A major bonus of the CUT language program is the tuition fees which are cheap in comparison to other universities in Chongqing and especially against other major cities such as Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai.
Tuition fees per semester are 6,000 RMB
Registration fee is 400 RMB
The campus is super far-far away from just about everything outside of the university gates. The foreign student dormitory is also a 20 minute walk away from the campus gates and the closest bus stop. It’s then at least an hour to get to most of the downtown districts by bus and the nearest metro station is 15 mins away by bus. However, Chongqing does have a rich history and there’s lots of interesting tourist attractions to explore on weekends or during the holidays.
In regards to accommodation, on campus accommodation is on par with most foreign student dorms in China, with the standard two-bed dormitory in a student apartment with communal kitchen and laundry. Again, it’s cheap! Last we heard it was 2,200 RMB per bed a year (twin share). There is however a bizarre curfew both for leaving and entering the building as well as the internet connection! Doors are locked at 11pm which means going out on weekends becomes an all nighter until 6am when doors open. Male students are also not allowed in girls’ rooms and vice versa, with security cameras making sure that rules are not broken!
The reputation of the language program for beginners is by no means prestigious but the beginner class is considered very good by former students. If you have just starting to learn Chinese, you will find the teachers in the beginner’s class to be very patient, supportive and keen to help you to succeed. However, students attending intermediate and upper classes (with no instruction in English) will have to deal with teachers who speak Mandarin with a distinctive Chongqing accent. Off campus it becomes harder as few locals speak standard Mandarin. Taxi drivers and many migrant workers don’t even speak Mandarin! Also, as the CUT Chinese language program only has three levels, the advanced class will struggle to challenge students with what would be deemed advanced fluency at other more well established language programs.
For those looking for full immersion into Chinese culture, CUT is not a bad option and especially as foreign students living on the main campus are well integrated with local students. If you like playing ping pong, badminton, kung fu, taichi or any other traditional Chinese activities you’ll never be bored! There are also not many foreign students on campus (around 50-60 people), and most of whom are Russian, Thai and Vietnamese. About 80% of foreign students don’t speak English. Despite the bizarre curfew, there is still a party atmosphere to enjoy with other foreigners and a selection of delicious hotpot, cheap beer and street food by the main gate.
Due to the university’s lowly rankings on the national university index, CUT is unlikely to open doors purely on the name of the course. If you are on good terms with staff and study hard they may recommend you to receive a scholarship with the university to continue your education. Students in the past have also successfully sought out internships with the British Chamber of Commerce in Chongqing over the summer break.
Asia Options Verdict
Students on a scholarship or looking for an affordable Chinese language program and accommodation should consider CUT as an option. CUT offers the opportunity to immerse with local Chinese students on campus but for a variety of reasons the overall rating of CUT will certainly not compare with other programs. Chongqing itself is also not an ideal place to learn standard Mandarin despite the temptation of delicious Sichuan food!
Good for beginners
Few English speakers
Lack of levels
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