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Beijing Normal University (aka 北京师范大学)

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hanxue

@crisgee: Scholarship students are sent to the dorm #1, which only has double rooms if I remember right and is the oldest facility as well. But if you book the dorm in advance, you can as well go to #2 or #3 and pay the difference that your scholarship doesn't cover. Dorm #3 is the most expensive and the most cozy too, but has crappy internet. I lived in dorm #2 and it was quite good. The internet was amazingly fast (300-400 kb/s). The single room cost me 80 RMB/day, but since I was on scholarship, it covered half of it and the other half I paid myself. Besides, you have maids coming to sweep and mop your floor every day; they will take out your trash too and occasionally wipe the dust around your room as well. As far as dorms are concerned, you can be quite relieved that you were assigned BNU - I heard its dorms rank among the best in Beijing.

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crisgee
As far as dorms are concerned, you can be quite relieved that you were assigned BNU - I heard its dorms rank among the best in Beijing.

OH YES. Comparing BLCU scholarship dorms, it's a country club.

This pay-per-bandwidth usage internet plan isn't going very well for me though. I wish there was an alternative. Is there?

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hanxue

What alternative do you mean? Internet costs 100 yuan/month and that's about it - your use is unlimited from what I know.

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crisgee

I'm using the campus wifi. I've heard of that 100/month plan from my friends who live in Dorm 3. Does that same plan exist in dorm 1, and how can i get it?

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m000gle

The 100/month plan in Dorm 3 is a joke!

I wasn't expecting a good internet connection here, but the one at Dorm 3 seems to range from extremely bad to simply unusable. If Dorm 2 does have it better there's a good chance I'll switch next term :P

If anyone wants the technical info:

  1. Speed = 100kb/s (12.5kB/s) on speedtests, but rarely above 2-4kB/s in practical usage.
  2. Ping = Ranges between 700ms and 1200ms.
  3. Packet Loss = Ranges between 20% and 40% when pinging a website Baidu, Sina, or even the BNU website.
  4. The Great Firewall, in all honesty, hasn't really bothered me. Beyond Facebook and Youtube I've seen precious little which isn't accessible.

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hanxue

Can sb tell me how to quote someone's post here?

Anyways, I ran internet speed test in Dorm 2 before and I got 300+ Kb/s, which is quite good. Even otherwise, the browsing experience was pretty good, though sometimes Google all of a sudden won't work, or certain websites will work slower than they would outside of the Great Firewall of China.

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m000gle

I guess I should update everyone given how my last post was a bit of a rant... (the frustration was real at the time, trust me =P )

Dorm 3's internet connection is no better than it was, but in the mean time I've gotten hooked up with the campus WiFi and thankfully have reception in my room. It's actually quite good! Speeds will obviously depend on the signal's strength at a given location, but my experience with it has been roughly on par with that of my dorm back in Canada. Its also at a fraction of the cost of the wired connection (30 kuai per month versus 100!... and cheaper if you don't download very much).

Being able to use Youtube (err... Youku/Tudou) again feels great!

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Benzi

I was thinking about doing 1 semester in spring 11. According to the website I have to pay ~12k yuan for classes. It seems like I want to go to dorm 2, at least according to the thread. Is the price still the same? Can you somehow make sure to get the dorm you want, like after the application has been accepted, or is this only possible once you are at the university (because I read that online registration doesn't seem to work)? Oh and does anybody have the exact dates for the spring/summer semester? The website isn't really helping/functioning.

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hanxue

@ Benzi: I was at BNU for the spring semester 2010 and I booked my dorm in advance, so it should work. I strongly recommend that you do so, to avoid any possible frustrations. This year's spring semester started on March 1 and it ended on June 11 (rather early compared to other universities in Beijing). The reason it ends earlier is because they have an agreement with certain American college(s), so they have a bunch of students coming to take the summer course at BNU - kind of sucks for us because we are "bereft" of at least 3-weeks' worth of classes. But that's how it is.

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m000gle

Just a slight clarification... Our spring classes, this year, start on March 1st, but registration is actually on Friday, February 27.

I didn't know that about the three weeks of class, though. Man, the things I would do for a holiday right about now tongue.gif ...anyways Best of luck in your exams this week!

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Benzi

that is way too early for me, I will have exams at least till the start of march, maybe even mid or even end of march. does anybody has any experience with "joining late"? I heard it is possible, I will also write them an email (I don't think they mind as they will get the money anyways), but I was just wondering if anybody else had to do this..

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m000gle

I have seen people join classes a few weeks in as well as switch levels even a month in. Whether its practical would likely depend on your level of Chinese at the time and dealing with the bureaucracy to get it done could be interesting. If you have little Chinese background, joining 100-level more than a couple of weeks late could be disastrous. However, if you have some background i don't see why missing a week or two would be a problem.

The International Students' Office can probably advise you best, but I'm sure its possible.

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crisgee

OT: Any Filipinos in BNU right now? It seems like I'm the only one here. If you're Pinoy and you're in BNU send me a message. Arayt.

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m000gle

lol crisgee... I haven't run into any Fillipinos in BNU, but I would be shocked if you're alone. If I meet any, though, I'll let you know ^^

Also, not flog a dead horse, but... The fast internet speeds mentioned above only seem to occur in the wee hours of the morning, when nobody is online. The rest of the day the wifi is only slightly better than the wired. Essentially, the choices for internet for international students are:

1. Paying 100kuai per month, for a "broadband" wired internet connection with packet loss and speed on par with dial-up.

2. Paying 10/20/30 kuai (for 5gb/10gb/15gb of download), with speeds only marginally better than option 1 during the day and an extremely unreliable signal during the peak evening hours. If you study all night, though, you will get a crazy fast connection between about 2am and 6am.

3. Buying a USB stick and paying hundreds of kuai per month for a 3G internet plan from one of the cell phone companies.

I originally figured this type of connection was normal, and I'm just spoiled back home. However, a few friends have verified that their domestic Chinese dorms at BNU don't have the same issues and will download at megabytes per second. So, it seems to be more or less limited to the international dorms...

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Benzi

The international dorm is dorm 3 right? So it seems that dorm 2 is the place to go for a decent room + decent internet connection?

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Benzi

So my application will be send this week..anybody else applying? I noticed that on the website the deadline is 10th of January, while on paper documents the deadline is 15th of December?! Maybe the notice was from last year? Still worries me..

Can anybody tell me how payment is handled? I first use the online method to transfer the registration fee (450 rmb), and as soon as I am accepted I pay the full tuition? And then I can also book the dorms and pay for them? And the whole process can be handled online (I only studied in TJ before, where nothing was really possible online, so I am amazed!)?

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Saxondale

So after much discussion with some friends, it seems like BNU is the place to go to. I'm very familiar with Shanghai, since i use to teach there but i had to come back home (England) to go to University. Despite really wanting to go back to Shanghai, i was told by many that Beijing is a better place to learn Mandarin. I'm looking to join Summer 2011. Any idea when the summer term starts?

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m000gle

Its my understanding that the summer isn't a typical term, like the September-January and February-June. There's no 2011 info available on the website, yet. However, if its similar to last year, there will be a one month program (20hours/wk) run in each July and August, with the application deadline 2-4 weeks prior to the start of the term.

The 2010 links are below, and I will update this post for the 2011 once it becomes available:

BNU Summer Program 2010 (A)

BNU Summer Program 2010 (B)

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