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FyKnight

'China Study Abroad' + Tsinghua reputation?

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FyKnight

I'm planning to apply for a 12 week course at Tsinghua through these ChinaStudyAbroad.org guys. Does anyone know anything about them? I did a couple of searches in the forum and didn't find them mentioned anywhere.

I looked into applying myself but I don't have a 'Guarantor in China' and as the course starts in 2 months I don't have time to make many mistakes with applications and visas. Also adding the price of tuition to that of a room in a shared apartment it didn't seem that I'd come out too much ahead by doing it all myself (about US$4000 all up).

So has anyone gone through them? Are they legit? (Or can I do it safely myself for a lot cheaper?)

Also I'd appreciate any comments about the course I chose... I'm not going to BLCU since I want a chance to meet Chinese students not just foreigners... and it has to be in Hai Dian as my girlfriend is teaching English nearby. The little feedback on Tsinghua's Mandarin course here seems to be positive, and improving - unlike Bei Da's.

Thanks in advance for any comments on either of these issues!

{P^/

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FyKnight

Well no response yet so I'll post an update in case anyone is interested:

ChinaStudyAbroad's Tsinghua class is full so I'm going to try applying directly through Tsinghua. I've finally got the details of the right department (calling to China is not as scary as it seems) however they are away for holidays. Does anyone know when these end? (Sorry to be so naive!)

If that fails then I guess I will go to BLCU... which I am happy to do myself after reading these forums - thanks for all the great posts everyone!

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Lindsay

I think the classes at Tsinghua and Peking University go pretty quickly (like within the first 5 days of open enrollment) because they're so well-known and respected. I applied to Peking U a few days after their enrollment started and it was already full! Good luck with your apps!

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Dani_man

Hey,

the Tsinghua's foreign student office is closed until the 26th, so you won't be able to register until then. but I guess the registration deadline has passed already. anyway, if there's space left, they won't reject your money...

another option for you is Di Qiu Cun, a school that is located is WuDaoKao and provides short and long term programs - decided by you - and, VERY cheap (grrr!!!! why everyone including me takes the expensive programs in universities!?). you can start and stop studying whenever you want. try to search in this forum about this school, you'll find lots of information. I think this option can suit you if you're not a beginner.

in the worst case, you go to BLCU board, find a chinese teacher from BLCU/BNU/Tsinghua/DiQiuCun that want to make some after-worktime money and want to tutor chinese for 60-100 yuan per hour, and here you have a private teacher. might be even better than school.

good luck!

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FyKnight

Hi Dani man,

I spoke to the foreign student office before they closed, but they only deal with whole-semester programs. They gave me the number of the chinese language school (well, the fax number, but I found the phone number later) however they had already closed for winter holidays. Their website also doesn't work although the links to it say they are the ones dealing with short-term programs.

So if the application deadline for short-term programs closed before the winter holidays, then I will not be going there. Otherwise they have an email from me that they should reply to when they return (and I will try ringing them on the 26th - thanks very much for that date!)

Last week I also tried email + phone call to BNU but no answer there either. They must have already been on holidays too. I filled out their online application form but it just resulted in a pdf I'm supposed to mail to them.

From Lindsay's comments I don't really expect to get into anything at Tsinghua, so the order I will try is: Tsinghua, then BNU, then BLCU, then DiQiuCun (or similar). The closing date for the BLCU 12-week program is the 16th of March, so if they are not full I will quite likely end up there.

Thanks very much to both of you for your replies!

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FyKnight

Updates:

1. Tsinghua.

I got through to someone in the language school today. He told me that I should call this other number.... and I copied down the number and hung up. It was the foreign student office - the same guys who'd told me to call him! I tried calling them again a few times but now there's no answer there.

2. BNU.

I couldn't get through earlier in the day. Some message about the number being invalid (which I've now recorded for later dissection). Since my girlfriend is now in Beijing and wasn't doing anything today, she very kindly went over to the BNU campus and asked them in person. They said they didn't have any programs starting before September. This is obviously wrong as their short-term summer program goes from July-August: (See here)

I just now got through to one of the numbers on their website (at 5:20pm Beijing time). A thick-accented woman answered who didn't speak English. She seemed to confim that it was BeiShiDa... (she said 'dui') but couldn't give me a number for the language school (or didn't understand me: 'wo xiwang qu zai beishida xuexi putonghua - ni you dianhua haoma ma?'). I didn't understand what she did say back to me of course.

