Studying Chinese without the help of a teacher is no small challenge; I would go so far as to discourage those who really want to make progress from trying to do so on their own, at least in the beginning. Gaining a strong foundation is essential in the quest for language mastery. The further on progresses, the more difficult it becomes to correct bad habits developed early on. With this said, there comes a point for most people when a teacher is not available. Having graduated, I have been without proper instruction for over a year. Although it is much more difficult than I thought it would have been, it is possible. The greatest thing that I have found the be lacking is a good method for the improvement of listening and pronunciation skills. Over the last few months, I have been relying heavily on a fantastic blog, Slow Chinese, that provides mp3 dialogues and PDF transcripts to help more advanced learners of the language to continue improving their skills.
The site has about fifty five different articles pertaining to Chinese culture, all of which have a nicely recorded, clearly read mp3, as well as an accompanying PDF. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the site is that it can all be obtained via podcast. Although the author has started to charge for the PDF transcript of more recent article, it is not a substantial amount, and for the help that it has provided me, I will quite willingly purchase the new articles once I am done with the first fifty. At almost a page per post, that should keep a person busy for a good amount of time.