The Intensive Chinese Language Program in Suzhou offers intensive Chinese language instruction at three levels: 1+, 4 and 5. Particular emphasis is placed on developing appropriate cultural behavior, ability to perform effectively in frequently encountered cultural contexts and interpersonal communication skills. The program utilizes a community-based learning approach that requires participants to interact with locals in the Soochow area in meaningful ways. Each participant will have a Chinese language partner. Ninety percent of instruction is in Mandarin Chinese.
Suzhou is a mid-size city, ideal for experiencing the so-called "China reality." On the one hand, it is a traditional city, boasting more than 2,500 years of recorded history, nine classical Chinese gardens designated by UNESCO as "World Heritage" sites, and a well-preserved and vibrant "old town district." On the other hand, across the large lakes of Dushuhu and Jinjihu, there are the very modern Suzhou-Singapore Industrial Zone, Dushuhu Higher Education Zone, and Suzhou High and New Technologies Zone. Each is several times the size of the old town district. Suzhou is also a 30-minute high-speed train ride from Shanghai, which is considered one of the most dynamic metropolitan centers in the world. Suzhou, however, has the benefit of proximity without Shanghai's overwhelming size and congested traffic.