CLI is an institution for the study of Chinese language and culture. Through this core mission, it is so much more. CLI is a community, a Chinese language school, a custom programs provider, and your partner in China.

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📚About the Program

Non-degree in CLI-GXNU Study Abroad in China at Chinese Language Institute (CLI)

CLI-GXNU Partnership

In 2009, CLI partnered with Guangxi Normal University (GXNU) to offer students a study abroad experience like no other. Founded in 1932, GXNU maintains an annual student population of nearly 25,000 and offers a wide range of academic disciplines. Students currently enrolled in a Western university who would like to earn college credit for a full term or academic year are encouraged to apply. Non-degree seeking students who wish to enroll as full-time students at GXNU may also apply.

In addition to GXNU coursework, Study Abroad students will attend between 3 and 10 weekly hours of one-on-one Chinese language training at CLI (see Standard vs. Intensive below). CLI Study Abroad students are provided with the best of both worlds – they spend each day immersed in the full study abroad experience with daily large classroom learning in a university setting, which is then coupled with daily intensive one-on-one language instruction and community support at CLI.

Earn College Credit with CLI

Guangxi Normal University issues official transcripts for all coursework completed via CLI’s Study Abroad in China program. Over 150 international universities have accepted GXNU transfer credit, including most recently Arizona State University, Virginia Tech, University of Wisconsin, and the University of California.

All CLI students are responsible for arranging credit transfer with their home university. Most colleges and universities have an “Authorization to Take Courses Elsewhere” form or an equivalent. Please contact your study abroad office for more details in order to ensure that your CLI course credit successfully transfers. Students must receive a passing score (>60) in order to receive credits for a given class. Some students who choose the intensive option over the standard option may decide to only test for three credits rather than the additional six credits, hence the range in credits awarded.

Spring/Fall Semester: 15-21 credits (9-15 Chinese language credits- see standard v. intensive above; 6 liberal arts credits)
Summer Session: 9 credits (3 Liberal Arts credits (in English); 6 Chinese language credits)
Winter Session: 3 credits (all Chinese language)

The CLI Difference

While the core of CLI’s College Study Abroad program is full-time enrollment at Guangxi Normal University (GXNU), the CLI experience is vastly different from the traditional Study Abroad experience. CLI was founded on the principle that traditional large classroom instruction slows down learning speed because it affords students few opportunities to ask questions and actually speak Chinese. They solve this problem in two ways.

First, CLI provides one-on-one instruction for each Study Abroad student in addition to their regular course-load at GXNU. This gives students opportunities to ask questions, explore problem areas, and utilize new Chinese words and concepts learned each day. The one-on-one structure of our instruction also allows their Mandarin instructors to tailor class content and teaching style to each individual student’s needs and to effectively identify strengths and weaknesses in each student’s learning. 

Second, CLI provides an immersive Chinese language environment and community for each Study Abroad student. While classroom-based learning provides a crucial foundation for building fluency, they ultimately believe that language is acquired outside of the classroom. Their weekend events and excursions and daily learning-based activities provide endless opportunities for students to take the words and concepts they’re learning in the classroom and utilize them in a fun, natural way with native Chinese speakers.

The unique curriculum, enthusiastic teaching staff, and complete immersion within the Chinese language and culture environment offer students the most effective path to full proficiency in the world’s most spoken language.

Standard vs. Intensive

The main difference between CLI’s standard and intensive Study Abroad in China program is the number of weekly hours spent with your one-on-one instructor. In addition to full-time enrollment at GXNU, the Fall and Spring Semester standard program provides students with three additional weekly hours of one-on-one lessons at CLI, while Intensive Program students attend ten weekly hours of one-on-one training. Summer and Winter Session students are enrolled exclusively in one-on-one coursework, with 20 hours of language training per week at the CLI Center.

Standard Program: For Fall and Spring semester students, the core of CLI’s standard program is full enrollment in GXNU’s Chinese language and culture courses and three additional weekly hours of one-on-one Mandarin training. One-on-one time is absolutely essential to rapid language development. Learn alongside students from all over the world while benefiting from daily one-on-one language instruction. For the student looking to balance language and culture study with fun and exploration, CLI’s standard program is a perfect fit. The standard program is not offered during CLI’s Summer and Winter Sessions.

