About Mandarin Community

Mandarin Community is more than just a school to learn Chinese. Mandarin Community is a community of Chinese learners and teachers who work together to support each other’s learning journey.  Learning Chinese is just the beginning for any foreigner who wants to build a life in China – there is so much more to it than that!  Mandarin Community is here to provide opportunities to students to learn what it takes to be a successful expat in China.  

We offer a wider variety of Chinese classes than you usually find at a Mandarin school and organize lectures on relevant life skills such as how to find a job in China or how to set up a business. We also host fun events such as movie nights and book club. For 2020, we also plan to organize more volunteer events so our community can make a stronger positive impact in Shanghai! We have a WeChat group where members share information relevant to expat living, ask questions about China, Chinese language and culture.

We are community oriented!

You can check out our listing on Smart Shanghai and see reviews from real students here: http://www.smartshanghai.com/education/schools/298/mandarin-community

our origin

Mandarin Community is founded by Laura Swartz and Yang Qiuzhi. We first met in 2013 when Yang became Laura’s Chinese teacher at another large Chinese school in Shanghai. As we got to know each other, we realized that we both had a lot of dissatisfaction with the way language learning centers are typically run in China. On Yang’s end, the dissatisfaction was associated with not being treated with respect by employers, and for Laura, it was more about poor customer service and being attacked by pushy sales people upon entering the school. We both felt that we could do better. In 2019, we finally decided to put our plan in action and we founded Mandarin Community where we aim to provide the best customer service and treat our teachers well! Happy teachers means they’re excited to come to work and teach you Chinese! So far, the feedback we’ve gotten shows us that we’re moving in the right direction. Both of us are deeply principled people who strive to run our business in a way that calls for fairness, equality, and respect for all who come through our door. If we have to chose between profit and doing the right thing, we will chose to do the right thing.

The Facilities

Our school currently contains 7 classrooms and a common area. Our small classrooms are outfitted to hold 1-3 students and a teacher. The bigger classrooms are set up to seat up to 10 students. You’ll see in the photos below that the school features some fantastic photography that was kindly donated to us by some very gifted local photographers.

Our Staff

Yang Laoshi: Yang Qiu Zhi is a native of Shandong and graduated from Qufu Normal University with a degree in Chinese Literature and Language. She has been teaching Chinese to foreigners for more than 5 years and is one of the founders of Mandarin Community. She has worked with students from more than 100 countries and prides herself on being able to anticipate with startling accuracy the things that foreign students will struggle with when learning Chinese.

Chen Laoshi: Chen Laoshi is from Shanghai and graduated from Fudan University with a double major in Business English and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. She’s been teaching Chinese for nearly 10 years! Chen Laoshi has made contributions to text books, Chinese language learning apps and is uniquely qualified to teach Business Chinese.

Qin Laoshi: Qin Jing is from Tianjin (northern China) and began her work life in accounting and finance after completing her Master’s Degree in English and before discovering her true passion for teaching Chinese as a foreign language. Qin Laoshi has already been teaching for over three years and enjoys the creativity of combining different teaching methods such as cartoons and videos to appeal to different learning styles. In her free time, Qin Laoshi enjoys trying new things, drawing, rock climbing, and scuba diving. Qin Laoshi views teaching Chinese as an opportunity for students and teachers to learn from each other!