I've got to the point where I'm willing to pay someone who can read/speak Chinese to get an answer out of these institutions for me (not paying US$1000-$2000 like some services charge, I'm more talking $50-$100). It seems to be impossible to organise using English (+ v. poor Chinese) over the phone and email, and I'm getting more and more frustrated every day. Any volunteers? [Or other ideas/numbers I can try?]

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Dani_man

Hey FyKnight,

欢迎光临中国 :lol:

Things can be really frustrating with the Chinese...

let me share with you inside information from Tsinghua: the lady that

works at the foreign office (and speaks english) was pregnant and might be

using her right for one child already, so things probably go much slower there.

I'm back to beijing on the 28th, so I'll try to help you with Tsinghua then.

as I understood, you need information about the short term program, right?

I'll post it here as soon as I get the information.

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FyKnight

Hi Dani_man,

Wow, that'd be so awesome if you could get some information out of them! Or even the correct number to call would be a huge help. Yes, it's the short term program I want ot know about. When can I start (preferably around start of April) and how do I sign up? Thanks heaps!

Will definitely buy you a beer when I get to Beijing.

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Dani_man

Hey FyKnight,

I was asking today at tsinghua offices and guess what... they have no idea what I'm talking about. although I do remember, vaguely though, from my registration period, that they do have a short term program.

anxious by this mystery, I tried to look up in the internet, and I found this special website for the chinese programs in tsinghua that they publish in their website: http://dy.zhanjun.net/sort.php?sortid=140

the problem is that the english version of this site is under construction (since when? who knows) and only the chinese one seems to have much more information. I donno what's your chinese level, but I really can't decipher what's going on there :-)

anyway, I'll give you the phone numbers of the offices, if you want to try it out yourself:

foreign student office: 86-10-62784621 (the guy holds an "Handbook for Fluent Spoken English" book, check out which chapter he is :lol: ).

chinese program office: 86-10-62794540 (the guy speaks english there).

good luck buddy, hope you'll manage. I'll also ask around, maybe someone has any clue about it.

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FyKnight

Thanks a million, that's awesome! Yeah I've tried both of those numbers, and they both deny knowledge of any short term language program, and tell me to try the other number :). Just tried the chinese program office again right then.

So it looks like they really don't have any short-term language program for 2007.... or at least it's not associated with the uni in any way. If you do happen to hear anything about it then it'd be great if you'd let me know... but don't go out of your way any further - I think this is a sure sign it's time to give up on Tsinghua.

I definitely owe you that beer 'tho so I'll send you a PM when I get to Beijing to organise something... thanks again!

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Dani_man

You welcome buddy... :wink:

so I'll see ya in bj, post here if you got any updates from Tsinghua.

Ciao!

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lilac521

From everything I've ever heard about Tsinghua, they don't have short term programs - only semester or year long options! I have heard of China Study Abroad though, talked to someone from that program on the phone a couple weeks ago and they were really helpful - since they have so many program options I was trying to figure out what school was best for the summer and possibly continuing into the fall and they really helped me with that, so I am planning to apply in the next week or two! Good luck to the rest of you figuring out what you're doing!

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FyKnight

So last Friday I had excellent success getting through to unis on the phone (woot!). And yes the guy in the Foreign Student Office thinks there's a short-term program run by the Chinese Language School, but the guy there denies all knowledge of it. Still.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst (sp?) to me, my girlfriend was actually on campus on that same day making enquiries on my behalf (bless her!)... she didn't get anywhere either altho' she did see why people complain about how big the campus is :)

Then I rang BNU. Got through to someone who is a) not a fax machine, and B) speaks English. Awesome! Their short term courses don't start till summer however and only go up to 5 weeks - so they're out on two counts for me. But the person I spoke to was very nice and helpful so they get bonus points for that.

So that leaves BLCU... rang them and got through easily, and fortunately they still have space in their 12 week course. That'll do then! After all that I am going to the most obvious one, BLCU. Just have to make sure I get out enough that I'm not always talking to waiguoren. Not that great a feeling from overly-brusque person on phone 'tho.

OK... so guess I need to start posting in a different thread then :D.

btw lilac521, this is the reason I thought Tsinghua had a short-term program: http://www.tsinghua.edu.cn/docsn/wb/lxs/clcffe.htm, the relevant part being:

Apart from the long-term Chinese Language Program, the Center works with many universities to offer their students short-term summer and winter term Chinese language programs/ Putonghua programs. The short-term programs are run in collaboration with universities. Foreign students interested in participating in these programs may visit the Tsinghua University Chinese Learning Center for Foreigners’ website: http://dy.zhanjun.net[/url'] for relevant information and registration procedures.
Of course, that very tempting dj.zhanjun.net website, is almost completely defunct.

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