Agustin Carioni – Argentina
The idea of coming to China began when I decided that I wanted to learn a new language. Chinese was not my first option at the beginning but after looking for information, and because of the fact that I am a Business major, I thought that Chinese was going to be very useful and interesting. And when I came to China and started learning it I totally confirmed so.
Studying at Hutong School is not just that, is also being involved and participating in the Chinese culture, interacting with locals and also sharing moments with people from all over the world. The school also offers you the possibility to get some work experience here in China by taking one of the numerous internships positions available either in the private sector or working as a volunteer in NGOs.
Regarding life in Beijing I have to say that it is an “every-day finding new things process”. You never get tired of looking for and finding exciting places and activities. In my case it was not easy to adapt to this very different culture, but once you do it you enjoy every minute you spend here. I’d never regret choosing Hutong School for my first immersion in China, moreover, it was one of the reasons why I am definitely thinking about coming back to China in the near future.
Sergey Kruykov, Russia
Nowadays lots of people are being attracted by the economic progress of China and want to explore this country and study it's language. Hutong School gives them this opportunity. What I found attractive about this School that it has a really flexible class schedule and constantly arranges trips and Chinese cultural activities. Hutong School has a convenient location just in down town Beijing, which makes it the perfect place to start your sightseeing tours, pursuing diverse Chinese cuisine or shopping around Beijing many markets ... after classes, of course ;)
As I was impressed with the abundant information on their website and the personal touch to it, I decided to quit my job and fly to Beijing and take a 3 months crash course in Chinese at the Hutong School. A decision I haven’t regretted so far. I have studied in several countries around the world and the people running Hutong School are honestly always there to support you in daily things and to help you out, even with things that do not directly affect their responsibilities.
Learning Chinese is a whole different experience, since you have to cross a cultural border; not only to understand the language and it’s structure, but also to cope with the Chinese written and edited books. Although a western hand would do them good, it is somewhat compensated by the willingness of the teachers to help and explain. Classes are relaxed (unless you join your group a week late and have to catch up) and the apartments are comfortable.
Thomas Neven, Belgium
I am studying Business management-Marketing in Belgium. For my graduation I have to do an internship during the second semester. I chose to do my internship in China because of several reasons. I always wanted to do my internship abroad to improve my English. Since I visited China 4 years ago, and I really liked it, my decision was already made. Another reason to come to China was to discover the emerging economy.
From the first correspondence they gave me the feeling to be very professional and really friendly and helpful. The Hutong-School is not very big and at this moment there are between 60-70 international students. Every day I have 2 hours of Chinese course with 4 other students in a class. The teachers are very nice and they know that learning Chinese for foreigners is not that easy.
The school also organizes a lot of trips and activities. From cooking classes to weekend trips, discovering local restaurants and specific Chinese food … you will always find something new and interesting! The apartments are relatively new and located in very good areas. There is also a cleaner who comes weekly of even twice a week. You can always call on somebody at the Hutong-School to help you if there are any problems.
I am very happy that I made the decision to come to the Hutong-School in Beijing!
Matthias Wuersch, Switzerland
After university, I wanted to gather some work experience. I also love to travel and see new cultures. Hutong School has given me the oportunity to combine both wishes. The combination of internship and Chinese classes enables me to better understand China. Not only in the language, but also daily life here in Beijing. The very helpful and dedicated teachers at Hutong School and the small class size give me the opportunity to get the most out of the classes. The internship allows me to practice the theory learned in the classroom.
Tebogo Lefifi, South Africa
I landed in China at 2 am and didn't know anyone in China and didn't have anyone to call in case things didn't go right , but because of Hutong School , in 24 hours I was surrounded by about 30 people I could easily call friends and spent the next three months surrounded by a group of awsome people. Because of Hutong school support - cant' under play Xiao Yin's exceptional selfless "concierge" support- Beijing was love at first sight. Nine months later i am still in Beijing thriving, and I know I can still call on the guys at Hutong to help. The classes were small, fun, and I got dedicated attention from the teachers.I did get into a Grand plan as a far a as moving to China, I had faith that with everything the school offered, all I had to do was show up - they didn't let me down.