Intensive Program: If Mandarin fluency is your goal, then CLI’s intensive Study Abroad in China program is your best method. During the Fall and Spring semesters, in addition to full enrollment at GXNU, you will also attend ten weekly hours of one-on-one language training with CLI’s highly qualified Mandarin teachers. During the Spring and Fall Semester programs, CLI’s intensive option provides up to 25 weekly hours of Chinese language training (10 hours one-on-one, 15 hours in GXNU small group classes). During the Summer and Winter Sessions, you will attend 20 weekly hours of one-on-one intensive coursework exclusively at CLI.

Activities & Travel Excursions

CLI organizes weekly activities and monthly travel excursions designed to immerse students deeply into Chinese language and culture. Join other CLI students and team members for bamboo boat rides down the Li River, hikes up Guilin’s breathtaking karst mountains, photography excursions to the Longji Rice Terraces, cooking lessons with Chinese chefs, tea house visits to Daoist monasteries, and more.

Tuition Fee:

CLI's Study Abroad in China program starts at $2,280 for a 3-Week Intensive Program Winter Session and varies depending on the session and accommodation type. Kindly message us and choose from the tuition chart below the sessions and accommodation types of your choosing.

What's Included in the Tuition:

  • Full Enrollment at GXNU: Guangxi Normal University (GXNU) is one of China’s most beautiful and diverse universities. Chinese course selections include listening, reading, speaking, and writing, as well as dance lessons, traditional Chinese art, Kung Fu, Tai Ji, and Yoga. CLI also offers two to three English-taught courses each semester covering topics ranging from history and economics to political science, cross-cultural communication, and international relations.
  • Housing Accommodations: Study Abroad students have a wide variety of housing options available through CLI, including international dormitory housing at GXNU, and homestay and apartment options off-campus. All living accommodations include heating and A/C, hot and cold shower water (some sinks do not have hot water), and internet connection. Apartment options additionally include a washing machine, refrigerator, and cable television. Weekly maid service is included in all housing options.
  • One-on-One Chinese: A central part of your Study Abroad in China experience will be one-on-one intensive Chinese lessons at CLI. One-on-one instruction is essential to rapid improvement in all aspects of the Chinese language. Students have the option of attending either three or ten hours per week of one-on-one language lessons (Standard v. Intensive).
  • Comprehensive Orientation: CLI’s orientation is designed to make sure you hit the ground running. We’ll introduce you to your new living and learning environment and we’ll share tips and advice on how to navigate your China experience and how to maximize your language learning. Your orientation includes a welcome meal with local team members and other program participants, an introductory tour of Guilin, and a comprehensive look at how to make the most of your upcoming studies.
  • Support & Emergency Assistance: We know that many students who travel to China are doing so for the first time. At CLI, they pride themselves on providing comprehensive support and assistance to students. From the moment you arrive in Guilin until the day you leave, CLI will be there to assist you with questions, problems, and logistics in order to make your transition to China as smooth as possible – your tuition even includes airport pick-up and drop-off. In addition, they have team members on call 24/7 to handle any emergency situations that may arise.
  • Activities & Travel Excursions: 

    Each week, CLI hosts a variety of events and activities for the entire CLI community. In order to build a vibrant learning environment, CLI invites all program participants, pengyous, Chinese student-roommates, and CLI team members to take part in our excursions and weekly activities. Activities include group potlucks, tours of Guilin and its surroundings, boat rides on the Li River, guest lectures at GXNU, movie and games nights, dark beer at the German Bar, bike rides to the countryside, Calligraphy class, supplemental language activities, and much more.

    In addition, Study Abroad tuition includes one travel excursion per every two months of your program length. These excursions allow students to take a broader look at southern China’s rich culture and offer an additional opportunity for students to practice their Chinese language skills. Locations include the Longsheng Rice Terraces, Yangshuo, Nanning, Guangzhou, Kunming and other locations throughout Southwest China.

    CLI also helps students organize optional local travel on select weekends and provides free travel arrangement assistance (e.g. ticket-purchasing assistance, safety tips, travel itineraries, recommendations for lodging) to all students who wish to travel on their own. Students are encouraged to take advantage of breaks and long weekends to explore China’s diverse cities and provinces.

  • Visa Assistance: CLI provides all semester students with assistance in obtaining a six-month Cultural Exchange (F) visa, or a Student (X2) visa. Visa costs are the responsibility of the student and are not included in tuition fees. As recommended by their university affiliate, Guangxi Normal University (GXNU), all students should travel to Guilin on a three-month tourist (L) visa and, upon arrival in Guilin, GXNU will process the student (F) visa.

