This unique Chinese Immersion program allows you to gain a real insight into modern-day China from two very different perspectives.

Students spend the first half of their Chinese language course at our central Shanghai school, within walking distance of the city’s most famous nightlife and shopping districts. Your teachers will encourage you to start speaking Mandarin from Day One, whatever your level. 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, to helping you open a Chinese bank account.

  • Maximum language progress
  • Explore China off the tourist-trail
  • Overcome cultural challenges
  • Flexible duration and starting dates
  • Full 24/7 support in both locations

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 classes, and speaking Chinese to everyone you meet.

  • Maximum Language Progress

    Maximum Language Progress

    Confidence: In Shanghai we help you to overcome inevitable language and cultural barriers - so that you can jump right into life here.
    Full Immersion: In Chengde no-one speaks English. That means speaking and hearing Mandarin Chinese 24/7.

  • A Team You Can Trust

    A Team You Can Trust

    Professional teachers: All teachers in both cities are fully-qualified with teaching degrees and years of classroom experience.
    Established home-stay network: Your home-from-home.
    Full support: Staff on hand to help you settle into life in their city.

  • Survival Kits Included

    Survival Kits Included

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

  • The Best Of Both Worlds

    The Best Of Both Worlds

    Shanghai: Meet other Chinese students from around the world at our central location, and explore this buzzing metropolis together.
    Chengde: Visit ancient palaces and temples in the surrounding mountains and experience a slower pace of life in China’s rural heartlands.

Program Duration

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.

Please note that the upper limit is due to study visa restrictions, which state that students 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.

Tuition Options

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

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

 Program Shanghai Chengde
Standard 20h/wk Small Group 20h/wk 1-on-1
Individual  20h/wk 1-on-1  20h/wk 1-on-1
Intensive 20h/wk Small Group & 10h/wk 1-on-1  30h/wk 1-on-1
Culture 20h/wk Small Group & 10h/wk Chinese Culture Classes 10h/wk 1-on-1 & 10h/wk Chinese Culture Classes


The 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:

Below are the tuition prices in CNY for some sample durations of the LTL Shanghai-Chengde Immersion Programs.

Weeks Standard Individual Intensive Culture
4 14,810 18,646 22,483 18,646
6 19,837 25,350 30,862 25,350
8 24,381 31,408 38,435 31,408
12 32,377 42,069 51,761 42,069
+2 wks +4,846 / 2 wks +6,462 / 2 wks +8,077 / 2 wks +6,462 / 2 wks

For alternative durations and prices in other currencies, please contact us.

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 for 2018:

  • January 8, 2018
  • February 5, 2018
  • March 5, 2018
  • March 26, 2018
  • April 16, 2018
  • May 7, 2018
  • May 28, 2018
  • June 25, 2018
  • July 9, 2018
  • July 23, 2018
  • August 6, 2018
  • August 20, 2018
  • September 3, 2018
  • September 17, 2018
  • October 8, 2018
  • November 5, 2018
  • November 26, 2018
  • December 17, 2018

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."

Read More

Maximilian Testimony for LTL

I’m Max, a high school graduate from Germany taking a gap year before starting university. I decided to go to China to discover a new culture and at the same time learn a new language. Since I wanted to achieve some major progress and be able to communicate effortlessly afterwards, I decided to stay at least half a year in China and chose the “Intensive Immersion Program” to make the most out of my stay.

Having set a clear goal, I divided my stay into 3 months each in Beijing and Chengde. I attended 4 hours of group class and 2 one-on-one sessions each day in Beijing and 6 hours of one-on-one’s in Chengde. I also lived in a homestay which added some more valuable time of Chinese surrounding.

Looking back it was definitely my time in Chengde and the one-on-one classes which were responsible for my fast progress. Chengde is quite rural compared to Beijing and the amount of foreigners is at an absolute minimum which is why it creates such a perfect learning environment.

The pace of life is slower, for example your homestay has time to take you out for dinner regularly, people approach you more openly and if you want to have social interactions it will most likely only be possible with Chinese. Chengde is the place to go if you want to meet the “real China” beyond the internationalized version in Beijing.

You need to be creative in Winter in Chengde, it’s cold and you must brave the weather. However, if you are up for football in minus temperatures you will keep yourself busy! Alongside the studying during the week, you’ll have good fun in Chengde.

In general, I loved my time in China and I can only recommend to anyone to visit this country of the future. And yes, with some commitment and time you are definitely able to master the Chinese language.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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. 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. See our Levels page for details.

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.

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.

What about the visa?

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

How can I apply?

Simply click here to contact a Student Advisor directly!

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