My teacher charges around 150 kuai an hour, she’s qualified, provides materials and has contributed to some recognised books. She comes to my house and is happy to rearrange by wechat. I have one lesson a week (except when I’m traveling, on holiday, in a full day meeting) which averages out at 50 hours a year, not exactly much.
I started learning before I came to China and worked my way through some of the ‘Chinese with Mike’ series on youtube as well as some other online/ video stuff. There’s also some decent vocabulary apps, I used a couple to revise the week before my exams.
All in all (even after 2.5 years) my Chinese is totally rubbish but I’m ok getting about in taxis, restaurants, bars, asking the odd direction etc. Survival-lite. I passed HSK I and II, more to put on my CV than anything else. Doing an hour a week and pretty much not revising (I’m fairly lazy) I don’t think you will get much further. Also, I’m not here to learn Chinese but I found that every scenario that I could scrape by with a little Chinese takes the pressure off and means I can relax a bit more and enjoy China.
I know people who have learnt loads in a year with some intensive Uni courses and half day sessions plus actually revising and chatting to their ayi, having Chinese friends and chatting to colleagues helps. But then I also know people who have been here for several years that cannot communicate their own address in Chinese.
None of the above would help me buy moisturiser rather than shower gel though. Pleco dictionary probably would help.
Or was your post just a convoluted way to go on a date with a hot Chinese student?