Introduction to Mandarin Chinese is the perfect opportunity to provide younger students with a head start in a language gaining international clout year on year, particularly within the spheres of business, economics, and international relations. Aimed at beginners, this course seeks to open doors in future life, as well as hone transferable skills in small, dynamic class groups.


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Academic Content

Knowledge of Mandarin Chinese is highly sought-after by employers, and adds a definite edge to sixth form and university applications. As a student on this course you will devote your time to the acquisition of linguistic skills in an exciting new language, as well as discover a venerable and rapidly-developing culture.

Students receive over 20 taught hours per week, in classes no larger than 15 to ensure a personalised approach. Our teachers ensure a dynamic, rigorous classroom environment perfectly tailored to the needs of new language learners. It is assumed that all students on this programme will have minimal or no prior knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.

The two-week course is devoted to providing a thorough grounding in standard Mandarin Chinese, as well as aspects of Chinese culture and real-life application of this standardised language already spoken by over 730 million people worldwide.

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Why Take This Course?

Many are dissuaded by Mandarin’s reputation for convoluted grammar and nuanced pronunciation, yet it is increasingly apparent that English-speaking learners can in fact grasp the intricacies of the language just as rapidly as a European language, particularly when introduced to it while still at school. Our expert teaching staff combine a introductory grammatical grounding with interactive classroom learning alongside engaging conversation and vocabulary games. Learning a new language and alphabet is not only fun, but intellectually rewarding and a great opportunity for students’ future academic careers. The programme is residential in Jowett Walk (part of Balliol College) and St Hugh’s College, allowing students to engage in dynamic study while surrounded by the city of dreaming spires.

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Our Students

Every summer, ORA welcomes hundreds of the world’s brightest, most academically gifted students to our Oxford courses. In 2016, attendees came from 108 different nations, each bringing with them unique cultures, perspectives and stories to share with their new friends.

Our Teaching Faculty

At Oxford Royale Academy we are committed to providing our students with the most qualified and high-calibre teaching faculty available. All Oxford Royale Academy teachers are passionate about their subjects, and are looking forward to passing their knowledge on to their students this summer! For full details of last summer’s teaching faculty, please click here.

Guest Lectures and Debates

At ORA, we go the extra mile to enhance the study abroad experience of our students. As part of this, every year our dedicated Events Team organises a series of fascinating guest lectures. Guest speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds and specialisms, including the worlds of online media, television and academia. Our students also have the opportunity to watch and participate in a number of debates, which take place on campus. These range from formal Panel Debates involving teaching faculty and other staff, to informal discussions about current “hot topics” led by Counsellors.

Coach Excursions

The United Kingdom has a rich cultural heritage, and a course with Oxford Royale Academy is the perfect way for a young learner to explore this. All ORA courses include coach excursions to places of historical and social significance in the UK. On the 2-week Introduction to Mandarin Chinese course, attendees will board the ORA coach to two such destinations. Last summer, coach excursions for students aged 13-15 included visits to the Tower of London and Cotswold Wildlife Park.

Extra-Curricular Activities

While you’ll spend the majority of your time at Oxford Royale Academy immersed in language-learning, you’ll have some time off in which to take a well-earned break from your studies. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the historic university city of Oxford, as well as venturing further afield on day trips to exciting places such as London and Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon. In the evenings, you can relax with your new friends over fun activities such as karaoke or movie nights, and at the end of the course, you’ll celebrate your achievements with your fellow students at a special graduation ceremony and dinner.

