The Yieryidajie campus is very nice and has a good vibe to it, and the school has some nice, competent and inspiring teachers, but the teaching method is, as can be expected, slightly medieval, and the reception at the faculty a bit hit or miss, depending if you end up on their bad or their good side. I'm not really disappointed, but after a year I did feel it was time to move on and try another school with a different approach to teaching.
Oh, and the "Foreign student's service center" on the bottom floor of the foreign languages building is a café with very nice and -very- cheap smoothies, and it would be one of Kunming's best study spots were it not for the bad opening hours.
YNU First World $$'s, 2nd Rate Institute
YNU ICIS Mandarin Program,
Recent experiences at YNU is leaving a bitter taste.
Was it it good value for the money?
From the outset the program promised but did not deliver. From being awoken at 2 a.m. by a telephone call from the school to our home country,(ever heard of time zones, oh!, they didn't cover that in teacher's collage) a voice reading from a paper everthing that we had spent months repeatedly trying to have comfirmed by email. An online registration form seemingly not updated since 1995. An onsite registration process that takes days and a half a dozen passport pictures to complete. (Where do those pictures go?) Repeated requests from the school for information which they already have on file....in the same office. A visa service that is so poorly run so as to cost double what it should if they had their ducks lined up. An inability to give a correct and thourough calendar of dates in advance so students who have duties and responsibitlies futher then the schools 2 week time line, can make plans both professional and personnal. Teachers, though sincere in thier intentions and well trained in the Chinese method, lacking international experience and longterm experience generally. Alot of in class time versus real teaching going on. Endless quizing for what reason? Promised "extra cultural programming", being offered but poorly run. Unannounced class cancelations, (isn't that what all that contact information was for?).
Who is the customer here? Prehaps this is example of this country has so many people that the buisnesses don't really care because there will always be another sucker coming along.
In the end of course we are all on our own to make the best of things. However it pisses of this westener who values their time as much as their money! Is this what Chinese students must put up with? I don't know whether to laugh or cry!
If you are young and have time and money to kill and you want to take some mandarin courses, Kuming is a great place to do it, but this is not Shanghai or Beijing, and a serious student should look elsewhere.
This is a great place to study Chinese. They were super helpful setting up everything for me, from visa to housing (they found me an amazing homestay no trouble) to classes, and were flexible about letting me switch from small class to one on one tutoring. The courses themselves have been great, and all the teachers I've interacted with (about six, since I switched around some) were excellent. There are a few hundred foreign students, split pretty evenly between Europeans/Americans, Koreans/Japanese, and Southeast Asians.