Taking up Chinese as a second language will be a tough nut to crack unless you are learning it in a good language school. The language is very different from other languages. The characters and intonations are unique. When you learn Chinese you will discover that you will be speaking in an entirely new way. Learning a couple of words or sentences while you were a kid attending a Chinese school or as a high school or college student will not give you the perfection that you require to speak Chinese effectively. However taking up Chinese courses in China is the best way to learn this language.
Today people of all ages are taking up Chinese courses in China. The language has become very popular. Reputed language schools have immersion programs. These programs are designed in such a way that you will speak and hear the language throughout the day during your entire course. If your mother tongue is English then during the course you won't be speaking it because you will be experimenting with Chinese which is very engrossing. When you learn in a Chinese language school you will be listening to native speakers. Hearing their speech will enable you to develop a proper speed for speaking Chinese which is more effective than listening to tapes. From the moment you wake up, you will be speaking in Chinese and therefore you will learn faster. Moreover being continuously surrounded by motivated people you will get the necessary encouragement to master the language.
Students also come to learn Chinese in Beijing, the capital of China. Apart from learning the language you also learn about appropriate etiquettes. China, unlike western countries is an authoritarian country. You have to abide by the set rules. If you learn Chinese you are at an advantage. You can apply and get your Chinese visa easily. You may also be able to seal a profitable business deal if you have come here for business purposes.
Chinese culture gives great importance to personal relationships and respect to seniors. When you learn Chinese in Beijing you will become aware about Chinese culture. You will learn how to respect seniors. It is customary in China to address seniors by their designation instead of the usual Mister or Miss which is practiced in other countries. You have to outstretch both your hands while offering and taking business cards. In China you should never refuse gifts and you should offer gifts while thanking somebody. Therefore these finer nuances can be learnt only in a reputed language school which has years of experience in imparting Chinese language classes.