Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The language school is looking a lot better these days. It was torn up during the May holiday--really a mess when we got back from vacation. They have been doing a lot of remodeling. Added a bunch of classrooms. But they have finally gotten the place cleaned up. Looks pretty nice. I hope this doesn't mean that the rates will be going up. Probably not, because business is booming. This place is owned and operated by a Korean businessman. The attraction of it is that the schedule is so flexible. You can pick any two hours during the day: 8 to 10, 10 to 12, 1 to 3, 3 to 5, 5 to 7, or 7 to 9. Cost is 15RMB per hour, so 30RMB for a two-hour class. But if you pay for at least ten days, you get a 3 kuai discount. So you're looking at 24 kuai a day (about $3 US). They have a chart in the office showing which classes are offered during each two-hour time period. The chart shows which book each class is using, and which chapter they are on. When your ten days are up, you can either stay with that class, or drop out and pick another one. The classes are not graded--this is not an academic institution in the strictest sense. So while a teacher may give homework, you don't have to do it if you are too busy, since you aren't getting a grade anyway. In short, it is a language school for working people who really don't have time to go to language school. I think that is perhaps the main reason for its popularity. Another is that the school also offers business or student visas for anyone who pays three months in advance. So it is very attractive for folks who want to "check out" China, but do not have specific work authorization.

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