FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
About our Chinese School
• How many people have taken part in your programs? Where do they come from?
So far, Hutong School has welcomed more than a thousand people from no less than 38 different countries, namely Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Congo, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, and the USA.
• Where is Hutong School located?
With schools in both Beijing and Shanghai you have the option to partake in our programs in either of these cities. Take a look at our locations page for more information.
Procedures and Formalities
• Which of your programs would be the best option for me?
If you are in search of working experience, we would advise you to apply for our Internship Program; this program also includes 6 hours of Chinese group classes per week. If you would like to focus more on learning Chinese, we suggest that you apply for our Intensive Chinese Program.
• Who provides health insurance?
Hutong School requires each student to organize her/his own health insurance, which will be valid for the duration of the program.
• When do the programs start?
The programs start on the first Monday of every month, but the schedule can be changed according to the starting date of the internship. It is usually no problem if you arrive a few days later, we will make sure that you can catch up with your class. In any case we would advise you to come two to three days before your program starts.
• When are the official school holidays?
At Hutong School we celebrate both Western and Chinese holidays. Below you’ll find an overview with the holidays for 2013:
- New Year : Jan. 1st 2013
- Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) : Feb. 11th - Feb. 15th 2013
- Qingming Holiday: Apr. 4th 2013 - Apr. 5th 2013
- International Labor Day : Apr. 29th - May 1st 2013
- Dragon Boat Festival: Jun 10th - Jun 12st
- Mid-autumn Festival : Sep. 19th - Sep. 20th 2013
- Chinese National Holiday : Oct. 1st 2013 - Oct. 7th 2013
- Christmas: Dec. 24th 2013 - Dec. 25th 2013
- New Year's Day of 2014 : Jan. 1st 2014
During these days Hutong School will be closed and no classes will be held. However, there will always be a Hutong School employee on stand-by for any assistance needed during holidays at 1501 087 1748.
• Can programs be longer than 12 months?
Yes, it is possible to participate in our programs for longer than 12 months. Programs can be extended for as long as you wish.
• When should students apply for their program?
In order to guarantee a smooth application, we recommend that students apply two to three months before they plan to arrive in China. However, applications can be submitted anytime before the intended starting date.
• I'm younger than 18. Is it possible to enroll?
The minimum age of our programs is 18. If you are younger than 18 you can only apply for a tailor made program.
• What happens in case I have to cancel?
This will depend on when we receive your official cancellation notice. Please see our General Terms and Conditions for more information.
• Which Visa do I need and what does the Visa application process look like?
Because we are a private school, we are unable to provide the documents necessary for a Student visa (X-visa). The visa application process is different for each student, so we will help you figure out which visa will be the best option for your specific situation. Once you enroll in one of our programs, we will then be able to assist you with the details of the visa application process.
For more detailed information, please go to our China visa section.
• Where do I apply for my visa?
To apply for your visa, you will need to submit your application to the Chinese Visa Office in your area or to the Consulate-General which holds consular jurisdiction over the state where you reside.
For more detailed information, please go to our China visa section.
• How do I pay?
Hutong School requires all payments to be made via bank transfer. Bank fees will be to the account of the student. Bank transfers can be made in EUR, USD or GBP.
• The price of the program is too high; what are my options?
It is possible to enroll in our Intensive Chinese Program and Internship Program without including accommodation. Please contact us for more details about the prices for this option.
• Will I be reimbursed if I need to leave due to unexpected circumstances?
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide reimbursements for your program. Instead we will provide you with a voucher from Hutong School for the amount of time that you have left in your program. You will then be able to join us again at a later date to finish your program.
• Does the internship pay a salary?
Hutong School helps people from abroad to find internships in China and to get living and working experience in China. Most of the internships at our partner companies pay a small salary, which is actually rather a ‘living allowance’. However, some companies are unable to give their interns a salary, especially when the duration is short (3 months or less) or when the applicant’s qualifications are not that high (e.g. only high school diploma).