Study Abroad Sessions

CLI’s Study Abroad in China program is a full-term or academic-year program. Winter and summer sessions are taught exclusively at CLI, while fall and spring semesters are taught jointly at GXNU and CLI. To attend GXNU language courses in addition to CLI coursework, students begin their coursework in February (spring semester) or early September (fall semester). Please note that only the Intensive Program is offered during the summer and winter sessions.

Earn nine college credits in nine weeks while enjoying the summer of a lifetime in Guilin and its surrounding towns!
Dates: June 8 – August 7, 2020
Credits: 9 credits (3 International Relations credits, 6 Chinese language credits)
English-taught Course: Pacific Ties: Understanding the past, present, and future of U.S.-China-Australia Relations (course length 4 weeks; course taught by Dr. Elizabeth Ingleson, visiting professor from University of Sydney)
Chinese Course: Combination of small group and one-on-one coursework (course length 9 weeks; meets 12 hours per week during Pacific Ties and 20 hours per week for remaining 5 weeks of Summer Session term)
Program Length: 9 weeks
Travel Excursion: Longsheng
Application Deadline: May 1, 2020

Attend GXNU while immersed within CLI’s global learning community.
Dates: September 7 – December 18, 2020
Credits: 15-18 credits (9-12 Chinese language credits, 3-6 liberal arts credits)
Program Length: 15 weeks
Travel Excursions: Yangshuo and Longsheng
Application Deadline: May 15, 2020

Earn three college credits in three weeks, but more importantly, quickly improve your Chinese skills by immersing yourself in southern Chinese culture (courses at CLI only).
Dates: December 21, 2020 – January 12, 2021
Credits: 3 credits (all Chinese language)
Program Length: 3 weeks
Travel Excursion: Yangshuo
Application Deadline: November 16, 2020

Attend GXNU while benefiting from CLI’s immersion-based learning environment.
Dates: February 22 – June 4, 2021
Credits: 15-18 credits (9-12 Chinese language credits, 3-6 liberal arts credits)
Program Length: 15 weeks
Travel Excursions: Yangshuo and Longsheng
Application Deadline: December 15, 2020

Combine the fall and spring semesters at GXNU as well as additional language courses at CLI to deliver a complete and well-rounded study abroad experience in China.
Dates: September 7, 2020 – June 4, 2021*
*Winter break from December 18 to February 22
Credits: 30-36 credits (18-24 Chinese language credits, 6-12 liberal arts credits)
Program Length: 32 weeks
Travel Excursions: Yangshuo, Longsheng and two other locations
Application Deadline: May 15, 2020

Earn nine college credits in nine weeks while enjoying the summer of a lifetime in Guilin and its surrounding towns!
Dates: June 7 – August 6, 2021
Credits: 9 credits (3 International Relations credits, 6 Chinese language credits)
English-taught Course: Pacific Ties: Understanding the past, present, and future of U.S.-China-Australia Relations (course length 4 weeks; course taught by Dr. Elizabeth Ingleson, visiting professor from University of Sydney)
Chinese Course: Combination of small group and one-on-one coursework (course length 9 weeks; meets 12 hours per week during Pacific Ties and 20 hours per week for remaining 5 weeks of Summer Session term)
Program Length: 9 weeks
Travel Excursion: Longsheng
Application Deadline: May 1, 2021

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📖Program Curriculum

A Conducive Learning Environment
Why come to China to study Chinese? A conducive learning environment is not just helpful to your Chinese studies, it’s essential. With very few English-speaking locals and a small expat community, Guilin provides a perfect Chinese language learning environment. In addition, CLI has carefully designed your core curriculum, extra-curricular activities, living arrangements, and travel excursions to always ensure a high level of Chinese immersion.

Objectives & Assessments
Under the careful guidance of your one-on-one language instructors, daily learning objectives will be pursued and, once achieved, validated through an organized system of assessment. Day to day objectives may include learning new vocabulary words, grammar points, radical sets, word pronunciations, idiomatic expressions, social etiquette, and so on. Study Abroad students are given a formal Chinese language assessment once per month, and daily informal assessments in the form of homework assignments, in-class questions and games, and organic real-life interactions throughout the city of Guilin.

Guangxi Normal University (GXNU) Language & Culture Courses
All CLI semester students are fully enrolled at our official university affiliate, Guangxi Normal University (GXNU). Students attend up to 20 hours of weekly for-credit coursework covering subjects ranging from Chinese language, history, culture, politics, and economy.

