11 Images

Learning Chinese in Beijing

Students at Beijing Language and Culture University in the Haidian District in Beijing, China, relax between classes. The school is open to Americans and other foreigners who are there mostly to learn Mandarin. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Students study together at BLCU, which specializes in teaching Chinese to overseas students. Most foreign students live in the dormitories on campus. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Students from several countries work on their conversational skills in the hallways of BLCU between classes. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
BLCU has nearly everything a student could need: ATMs, a library, bookstore, post office, conference center, market, hair salon, copy shop and gymnasium with an Olympic-size pool. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
A teacher writes down homework for students learning Chinese at the university. Students have to hit the books hard just to keep up in the accelerated language class. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Basketball is a popular pastime for students of BLCU. The equipment is all within the gated campus. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Students walk or ride a bike to classes every weekday morning. The accelerated Chinese course runs from 8 a.m. to noon, which gives students the afternoon to do homework or see the sights. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Scattered around the BLCU campus are 17 dormitory buildings, a few in new high-rises, but most are in two-story brick buildings. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
A parking lot is crowded with the bicycles of commuting BLCU students. The campus takes up a city block and is near the Wudaokou metro station. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
The main building at the Beijing Language and Culture University, is where students come from 120 countries to learn Chinese or other languages. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Students jog every day on the BLCU campus track between classes for exercise. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)