Ni Hao and Welcome to China. Immerse yourself in the Chinese language and culture through our Mandarin language courses in Guilin. Suitable for Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced levels. You'll learn from trained professionals who have studied TCFL (Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language).

The modules are flexible so that you can apply your newly acquired language skills in practical situations according to your specific needs, such as learning the language for leisure or for work/business purposes.

Your programme will start with a cultural immersion week where you’ll meet the local people, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with Chinese customs.


Hi, I'm Jim Morel, Project Coordinator for China, and I'll be working with you to arrange your ultimate experience here, so if you've any questions, please contact me:
+44 (0)1903 502595,
or email: info@travellers
Price: £695 (approx. US$865) for 1 week
£300 (US$385) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & prices in other currencies
Duration: From 1 week up to 3 months, depending on visa requirements.
Start Dates: The project starts every Sunday throughout the year.
Requirements: Minimum age 18. No qualifications or prior knowledge of Mandarin necessary.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Return transfer to Guilin City at the end of your placement.
Transfer to your accommodation
Daily transport to and from your project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), pens and stationery, Return transfer to the airport from Guilin City.
Who is this
Programme suitable for?
SOLO travellers or travelling with friends.
GAP YEAR BREAKS from School or University.
GROWN-UP GAPPERS, career breakers and retired.
ANYONE interested in learning Mandarin or gaining a new skill for their CV or Résumé, or expanding their learning for university credit or requirement.
Also suitable as a summer placement or short break.
Open to all nationalities.


  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New language skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

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Students in the Mandarin Language class in China
Students in the Mandarin Language class.



Your programme will start with a cultural immersion week where you’ll meet the local people, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with Chinese customs. Your mornings will be spent learning how to speak Chinese and understanding cultural customs before adventuring into the local towns and cities and exploring the streets while socialising with the locals. You’ll have opportunities to visit a Confucius temple and a Guangong temple, local fairs, and some amazing natural scenery. It is a fun filled week that is dedicated to getting to know China and some of its cultural aspects first hand.


The main language training is located in Fengyan in the beautiful Karst mountain area of Guangxi Province. The course covers Mandarin, both spoken and written (characters and pinyin). They are run in small groups or, particularly at more advanced levels, on a one to one tutorial basis so that they can be tailored to individual needs. Following initial language learning at our Centre in Fengyan, SKYPE delivery can be arranged so that tuition can continue remotely for individuals who wish to travel in China – or even after they have returned to their home country.

Taster Programmes

These are included in the Cultural Immersion week. This week is the start point for those on their first visit to China and who have very little or no Chinese language. It covers the basics and will at least get you to the level of shopping for basic requirements and ordering food in a restaurant! See separate programme description).

Beginner Level Classes:

These focus on practicing everyday phrases and conversations that will help you to get by in China in a variety of situations. These classes will enable you to tour China and get the most out of your visit in China: whether simply meeting and greeting people, buying local foods and bargaining for a good price, or travelling around. They will also, if you are teaching English in China, enable you to use classroom phrases that every teacher might need: ‘please be quiet’, ‘show me your exercise book’, ‘repeat after me’ are good examples. Our tutors will also accompany you on various visits so you can practice your skills.

Intermediate and Advanced Level Classes:

These courses are for those who have already attained some proficiency in the Chinese language through previous study and/or those who already have Chinese language qualifications. They will include written and spoken Chinese, using both pinyin and Chinese characters. These courses are intended to build fluency in both spoken and written conversations. They are likely to appeal to those who want to take their language learning further, whether to supplement the learning they have already had in their home country in a supported ‘immersion’ context, or whether they need that fluency to further their studies in China or business.

For intermediate and advanced level Chinese language options, three to six months is recommended to achieve proficiency. To facilitate learning during these longer periods, ‘Skype’ tutorial delivery can be arranged, wherever you are in China, or even after you have returned to your home country. Please speak to your Project Coordinator for details and costs.


