Although the ‘Normal‘ in the title may be slightly confusing (it stems from the old practice in China of calling institutions that train teachers ‘normal’ schools), BNU is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China. Unfortunately, the teaching style doesn’t seem to have changed much since the university’s establishment in 1912. The emphasis is on rote learning and sticking inflexibly to a textbook the university supplies.
That said, there are some wonderful teachers at BNU. The university specialises in training teachers and it shows. Also, as boring as it may be, the rote-style teaching method has its benefits. If you want a good academic foundation in Chinese then BNU may just be the place for you.
Cost per term: 11,600RMB
What you get: a reputable university with good teachers, though an old fashioned course.