Gap Year in China

Fancy taking on a Gap Year Experience you’ll never forget?

Want to make the most out of your Gap Year and learn Chinese whilst also exploring Chinese culture in a completely unique way?

We have programs to suit each individual with four different Gap Year China programs so that you can find the ideal program for you.

Gap Year in China

  • Gap Year in China
  • Study Abroad and Discover China
  • Become fluent in Mandarin
  • Experience full Chinese Immersion
  • Four programs to choose from
  • Meet friends from around the globe

The LTL Gap Year in China program is a year that our students will never forget as they forge lifelong friends and make unforgettable memories.

No matter what you want to achieve out of your Gap Year, we have you covered. Do you want to become fully immersed in Chinese culture and experience the “real China” developing into a fluent Mandarin speaker?

Or perhaps you want to gain work experience interning in a top class company while studying Mandarin at the same time.

Maybe you want something completely different, but with our tailored programs we can make sure you have the Gap Year you want.

  • Your Very Own Gap Year

    Your Very Own Gap Year

    Experience China – Explore and delve into the Middle Kingdom

    Four Programs – Something for everyone

    Learn Chinese – Become fluent as you journey through China

    Friends for life – Build strong relationships with students and teachers

  • Gap Year Experience - Learn Chinese

    Gap Year Experience - Learn Chinese

    Beijing – Awash with authentic Chinese culture

    Shanghai – China's biggest city with opportunities galore

    Taipei – Try something different? Try traditional

    Beihai – Sun, sea and beach dreams! Live the life

  • Top Team

    Top Team

    Our Teachers – Certified and here to get you fluent, fast

    Our Staff – Always here to lend a helping hand

    Our Students – Driven to succeed and motivated to learn Chinese together

    Together – We have a great time learning Chinese and socialising

  • Around the Clock Support

    Around the Clock Support

    Never Alone – Between us we know China inside out, we can help

    The Community – All staff, teachers and students join forces to help

    All Included – WiFi, drinks and even beer is included. Jackpot!

    Convenient – All LTL schools are ideally located and easy to access

Gap Year Experience in China

The Xi'an Bell Tower

The Xi’an Bell Tower

We offer four different but equally excellent Gap Year programs in China.

  • Our first program is the Chinese Language Year, where you will study Chinese for two semesters, totalling 36 weeks which will enable you to become fluent in Mandarin.
  • Another program is the Full Immersion Gap Year where you first settle into learning Mandarin by studying in a big city such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an or Taipei followed by becoming completely immersed in Chinese culture in the rural city of Chengde.
  • There is also the option to Teach English with our Chinese/English Gap Year which includes a course at one of our schools.
  • If none of those options are sounding quite right then our final program the Build Your Own Gap Year Program allows you to design your own course.

We are sure that whatever Gap Year in China you choose it will be the experience of a lifetime, getting to know one of the world’s most fascinating and historical countries.

Gap Year in China – What Our Students Said

Chinese Language Gap Year

This Gap Year focuses on getting your Chinese as fluent as possible. Made up of two university style semesters you will study in small group classes with an average of three or less students and a maximum of six. These small classes allow students to form close bonds with both teachers and students.

Classes run Monday to Friday and are four hours a day, giving a weekly total of 20 hours per week.

The semesters are 18 weeks long, meaning you will get 36 weeks of Chinese study overall, but of course this can be extended if you’d like to study for a longer period.

If you really want to give your Chinese even more of an extra boost then you can stay at one of our amazing homestays in China. This intensive program coupled with a homestay has led many students to reach HSK4/5 fluency in Chinese.

Starting Dates

Please Note – that Beijing, Shanghai, and Taipei and Xi’an courses start on different dates. More info can be found on our main website.

Xi’an Semester Dates

Spring 2020: 10th Feb. 2020 – 12th June 2020

Fall 2020: 21st Sep. 2020 – 22nd Jan. 2021


Please note if you wish to upgrade your accommodation to a Chinese Homestay then contact us and we can arrange this at an extra charge.

