Expand your horizons, boost your employability and learn Mandarin in China with our Mandarin Language Homestay programme.

Run in conjunction with an established cultural exchange provider based in Beijing, our Mandarin Language Homestay Programme offers you the chance to gain valuable experience to boost your CV.

Staying with a carefully screened family for 1, 2 or 3 months, Mandarin Language Homestay participants will gain a unique exposure to Chinese culture and the opportunity to learn Chinese in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu or Shenzhen.

You’ll attend 5 hours’ worth of group Mandarin classes per week and have the chance to put what you’ve learnt into practice with your host family. In return, you’ll tutor their child for 10* hours per week.

Our Homestay families are extremely welcoming and respectful. They are keen to both learn about your culture and teach you about their own. You will be treated as a member of the family and offered the chance to join excursions, try local foods and practice the language. You will also get the chance to participate in regular cultural activities with other foreigners on the programme.

A Mandarin Language Homestay provides the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Chinese language and culture whilst making new friends and exploring a fascinating country from a unique perspective!

*Should you wish to tutor for 15 hours per week, you will be eligible to receive a small monthly allowance. Contact us for more information.


Our Mandarin Language Homestay Programme is currently available in Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Shenzhen. We give all applicants the chance to express their preferences during the application process.

Please note, due to our in-country partners only having offices in Beijing and Shenzhen, you may not receive as comprehensive in-country support if you opt for another city.

We charge a fee for participation in our Mandarin Language Homestay Programme to cover the cost of food, accommodation and language tuition. Prices differ depending on programme duration;

Duration Programme Fee (GBP) Programme Fee (USD)
1 month £850 $1,140
2 months £1,100 $1,470
3 months £1,350 $1,800


What’s included?

  • Paring with a carefully screened host family (includes background and reference checks)
  • Pre-departure orientation and cultural training
  • Access to our Lesson Plan Library and online Member’s Area
  • Airport pick up and orientation in China
  • Single room accommodation
  • Three home-cooked meals per day
  • 5 hours small group Mandarin lessons per week
  • Monthly cultural activity
  • Local support in China, available 24/7
  • Support with teaching

What’s not included?

  • Return flights (£300-£700*)
  • Visa (£175)
  • Insurance (£50-£60 for 2 months)
  • Meals outside of the host family’s home
  • Travel expense
  • Spending money**

*Depends on time of booking and airline. Who you fly with and where you fly from is up to you.

**This is of course dependent on you, but as a guide we recommend having £400 in case of emergency during your stay. Three meals a day and accommodation are provided at all camps, so you won’t need to spend much during the teaching period. If you wish to travel after the placement, we recommend £25 per day as a comfortable amount. 

Year-round start dates are available, though it is preferred that you begin on the 1st of a month and some families prefer to take someone in over the summer. The most popular intakes and their deadlines are as follows;

Programme Start Date Application Deadline
1st July 2017 1st May 2017
1st August 2017 1st June 2017
1st February 2018 1st December 2017

The Mandarin Language Homestay Programme is a cultural exchange placement for which you will not be paid. You will however get the chance to take on a part-time tutoring job and earn between 150 – 300 RMB per hour in your spare time.

You will attend 5 hours worth of scheduled Mandarin classes per week, and you are expected to spend 10 hours per week teaching the host family’s child (or children) English. Tutoring will usually take place at a time that suits you and your host family and will be arranged directly with them. Your host family will provide you with workbooks and explain to you how you should approach teaching their child(ren).

Outside of this time, you will have the chance to explore the city with your host family, take part in family activities and practice your Chinese. You will also have plenty of free time to meet up with other programme participants and explore the local area. You will also get the chance to attend a monthly cultural activity with our in-country partners and other participants.

In order to be considered for our Mandarin Language Homestay Programme, you MUST speak native-level English and hold a UK, USA, Australian, New Zealand, Irish, South African, Canadian or EU passport. You must be able to provide a non-criminal record certificate to be matched with a family.

You must also:

  • Be over 18
  • Be in good mental and physical health
  • Have completed A-levels
  • Be willing to adapt to a foreign culture
  • Be open-minded and interested in learning about other cultures
  • Passionate about helping others to learn English

No previous teaching experience or qualifications are necessary and we do not require you to speak Mandarin. 

Having each completed a placement in China ourselves, we know how important it is to feel prepared and supported both before and during your placement. With our Mandarin Language Homestay, you will receive ongoing help and support from our staff with preparation, cultural tips, lesson planning and visa applications.

Upon enrolment onto the programme, you will be given access to our exclusive online Member’s Area, where you can find lesson plans, programme information and travel advice to help you prepare. You will also be invited to our pre-departure Orientation Day, where you will receive teacher training, a language class and advice from former teachers on teaching English and learning Mandarin in China.

To apply, please complete our online application form and upload your CV and covering letter. Successful candidates will be invited for a short telephone interview.

If you pass this stage, we will ask you to complete a full application form which will be submitted to our partners in China. They will then schedule a short Skype interview with you before finding a suitable family.

Please note, we need at least 8 weeks to secure a host family. Please check the application deadlines for the programme you wish to apply for.

“I got along well with my host family. They invited me to accompany them when they went out, whether it was skiing, going to the park or meeting up with their relatives. We could communicate freely and I didn’t feel uncomfortable if I had a problem I needed to discuss with them. I also got along well with the children. Overall, it was a great experience”
April, Shenzhen Placement 2016
“I was matched with my family based on my interest in swimming and Chinese language. I got to participate in weekly swimming classes with Cherry, the host child, which was great. I spoke in English to Cherry, but Mandarin to the host mum and dad and my Chinese really improved during my stay!”
Lauren, Beijing Placement 2017