Join the growing number of students attracted by Dalian's picturesque beachscapes and pure Mandarin Chinese. Before 2000, international students came only from the neighbouring South Korea, Japan and Russia. But now, more Americans and Europeans are choosing Dalian to study Chinese. With beach life and beer to rival Qingdao, the Mandarin learner in the "Hong Kong of the North" will be spoilt for choice as to how to spend extra-curricular time in this city.

Dalian's Location

Only a night's train ride from Beijing, Dalian is the second largest city of the north-eastern Province of Liaoning in China. Skyscrapers join imperial Russian architecture in the bays and ports of the peninsula, which faces the Yellow Sea and the inland Bohai Sea. This harbor city has one of the cleanest environments in China, and with winds from the Pacific the city is refreshingly cool in the summer and warm in the winter. From the city center, the 40 kilometer Binhai Road winds along the coastline taking in famous scenic spots, stunning cliffs and scenic parks.

Dalian's Economy

One of the first northern Special Economic Zones of Deng Xiaoping's Open Door and Reform policy, Dalian has made a name for itself with technological innovation and tourism. Now known for its fresh fish and seafood, Dalian's shoreline restaurants serve up top-quality seafood at very reasonable prices. If the Chinese are not visiting Dalian, they are watching it: Dalian FC is one of the nation's top football teams, attracting players and supporters from across the country.

Dalian in History

Strategically important to this day, Dalian's history is dominated by its neighbours, Russia and Korea. To the southwest of Dalian is Lushun, the former military port colonized by Russia last century. Today it is a place with museums and historical sites for tourists to learn the history of the city. The adventurous visitor could take a train to Dandong, jumping off point for a sneak view of one of the world's most inaccessible countries, North Korea.

Dalian's Universities

Dalian's big universities, Dalian University and Dalian University of Technology attract among the top students in the country. Dalian is one of the hubs of innovation in the country and gets direct investment from the Ministry of Science and Technology. The education system is one of the major winners of this policy with the city's schools funded to create a next generation of technological expertise. For language learners, Dalian's Mandarin in rich in north-eastern idioms and the local accent is even clearer than Beijing's.

Dalian University of Foreign Languages

Dalian University of Foreign Languages (DUFL), located in the centre of the city, was founded in 1964.The only tertiary institution of foreign language studies in the northeast of China, DUFL welcomes over 800 international students a year, many of whom enrol in Chinese language courses at the School of Chinese Studies, the biggest in the region and a recognized National HSK Testing Center.

Dalian University of Technology

Dalian University of Technology (DUT) has grown significantly since its founding in 1949 to become one of the key engineering and scientific research bases in China.Aiming to reform China's industrial heartland, the Ministry of Education funds several projects at DUT, providing state-of-the-art laboratory and research equipment.Many of China's most innovative young entrepreneurs graduate from the university's management and language programs.