The exact schedule is subject to change depending upon your needs and requirements. Typically however, after the ‘taster’ sessions in the Cultural Immersion week, there will be four hours of 'formal' Chinese language training per day, five days a week plus homework/self-study and accompanied visits so that you can practice your Chinese in 'real life' situations.

You will have your weekends free to explore enjoy your local surroundings, tour the area or simply relax.

The actual study plan will be tailored according to your level and students will be grouped together according to their language ability.

All training will include speaking, listening, reading, and vocabulary and some written Chinese and local colloquialisms in different parts of China.

Programmes start every Sunday, all year round.

All programmes in China will be suspended on these dates:
February 5th - March 5th: Chinese New Year and public holidays


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Student practising calligraphy in the Mandarin Language class in China
A Student practising calligraphy as part of the Mandarin Language class.
Students in class on the Mandarin Language course in China
Students in class.
Students in class on the Mandarin Language course in China
Students in class.


Your accommodation will be at the Centre with the staff & coordinators in Gongcheng, which is 20 minutes from Fengyan. Accommodation will be in shared bedrooms of 2-8 people. Rooms in the centre are equipped with fans, hot and cold water and Western style toilets. Wifi is also available in the center. There is a washing machine for laundry and a bar with a variety of drinks, snacks and food in a unique Chinese atmosphere. The house runs as a ‘family’ so you'll help to clean up after yourself and to play your part in keeping the accommodation neat and tidy!

Wi-Fi / Internet: Wi-fi facilities are available in the public areas.

Upgraded accommodation options are available for couples, families or those with a slightly larger budget who prefer 4* hotel luxury. This option is also particularly attractive to older participants who have a larger budget that they prefer to spend on their ‘home comforts’. Please note that the cost of this is additional to the cost of the programme. These will be subject to availability at time of booking. Please contact us for further details.

You will be provided with three meals a day during the week - breakfast, lunch and dinner whilst at the centre. Weekends will be two meals a day – breakfast and dinner. These will be Chinese dishes typical of the local area, comprising mainly rice, noodles and vegetables with a little meat. This can seem to lack the variety of food within the West, but it is typical of the village.

Please let us know if you are a vegetarian so that we can cater for you.


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Relaxing in the lounge in the accommodation.


Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.


Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

There are fully trained Chinese co-ordinators at the Centre and they are bilingual (Chinese – including local dialect, and English). They too live as part of the family at the Centre and are there to run scheduled activities whilst also assisting those who want to branch out individually to explore the area themselves or undertake self-organised activities. They are there 24/7 to deal with any problems participants may have. They are an important part of the family.


Our centre in Fengyan Village is 140km from Guilin City in Guangxi Province. It is an amazing region full of traditional Chinese houses and karst mountains. The Centre here has been chosen to give you the experience of traditional Chinese village life during your visit to China. The Centre is located slightly above the village with extensive views of the surrounding countryside. It is a traditional brick-built ornate house of historical importance that has been recently renovated. The location is important: it provides the context of the traditional China, of life as it has been in China for thousands of years, the very roots of the modern China that is developing so fast.

There are many things to do and places to visit/see around Fengyan – both nearby and a little further afield.


  • Mountain climbing in Fengyan (especially good at sunset!)
  • Swimming in the village pond (great for cooling down in the hot summers!)
  • Shi Jiang – a short 10 minute cycle ride through to the next town of Shi Jian, to see the small waterfall, river bridge and a taste of rural village life.
  • Lian Hua – 15 minutes cycle ride from the centre for shopping and the local market
  • Hongyan village – (approx 25 mins cycle ride from Fengyan), through Lian Hua and turn right at the Police station to the village of Hongyuan. Go for bamboo rafting. You may even be lucky enough to see a local Yao evening performance. Many houses in this village also serve as hotels, so if you’re looking to put someone up, rooms are clean and reasonably priced.
  • Gongcheng - meat barbecues on the river, shopping and sight-seeing (temples), also hosts a local KTV! Good for shopping and has a much bigger range of food/clothing and electronic items than Lian Hua. The central bus station has regular buses going to Yangshuo and taxis that’ll take you back to Fengyan.


