Foreign students studying Chinese in China are often puzzled by the fact that Putonghua, the so-called Chinese national language, is not widely used as imagined. The popularity of local dialects and accents makes it difficult to acquire standard Putonghua in daily conversation. You must be careful in choosing a language school and what you do there.
What should we pay attention to when studying Chinese in China?
Look at the statistics of Chinese immigrants in this city. The influx of Chinese immigrants from different backgrounds often makes Putonghua more popular. For example, in Beijing and Shanghai, although local accents and dialects are very common, more than 10 million immigrants from different provinces must speak (or approach) the standard to communicate with each other.
Look at the number of universities. Most undergraduates born after 1980s are easily exposed to standard Mandarin. They can help create an ideal environment for practicing standard pronunciation.
Don't think that northern China in which standard mandarin was born must be the better place to study mandarin than southern China. For example, Henan province next to Beijing is an important cradle of ancient Chinese culture, but the local dialect is definitely standard mandarin. For some people, they regard the accent in northeast China (the hometown of the Qing royal family) as vulgar rather than standard.
Avoid rural areas except popular tourist areas such as Yangshuo or Lijiang in Yunnan, which are very popular among Chinese tourists. In these tourist attractions, you can get to know many people from all over China. Their accents are usually close to the standard, and it also provides a good opportunity to expose different accents.