shanghaikai Posted May 28, 2007 at 06:38 PM Report Share Posted May 28, 2007 at 06:38 PM Hi folks, Since there are a lot of questions regarding which campus or program to attend, let's see if we can start something useful here by collecting information and testimonies on people's own experiences at various Shanghai universities into one place. I'll start first. I encourage you to organize your information in ways similar to what I did though you don't have to use the same categories. Honestly, there's way too much information for me to all write down but I hope people can use this thread to get a general idea and feel for what each university is like. You probably won't include every detail (I didn't) but hopefully you can throw in some good basic information and some quirkier tidbits, factoids, and advice based upon your own experience. Cheers. ... East China Normal University Random University Info: ECNU, like most universities with "normal" in its name, is a teacher's university. This means they're known for training educators and acamedic administrators. ECNU is also known as the "garden" university, ostensibly for the beauty of its campus which features two lakes, some bridges, plenty of romantic locations, and a big statue of Mao (you won't miss him). Its also known as the university to go to if you're looking for pretty girls...at least amongst the Chinese university student population. There are always plenty of aspiring Chinese/English teachers so finding language partners for free language exchange is easy. An "English Corner" is also held at the Mao statue every Thursday and Sunday evening. Chinese Language Program: 3 hours each day (2 blocks of 1.5 hours each), five days a week. Each week has reading/writing classes, listening comprehension classes, and speaking classes. This may vary depending on the class level and there are usually 2-3 teachers per class. Books are provided in the tuition and distributed to you in class. You go through an interview with a teacher during enrollment to determine what class level they should place you in. Notable Program Extras: There is usually a 3-4 days school trip to a different part of China organized once a semester. Sometimes the entire program goes to the same destination, and sometimes they allow the students to choose between several destinations. The price to participate on the tour is cheap but don't expect any luxury or frills either. There's also one or two evening activities throughout the semester such as watching an acrobatics show or the HuangPu river cruise. There may be an odd sports festival competition or "buffet" dinner at the school cafeteria here and there as well. Visa Assistance: ECNU holds a workshop at the beginning and end of each semester where a local PSB officer will come and help you sort out your visa issues. I believe they visit weekly as well and conveniently help you process your visas and passports if possible without you having to go over to the main office in PuDong. On-site medical examinations are also available at the beginning of the semester. University Housing: There are two main dormitory offerings for foreign students. One known as "the dorms" and the "nicer" one referred to as "the hotel" (mainly because it doubles as a hotel for visiting guests and Chinese students looking to seal the deal). Both have singles and doubles options but only "the hotel" has private bathroom units while "the dorms" is all public bathrooms on each floor. "The hotel" is really only nicer becuse it has slightly better furniture and the option for private bathrooms. Otherwise, "the dorms" is much closer to the language classrooms since they're right across each other and they're cheaper to live in. Interestingly, the public bathrooms for the non-private bathroom units at "the hotel" are significantly worse than the public bathrooms at "the dorms." There's less student density at "the hotel" than "the dorms" if you're hoping for ease of interacting with fellow foreign students. University Dining: Most foreigners are scared of university dining, with exaggerated ideas of how dirty or unsanitary it is. Regardless, "the hotel" is slightly closer to the main university cafeteria in that section of the ECNU campus than "the dorms". It also has a restaurant on the first floor. "The dorms," however, have the Silver Spring Cafe next door which features "western" food at inflated prices. Nearby Off-Campus Housing: There is a high rise development right outside the gate and section of campus where the Chinese Language Program resides. Apartments here are convenient for getting to class (5 minutes max), new, and usually of the standards foreigners desire. This area is a bit remote from most traffic (quieter but annoyingly hard to get a taxi at times) and there's about a 10-15 minute walk through a long empty section of ZaoYang Lu to get to the busier section where all the dining, shopping, and other Chinese students are. There are other newer high rise development apartments towards the front gate but while these are more convenient for transportation, they are farther from classes (requiring you to walk across campus from the front to back) and pricier (due to more convenient transporation). Most foreigners will not be able to accept the many other housing options in the area. Nearby Dining: ZaoYang Lu at the backgate of ECNU was quite the happening place for the students offering road-side eats and shopping. Both McDonalds and KFC were relatively close to the back gate for anyone needing an fast food fix. Finer dining available at nearby ZhongShan Park area and wherever the convenient mass transit will take you. Nearby Shopping: ZaoYang Lu and JinShaJiang Lu toward the rear of campus was the main stomping grounds for most of the students offering plenty of the usual lower-end youth-oriented shopping. There's a place on north of the front gate and JinShaJiang Lu / ZhongShan Bei Lu intersection that has tons of stores offering younger trendy clothing and shoes. Higher end shopping could be found at the nearby ZhongShan Park area or wherever the convenient mass transit will take you. There are two nearby Carrefours (ZhongShan Park and WuNing Lu) in addition to the Trust Mart at the front gate and other smaller grocers. Nearby Entertainment: There are a few small cafes, bars, and KTVs in the area but since you're so close to the center of the city, there's very little excuse not to skip a hole in the wall establishment and grab a short taxi ride to all of the nicer major nightclubs, bars, or KTVs in the city center. There's also go-karting at the backgate. Getting Around: ECNU was convenient located near the ZhongShan Park Metro Line 2, 3, and 4 hub. Therefore, not only was the campus itself close to the center of the city where everything happens, it was conveniently located for subway transit access. Plenty of taxis along the front, back, and side gates of campus. Only the ZaoYang Lu and Guan Fu Xi Lu area (which is the primary gate and area for the Chinese Language Program students) is inconvenient for getting taxis. 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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