  • Pingle Hot Springs Resort – approximately 50 minutes by minivan from Fengyan, Pingle is a small town with its own hotel and hot spring complex, including outdoor and indoor pools. Stay in reasonably priced ‘bungalow’ accommodation (available on a shared basis – approximately 7 people per bungalow).
  • Yangshuo town – a picturesque westernized town with shops, bars, restaurants, bamboo rafting, rock climbing, kayaking, hiking and cycling (approximately 1 hour by bus from Gongcheng or 1.5 hours from Fengyan)
  • Xing Ping – a beautiful small town on the river with a small selection of shops, and restaurants, and famous for its scenery which features on the back of the 20 Yuan note. Cormorant fishing, drifting (similar to white water rafting), mountain climbing and cycling are popular here. (Approximately 2 hours from Fengyan (and 50 minutes by bus from Yanghsuo central bus station on West Street)
  • Longsheng Rice Terraces – unique scenery formed by amazing rice terrace fields which stretch for miles and make different formations in the landscape. Popular hiking territory. (Approx 6 hours by taxi from Fengyan or 2 hours by bus from Guilin)
  • Guilin – popular nearby city on the river, good for shopping and the park/Elephant mountain and about 30 mins by taxi to the international airport. (Approx. 2 hours by bus from Gongcheng).
  • Liu Zhou City – a medium sized city with plenty of shopping and famous for its spicy noodles and evening light show on the river. (Approx 3 hours by bus from Gongcheng via Yangshuo).

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One of the joys of travelling to China is getting to try all their amazing food!
Volunteers showing off the caligraphy skills they've gained.


Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

1-Week China Cultural Immersion Programme

1 week of cultural integration into the rich life of China,
Price: £275
, including food and accommodation

Ni Hao and Welcome to China. In this fun-filled 1-week Culture Immersion Programme you'll meet the local people, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with Chinese customs. Your mornings will be spent learning how to speak Chinese and understanding cultural customs before adventuring into the local towns and cities and exploring the streets while socialising with the locals. You have opportunities to visit a Confucius temple and a Guangong temple, local fairs, and some amazing natural scenery sites in groups or individually during free time.

A typical week in the Cultural Immersion Programme is:

  • Monday: Start your day with a typical Chinese breakfast, followed by Chinese language lessons and a tour of Fengyan village, which will include the Old house. After lunch you will learn about Chinese philosophy and what is found Taboo. In the evening you will have the opportunity to visit a local family for a welcome party and learn how to make oil tea.
  • Tuesday: Your second Chinese lesson will follow breakfast and then you will visit Lianhua town where you will register and you can do some shopping. After lunch you will have a culture session about Chinese festivals which will lead onto a late afternoon visit Hongyan village and a climb up one of the mountains and finishing the day with Bamboo rafting.
  • Wednesday: Your morning will be spent studying and participating in Chinese language lessons, Calligraphy and painting, followed by a Chinese culture session focused on the History of China. In the Afternoon you will visit the Confucius and Guangong temples and walk along the Cha river. You won't just look at the Confucius temple, you'll understand what it felt like to be the number one scholar in the Imperial city, to pass the Emperor’s examinations and the path through the temple that only you were allowed to walk. In the evening if you would like, you can join the Gongcheng BBQ.
  • Thursday: Today you are going to learn how to buy and bargain in Chinese, and then visit the Market of Lianhua to buy some food and practice what you have learned. The afternoon will be filled with further culture lesson and an introduction into Chinese cooking, where you will learn how to make Dumplings amoung other things.
  • Friday: This morning not only will you further improve on your Chinese but also learn different Chinese songs. Your final lesson for the day will be the art of paper cutting, which is strong in Chinese culture as paper was originally invented in the Eastern Han Dynasty in the 2nd Century AD. Free time will be given in the afternoon for preparation for your weekend.
  • Saturday and Sunday: You are able to travel freely today and visit Yangshuo and Gongcheng, explore the culture with your newly acquired knowledge in culture and language, or alternatively you can stay at the centre and rest before your next adventure.