• What are normal working hours?
Normal working hours are between 9:00am-6:00pm or 9:30pm-6:30pm (with a one-hour lunch break). Your working hours, as an intern, also depend on your Chinese classes, e.g. if you have Chinese classes from 8am to 10am, your working hours could be from 10:30 or 11am until 6:30 or 7pm.
• What kinds of internships are available?
Depending on your qualifications and preferences we will search for the best possible match for you. We can offer you anything from internships in small start-ups to internships in multinational corporations. See our current Internship positions for updated information.
• I can't speak Chinese, is it still possible for me to have an internship in China?
We mainly work with international companies, in which English is used to communicate. Therefore knowledge of the Chinese language is not mandatory.
• The names of the companies are not on the website. How can I learn a little bit more about the company?
As soon as we know that the company is interested in your profile and CV, we will send you all the information you need about the company, so you will be prepared for the interview.
• How fast can you find me an internship?
The length of the internship placement process varies from person to person and from case to case. It takes in general between two weeks and two months.
• What if I have studied Chinese before?
We constantly have group classes for many different levels of Chinese at Hutong School. If you do not fit into one of the existing group classes, you will then be given private classes rather than group classes (10 hours per week for the Intensive Chinese Program/3 hours per week for the Internship Program).
• How many students are in one class?
Our classes have an average of 4-5 students, with a maximum of eight students per class.
• Class duration
Hutong School classes usually last 50 minutes, followed by a 10 minute break.
• What will be my level of Chinese after I have completed the program?
This will depend on the amount of Chinese classes that you will have and how much time and effort you are able to put into learning the language. Because you will be in China you will have many opportunities to practice your Chinese in restaurants, shops, and with colleagues and friends.
• I want to do the HSK-test. Can I do this at Hutong School?
HSK tests will need to be taken at HSK test centers. However, we will be able to help you to register for the HSK exam and we also offer HSK preparation classes. You can find more information about our HSK preparations classes online.
• My English is not good; can I have classes in a different language?
Our beginner Chinese classes will take place in English and Chinese. Therefore, a good knowledge of the English language will be very helpful. As your Chinese level progresses, less and less English will be used in your classes.
• What do the apartments look like?
All of our apartments have a kitchen, a living room with TV and DVD-player and a Western-style bathroom. In our apartments, you will have your own bedroom, but share the apartment with 2-3 other students from Hutong School.
• Is it possible to have a private apartment?
On request we do offer private apartments. There will be an additional monthly fee on top of the normal program price.
• How far are the apartments from the school/internship company?
We will try our best to place you in an apartment that will be the most convenient for you. From most of our apartments, you should be able to get to the school via public transportation in 30 minutes or less.
• Can I stay with a Chinese family?
We do not offer the option of home stays at this time. Instead, in our apartments, you will have your own bedroom but share the apartment with 2-3 other students from Hutong School.
• Is it possible to attend your program without accommodation?
It is possible to take part in one of our programs without accommodation. Please contact us for further details about the price for this option.
Cultural Activities and Practical Assistance
• How often does Hutong School organize activities?
We organize activities for the students 2-3 times per week. All activities are designed to help you experience the Chinese culture as well as get to know other students from Hutong School.
• When are the activities?
The activities are held either in the evenings or on the weekends so that it is possible for everyone to participate.
• Is there a cost for the activities?
Many of the activities that take place at Hutong School will be free of charge. However, there will be a small charge for other activities that have an entrance fee or traveling fees.
• I arrive on the weekend/at night. Will you still pick me up from the airport?
Yes, we will be able to pick you up from the airport no matter your arrival time. A Hutong School employee will greet you at the airport and take you to your apartment. They will also help you to register at the police station and make an appointment with you to bring you to the school for your orientation course.
• I don't want practical assistance and cultural activities; does this change the price?
Practical assistance and cultural activities are extra services that we provide to our students. It is not possible to exclude them from the program, although taking part in our activities is not compulsory, of course.