With an average daily commute of nearly 2 hours in Beijing (China Daily), you might as well use this time productively, right? (Good thing we place our students in apartments close to our school and their internship company!)
Why not learn Chinese while you are stuck in the subway on your way to school or work?
Chinese audio lessons
Podcasts or audio lessons are a great way to practice your Chinese while you are on the move. Just plug in your iPod or phone and study anytime, anywhere. The most famous Chinese podcast is ChinesePod. They provide excellent audio lessons in combination with a fully fledged online learning environment. The first 300 lessons are free if you sign up for a trial account. If you want more you will have to purchase one of their study packages (Hutong Students get a nice discount).
An alternative is provided by Melnyks, featuring over 200+ high quality audio lessons for free.
Whether you’re walking on your way to your internship in Beijing or getting ready for your Mandarin class in Shanghai, audio lessons are a great way to continuously practice your Chinese and immerse yourself in the language.
Are audio lessons not enough for you? There are loads of apps for learning Chinese available for your iPhone, 小米, or any equivalent of smart phone. You have Chinese dictionaries, digital flashcards, various Chinese learning games,… too many to list here. Just search for ‘learn Chinese‘ in the app store and off you go!
Old fashioned way of studying
Not into all that digital stuff? Just take out your Chinese flashcards or a Chinese pocket booklet! These are great ways to practice your knowledge of 汉字and see how many you recognize. It is perfect for practicing and learning right before class or in preparation for HSK tests.
An even better way to practice in the old-fashioned way to learn Chinese is to strike up a conversation with a fellow commuter! There is no better way to learn Chinese than to speak it outside of your regular learning environment. One of the best benefits of learning Chinese in China is the multitude of opportunities you have to practice it. Take advantage of the native speakers all around you and practice practice practice your Chinese!
Updated on June 29 2016