Learn Chinese in China
lilongyue

Zhejiang University

460 posts in this topic

I'm currently studying Chinese at Zhejiang University. Thought I offer to answer any questions anyone has.

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Hey, I was thinking of going to Zhejiang University next September. I couldn't believe my luck when I stumbled upon this site and this is the second thread that comes up.

What is the accent like in Hangzhou? Do they sound closer to Beijing mandarin than the average Taiwanese person might?

Do they accept pretty much anyone that applies?

Also what would the costs for living on campus for a full academic year be around? I read that you can participate in teaching english and get the costs reduced for attending ZheDa. Do you know the details of that?

What are your opinions so far about their program? Is it good, average, bad?

Thanks for your help.

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I'm also thinking of studying in zhejiang university, its either that one or east china normal university in shanghai if I can get some good scholarships. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it as well.

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I agree with surrounding yourself in situations with Chinese, I saw on the website different conditions for the dorms, I was wondering if you could give us a small run down on the different conditions/price, and do they allow you to stay in a Chinese dormitory? Id rather have a chinese roommate than a foreigner, also are the dorms split up into separate bedrooms like they are in america or is it like bunk beds or? Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it!

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I don't live in the dorms, but as far as I know there are two (?) kinds of dorm rooms - singles and doubles. If you're in a double you share the room with a roommate, the beds in the same room. You don't get your own bedroom. If you pay more for a single room then it's just you (in one room) with an attached bathroom. Gongshang University's dorms a different, you have a common room with 3 seperate bedrooms attached. Zhejiang University may also have these, but I'm not sure. I only have a rough idea of the cost of dorms, somewhere around 1,200 rmb a month. You can check Zhejiang University's English website (if you haven't already), might be something about the cost of the dorms.

I don't think you'd want to live in a Chinese dorm. It's something like 6-10 people in the same room, each floor shares a bathroom, and I don't think there's an AC or heater. Hangzhou is HOT and humid in the summer, and cold in the winter. I just went through a winter and summer without an AC/heater, and I wouldn't recommend it. If it's allowed, and you're brave enough, you can ask. I'm not sure if they allow foreigners in the Chinese dorms though. The only good thing about the Chinese dorms is that their rent for an entire year is the same as one months rent for the foreign dorms.

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Are you currently in the undergraduate program of Chinese studies by any chance?

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I am studying Chinese language, but Zhejiang University's language course is not an undergraduate program. When you've finished the course, if you actually attend and study all 6 levels, you don't get anything other than a piece of paper that says you've completed your studies. But you get a piece of paper that says that even if you only study one semester.

I'm not part of a Western university's Chinese undergraduate program, either. But when I'm finished (I'm half way through level three now, and will complete the course, all 6 levels) I'll probably go back to the States and get my Bachelors in Chinese. The University of Washington has en excellent Asian Languages and Literature department, and will recognize some fo the courses I've taken here in China. So, I should be able to transfer my credits.

Are you currently in the undergraduate program of Chinese studies by any chance?

Questions?

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"In addition to the long and short term Chinese Language and Culture programs, the college has been running an undergraduate program of Chinese Studies (with focus on Economics and Trade/Tourism Management), and a graduate program of Chinese Studies will be offered when preparation is completed."

I copied and pasted that from the International College page: http://iczu.zju.edu.cn/Eg_index_show.php?xcate=1

(I wasn't pasting that to shove in your face that you were wrong or anything, but you might be interested in pursuing it if your intention is receive and undergrad in Chinese)

One question I DID have that keeps nagging me is the cost. How much in TOTAL have you payed so far? That includes cost of living, random stuff, tuition, food, transportation, insurance, etc. Sorry to ask such a private question, but I don't have a whole pile of cash and I need to figure out everything :/. Also, do you have to prepay everything?

When it comes to the language itself, how much have you learned/do you think you'd be able to learn it well enough in two full years?

Are rooms off-campus cheaper than on-campus? 40 RMB or less(per day)?

And lastly...how easy is it to obtain paying customers for english tutoring? / How much would you make by the hour?

Thank you for all your help eh. I've been researching and researching for 4 months now and I've not been able to find all the facts.

