Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to do a Home Stay with us?
Yes, each family is interviewed by our staff, and a security check is completed before a family is accepted. The housing units are usually owned (not rented) by the host families, and most hosts have professional careers. Most families are located within communities where there is a 24 hour security service. Go Top
Will I have my own room?
Yes, every family has at least one spare room. Go Top
What items will be in my room?
Your room will be fully furnished with a bed, desk, closet and air-conditioning. Go Top
I am a vegetarian, is that a problem?
No Problem. We have a few host families who are also vegetarians. Please specify this in the comments section of your application and we can arrange either a vegetarian family or a vegetarian friendly family for you. Go Top
Can I use the host family's telephone?
You may make local telephone calls for short conversations from the Home Stay family's telephone. All long distance calls should be made using a calling card. If you would like to have your own home telephone number, you can register for one at a cost of RMB 235 (about US $28). Your host family will assist you in doing this. Many students also elect to get a pre-paid mobile telephone. Cost for mobile phones and service vary, but are generally inexpensive and easy to set-up. Go Top
May I use the family computer to get access to the Internet?
Yes, each family has a computer with internet connection. If they have DSL, it will be free of charge. Personal computers can also be used, but you will need to coordinate with the host family to use the internet connection. Go Top
Can I do laundry in the Home Stay?
Yes, the host family will show you where their laundry facilities are. Go Top
Will I be able to watch television?
Yes, all host families will have a TV in the shared living room which you will be able to use. Go Top
Can I have guests come to the Home Stay?
Yes, with the host family's permission. Go Top
What if I can't get along well with my host family?
If you are not happy with your host family after arrival in China, CLE will provide you with one relocation free of charge. If you feel the new family is still inappropriate, it's your responsibility to make a decision about your accommodation. In our experience, this does not happen often as both sides are well educated and patient when it comes to cultural differences. In most cases our students and host families get along very well and even make life-long friendships. Go Top
How far will the Home Stay be away from school?
Home Stay families are located near the CLE center, either within walking distance or 30 minutes via public transport. Please note that other Home Stay listings may not be near the campus so bus/train transfers may be required. Go Top
What do I need to bring with me?
Upon your arrival, our on-site staff will provide you the following items:

* Chinese-English, English-Chinese dictionary
* Map of Beijing
* Phone card with a value of 100RMB so that you can call home right away

Each Home Stay family will provide you with bedding in your room, soap, tissues and a towel in the bathroom. You may bring additional items not mentioned. Please keep in mind that in Beijing you can get most international products and brands that you would find at home, so it is recommended to travel light. Go Top
Why can't I get detailed information about my host family earlier?
We need to reconfirm the family 1-2 weeks before your arrival to make sure there have been no unexpected changes. CLE will provide you with contact details for your host family as soon as we have reconfirmed your reservation. Go Top
What is the structure of your regular Chinese classes?
We typically use the "New Practical Chinese Reader" series for group Comprehension classes and the "Short-term Spoken Chinese" series for group Speaking classes. Group classes are 4 hours per day, with two hours spent on each textbook series. You will also have one teacher for speaking and another for comprehension. "New Practical Chinese Reader" or comprehension classes focus on vocabulary and grammar. In class you will learn how to properly use new words, phrases and structures. The Speaking class will focus on listening and conversation. Go Top
How fast-paced are your courses?
Generally, we cover 2-3 lessons/book/week, or about 100-150 new words per week. However, the pace of the class will be determined by the comfort level of the class. We try to place students together that work at approximately the same speed. Go Top
Do you use a workbook? Are students given daily assignments?
For "New Practical Chinese Reader", we have workbooks and students have daily homework. For "Short-term Spoken Chinese", we have daily home work and weekly real-life tasks. Go Top
How much outside of class preparation time do students usually find is required on a daily basis?
Generally, students will need at least 1-2 hours to prepare for new classes. Go Top
Are the classes drill classes, lecture classes, or a combination of both?