Most evenings are spent learning how to play Chinese games like; Mah-jong, Chess or watching Chinese films.

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Help to conserve Pandas in China

Price: £850, including food and accommodation.

Get up close and personal, with both baby pandas who weigh only 100 grams at birth and gradually develop to 60lbs in their second year of life to their far larger parents that weigh a massive 250-350 lbs. In the last 2 years the volunteer work at the panda base has contributed to the doubling of the panda population – which is an amazing achievement. The work you'll be able to do will vary depending on what is required at the time upi're there, so flexibility is essential. During your placement your daily activities will include:

  • Cleaning of the Giant Panda enclosures, and the nursery.
  • Preparing the food and feeding the Giant Pandas. 99% of their diet is bamboo, however the balance usually consists of rice gruel, high fibre biscuits, carrots, apples and sweet potatoes.
  • You may also be asked to conduct some research into their habits and health, in order to expand the knowledge of how best to care for these highly endangered species.

If you're interested in animal conservation, this represents a real opportunity to learn about the Giant Panda, something that is unique to China. A typical programme is as follows, but this will vary from week to week and season to season.

Pick up from Chengdu airport.
You will be collected from Chengdu airport by one of our English speaking co-ordinators who will transfer you to the city where you will stay for two nights.
After a morning's rest, you can take a tour the city of Chengdu including local markets, parks and the famous ancient pedestrian street of Kuan-zhai Alley. Visit the Business quarter. Later, join us at the welcome dinner in one of the City’s restaurants.
Transfer to the Panda Reserve (3 hours by bus). Lunch at the Panda base.
Afternoon briefing and introduction to the work you will be doing.
Also registration (where you will be issued with your uniform, volunteer card etc).
Guided tour of the Panda base and meet the panda keepers whom you will be assisting.
Dinner at the hostel restaurant.
Wednesday – Friday:
For the next 3 days you will work as an assistant to the Panda Keeper. General duties will include cleaning, preparing food, chopping and carrying bamboo.
8:00 am transfer to Chengdu City/airport (arriving Chengdu airport at approximately 11.00 a.m) for your departure. Afternoon flights are recommended.

Book Now

Immerse yourself in Chinese Culture
Immerse yourself in Chinese Culture.
Help to conserve Pandas in China
Help to conserve these Pandas in China is unforgettable.
A big grin! A child in the local dress.

Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.




I really do not want to leave! And I can definitely say this has been one of the best times of my life! It really has, it has changed my life in so many different ways I can't explain in words! Jordan Scott

It has been a most amazing experience. Not just meeting and working with the pandas, but learning about the culture and society of China. The volunteers are friendly and fun to hang out with, so evenings are pretty great. I think it's fair to say that I've had a few culture shocks, so much here is different from my home in Sweden, but I've had a great time discovering these differences. I definitely want to come back someday Lynn, Sweden

The whole trip was amazing and your organisation terrific - we can learn so much from China! Judy Machin


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Sustainable and ongoing development of local communities is always the primary aim of our volunteer projects and this project is no different. You'll take up where others before you left off and thus helping to continue making this project sustainable.

We are passionate about mutually beneficial interaction with the local community. The team members are locals and very community-minded. We work closely with the local community to achieve maximum benefits and emphasis is always placed on doing what is best for the local environment.

To this end, information on how to leave minimal negative impact on the environment is given to you prior to your departure as part of your documentation from Travellers Worldwide. This is also highlighted in your induction on arrival.