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. . . but you might be interested in pursuing it if your intention is receive and undergrad in Chinese)

Zhejiang University has no undergraduate program for Chinese language. The focus of the course you listed is not Chinese language. I'm only interested in studying Mandarin, so I haven't looked into any of the normal undergraduate or postgraduate programs the school offers. To attend any of the normal undergraduate programs you'll need college-level Chinese, since all of your classes will be taught in Chinese, etc., etc. You would first need to study Chinese and then take the HSK to be able to attend those classes. I don't know if the Chinese Studies program is in English or not. If you were splitting up your time between Chinese language and studying other subjects (like economy or business) in English, your Chinese would really suffer.

One question I DID have that keeps nagging me is the cost. How much in TOTAL have you payed so far? That includes cost of living, random stuff, tuition, food, transportation, insurance, etc. Sorry to ask such a private question, but I don't have a whole pile of cash and I need to figure out everything :/. Also, do you have to prepay everything?

Other than what I wrote in the other posts on this page regarding costs of study, I'd say that how much money you spend per month is totally up to you. Housing off campus can be much cheaper. My house is only 540 RMB a month. How much you spend on housing is also up to you. My house is small and simple, and out of the way, there aren't any foreigners living nearby. My wife found it for me. The biggest problem facing foreigners looking for housing in China is that they don't speak Chinese. There are agencies that can help you, and there might be one or two people who speak English.

My daily life isn't that much different from the average Chinese person's. Meaning, unlike most foreigners I eat Chinese food 90% of the time. Often times I eat quick, cheap things like fried noodles and jiaozi. If you're trying to maintain a Western diet, you'll be spending thousands of yuan on food alone, unless you cook it yourself. I don't go out to bars much, either. I can't bring myself to pay 40 RMB for a bottle of beer that's 2 RMB in my local store. A lot of foreigners spend a huge amount of their monthly income on alcohol. If you learn the bus system you can save hundreds, if not more than a thousand RMB a month on transportation costs. Riding a bike is a good cheap alternative to taxis, but I mostly ride the bus. If you're very frugal, you can live off of 2,000 Yuan a month. Most Chinese live off of less than that. I aim for about 1,500 a month, less if possible. There is probably a thread somewhere on this forum about this stuff.

I've learned a tremendous amount since I started going to Zheda, but only because I really push myself outside of the classroom. I speak Chinese about 70% of the time, started a part-time translating job, watch Chinese TV, and have non-English speaking friends. I also read the Chinese newspaper often, and have even started reading a book in Chinese (although its way over my head). If you don't go beyond the minimum of what's expected of you in class, you won't learn much. That's my experience at my school, anyway. I'm in level three now, and it's obvious since I started studying there (and even during the course of this semester) who is really trying and who isn't. If you work hard you can go far in two years, but if all your friends are English speakers, and you spend more time partying than studying, you won't progress much.

At the risk of having this thread slit up and merged with other threads, I'll only say this about teaching English: I don't work for less than 150 rmb an hour. Actually, I haven't taught English in a few months, and plan on keeping it that way. I'm sick of teaching. There is a teaching sub-forum you can look at. Should be lots of info.

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Hey, I just applied to Zhejiang University's language program for this spring. I was wondering what the international student make-up is, i'm assuming its mostly japanese and korean but how many americans/europeans are there in your classes?

I'm also wondering what the general area around the campus (yuquan) is like. How far is it away from downtown and nightlife, what kind of restaurants are within walking distance, etc.

thanks

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Koreans are by far the largest group of foreign students. Second is Mexicans, Japanese are probably third, but there aren't that many actually. There are very few Americans, they seem to be spread out between the different level and classes. The rest of the foreign students are a mix of Canadians, Europeans, some Thai, Indonesian-Chinese, Indians (?), Africans, etc.

The campus is nice, a lot of trees, sits at the foot of a chain of low mountains, which can be accessed from within the campus. There's a nice hike I plan on taking today that can be started from the back of the school Next to the university are a few nice parks, too.

There is a street adjacent to the campus with a lot of bars and clubs, and busses that will take you down-town. A lot of restaurants near the school.

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Thanks for the info! You were really helpful :)

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Hey, I have one more question about the application process. I sent my application about 2 weeks ago, and I'm wondering if you know how long it takes them to process the info and send the visa application materials etc.

Also, as far as flights go do you fly straight to Hangzhou or go to Shanghai first and take a bus or train?