The classes are very interactive and students are encouraged to speak and use new grammar structures and vocabulary. Teachers will often explain the new grammar points or vocabulary and then open up a discussion with the class to give each student adequate opportunity to practice the new skills, as well as their speaking and listening. Teachers will also frequently drill students on new course material. Go Top
What will after class tutors assist with?
(1). To help the students who missed lessons to catch up with the group class. (2). To help students resolve personal pronunciation or grammar problems. (3). To help students prepare key sentences before they do the real-life task. (4). To talk with the students regarding topics that the student has interest or needs additional help. Go Top
Can I receive university / college credit for course work conducted in your program?
College or University credit for CLE program completion is at the sole discretion of the College or University you attend in your home country. CLE will assists all students in obtaining any information and documentation required to support their request for course credit. The final decision to offer academic credit however is up to your University. CLE also encourages all students to take the HSK exam. HSK results are internationally recognized as proof of a specific Chinese proficiency level. Go Top
How early should I register?
We accept new students on an on-going basis, with new classes starting every Monday. There are, however, application deadlines for Semester, Academic Year and Summer Programs. Please review the course dates section for dates. For all programs, CLE typically requires at least 2 weeks prior to beginning a program to prepare class space and accommodation. Additionally, we suggest that you apply as early as possible as some courses are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Go Top
What if I have missed the deadline?
If you miss a term program deadline, please contact CLE immediately as we may still be able to enroll you in the program. Additionally, if a class that you would like to attend has already begun, we can add you into the course depending on your level of proficiency and class availablity. If there is no class that you can join, we will do our best to open a new class as quickly as possible. Go Top
What is the minimum age requirement for your programs?
Our language immersion programs are available to all people 18 years if age and older. Special consideration, however, will be granted those under 18 years old with parental approval. Go Top
How can I get a visa?
There are many types of visas for coming to China. Our students should apply for a 30 to 90 day L visa or, if applicable, an F or X visa before departing their home country. The required documents for each visa include: visa application, small photo, invitation letter (for F and X visas) and a passport. Please check the website of your Chinese consulate for more specific information. If your stay is longer than the duration of your initial visa, CLE will help you extend your visa upon arrival in Beijing. If you apply for one of CLE's Gold Package Programs (tuition and accommodation), CLE will pay all fees associated with extending your visa for the duration of your program, assuming continuous stay in China. All students wishing to exit and re-enter China during the course of their program, which causes cancelation of their current visa, will need to purchase new visa processing documents and apply for a new re-entry visa outside of China. Current rates can be obtained from CLE prior to exit from China. CLE can also assist non-Gold program students with visa extension from within China, but they will need to pay the visa extension fee. The cost of extending a visa is about $80 US for 3 months and $125 US for 6 months, but may vary from country to country and with current Chinese policy. Please review the visa section for more specific information. Go Top
Do I need to go physically to apply for my visa?
Please consult your nearest Chinese consulate for detailed information about applying for a visa. Some consulates provide a mailing service so you do not need to visit in person. There are also many professional visa services that you can use to apply for your visa. CLE Program Advisors may also be able to recommend a visa company in your home country. Go Top
When is my payment for tuition and accommodation due?
After receiving and reviewing your application, CLE will contact you with payment options and additional details. All payments for Silver and Gold Package Programs (tuition and accommodation) are due at least two weeks prior to your arrival at CLE. This is to ensure all details involving your arrival and accommodation can be finalized. Any reservations for courses or accommodation are only finalized once CLE receives payment. It is recommended that tuition and fee's are paid as soon as possible to ensure availability of both your course and accommodation selections. Go Top
What are my payment options?
CLE currently accepts bank wire transfers, credit card payments through Pay pal, and cash (in person) for all payments. Once your application has been reviewed, CLE will provide you with all the information you will need to successfully wire or submit payments. Once payment has been confirmed CLE will finalize your reservation and notify you. Please be aware that a 3% processing fee will be added to all credit card payments. Go Top
Is there an application fee?
