Learn Chinese Abroad. Chinese Speaking Countries. China. Hong Kong. Macau. Taiwan.Singapore.

Learn 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. 

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 learn 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. 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 learn 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 learn 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 learning 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. 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. 


Final thoughts 

Learning 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! 

Learning 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!

Learn Chinese with Pandanese

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. 

Head to www.pandanese.com and get started with a 14-day free trial!

The easiest way to learn Chinese

Learn more than 6,000 hanzi and vocabulary in a single year.

Try Pandanese!