Where are you located? Is it easy to get to and a good place to study?
New Century is located in Tianjin, China, which is now just a 30-minute train ride from Beijing. Tianjin provides a particularly good environment for learning Chinese. In many regions of China, the local residents speak with a far-from-standard accent, which can wreak havoc on the development of a student’s pronunciation. Most people from Tianjin speak standard Chinese, plus they are known throughout China for their warmth and friendliness. Despite its rapid growth, Tianjin still has a much slower pace of life than cities like Beijing and Shanghai, which means that local residents are more willing to chat with foreign students. Tianjin is also one of the safest cities in China.
New Century’s history and background?
New Century was founded in 2001 by two friends (one Chinese, one American) who share a passion for teaching Chinese language and culture. These founders began with a vision that grew out of their own experience and friendship: helping to bridge East and West via language learning and exploration of Chinese culture, history, and thought. The vision of New Century is to produce graduates with acute observation, listening and enquiring skills who effectively achieve rapport and empathy with the people of China.
When New Century began there were just over a dozen learners being instructed by a handful of teachers. New Century has since grown to a staff of over 20 language professionals assisting approximately 80 non-native speakers of Chinese to reach their language goals. Over the years hundreds of students from over 20 different countries have been a part of the New Century community. After completing their studies, these students have engaged in a broad range of activities inside and outside of China, including graduate studies, medical practice, business, teaching, and development projects.
Why should I choose New Century? How are you different from other language schools?
In four words: results, quality, adaptability, and environment.
Results: New Century has a proven track record of producing students who are able to communicate effectively in the Chinese language. Hundreds of students from over 20 different countries have been prepared at New Century before going on to engage effectively in a broad range of fields both inside and outside of China
Quality: New Century teachers are selected and trained with great care. Unlike most Chinese universities and institutes, we have tailored teaching methods and curricula for western learners. Part of what this means is that more support and encouragement is given on aspects like tones and Chinese characters. The focus is not on passing an exam, but rather on communicating well in Chinese and understanding the culture. One-on-one or small group classes also maximize practice time and allow students to make rapid progress.
Adaptability: Most classes are one-on-one classes and this affords maximum flexibility for lessons to be adapted to a student’s goals and learning style. New Century also offers a variety of different programs to suit the needs of almost any student: from the learner who wants to devote a semester or more to full-time study to the business person who can only study once per week to the college student who would like boost their language learning with several weeks of intensive study, we are flexible enough to meet all of these needs.
Environment: In addition to classroom learning, a variety of language and culture learning activities and experiences help to create an atmosphere of multi-faceted and continual learning. we believe in the power of community, recognizing that learning another language can be a daunting task if left alone in the process. In addition to the care of teachers and staff, we believe that learners need the support of other learners. Many students at New Century have described the community feel as a welcoming family atmosphere. This ability to balance adaptability and community is what makes New Century a community of individuals.
What study programs do you have? What are classes like?
New Century offers a variety of study programs that provide the flexibility to meet the needs of almost any student. Full-time learners study daily at New Century for a semester at a time. Part-time learners schedule classes on a monthly basis and can have class at New Century, in the home, or at their workplace. Intensive learners come to New Century for a shorter period of time and coordinate with the New Century office staff to create a study program that fits their learning goals.
Full-time study is ideal for learners who have longer-term plans in the Chinese language and can devote themselves to study for a semester or more. Full-time learners at New Century study on a student visa and are able to take full advantage of the complete New Century learning experience. Part-time study is great for those already living or working in China who would like to increase their proficiency in their Chinese context. Through our online study program, learners can even take classes before their arrival in China to ensure that they hit the ground running. Intensive study is perfect for learners who want to give a boost to their language skills in a short period of time. Intensive learners usually take classes for 3-4 hours per day and make rapid progress in an individual or small group class setting. Intensive study works great for university students who want to study over a break or for those in China who can’t fit studies into their normal schedule but can get away for several weeks of concentrated study.
Can you help me to prepare for the HSK exam (official Chinese proficiency test)?
Yes! We’ve helped many students prepare for HSK exam and many of our graduates have gone on to study at the graduate level in Chinese universities.
What kind of study materials and curricula do you use?
New Century’s curriculum and teaching methods are tailored for students from western countries. Beginning students start by studying our own Chinese Language Foundations curriculum. During this stage of learning, the pinyin system is used to establish a solid foundation for pronunciation and tones. Students also begin the building of practical vocabulary and receive an introduction to Chinese characters.