Yes, there is a one time application of $125 which is payable when you apply online (excluding online courses). Application fee's are not charged when re-applying or extending your CLE program. Go Top
Is medical and accidental insurance required?
No, it is not required, but it is highly recommended. Please check with your current insurance (family plan) to see if it will cover you while overseas. If not, please purchase medical and accidental insurance before starting your program. CLE offers travel and accidental medical insurance to all Gold Package Program students at no additional fee. Other program students may also purchase insurance through the CLE program. Please contact CLE for rate details. Go Top
Do I need any vaccinations before arriving?
We recommend that you review the website for the CDC, Center for Disease Control, or equivalent in your home country before arriving. Generally speaking, students should have updated Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Tetanus, Polio, and Typhoid vaccinations. You may also contact your health care provider or a local travel clinic for specific vaccination details and recommendations. Go Top
Can I fill my prescriptions in Beijing?
We recommend that you bring any prescription medications that you need with you on your trip. China has many pharmacies available which offer several common medications without a prescription. Cold and Flu medications are inexpensive and easy to find. There are also a few western pharmacies that may offer your medication with a prescription. If you have specific concerns, please contact CLE and we will attempt to locate the availability of your medication. Go Top
What is the best way to bring money with me?
You can bring cash or travelers checks with you that can easily be exchange at any bank. Many students also choose to open a bank account in China and transfer money from their home country (please be sure to check transfer requirements from your home country as many banks require wires or recurring wires to be set up in person). CLE can assist you in setting up a bank account upon your arrival in Beijing. There are also many ATM machines readily available throughout the city. Most ATM's accept international credit and debit cards. Go Top
What other items do I need to bring with me?
We recommend that you pack light. Nearly everything available in your home country will also be available in Beijing. Clothing and general supplies are easy to find and often inexpensive. The voltage in China is 220, so you may need to check your electronic devices for compatibility. Power strips can be purchased at many retail outlets, however, voltage converters may be more difficult to find. Go Top
What other costs should I be aware of?
Our Gold Package fees includes tuition, accommodation, visa extension, airport pickup, welcome dinner, after class tutoring, elective classes, and CLE sponsored trips. Home Stay students also receive daily breakfast and dinner. Cost not included are the application fee, meals, transportation, individual travel, and any other cost, such as shopping, entertainment, and individual travel, that you may incur while in Beijing. Meals in Beijing are inexpensive, especially compared to other international cities. An average Chinese restaurant will typically range from 10-25 RMB ($1.25-3.00). Many great Western restaurants are also readily available, but you can expect to pay higher prices. Clothing and other necessities are easy to find and inexpensive. Go Top
How do I get cheap airline tickets to China?
Airfare to China is not included with CLE Chinese Language Immersion programs. Airline rates will vary by country and season. If you are a traditional student we recommend STA for discounted student airline rates. Go Top
How do I receive mail in China?
You can receive mail at your Home Stay residence, apartment, or at the CLE campus. For ease of delivery, we highly recommend have all mail sent directly to CLE. Please address all mail and packages in the following manner:

Your Name
C/O Chinese Language Education
Jianwai SOHO B-1003
39 Dong San Huan Zhong Lu
Beijing, China 100022 Go Top
What is the weather like in Beijing?
Winter (December - March) in Beijing is dry and windy with typically one or two snowfall. Winter temperatures are typically around 0 degrees Celsius for most of the season. Down jackets, scarves and gloves are recommended. Spring (April - May) is brief with comfortable temperatures (13 - 18 degrees Celsius), however sand storms from the North are common. Summer (June - August) is hot and humid with afternoon rains. The average temperature is 26 degrees Celsius. Fall (September - November) is very pleasant and comfortable with temperatures ranging from 5 degrees to the mid-teens. Go Top

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