Some past afternoon activities enjoyed by our students include the following:

  • Punting: travel the waterways of the River Cherwell in a flat-bottomed boat, using a five-metre-long pole to propel your vessel! This mode of transport is unique to Oxford and Cambridge. Our team of Counsellors will be on hand to advise you (or to do it for you!).
  • Summer sports: have you ever played the traditional English game of croquet? There will be the chance to do so on the lawns of your College! Real tennis (a variation of tennis played indoors, with a heavier ball) has also been enjoyed by our previous students.
  • College and museum tours: if you are thinking of applying to study at the University of Oxford, an ORA course is the perfect opportunity to visit some of the institution’s most famous Colleges (including New College, Magdalen College and Christ Church). You will also have the chance to visit Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum – famous for being the world’s first university museum.
  • Dance and music workshops: have you ever wanted to try Indian dance? How about Salsa dancing? Or drumming? Experts in these art forms will be dropping in to our campuses to run workshops, allowing our students to unleash their creative sides.

The events and entertainment on offer don’t stop when the sun starts to go down at our campuses! The following will be available to every student on our Introduction to Law course:

  • Film nights on campus: catch a movie with your new friends, without having to leave your College.
  • Karaoke in Oxford: head to a venue in Oxford and sing along to the latest hits.
  • Themed parties at local hotels and country houses: head to a local venue and enjoy dinner and dancing with your friends from around the world; past venues include Ardington House in Oxfordshire and The Randolph Hotel in the city of Oxford. Every party has a theme: Hollywood, Venetian Masquerade and The Olympics are examples of past themes!
  • Graduation: a formal graduation ceremony will be held on the last night of your course. This is followed by your Graduation dinner and party — a glamorous conclusion to your stay in Oxford!
Our programmes are designed to give students a sense of the independence that studying at university brings. Students on the Introduction to Mandarin Chinese course can explore Oxford with friends in the free time that they are given in the afternoons and evenings. Students can also use this time to research assignments and complete homework.

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College Life

All ORA courses are residential, either in the inspiring surroundings of a University of Oxford college, or in Yarnton Manor, our Jacobean country house, just a short bus ride from Oxford city centre. This means our students have the fantastic opportunity to spend part of their summer living and studying in the environment of one of the best universities in the world. Oxford is quite unlike anywhere else. With a unique ensemble cast of architectural marvels famed the world over, the city feels incredibly ancient, yet continues to be home to some of the most progressive and innovative thinkers of the twenty-first century. Oxford Royale Academy’s summer programmes are designed with the academic rigour of their prestigious environment firmly in mind. The experience of living and studying in an academic environment in Oxford is particularly valuable for our students aged 16-18, as they begin to consider their academic lives beyond high school. Many attendees on our courses are so impressed by the architecture and atmosphere of Oxford and of their College, they are inspired to apply to study as undergraduates at the University of Oxford.

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What’s Included?

Our summer courses offer our students the complete study abroad experience. The grid below describes everything that is included with an ORA course:

  • Study

    • Over 20 taught hours per week
    • Study files and materials
    • Guest lectures from academic speakers
    • Personalised academic reports
    • Course certificate after graduation
  • Explore

    • Wide selection of afternoon and evening activities
    • 2 coach excursions per course
    • Welcome and graduation events (parents invited)
    • Discounts at shops around Oxford
  • Live

    • Accommodation in the University of Oxford
    • Breakfast and Dinner in the Hall
    • Free WiFi (subject to availability)
    • Daily updates on the ORA blog (great for parents!)
    • Private Medical / Travel insurance
  • Extras

    • ORA T-shirt
    • ID badge and lanyard
    • Welcome and arrival packs
    • Year group photo
    • Course memento photos
    • ORA notebook

College Life

Oxford Royale Academy’s summer programmes are designed with the academic rigour of their prestigious environment firmly in mind. Students studying ORA’s Introduction to Mandarin Chinese programme will live and study in the historic city of Oxford, providing them with a unique opportunity to discover the atmosphere and architecture of its world-renowned university buildings. This course is residential in Jowett Walk and St Hugh’s College. Jowett Walk is an annexe of Balliol College. This comfortable, modern accommodation is located a mere five minutes’ walk from the city centre, and includes excellent sports facilities. St Hugh’s College is located in leafy North Oxford. Its architecture is largely traditional with some newer buildings, and it is best known for its spacious and flowering gardens.