Once this foundation has been laid, students transition to appropriate textbook and CD sets. Guidance is offered to help students clarify their language learning goals. Depending upon student goals, most learners choose either the Chinese Made Easier textbook series or the New Practical Chinese Reader textbook series. Both tracks prioritize practical oral communication, though the New Practical Chinese Reader track places more emphasis on the reading and writing of Chinese characters.
After completing the intermediate level books in one of these textbook series, advanced students can choose from a variety of study materials and subjects. Included in these subjects are social issues, business, medicine, counseling, development and relief, and Chinese culture and pop culture. Our focus is to equip students to be able to communicate effectively in the Chinese sphere of their choice, and we are able to adapt our teaching and curriculum to help learners reach these goals.
Do you offer anything besides classroom study?
New Century believes that significant learning takes place outside of the classroom. During the spring and fall semesters, we offer weekly extra-curricular learning events, such as Chinese Table (teachers and students eating a meal together in a Chinese-only speaking context), language activity field trips, culture lectures, and travel to other parts of China. These activities give learners hands-on language practice as they have the unique opportunity to interact with locals and see the world through their eyes. These experiences also deliver invaluable culture learning and insight to students. While these language and culture learning events are designed especially for our full-time students, part-time and intensive students also have the opportunity to participate on an a la carte basis.
Do I need a student visa? Can you help me with that?
Student visas are only available for full-time learners. Most part-time learners are in China for reasons apart from study and have already attained an appropriate visa (usually a work visa or an accompanying spouse visa). Due to the short-term nature of the intensive study, most intensive learners enter China and study on a tourist visa. We walk students through the visa application process, lending advice, and support based on our years of experience helping students to come to China in order to study.
How much does it cost to study at New Century?
Tuition varies with a student’s situation, depending upon whether they are full-time, part-time, or intensive, whether they study during business hours or after hours, whether study on-campus or off-campus. Feel free to contact us through our website or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +86 151 2270 6201 for specific rates.
What kind of students do you take?
We welcome students from all walks of life and with all kinds of study goals. Most of our full-time students are post-university aged adults who plan to live and work in China long-term. Most of our part-time students work full-time jobs and fit studies around their work schedule. Many part-time students are also accompanying spouses of expatriate workers in China who want to enrich their experience of China by learning Chinese. Most of our intensive students are university-aged students who want to supplement their studies with a time of concentrated language study.
How do I apply to study at New Century?
The application process for New Century is not difficult. The first step is to fill out an application form and an enrollment form, both of which can be filled out here on our website. Once we receive this initial information from you, we will guide you through the process appropriate for your study preferences.
I don’t have much free time. Can I really start communicating with Chinese people after just a few weeks?
New Century’s specialty is to help learners develop practical communication skills and our beginning students start learning the useful language even from the first day of class. After completing our Chinese Language Foundations curriculum, among other things, learners are able to buy things in a market, order food from a restaurant, or ask for directions on the street. Naturally, the more time students invest in their studies the faster they will learn, but even taking the class once or twice a week will equip students with practical language and help them move toward their goals.
What do others say about their experience at New Century?
“Wonderful, in a word. This experience has changed my life. You have piqued my interest in China in a way that I did not expect. I cannot stress how superb this was.”
“Here in Xining I have heard it observed more than once: “If you come from New Century in faraway Tianjin, we have no worries about your ability to communicate in Chinese. It’s true across the board…you must have received top-notch language instruction.”
“What I liked about New Century was the Western teaching methods, more gradual introduction to characters than most other Chinese language schools, and language instruction tailored to the individual. Teaching was done by competent, patient, and enthusiastic Chinese instructors. Opportunities to learn more about China’s rich culture and history were invaluable. Not to forget the warm atmosphere – somewhat of a home away from home! Yet the administration was nonetheless constantly looking for innovative ways to improve the quality of its instruction.”
“Whether you are younger, older, gifted in language learning or not – I recommend New Century for best results!”
“I do not use ‘excellent’ lightly. I found my teacher to be excellent in every respect.”
“New Century provided the perfect amount of flexibility, expertise, and professionalism. The faculty is excellent, and was able to customize a curriculum to fit my specific language learning needs. Classes are available on a one on one basis or as part of a group and the content of the course can be tailored to each student’s personal goals. I cannot recommend New Century more”
From start to finish- fantastic experience. The teachers were magnificent and I had full confidence that should any problems arise the administrative staff would solve them immediately.
-Ross, United Kingdom