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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Q: When can I start studying?
For programs of one month to one semester, anytime you like! Most programs are available starting on any date, although our recommended day of arrival is the first Monday of each month. All full year or semester length courses start in September and late February / early March.

Contact us at to request exact dates.

Q: How long can I study for?
Most of our programs are between one month and one academic year, although some are only offered for a semester or for the full year. Check out our fees page to check the duration of your program. Durations not indicated may also be available, contact us at to find out.

Q: How long is one semester or one academic year?
In China, one academic year is made up of two eighteen-week semesters. The exact dates change each year, but the first semester usually runs from early September to early January.

After approximately one month of holiday for the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), the second semester begins. The second semester tends to start in late February. This semester usually ends in early July. Contact us at for exact dates.

Our full year (academic year) programs include the two semesters, with the option to start on either the first or second semester.

Q: What do I do during the holiday we have?
Most students like to take advantage of their long holiday to explore a bit more of China. Accommodation during this period is not included in our total fees, although it is available. If you would like to stay in Beijing during this time contact us so that we can arrange for a room.

Q: Do I need a visa to study in or visit China?
For students without Chinese nationality a visa is necessary. See how to apply for more information. Visit your nearest embassy or consulate to obtain a visa.

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Life in China

Q: What currency is used in China?
Chinese renminbi (yuan) is the currency used in mainland China.

Q: Can I change money in China?
Foreign currency can be converted in any Bank of China - not hard to find, and ATMs accepting foreign debit and credit cards are found all over the city. Traveller's cheques are accepted in most major banks.

Q: How do I use the telephone?
All rooms are equipped with a telephone. Receiving calls is free of cost, and you will be given 50yuan of initial credit to call national or international upon arrival in China. More credit can be purchased easily in the form of a telephone card. Mobile phones and SIM cards for phones are cheap and convenient in China.

Q: Can I watch international TV?
One English language station is available, CCTV9, which shows international news and a few English language programs.

Q: How do I do my laundry?
All residences have washing machines available and clothes can be dried in the rooms. Alternatively there are laundrettes near the schools to wash, dry and iron clothing (10yuan per load).

Q: How can I connect to the internet?
Internet cafes offering a computer at only 2yuan per hour are common and located all over Beijing. We also offer a broadband internet connection in the rooms for students who bring a laptop.

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Martial Arts Program

Q: Can I study a mixture of Chinese martial arts?
Yes! You can mix classes. For example, a student of two months might want to spend one month training wushu forms and one training sanda, sparring.

Q: What styles of wushu forms can I learn?
In the morning classes Changquan (long fist) and Nanquan (southern fist) are taught. If the students have experience in these styles they can learn broadsword, straightsword, southern broadsword, staff or spear. For those without any experience, they first study a fist style before moving onto weapons. Outside of morning classes students can receive extra tuition and study virtually any style they want: praying mantis, 3 section staff, drunken boxing, 5 dragon boxing, chainwhip, etc.

Q: How do I get extra tuition?
Outside of the standard classes extra tuition is available. This does not need to be arranged before arrival, if you are interested in extra classes simply let us know on arrival.

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Chinese Language Program

Q: What levels are of Chinese are available?
Anywhere from absolute beginner to advanced. Many students of the Chinese program have never learned a word of Chinese, while others are nearly fluent. Whatever your level may be there will be a class for you.

Q: What size are the classes?
Classes are from 2-10 students. Beginner level classes are usually from 5-10 students, while advanced level classes are usually around 2-5 students per class.

Q: Will I get homework or have quizzes / exams?
Most of the time homework is assigned, although the quantity is really quite manageable. Homework is an important part of learning, especially when it comes to Chinese - characters need to be memorized. There are occasional quizzes and an optional exam at the end of our stay. If you are transferring credit back to your home university then you will need to take this exam.

Q: Can I get credit for the Bridges to Chinese program.
Credit is available for the Chinese program, but what is most important to check is that your home school or university will transfer the credit. Once completing the Chinese program we will provide you with the necessary transcripts, sending them in a sealed envelope to your home school. Be sure to check beforehand that your school will transfer the credit.

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Fees & Payment

Q: What do the total fees listed include?
Accommodation, tuition, airport pick-up, several weekend excursions, map, dictionary and cultural gifts, 50yuan phone card or SIM card, orientation day, end of program feast, fun social activities! .

Q: Are airfares included?
No, the airfare or transport to China is not included. We recommend STA Travel for cheap airline tickets.

Q: How do I pay the fees?
Fees must be paid by bank transfer. Upon application to a Bridges to China program you will receive an invoice for an initial down-payment of 30% of your program's total fees. Fees are paid according to the banking details provided on your invoice.

Q: When are the fees due?
When we receive your application to a Bridges to China program you will receive an invoice for an initial down-payment of 30% of the total fees. This is due upon receipt of the invoice. The remaining 70% is due upon or before arrival in China, also to be paid by bank transfer.

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