Frequently asked questions
About Chinese Language Courses
Why learn Chinese?
China is Australia's largest trading partner. Being able to speak Chinese will be extremely beneficial if you want to improve your employability, do business with China, study in China or travel to China.
Who can enrol?
Our language courses for adults are open to the community and designed for adults over 17 years old. Our language courses for children are open and designed for K-Y12 students.
I am an absolute beginner, which course should I choose?
Chinese Beginners 1 is the right course for you. If you are a staff member at the University of Newcastle, you can also choose the lunchtime course Chinese 101.
I’ve studied Chinese before, which course should I choose?
Please contact us to arrange an assessment over the phone. We just want to know a little bit about you and your Chinese skills before we recommend a course for you. And you are free to change courses within the first two weeks if you think our recommended course is too simple or difficult.
What is your class size?
For beginners' classes, our class size is around 10-15. For intermediate and advanced classes, class size is usually 5-10.
Who are the teachers?
Our teachers are all native Chinese speakers with Masters' and Dcotors' degrees in language teaching and experiences of teaching Chinese to foreign speakers. They are from our partner university Central China Normal University. Learn more about our teachers.
Should I prepare anything for the first class?
You don't need to prepare anything for the first class. Just bring in a notepad and a pen.
Where are your language classes held?
At the Callaghan Campus, our Chinese language classes are held in the Language Centre or the Confucius Institute. At the Ourimbah Campus, language classes are held in the library or the Classrooms North Building.
Do I need to buy books?
Yes - Textbook and CD's costs are in addition to the course fee and are as follows: Spoken Chinese is $40, Chinese for Kids is $30, Comprehensive Chinese is $50 and Chinese Novice (for UON Staff) is $40. You will receive the textbooks and CDs in the first class. We can also mail the books to you before the first class if you need.
Any homework or exams for the course?
There is no exams or assessments for our language courses. We will only assign some moderate amount of homework each week to help you remember or review the course content.
Do you teach Mandarin or Cantonese?
We teach Mandarin and simplified Chinese characters at the Confucius Institute. Mandarin is the official spoken language of China and simplified Chinese is the official written language.
Cantonese is a dialect of China. Both Cantonese and the traditional Chinese characters are not widely used in mainland China.
How to enrol?
Please enrol online through our Course page. Simply select the course you want to enrol and click the Pay and Enrol here link. Then you will be directed to the University's online shop where you can pay with a credit card.
If you don't have a credit card, or you don't want to pay online, please contact the Confucius Institute to organise an alternative payment method.
Once payment is made, you will receive an invoice and a confirmation email within 24 hours. The confirmation email will include classroom location maps and all the other class information.
When should I enrol?
Enrolment should be made before the first week of class. All our courses are offered based on demand. So we encourage you to enrol as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
Can I join you any term of the year?
Yes, our courses are offered four terms a year, which usually coincide with school terms. Almost all levels are offered each time, so you are free to join or rejoin us any term of the year.
Will I get a certificate upon completion?
Yes, you will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the term if you have attended at lease 6 classes during the term.
Do you accept students who are under the age of 17?
Yes, our language courses for children are open and designed for K-Y12 students.
Can I defer to the next term?
Yes, if you can't finish the term due to personal reasons, you can arrange a deferral directly with your teacher. All deferral requests need to be made within 5 weeks after the term starts.
What is your refund policy?
If your course is cancelled, you will get a full refund. If you drop out of your course within the first 5 weeks of the term, you will get half refund. If you drop out after the first 5 weeks, no refund will be available.
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