We have local staff in each destination where we have Programmes and where we work with local partners, again the staff employed are locals. We have long-standing relationships with local people, making this a sustainable, on-going project. Your work here contributes to, and helps to continue, the long chain of worthwhile achievements in this community. You'll also be directly influencing the local economy and supporting international tourism, an important part of the country's general economy. So, by living in the local area, you're bringing in income through tourism and education through cultural exchange!

The accommodation on this project is locally owned and all the staff are from the neighbourhood. Where food is provided, produce is purchased in nearby shops, helping provide authentic local cuisine. Where you've chosen host family accommodation (where available), families are selected based on their desire to provide real cultural exchange and at the same time a warm family environment.

Social Responsibility: The information we provide prepares you for your placement and how to deal with the local people. It also briefs you on the Do’s and Don’ts and makes you aware of the possible impact of your behaviour. However, you are also expected to do research on the country you're going to and their customs and culture. The research you do will help you to gt the most out of this exciting travel and experience opportunity.

Cultural sensitivity: Volunteers receive an induction and orientation on arrival which covers things like being sensitive to the culture you’re in, everyday processes which will be different to what you’re accustomed to, how to have the maximum beneficial imprint and the minimum negative impact.

We stress the importance of responsible tourism, cultural differences and acceptable/unacceptable conduct. Where appropriate, volunteers are briefed on local customs, particularly those that are different to the volunteer’s accepted norm.

Economic Responsibility: By living in the volunteer house provided by the project you’ll, again, be providing much needed income and employment to the local population. The house is simple and built from natural materials and you are actively encouraged to recycle, be efficient with energy and water usage and preserve the natural surroundings. All food is provided and sourced locally. Your transport to and from the project will usually be either on a bicycle or walking again contributing to green efforts.

For 25 years our volunteers have lived in local communities around the world, spent their money with local traders and brought funding to the projects they work with. Travellers employs local staff and works with local support staff. This helps to fund the project directly and through bringing money into the local community.

In general, the organisations we work with around the world often struggle to financially support and maintain the work they do, so every penny raised makes a real difference.

Our aim is to create always a Win-Win-Win situation in terms of the benefits for, (a) the local communities and institutions you work in, (b) our Volunteers, i.e. you, and (c) for Travellers. We do not embark on any project that is not beneficial to all three of these stakeholders.

The impact of pollution: Where transport to and from the project is required, it is left up to you to choose. Public transport is always recommended by us and all nearby public transport routes are shown to all new arrivals. If taxis are required, you'll be encouraged to share with other volunteers in order to lessen the impact of pollution wherever possible.

Having regard for the local community by being consciously aware of your impact is encouraged in all our documentation for all our projects in all our destination countries. This is because we feel very strongly that many countries are subject to, for example, water shortages, high cost of energy and high impact of energy usage, the negative impact of litter and general pollution. Thus we encourage you to be aware of these possible impacts so that they contribute positively and not negatively to the community in this respect


We provide you with many tips on how to be a responsible traveller regarding the environmental impact you have.

We want you to be immersed in the culture, by living and working with local people. We work with local communities, local charities, local government bodies and local schools. We also often partner with local organisations whom we have vetted to ensure that they are committed to the projects they run, that they have the same responsible attitude to the local community that we do, that they are eco-friendly and have ethical policies.

In our projects and in our headquarters offices, we take an environmentally responsible attitude towards recycling and reusing of waste products. We encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme. Our volunteers are given pre-departure Information that encourages them to minimise waste and reduce their use of water and electricity, in other words, to live sensitively in the environment that they’re working in.

Travellers also give donations as and when required by projects. This is often done through our charitable arm, The Bridge The Gap Foundation. Our projects enable vital conservation, research, care and education work to take place directly where it is most needed. Our volunteers contribute, all over the world, to projects that would not exist without them.


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Volunteers came to this beautiful waterfall on their explorations.
China is full of colour and this beautiful statue of Buddha is just one example.
Phil Perkes in China
Phil Perkes, Travellers co-founder, and Fergus Kane discovering some of the must-see sights on an inspection trip to China.