Your Mandarin will naturally progress quicker staying in a homestay and overall, 80% of our students opt for a homestay.

Program with no accommodation: 37,422 CNY

Program +36 weeks accommodation (Shared apartment – small room): Contact Us

Included in the price of the Chinese Language Year:

  • Study materials
  • 20 hours of small group class
  • 36 weeks of Chinese study
  • Survival Kit
  • Support from LTL staff 24/7

Full Immersion Gap Year in China

The fastest way to reach fluency in Chinese is definitely through experiencing full Immersion in China.

You will spend the first part of your Gap Year getting eased into Chinese culture in one of the bigger cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei or Xi’an then move onto the much smaller city of Chengde (not Chengdu, no pandas will be found here!)

This city has no expat community, giving you the chance to only interact with locals and enabling you to become truly immersed in Chinese culture and language.

Stage 1 – Beijing / Shanghai / Taipei / Xi’an

Your trip will start in either Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei or Xi’an where you will spend time getting used to Chinese culture and language.

These famous cities will be a whole adventure in themselves bringing memories you will never forget.

Stage 2 – Chengde

After this you will journey to Chengde.

Compared to the big, cosmopolitan cities Chengde will seem like a different world. It has a population of only 500,000 which is very small in terms of cities in China and there is no foreign community there. You have to be ready to embrace the full Chinese Immersion experience which may sometimes mean stepping outside of your comfort zone.

The people in Chengde are all really friendly and as the Mandarin spoken in Chengde is the most standard, it is the perfect environment for learning Chinese. The city is also a UNESCO world heritage site and is overflowing with Chinese culture.

Dates for our courses vary per location. If you wish to start from Beijing or Shanghai for example, check out our main website at for more details or contact us and we’ll confirm the dates for starting.

Xi'an Dates for complete beginners
  • 18 November 2019
  • 09 December 2019
  • 30 December 2019
  • 20 January 2020
  • 10 February 2020
  • 02 March 2020
  • 23 March 2020
  • 13 Apr 2020
  • 04 May 2020
  • 25 May 2020
  • 15 June 2020
  • 06 July 2020
  • 20 July 2020
  • 03 August 2020
  • 17 August 2020
  • 31 August 2020
  • 21 September 2020
  • 12 October 2020
  • 09 November 2020
  • 30 November 2020
  • 21 December 2020

Our pricing below covers 3 month and 6 month Immersion Programs.

Included in the price is a return train ticket from either Shanghai or Beijing to Chengde and also a Survival kit which you can find out more about on our Services page.

NOTE – All prices are in Chinese Yuan

Duration Beihai Chengde Price
3 months Immersion 6 weeks small group class 6 weeks 1-on-1 class 33,264CNY
6 months Immersion 12 weeks small group class 12 weeks 1-on-1 class 57,360CNY

Accommodation Prices

We have two main accommodation options with our Immersion program which are either shared apartments or homestays.

Almost all of our students in Chengde opt for the homestay option as it is a great chance to experience real Chinese family life. However, if you are on a budget our shared apartments are also a great option.

Homestays include home cooked meals. If you have any dietary requirements such as being vegetarian or vegan then this is also no problem, just inform us of your needs.

NOTE – All prices are in Chinese Yuan

Duration Beihai Chengde Price
3 months 6 wk shared apartment 6 wk homestay 21,126CNY
3 months 6 wk homestay 6 wk homestay 24,300CNY
6 months 12 wk shared apartment 12 wk homestay 37,320CNY
6 months 12 wk homestay 12 wk homestay 40,704CNY

Programs at LTL – What Our Students Said

Chinese and English Gap Year

Our Chinese and English Gap Year is ideal if you are on a budget but still want to learn Chinese in China.

The program totals 22 weeks with your first four weeks spent learning Chinese at either our Shanghai or Beijing school, you choose the city.

