Study Chine Abroad Guide to Chinese Speaking Countries

Study Chinese Abroad: A Guide to Chinese-Speaking Countries in the World

Chinese is a beautiful yet complex language! It is, after all, one of the oldest languages in the world. China is filled with rich cultural heritage and history, spanning regions not only in Asia but worldwide. That is why studying Chinese abroad is a great opportunity to learn the language. The best thing is that there are a lot of choices and opportunities to study Chinese abroad.

Did you know? Chinese is the second most-spoken language worldwide 

People often think that Chinese is only spoken by people from China, but it is a widely spoken language. In fact, it is the second most-spoken language in the world. The Chinese diaspora around the globe has also carried it out across continents. You can see Chinese speakers in western countries like the US and Canada. It is also the main language of a handful of countries across the globe. 

6 places you can Study Chinese abroad 

If you’re a kinesthetic learner, you might want to learn and immerse yourself in the culture direct from the source. Or you might want to study Chinese abroad to widen your horizon or get the chance to live in another country. 

The good news is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just Mainland China! There are several other Chinese-speaking countries you can explore. 

1. Study Chinese in Mainland China

The obvious choice to learn Chinese abroad is Mainland China. Chinese has different branches and dialects. However, the official language is Mandarin.

There are a lot of opportunities to study Chinese in China. You can take programs like the Boston University Study Abroad Program. Take internships with GoAbroad China. Have cultural immersions like Lingoinn Homestay with Chinese teachers. It’s a vast country, and experiences seem limitless! You won’t only learn Mandarin, but you’ll learn about China’s culture. You can experience new cuisine, explore new terrains, and see wonderful sights!

Advice for studying and moving to China

2. Study Chinese in Taiwan

Taiwan and Mandarin Chinese have a deep history. Taiwan originally spoke Taiwanese Hokkien, a branch of the Chinese dialect. Taiwan adopted Mandarin as its official language to standardize the language with the mainland. Although there are slight differences in how Taiwanese people speak mandarin, they are still mostly intelligible to each other. 

That is why Taiwan is one of the best countries to learn Chinese. It is not a big country in size, but it is big on culture and experiences! There are a ton of renowned institutions like the National Taiwan University’s language course. And language programs like the Taiwan Mandarin Institute in Taipei. The great thing about studying Chinese in Taiwan is that all their institutions have Mandarin Training Centres for foreign students at all levels.

International Students studying Chinese in NTNU National Taiwan Normal University

3. Study Chinese in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a diverse country. Mandarin Chinese is often spoken here alongside another dialect, Cantonese. Nowadays, Mandarin is the language of instruction taught in most schools in Hong Kong. Indeed, many people believe Hong Kong is one of the best places to learn Chinese. You can take Chinese courses at the Hong Kong Institute of Languages or take lessons at The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Not only is Hong Kong a bustling city for tourists and businesses, but it is a global melting pot. Because of its diversity, you won’t feel out of place. English is a widely used language. So if you speak English or other languages, you are bound to meet people you can talk to. You won’t have to feel homesick while studying Chinese in Hong Kong. However, that’s not the point of living abroad to learn Chinese! By living abroad, You get to broaden your horizons, meet new people, experience new cultures, and explore Hong Kong. 

Vlog: International Student experience studying in Hong Kong

4. Study Chinese in Macau

Because Macau was under the rule of Portugal, the locals use a blend called Macanese, a mix of Portuguese and Cantonese. Cantonese, as is the case in Hong Kong, is mainly used by the locals. However, the younger generation is slowly adopting Mandarin Chinese in schools and in their everyday speech. 

Macau might not be the obvious choice when it comes to learning Chinese, but there are a lot of opportunities to learn Chinese in Macau! The University of Macau offers Mandarin certificate courses. You can even get a Bachelor’s Degree at Macao Polytechnic University.

Living in Macau as a foreigner

5. Study Chinese in Singapore

Singapore is a diverse melting pot of different cultures. They have four official languages: Mandarin, English, Tamil, and Malay. Their schooling uses English or a mix of Singaporean and English. However, speaking Mandarin Chinese for at least half the population is still common. So, like in Hong Kong, you won’t feel too out of place. 

You can study Chinese in Singapore through a Chinese language course at Nanyang Technology University. There’s also a language program from the Singapore Chinese Chamber Institute of Business. Take it from Forbes; they named Singapore the best country for expats! So an international student studying Chinese would also be able to enjoy living in a bustling city because Singapore has a very high standard of living with affordable transportation, quality education, and endless entertainment options.

Day in the life of a Singapore Exchange Student in NUS

6. Find Chinese learning centers in the Chinese diaspora

Chinese has been carried over not only in Asia but all over the globe by the diaspora. Countries like the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam also have a sizable Chinese population and influence. You can even hear Chinese being spoken across immigrant enclaves in the West. For instance, New York’s Chinatown or LA’s 626. The number of Chinese-speaking people has been growing through the years. And Mandarin is being taught more to the next generation. 


Where can I study Chinese abroad?

There are a lot of Chinese learning programs available worldwide. You can study Chinese in China, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau. You can also try looking for Chinese learning centers near you, as the Chinese diaspora is growing, and learning Mandarin is becoming increasingly popular.

Why learn Chinese abroad?

Studying Chinese abroad is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and learn the language firsthand. It is also a great opportunity to widen your horizon and get the chance to experience living in a different country.

How much does it cost to study Chinese abroad?

The cost of studying Chinese abroad will depend on which country you choose for your study abroad program. Countries like Singapore and Hong Kong have a higher cost of living but cater to international students or foreigners because of their diversity. Taiwan and Mainland China have more affordable options, especially in the provinces and away from bigger cities but may not be as diverse as the metropolitans.

Is studying Chinese abroad expensive?

Studying abroad can be expensive, especially since you will have to pay for the cost of living in a different country on top of paying for the tuition. International students typically pay for rent, utilities, transportation, and other living expenses. You can offset this by applying for student grants or scholarships available to international students.

Is studying Chinese abroad worth it?

Studying Chinese abroad is worth it because you get to learn a whole language, experience a new culture, meet new people, and have a chance to live in a different country. They say that experience is the best teacher, and experiencing learning Chinese firsthand is great. There are a lot of different countries you can learn from, each with different cultures and experiences. You can study Chinese abroad in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore.

Is studying Chinese abroad hard?

Studying Chinese abroad can be hard, and learning Chinese can often be daunting. Aside from the rigorous academic lessons, students would also have to adapt to the way of life in their chosen country. However, this should not be a barrier for International students as it should serve as a challenge and an opportunity to widen their horizons.

Final thoughts 

Studying Chinese is a worthwhile endeavor, as it’s the second most-used language in the world. It will help you make broader connections across the globe. There are also many ways to learn Chinese – maybe you can even find a Chinese course near you! 

Studying Chinese abroad is undoubtedly simpler when you assimilate with a native-speaking country. Still, with enough dedication and perseverance, you should be able to achieve Chinese fluency from anywhere in the world. You can even learn from the comfort of your own home with apps like Pandanese!

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Pandanese can help you jumpstart your journey! With Pandanese, you can learn up to 6,000 hanzi in over a year. You can easily build your vocabulary using science-backed methods while making learning Chinese easy and fun. Useful when traveling the world, making friends, or enjoying your city’s vibrant Chinatown. Learning Chinese will widen your reach and broaden your world. 

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