Student Welfare

The safety and security of our students is ORA’s top priority. All of the venues at which our courses take place are safe, secure environments, which are perfect for our students. Each venue is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – Oxford Royale Academy’s comprehensively trained team of campus staff are always on hand. If you join us this summer, you will see the following members of staff on your campus:

Each ORA campus has a Programme Director (PD), who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the summer school at their site. PDs are residential in the accommodation for the duration of the programme, so they are always close by should they be needed. Programme Directors typically have years of experience in education and the management of schools, colleges and student welfare.
The Junior Deans (JDs) assist the Programme Director with the management of the summer school at their campus. They will also be responsible for leading excursions and activities. JDs are typically returning for their third summer with Oxford Royale, or have extensive experience in summer schools or camps elsewhere. JDs are usually residential in their College.
Each ORA campus has a team of Counsellors who will be a student’s first point of contact in most cases. All Counsellors are friendly and approachable, and are thoroughly trained by Oxford Royale Academy in the management of events for young people. Many of our Counsellors are current or former members of the University of Oxford and other top universities in the UK; they are always happy to discuss careers or admissions with our students.
ORA has a team of private nurses, who host drop-in sessions at all of our campuses on a rota basis. If a student feels unwell, they can either see one of the Nurses, or go straight to our recommended private GP Surgery (Doctor). ORA courses include Private Medical cover should the need arise.

Practical Information

  • Flights

    Most students who come to ORA will have to book a flight to the UK. ORA courses do not include flights. Information on the best time to arrive will be on your course confirmation email and in your Welcome Pack.

  • Arrival / Departure Transfers

    ORA offers coach transfers between all of our Oxford campuses and London Heathrow airport, for a small extra charge. We are also able to arrange taxi transfers from all other airports and destinations, again at an extra charge. For more information, please click here.

  • Scholarships

    Every year, ORA offers a number of scholarships to talented students aged 13-15 from around the world. If you would like to read more about the financial aid we can offer, please click here.

  • Welcome Reception and Graduation

    Parents / family are welcome to attend these events at the start and end of their student’s course. For more information, please contact our Registrations Department on admin@oxford-royale.co.uk.

  • Medical and Dietary Information

    All students who enrol are required to complete our Medical and Dietary Information form. A link will be emailed to all students once their enrolment is confirmed.

Eligibility and Pre-requisites

Students on the Introduction to Mandarin Chinese programme:

  • Must conform to our Age Policy.
  • Must be fluent or near-fluent English language speakers – if you are unsure whether your English level is suitable for this programme, please contact our Registrations Team on admin@oxford-royale.co.uk and they will be able to assist you.
  • Must be able to fulfil the basic requirements of the programme, in terms of attendance at lessons, meals and events. Please contact our Registrations Team for more detailed information.

Dates, Fees and Locations

Course LengthCourse DatesCourse FeesLocation
2 weeks2 Jul – 15 Jul4,295 GBPJowett Walk
16 Jul – 29 Jul4,295 GBPSt Hugh’s College

How to Apply

If you are ready to apply now, the quickest and easiest way to secure your place on the Introduction to Mandarin Chinese programme for 2017 is online. You will need full details of the student and, if different, the customer responsible for paying the fees, as well as a valid credit or debit card to submit the deposit payment of GBP 795.00 (we regret that we are not able to accept American Express as a form of payment).
To get started, please click the link below – you will be asked to choose the date that you would like to study the course.

If you prefer, you can complete our paper application form, which is available for download by clicking here. You can then return this to our offices by one of the following methods:

For enrolments via the paper application form, we are able to accept the GBP 795.00 course deposit by credit or debit card, bank transfer or cheque. Please see the form for full details.

Further Information and Documents

If you would like to consult with one of our Registrations Team members before making a booking, we would be delighted to hear from you.
admin@oxford-royale.co.uk +44 (0) 845 130 60 21