After you’ve settled into China and have some Chinese under your belt you will enjoy 18 weeks teaching English in a smaller city outside of Beijing or Shanghai.

It’s a truly great opportunity to explore China’s wonderful history and culture, whilst still learning the language on a budget. LTL will provide you with 2,000 CNY per month and an apartment while you teach English to Chinese students. This is ideal if you are on a budget or looking to spend less money.

Homestay Program – 9,600 CNY / Apartment Program 7,500 CNY

Included in the price of the Teach English in China Gap Year is:

  • Small Chinese group classes for four weeks
  • Shared apartment (small room) based in Beijing or Shanghai
  • 18 weeks of English teaching in another city in China near Beijing or Shanghai
  • Accommodation and 2000 CNY per month courtesy of LTL whilst teaching English
  • Transportation from Beijing or Shanghai to the school where you will teach
  • 24/7 support along with access to the LTL student and teacher community
  • Airport pick up and drop off to/from your apartment

Dates for our courses vary per location. If you wish to start from Beijing or Shanghai for example, check out our main website at for more details or contact us and we’ll confirm the dates for starting.

Xi'an Dates for complete beginners
  • 18 November 2019
  • 09 December 2019
  • 30 December 2019
  • 20 January 2020
  • 10 February 2020
  • 02 March 2020
  • 23 March 2020
  • 13 Apr 2020
  • 04 May 2020
  • 25 May 2020
  • 15 June 2020
  • 06 July 2020
  • 20 July 2020
  • 03 August 2020
  • 17 August 2020
  • 31 August 2020
  • 21 September 2020
  • 12 October 2020
  • 09 November 2020
  • 30 November 2020
  • 21 December 2020

Build your own Gap Year in China

We also give you the chance to build your own gap year in Asia. Build the program you want, when you want and where you want.

You can build pretty much anything… 8 weeks in Shanghai learning Chinese in one of the world’s biggest and most exciting cities, then head to Beijing for a further 12 weeks and kick on your Chinese further with individual Mandarin classes in China’s capital.

Continue with 16 weeks in Chengde where you will be sure to achieve a high level in Mandarin!

No foreigners, no English. Welcome to real China.

You have ultimate flexibility with the Gap Year program, chat to us and let’s come up with a perfect plan for a memorable year with LTL.

Gap Year Asia options

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I travel between classes?

Absolutely. This is something we wholeheartedly encourage! China is a country you have to take advantage of whilst you are here.

You can for example join one of our weekend trips to see the Terracotta army in Xian, the gardens in Suzhou or the beer festival in Qingdao.

You can also spend vacations like Chinese New Year or long weekends exploring other parts of the country from visiting the Ming Tombs in Nanjing to climbing the Himalayas in Tibet.

Taiwan Weekend Getaways – The Top 5 Weekend Trips from Taipei

Do we commit to lessons during Christmas?

Christmas isn’t an official holiday in China so we do have lessons but you are welcome to return back home whenever you wish.

Do Chinese People Celebrate Christmas?

How are living costs in China?

The smaller cities are incredibly affordable. Beihai and Chengde will cost you next to nothing day to day. 

Of course Beijing and Shanghai being bigger cities are more pricey but in comparison to other larger cities around the world actually Beijing is very affordable (bar rent perhaps) and Shanghai just a bit more expensive.

If you want more details we recommend going to Numbeo’s Compare City feature for cost of living breakdowns.

What happens with the internship?

We will set you up with one. Let’s chat about your preferences regarding the Internship and city and we’ll get you matched to the perfect company.

Further details we can discuss with you personally to make our experience in China as smooth and comfortable as possible.

Will I reach fluency after a gap year in China?

It’s possible but it takes graft, effort and a will to want to learn Chinese.

Taking a 36 week Chinese course doesn’t mean it’ll fall into your lap. You’ll need to interact, talk, probably stay at a homestay, study hard, make friends… and immerse yourself. It’s possible, don’t believe us…?

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