Daniela Schiesser, Germany
When I considered to undertake an internship in China the first time, it was more a ´flight of fancy´ than a real plan. Too big were the fears of the mysterious and (for Europeans) so foreign China. I was afraid of understanding nothing and being completely alone. However, my secret fascination for Zhongguo didn´t disappear - so, my fancy thoughts slowly got realistic. During a halfhearted search on the internet, I found the webpage of an institution called ´Hutong School´, which offered exactly the services I was looking for: assistance with day-to-day problems, accommodation, airport pick-up, internship placement and Chinese classes. It was like a 1000%-fit. From that moment on, I planned my stay in China seriously and had no more doubts about not conducting my stay. The conversation with Ferry increased my confidence and took away the fears of being in China. He gave me the feeling that the Hutong School will be always there for its pupils, no matter if day- or nighttime.
To shorten my hymn on the Hutong School: Everything worked super. The Hutong School cared for me from my arrival in Beijing on until my departure back to Germany. Shall I tell you, how? Okay, here we go: I was fetched at the airport, brought to my nice apartment and the police station for registration, was shown around the area of my apartment (e.g. the supermarkets), was brought to the office of my internship-firm on the first day, had really high-class Chinese language courses with Jiao Yu, took part on great parties and excursions organized by the Hutong School, did a high-class internship and so on and so on... what was also a great help for me was the fact, that there is also German speaking staff. It was kind of comforting for me to discuss some important things in German (e.g. registration process), so I could be sure, that I understood everything correctly.
As you see, the Hutong School was really perfect for me. I learned to love China and do highly recommend the Hutong School. I had the greatest 4 months of my life in Beijing.
By the way: I am now working for an Euro-Asian Consulting firm and am traveling between Germany and Shanghai. The Hutong School did not only heavily influence my personality, but also my professional future.
Marta Wodecka, Poland
I came to China for two reasons - studying Chinese and the very interesting internship the Hutong School managed to find for me. I was supposed to stay 6 months but I liked it so much in Beijing that ten moths later I am still here.
China is a fascinating country and its capital is a fascinating city. On the one hand, it stands for tradition, history and culture - even after 10 months, there is always something new to see and something new to discover. On the other, it is full of impressive modern buildings, restaurants and clubs. It is a city that never sleeps.
Chinese classes at the Hutong School are taught by very professional teachers. Groups hardly ever consist of more than 5 people which is a great advantage, especially when studying Mandarin. It is not an easy language but teachers do their best to adjust classes to students' learning capabilities and do not get angry if you ask the same question three times in the row :)
Hutong School also organizes many activities, excursions and trips around the country for half the cost and double the fun. Everything, from the train tickets, to hotels and food, is taken care of so you basically have nothing to worry about, maybe only if the battery of your camera can handle the one thousand photos you will surely make (and then put them on Facebook - that's a no-brainer ;) Besides, such activities are a great opportunity to make friends with young people from literally all around the world.
What I find particularly important is that the School is always ready to assist you with whatever problems you might have. In my case it was a hospital, visa issue, problems with the residence, changing apartments, a key that was not working... Each time I received help within one day and it just feels good to know that there is somebody out there who will not leave you on your own.
I strongly recommend the Hutong School, I have been having a lot of fun and so will you!
Juan Carlos Rodriguez Moreno, Spain
Everything started when I decided to go to China to do an internship and get to know at first-hand how the country that will change the World in the next years is.
I wrote some emails, and what was my surprise when from all of them, I just received one answer, the answer from the Hutong School. And what an answer!!!
They offered me the possibility to go to China, to do a paid internship work in my field, to follow Chinese classes and to have my room in an apartment. The contact with them was very kind, courteous and attentive, they were really concerned in the little things
and they knew perfectly all the formalities and paperwork needed to board in the adventure. Finally I did everything what they told me and I was ready to go to Beijing. Once I was there, they came to the airport to pick me up, Lao Guo, very lovely, we took a taxi and he drove me to my apartment in a traditional Chinese neighborhood, but with all the facilities, Cooled air, TV, kitchen with everything, etc, all that was incredible, I felt very well-attended.
And all was like that, the Chinese classes, the company I worked for, the travels that Hutong School organizes around the whole country (I was in Xian, Inner Mongolia, camping at the Great Wall, the beach where the great wall ends at the sea...), the people you know there from all around the world that are studying Chinese as well, it was an extremely good decision and an unforgettable experience. It is worth it totally, they do really help you and they make you feel part of a big family.