Also I want to just put it out there to anyone who is attending Zhejiang university now or will be starting spring 2008, pm or e-mail me if you want to get in contact or meet up when we get there.

thanks

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hi lilongyue

thanks for your invaluable postings

at ZU.....what are the teachers like ....are they ....part time .or full time teachers of the language ?

would they need my academic qualifications from before >? ....i am what you consider a mature student 40 yo !!

finally ....if everything is OK.....how and where do i go abouts in applying for the course ...i plan to start around first quater 2008 . on a 1 month or 5 weeks max 2 months course if possible.....only speaking NOT writing yet.....

my knowledge is very very basic

hope you can feed back

many thanks

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When I first started at Zheda, I was satisfied with the school, but I'm not anymore. That doesn't mean one won't learn anything. I've learned a lot in my two semesters there (I'm nearing the end of my second). If you sign up for the full-time course, you'll go to school Mon-Fri, 3 hours a day. There is something on the website about studying for a limited time, but I think all that means is they will allow you to pay less (not for the whole semester), but you attend regular classes. So, if you only want to study for 2 months, you'll study the first two months of Spring semester. I don't think they do personalized courses, or private instruction. The teachers are already spread too thin for that.

Since they don't do personalized courses, you'll pay for grammar class, listening class, a spoken Chinese class, and a reading class. In every class reading Chinese will be required, and in most writing is also included. So, if you only want to speak, you might try finding a private school. I asked if next semester I could only take (and pay for) the grammar class because I feel that the other classes are mostly a waste of time. I was told no, I would pay the same lump sum, and whether not not I chose to attend class is up to me. Because my wife is Chinese, we speak Chinese most of the time, so I don't need the spoken class. I translate part-time, and have started my own pet-translation project, I also regularly read the newspaper, so I didn't need the reading class either. The listening class can be useful, it depends on the teacher's approach. Look at this thread I started to see more of what I don't like about the program: http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/15677-quality-of-taiwan-chinese-language-education-vs-mainland.

You don't need any academic qualifications. The courses are not accredited, you don't get any kind of degree, so there are no requirements. Age also isn't an issue, I'm 32, and last semester had a 60 year old Dutch classmate. Of course, most of the students are normal college age. Check their website for application instructions.

Good luck.

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Hello, I too have a couple of questions. I was looking at Zhejiang's website and they say they have two 18 week semesters. Is this true? That's a reallllly long time if so. And that leaves only 4 weeks off from mid-Jan to mid-Feb? Also, do you get to study extra things such as Japanese or Economics?

Many thanks,

Aidan

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I've just started studying at Zheda as a International Student studying Chinese.

The current semester consists of approximately 18 weeks, with a week off in the middle of the semester; the current calendar looks something like this: http://iczu.zju.edu.cn/Eg_index_show.php?xcate=5

I'm not sure how long the Jan/Feb break is, but I think it is only for a couple of weeks. The main holiday is during the middle of the year, where we get most of July and August off.

I've got no info regarding studying other subjects, but I would assume that they would be taught in Chinese, so unless your Chinese is good enough, I don't think they'd be too helpful.

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The Chinese language program is just that, nothing else. If you're coming over on some kind of exchange program with a university in the West, there might be some extra classes arranged for you. But you should be careful about those. I might an Irish guy who came over specifically for business courses, but the school somehow never got around to offering them. I forgot what he was doing in the meantime.

If you study long enough, and after taking the HSK you score high enough, you can attend regular class with other Chinese university students. However, the quality of education you would get would never be as good as what you could get in an American, English, or European university. I see no reason for a Westerner to attend a Chinese university, other than learning the language, or specialized forms of art (like calligraphy, or traditional painting), or maybe, just maybe, Chinese history. Most of the non-Chinese who are in a normal bachelors, masters, etc, programs are from Africa, Eastern Europe, or neighboring Asian countries. I'm sure most of them would be attending a Western university, if they had the chance.

Rumor has it that one of my classmates from last semester, who isn't attending class right now, will be beginning a course with Chinese language and business classes in March. I guess the program hasn't started yet, and I'm not sure where it's being offered.

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Do you have any idea if Zhejiang University also offers Chinese culture & economy programmes in english? because I want to study not just the language, but also the culture and economy of China. Hope you can help me!

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