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Hello all! I was seriously considering studying in Beijing at Beida this fall (even had most of the application and materials filled out). However, after talking with the program director about BeiDa and my goals for studying, He suggested going to Nanjing Uni. Classes are smaller, teachers of the program expect a little more and it is a bit easier to integrate with Chinese student as well as engage the city itself.. That was one of my biggest worries going to BeiDa, only ever hanging out with foreign students. He mentioned that, generally, students at BeiDa are seriously focused on their studies (more so even than other Chinese uni's) and don't really fraternize with foreigners. I have heard this from friends over in Beijing as well.

Anyway has anyone here been to or studied in Nanjing? What did you think?

It really sounds like a good option and a little more conducive to serious language study.

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Nanjing is a lovely city. I'm sure the air quality is better than Beijing. Also, you'll learn to understand a dialect when off-campus.

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I visited Nanjing a few times and lived in Beijing for 8 years. Also, I visited both of them in December. I enjoyed both cities very much.

I don't agree with everything your program director said. However, Beijing is indeed a MUCH bigger city than Nanjing. As for integrating with fellow Chinese students and the city, I suspect that it would be up to you to make the effort in both places and you won't see that much of a difference. Students in Beijing tends to be more open to strangers and foreign concepts, at least that was the case 15 years ago when I was there. Both cities are deeply cultured with long history -- but they are quite different. I feel that Nanjing is slightly better protected than Beijing although old things are disappearing in both cities very fast.

Nanjing is a much greener city with lots of trees. It is close to Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Wuxi -- all cities of attractions. But summer days in Nanjing could get unbearably hot and steamy. Lots of mosquito.

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As a long time Nanjing resident, I have to say Nanjing is the Bomb.

The foreign student dorms and classrooms are right in the middle of the nanjing city. in BJ most Uni's have been moved to the outskirts following the 89 incident.

BJ is dusty and windy most of the time. So riding a bike is not as easy. The traffic is bad and the city is spread out so it often takes awhile to get places. The Subway is not that fast and mean you have to walk a ways to get to it and usually change lines. One line is old and slow. There is a lot of crowding on Buses and Subways.

Nanjing has a relatively new subway. It is also much smaller than BJ though still with big bike lanes for going around. There is a big scenic lake and Mountain right in the middle of the city. The dialect is not strong at all, and there are lots of universities and tech companies in and around the city. Think Boston type city. The students give the city a cool vibe. THere is a restored bar district called 1912, a western student house party bar restaurant Jimmies Pizza, and a chill relaxed open air mexican bar "behind the wall".

The summers are a little hot but you have air conditioning in the classrooms and at home. THere is usually a breeze as well. There are very few mosquitoes so don't worry about them.

There are easy options for part time teaching of english and food and life is cheaper than Beijing and Shanghai.

Nanjing has everything you need without the crowding of Shanghai or the dust of Beijing.

If you can come for a visit to check it out.

have fun,


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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the reply simon. It sounds like Nanjing will be a very pleasant city. I recently talked to a guy who said the dialect was unintelligible to putonghua and the city was a bore. Reading your post I see both to be incorrect. Dude was pretty drunk to so I think he could of been talking about somewhere else and not have known it!!! hehe! Thanks again man.

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Nanjing is just on the dialectal border and is on Mandarin side. :) Even if it wasn't like any major city, even including the southern dialect regions, there are always opportunities to practice Mandarin and use Mandarin for communication. My Chinese colleague studied in Nanjing and usually praises it.

Even Wiki has a nice page on Nanjing:


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