Study Chinese in Off-Beat Places: Singapore
A truly international city, Singapore’s leaders may have chosen English as the official language, but Chinese are the dominant ethnic group. Those seeking traditional Chinese culture should go elsewhere, but those
looking for sidewalks you can eat off of can find no place better. It not only makes Shanghai look shabbily under-developed, but may leave the same impression of New York.
The most convenient program is that run by Inlingua, an international network of over 300 language-instruction schools. The Singapore branch opened in 1972. Instruction is intensive: from 25 to 35 hours
per week. Classes begin year-round. Simplified characters (those used on Mainland China) are taught.
Inlingua’s program caters towards the typical study abroad student. Singapore appears to have more experience with other types of students, and so other programs cater to those types.
Several programs are for those engaged in business who want to pick up some proficiency in order to further their business interests. These programs may be of particular interest to those hoping to use their Mandarin in
a work setting. The SSTC Education Center, recommended by the Singapore government, runs such a program. National Singapore University’s program has gotten good reviews from the expat community. Programs such as Spring Language Center provide
intensive crash-courses for those wishing to enter a regular Singapore school.
Wherever one chooses to study, the experience will be far different from that of students studying in Beijing—which might be exactly what you are looking for.
For More Information
For a summary of the options, see yago.sg.
Other options include:
Hua Language Centre, www.hua.com.sg
inLingua Singapore, www.inlingua.edu.sg
Linguaphone School of Languages, www.linguaphone.com.sg
National University of Singapore, www.nus.edu.sg