Kristoffer Anderson, Sweden
I will never forget my time at Hutong School. I enjoyed almost every day at work and the people around me. During my time at Hutong School I found lots of new friends and I’m still in touch with many of them. Thanks to Hutong School I decided to stay in China, Beijing.
Lalasoa Rausch, Germany
I actually never planned on going to Beijing and was supposed to start university in October. But then I discovered Hutong School on the internet and found it quite interesting. I then said to myself that I was still young and had nothing to lose, I can only gain a lot of experience like this. So two weeks later I was in Beijing, without any expectations nor ideas about this big Chinese city. The Hutong School staff immediately took great care of me and hasn’t let me down since then.
Beijing is very different from any European city and the Chinese mentality is sometimes hard to understand but after a while you get used to it and really enjoy the contrast.
And thanks to Hutong School my stay has been really enjoyable now. It’s a small community with a lot of spirit and friendships are built in split seconds.
Olga Hoffart, Germany
On my first day I really didn’t know what to expect from my stay in China. There were many questions and just a few answers. But soon I found out that the decision to go to China for an internship was the best ever. Beijing has so many faces and almost everyday you can see a different one. After two months out of six I really can say that I’m enjoying China pretty much. One reason for that is the good organisation of the Hutong School and another is the people from all over the world. After a while you get to know different points of view, you see how Chinese companies work and what China is really about. So stop doubting about coming to China and gain your own experiences here.
Alexander Gangnus, Germany
My two months of internship in Beijing which the Hutong School arranged for me was one of the best times I had in my life so far. As it was the first time for me to live in a foreign country for a longer time, I was quite curious but also a bit unsure whether everything will work out the way I imagined it at first.
But the Hutong School staff took all of my fears away by helping me dealing with every kind of problem that came up during my whole stay and by providing me with an apartment in the heart of old Beijing.
Located in this cool courtyard, the Hutong School office was always open for us to discuss eventual problems, get advice for everyday life in China or just to have a relaxed and fun conversation with the nice and warm-hearted staff that even joined us to explore Beijing’s tremendous nightlife.
Thanks to the variety of nationalities among the students, I made a lot of new friends from all across the world and I definitely want to keep in touch with many of them.
After my 2-month-stay was over, I was very sad to leave as I really had a great time that I will keep in my mind and in my heart forever.
For sure I will return to Beijing and Hutong School as soon as possible and can only recommend this program to anyone who is planning to do an internship and a Chinese language course in Beijing. Do it, it's a huge load of fun!!
Clement Marin, France
"When I first thought about going to China, and especially Beijing, I was not sure what I wanted, what was awaiting me. How to find an internship, a nice apartment, central in Beijing with nice roommates, good Chinese teachers? Also will I survive without speaking a word of Chinese?
All these questions found a surprising answer on the Internet 2 months before I planned to leave France. Within one week they offered me a package including a really interesting internship, a great apartment in one of the most convenient places of the city, and outstanding teachers.
When I finally arrived in China, I was welcomed by 2 people from the HS staff and quickly found out that the whole Hutong School team is young, dynamic, flexible, opened to any suggestion and ready to help anytime if you ask for assistance. The Chinese teachers are great, and will make it really easy for you to learn Mandarin Chinese. You won’t believe it!
My stay in Beijing will remain an unforgettable experience for me. For all these reasons, and also because of the other students I met here, with whom I had a huge amount of fun and crazy experiences.
Coming to Beijing and staying there with Hutong School made it possible for me to combine the advantages of working in China and thus discover the fastest growing economy in the world, and make this funnier, easier and more interesting than what I had ever imagined.
No doubt, I will come back soon."
Ulrike Trepte, Germany
Thanks to the Hutong School, I had a great time in Beijing! Very unsure at the beginning, I came to Beijing and asked myself: What can I expect? But from the first minute at the airport, when one of the school members welcomed me, I already felt much better. The school always supported us students, with organization and had an opened ear for any question. Especially the teachers made this time great and brought me China and its culture much closer. Very soon I felt "at home" in Beijing and actually wanted to stay longer.
I found a kind of family there with my room mates, colleagues from the internship and people from the school. Back in Germany, I am meeting a Chinese girl once per week to go one with learning mandarin. Also I am planning to go back to China to write my diploma there. So everybody who still hesitates: Do it! It’s a great experience and everything is much easier as you think, before you saw it with your own eyes!