learn?

If you’re willing to work hard in class, do your homework, and use every available opportunity to practice your spoken Chinese when out and about, then you can make huge progress in just a matter of weeks.

From experience, students who stay in an LTL homestay with a local family will gain oral fluency more quickly than those who live with other English-speaking foreigners. Your time studying in Chengde will also give you considerable advantage over other Chinese learners in more international cities, since you will be speaking Mandarin with everyone you come across in your daily life. Chengde is much smaller than even the lesser known cities you might go travelling to in China such as Xi’anChongqing, Qingdao etc. It’s not to be confused with the larger city Chengdu famed for being the home of China’s pandas. There are also a whole host of local Chinese-speaking sports clubs and societies in Chengde (hiking, skiing, fitness, football) which are a great idea to join, even if you’re not sporty, since that’s an instant source of Chinese-speaking friends!

As a general guideline, a motivated student on the Standard Immersion program arriving as a complete beginner could expect to reach at least HSK 2 level after 8 weeks. The same student on the Intensive program may well reach HSK 3 level in the same number of weeks.

How much support will I get in Shanghai / Chengde?

We have designed this program to make sure that you are eased as gently as possible into your Chinese Immersion experience. Before you arrive, you will be in constant contact with your Student Advisor, who will help you choose the most suitable program, support your visa application, and put you in touch with current or past students via our active WeChat student community.

On arrival you will be picked up from Shanghai airport by our private LTL driver and taken directly to your home-stay, the LTL Shared Apartments or your own private accommodation. So there’s no need to haggle with airport taxi drivers or get lost in a strange city! If you’ve booked accommodation with us, you’ll be met by your host family / the landlord of the Shared Apartments and shown around your new home. On this first day you will also receive your Shanghai Survival Kit.

In your first week at the Shanghai school we will help you set up your mobile SIM card, open a Chinese bank account and arrange your free bike rental. You’ll quickly get to know your fellow LTL students thanks to the jam-packed LTL Shanghai Social Calendar – including weekly group dinners and weekend day trips. Your Student Advisor will also always be on hand around the school if you have specific questions about your program or life in Shanghai.

By the time you get to Chengde you should have got to grips with the basics of day-to-day life in China, but you will still have access to support and advice from our local Chengde Immersion Specialist. Depending on your preferences you’ll be put in contact with local people via sports clubs or other social outings.

Of course, 24/7 emergency support is also included in both cities– so if you need our help, we’re only a phone call away.

How can I apply?

Simply click here to contact a Student Advisor directly!

Can I choose what aspects of Chinese I want to study?

If you have Small Group classes at the Shanghai school, then they will follow the LTL Mandarin School curriculum. However, for your 1-on-1 classes you can request certain topics that interest you personally, you can prepare for a particular exam, or spend the time perfecting your tones. Once you have started the 1-on-1 program, your teacher will always be open to adapting lessons to your needs and preferences.

What are the accommodation options?

There are two main options for accommodation in Shanghai – living in a Shared Apartment in central Shanghai, or staying with a local family.

Please see the relevant pages for details. In Chengde the vast majority of our students choose to live with a local family, though there are limited rooms available in Shared Apartments too.

Shanghai Shared Apartments

Shanghai Homestay

Accommodation in Chengde

What about the visa?

Please see the Shanghai Visa page for more details on our visa support.

Can I also study Chinese online with LTL?

Yes! LTL offers Mandarin classes online, as well as Shanghainese and Cantonese.

What our Students say

Maximilian Testimony for LTL
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"Chengde is very small in comparison to Beijing. Chengde is the place to go if you want to meet the "real China" beyond the internationalized version in Beijing. Alongside the studying during the week, you’ll have good fun."

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Fushu Testimony for LTL
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Almost no-one speaks English in Chengde. So it's a great opportunity to get your speaking and listening up to scratch. I found that all my teachers were really helpful, and you might end up keeping in touch when you leave. 

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Mark Testimony for LTL
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I chose to go to Chengde for a really new and different experience. It is perfect if you want to really focus on your Chinese and get away from all those distractions. In Chengde my speed of learning was much faster! 

Read More

Other LTL Programs

Ask us a question!
  • LTL Avatar Mojca Godec
    Mojca Godec , Student Advisor

    Welcome to LTL Mandarin School!

    How can I help you?