Nearer to the delights of South East Asia than to the heart of China, the city of Kunming gives a special flavour to a study of Mandarin. A small but enthusiastic foreign community of students, travellers and international volunteers will be sure to welcome you to this mysterious city on a high plateau. With exotic food and many ethnic minority tribes in the surrounding mountains, Kunming, meaning Bright Cloud, will give you adventures most other Chinese cities just cannot provide.

Kunming's Prime Location

Study Chinese Language in ChinaWith mountains surrounding the city on three sides and a lake to the south, Kunming's vantage point creates great views over the surrounding region. Higher than most major cities in China, Kunming can seem very far away from the rest of the world. However, with new railway tracks and roads being constructed in recent years, it is now relatively easy for people in Kunming to reach Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, as well as the provincial destinations of Dali to the east and Xishuanbanna in the south. As mountains make way for jungle passes, the south of Yunnan is home to many tribes and wildlife which is a must see for Kunming students.

Kunming's Buzzing Economy

Once ignored by government reform policies, now Kunming is joining the economic growth of the rest of the country by creating tourist havens, improving its transport links with South East Asia, and trading in its rich mineral resources. Kunming is experiencing a rapidly increasing population, currently at about four million, and is one of the fastest growing cities in China. The new Kunming International Airport currently under construction will be the fourth largest in China. The city's salt and phosphate mines are some of the most bountiful in China.

Kunming in History

Historians have discovered evidence of a dwelling on the edge of Lake Dian that dates back to 279 BC, and the city was officially founded as Tuodong in 765 AD. Marco Polo is said to have travelled to the city a hundred years before the Ming Dynasty took it over and built a wall around it that still stands to this day. With its modern cityscapes, natural scenery and an old canal running through the city center, Kunming has not obliterated its past, but rather celebrates it. The 20th century however, saw wartime activity: Kunming was the northern end of the famous Burma Road which supplied China with essential goods during World War II.

Kunming's Universities

Kunming's universities graduate students in all fields from science and technology to agriculture to traditional Chinese medicine. With long histories of absorbing academics from top institutions from around the country, Yunnan University and Kunming University of Science and Technology are among the best universities in the south eastern region of China. With expertise in studying the natural ecology and resources of this diverse area, Kunming is a base for advanced research. International students will find their time in Kunming enriched by this environment of serious learning.

Yunnan University

Founded in 1924, Yunnan University has a successful record of scientific research, particularly in ecology. Aside from expertise in the classification of Kunming's exotic plant life, Kunming University is known for having many students from Yunnan Province's minority communities as well as courses focusing on the region's diverse cultures. The university has established exchange relations with more than 50 institutions of higher learning and research organizations in more than 20 countries.

Kunming University of Science & Technology

As the largest university in Yunnan Province and one of the well-known universities in China, Kunming University of Science and Technology (KUST) started admitting undergraduate students for Bachelor's degrees in March 1925. With 21 faculties covering the fields ranging from science, engineering and economics to management, arts, law and education, the university offers a complete list of degree programs and Chinese language training for international students.