Chinese student writing Chinese characters

The Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury (CIUC) offers a range of courses for people with either a personal or a professional interest in Chinese language and/or culture.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury offers beginners, intermediate and advanced classes in Mandarin Chinese. These courses are an opportunity to improve your ability to communicate in Chinese, whether you are a total beginner or reasonably fluent. You will learn in an enviroment that is fun and relaxed and from teachers who are native speakers of Chinese. For more information, please contact Bi Wang. Her contact details are below.

New Course Structure

In 2019, we changed the structure of the courses and the textbook. We are now basing the courses on the standard textbook for the HSK examinations. The HSK examinations are the Chinese equivalent of IELTS, they are an international exam that is recognised world wide. The HSK exams are based on the frequency of words in Chinese, so, by using them as a guide, you will learn the most widely used words first. The HSK textbooks are also more modern and user friendly than the previous textbooks we used. 

If you are a total beginner, you should register for Lower Beginners. If you have done a course with us before, ask your teacher which course to register for. You can also do practice exams to see which level is most appropriate.  

In mid-January, the course registration form will be available here.



Start date
End date


Lower Beginners (HSK 1A)

Bi Wang 

13 Feb 9 April Jack Erskine 240

Thursdays 6.00 - 7.30pm

Lower Beginners (HSK 1B) Yafang Xie (Joy) 4 Feb 7 April Jack Erskine 315

Tuesdays 6.00 - 7.30pm

Upper Beginners (HSK 2A)

Bi Wang

5 Feb 8 April Jack Erskine 240 Wednesdays 6.00 - 7.30pm
Lower Intermediate (HSK 3A) Bi Wang 4 Feb 7 April Jack Erskine 240 Tuesdays 6.00 - 7.30pm

Upper Intermediate (HSK 4)

Bi Wang 3 Feb 6 April Jack Erskine 240 Mondays 6.00 - 7.30pm
Lower Advanced (HSK 5)
Liguo Shi (Chris) 4 Feb 7 April Jack Erskine 235 Tuesdays 6.00 - 7.30pm

Upper Advanced (HSK 6)

To be confirmed

13 Feb 9 April Jack Erskine 235 Thursdays 6.00 - 7.30pm
Chinese for Youth
To be confirmed 5 Feb 8 April Jack Erskine 315 Wednesdays 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Chinese for Youth 
(Ilam School)
Liming Qi (Lydia) 3 Feb 6 April Ilam School Mondays 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Tai Chi Mei Jin
5 Feb 8 April Erskine 235 Wednesdays 5.00 - 6.00pm

All terms consist of 10 sessions. We cannot refund course fees for non-attendance.

  • Beginners and Intermediate levels $120
  • Advanced levels $160
  • Youth Classes $100
  • Tai Chi and Martial Arts $90

If a term is shorter than 10 weeks, the prices will be adjusted accordingly. The prices above are for terms that are 10 weeks long.

Contact Person: Bi Wang

Phone: 03 369 4399

The Chinese language has its own unique writing system made up of characters or 汉字. They were created about five thousand years ago. There are over 60 000 unique characters but only about 4,000 – 5,000 are used in everyday life. The Chinese writing system is used in China and other Chinese speaking regions such as Singapore. The characters not only serve a practical purpose as the writing system for the Chinese language, but writing them has also become an independent branch of art.

There are two Chinese calligraphy classes each week. Changming Pan teaches both of them..

Class times:

Time: 1.00 - 2.00 pm every Tuesday

Time: 1:00 - 2:00pm every Thursday

Both courses are held in Room 401 of the Logie Building.

Each class is $5.00 to cover the cost of materials.

Advance registration is required. New students can join at any time.

Please contact Rosa-Jane Whitcombe at or phone 369 4399 for enrolment.

Tai Chi classes are held on Thursday evenings at the university. You can register and pay for the courses online.

Term 1: 8 February to 12 April 2018
Term 2: 3 May to 5 July 2018
Term 3: 26 July to 27 September 2018
Term 4: 18 October to 20 December 2018


Tai Chi is a proven method of stress reduction and relaxation. It integrates the external or physical and the meditative internal. It improves balance, coordination, flexibility, muscle strength and cardiovascular health. It is gentle enough to be accessible to people of every ability level but can be demanding enough to provide a significant challenge to the professional athlete.

For more information, contact Rosa-Jane Whitcombe at or phone 03 369 4399.

The Chinese Tea House is an opportunity for anyone to come and practise speaking Chinese with a native speaker or to learn more about Chinese culture. The Tea House also provides a space for everyone to experience Chinese culture first hand. It is offered by the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury and is open to everyone – staff, students and the general public included.

Chinese Tea House is held on every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the year unless the university is closed for public holidays  All UC staff and students who are interested in the Chinese language and culture are welcome to participate.

Time Venue
12.00—1.00pm every Tuesday Room 401, Logie Building
12.00—1.00pm every Thursday  Room 401, Logie Building