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Studying in Harbin


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Hello all,

So I have recently discovered that I've been accepted to CET's Harbin Chinese Language summer program and will be spending this summer studying in Harbin. I can't even explain how excited I am about this. I'm a second-year Chinese student and I know that the experience is going to be invaluable for my chinese development in addition to helping broaden my horizons, etc. etc.

Anyway, I'm basically looking for advice/stories/anything you might have to offer if you've ever done or are doing something similar (also I'm just excited but still have to wait until summer to go so I want to read about things at least...). I've never been out of the US before (except to go to Canada, but that doesn't count) so the cultural shift will definitely be a significant one.

Obviously there is only so prepared you can be going in, but if there are pitfalls to look out for, or things that I definitely should do while I'm there, or really anything at all, I'd love to hear about it,


ge yahui

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did 3 semesters in Harbin with CET. I guess I could answer any questions you might have.

if you are only there for the summer, make use of your time to study, you'll regret it afterwards if you don't. The program is short and expensive, if you do study alot, you will see a dramtic improvment in your Chinese ONLY AFTER the program is over, so don't be worried if you think its difficult and you aren't learning anything at the time. Just keep hitting the books, go to all the activities, and most of all don't slack off.

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While I didnt study in Harbin I did go to BLCU for the summer last year and will be going back for a year in september (to one of three universities, which I am not sure yet)... It was a fantastic experience and you are right its invaluable regarding what it does to your chinese...!! I kept a blog (which isnt very interesting but you can read it if you wish) just click on my signature and troll through it for anything that might be of use...

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shadowdh....I don 't see a signature???

and venture 160 would you mind going through what a typical day at CET harbin might be like, what kind of trips they do in the summer, etc? I've read their brochure etc obviously, but I'd really love an insiders take...and a more general idea of what my days will be like

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A general day (minus the weekends) for someone at CET would be about 4 hours of class a day(everyone's sched is diff). I was usually out of class by 5, but somedays I had afternoons off or mornings off due to my schedule.

Lunch is up to you, I usually picked up a quick snack in the grocery store(tasty) or went to the school cafe which is cheap and not bad.

Most of my free time was spent studying or walking around the city and hanging out with friends. I got by on 2-4 hours a day of homework. I spent 2 hours a day working out, besides that I spent a good deal of time doing things with my roommates and other CET classmates like shopping, wandering around the city, going to see movies, going out to dinner, going to a bar, going to internet cafes, playing pool, etc. Its really up to you, some people just study night and day and others spend all their time with chinese friends and roommates. I think 80% of the people study fairly hard.

CET also has a nice activity room with a big couch and a big tv. Some people watch alot of movies on the weekends with their roommates, or host parties in there.

weekend activities: trips to dalian, changbaishan, qingdao, inner mongolia. Lots of stuff around harbin, zoo's, parks activities with culture groups. there's also a cooking class, taijiquan, and calligraphy if you want it, alot of people sign up for these.

Bear in mind, the winter is quite different and most people stay indoors, studying or going to bars to pass the time.

I honestly never really got bored except for one 10 day break where I just stayed in Harbin. I just watched movies the whole time.

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