GXNU English-Taught Courses
All English-taught courses are created jointly by CLI and GXNU and are taught by English-speaking GXNU professors holding an MA or Ph.D. degree in the relevant subject matter. At least two English content courses will be taught each term (number of courses offered per term depends on student volume).

One-on-One Language Training
In addition to your full course load at GXNU, you will additionally be enrolled in three to ten hours of one-on-one Chinese training (see Intensive Option) with CLI’s carefully selected Mandarin instructors. One-on-one time is essential to rapid improvement in spoken Chinese, as these teachers will be your personal guides to conquering the Chinese language.

CLI Language Pledge Option
The CLI Method stresses the importance of total language immersion and thinking and speaking in Chinese as much as possible. To help foster these crucial learning components, CLI has a flexible language pledge program, which allows students to opt in or out at any time.

How does it work?

Opting in: The CLI Language Pledge is optional and flexible. If you put on your CLI Language Pledge wristband, you’re “opting in” to the CLI Language Pledge program. You must speak only Chinese while wearing your wristband. And members of the CLI Team will speak only Chinese with CLI Language Pledge students.

Opting out: We recognize that different students have different needs and different modes of learning. Keeping with the CLI tradition of fully customizable language learning, students can “opt out” of the CLI Language Pledge program at any time simply by removing their wristband.

Although the CLI Language Pledge program is optional, we strongly encourage all students to participate, regardless of language level. The more you challenge yourself, the faster your Chinese will improve!

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🏫About Chinese Language Institute (CLI)

About the Chinese Language Institute (CLI)

Founded in 2009 by brothers Robert and Bradford Fried, CLI aims to provide students a unique path to learning Chinese and understanding Chinese culture. With a combined 20 years of experience in China, Robert and Bradford developed an individualized educational platform that will help students learn the Chinese language fast. 

CLI is home to a community of local and international educators. The institute is grounded by values of trust, openness, and putting students first. Educators at CLI are passionate about sharing the Chinese language and culture. CLI provides a welcoming and warm environment for students, ensuring that you have the best possible learning experience.


Guilin is a small, but beautiful city in the southern part of China. Compared to other cities in China, Guilin is less populated with a population just approaching a million people. The city is known for its scenic spots, marvelous hills, clean rivers, peach blossoms, and amazing rice terraces. It's only one of the few cities in China with ethnic minorities. Located in China's Guangxi Region, Guilin is in close proximity to Hong Kong and Guangzhou. 

Campus Facilities

CLI has a 5-story center which includes 18 private classrooms, several study areas, and a full kitchen and dining area. The CLI campus also has 3 stories of private bedrooms (each with a full private bathroom), and a recreational room equipped with a pingpong table, electric piano, and mahjong table.

Campus Life

In addition to a fun learning environment inside the classroom, CLI schedules extracurricular activities for students. This may be in the form of incursions, field trips, culture immersions, games and sports fest and many more. 

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🏠 Accommodation

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💰 Fees

Application Fee:

$0 USD

Tuition fee:

2,280 USD in total

Entry Requirements

You are not eligible to apply to this program because:

The minimum age is 18 and the maximum age is 65.

You don’t need to have studied Chinese before.

If you have not yet graduated high school you can still apply.

All student except from Nigeria are eligible to apply to this program

Is this not correct? You can edit your profile or contact us.
Or see the list of programs you are eligible for here .
Check Your Eligibility Show Suitable Programs

📬 Admissions Process

3 Steps to Apply to a Chinese University

Application step 1

Application step 2

Application step 3

Please choose the programs here , "You are advised to select 2-3 programs to increase your chances of getting accepted.

Required Documents:

  • Your Passport Copy

Preparing documents:

You can start your application now and send the application documents during your application. Some documents you can send later if you don’t have them right away. Some more info about preparing application documents is here

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Application process:

Applying Online is simple in just a few steps. More information is available here.

The first steps are to choose the programs, pay the application fee and upload the application documents.

Once submitted to China Admissions, we will review your application within 2-3 days and proceed to the university or ask you for further clarification

After it has been processed to the university you will receive your unique application ID from each university.

The university may contact you directly for further questions.

We will then follow up each week with the university for updates. As soon as there is any update we will let you know. If you have made other plans, decide to withdraw / change address at any time please let us know.

After you have been accepted you will receive your admissions letter electronically and asked to pay the non-refundable deposit to the university.

Once you have paid the deposit the university will issue you the admissions letter and visa form to your home country.

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Here is some more information about the enrollment process after you have been accepted.

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