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I'm going to spend a year in Xi'an... need advice!!

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Hi everyone!

I am a business student from France and I'm going to study in Xi'an international studies university from next september to June! I'm VERY excited about it, but a little scared as well...

If anyone here has already lived/studied there, I would have a lot of questions to ask! ;)

Concerning the housing notably : I'll be going there with a big group of students from my school, and most people here in the Office of International program advised us to share houses together outside the campus, but even if it would probably be more convinient I feel like it would be a pity to go to the other end of the world to stay with French people all the time...

I saw that it is possible to live on campus... How is it? Are the rooms in good condition?

Is the life, atmosphere etc. nice?

Or if I wanted to live outside campus, is it easy to find Chinese (or at least other international) roomates?

What would you advise me?

Are there any things I should know about life in Xi'an (or more generally in China), things I should do/not do, or any information that could be helpful to prepare my stay?

Thanks in advance for your help! =)


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Hello Demo,

i am chinese living in southern china, just share my opinion here, not sure it would help you or not, regarding the housing in Xian city or campus, if you want to learn chinese, it is more safe and easy to communicate with chinese colleague, but it might have much limitation if living in the campus, like you must back to dorm before 11pm, you can bring your friends to your dorm oftently, and the living condition is a little bad than outside. anohter good thing is it must much cheaper if living in campus, can save some money. totally, if you are not familiar with there, you had better live in the campus.

about live in Xian and China, actually, most chinese treat foreigner friendly. and the weather in Xian is dry, i also never been to Xian, my suggestion is you can ask more to your chinese teacher and colleague in the campus when you want to know or go everywhere,

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Hey :)

Thanks for your reply!

I think I am going to stay on campus for the first few days/weeks to have time to meet some friends and get used to life there and then I will maybe take an appartment outside...

Where in China do you live?

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I haven't studied in Xian so I can only talk about housing options in general for international student.

You are right, if I were you, I wouldn't stay with your French colleagues either ... I guarantee you that you will spend most of the time talking French and hanging out with your French friends. You don't need to fly to the other side of the planet to do that.

Based on my own experience studying in China, most, not all universities have international dorms that are much better than the dorms for Chinese students. However, they are also more expensive.

Some universities (actually I only know one in Beijing) will allow you to stay with Chinese students in a hybrid Chinese-International student dorm. However, in most universities, your only option is to stay with international students. I would suggest to request a room with Korean or Japanese students because a lot of them have only limited English forcing you to speak Chinese.

The previous poster mentioned a 11pm curfew. I think in most universities, it only applies to the Chinese student dorms but I might be wrong. You might want to check with the university.

I only went to Xian for a week in 2006 .... don't expect a lot English speakers and obviously even less French speakers.

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If you can, stay in the standard Chinese dorms with all the other Chinese students. If you're not allowed to, stay as native a you can get.

Even if the housing is substandard compared to what you are used to (I'm not saying it is, I'm saying even if it is), it will be a good experience. So what if there is no A/C, no heat, insects in the dorm, very crowded?? It will be an experience you will never forget (and actually treasure later) and the type of experience you can only do when you are young (I assume you're young, since you talk about your school group). It will build character and make you appreciate your living conditions in France more.

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It happens by coincidence that my roommate comes from Xi'an and she describes that city a lot to me. Xi'an is one of the four ancient capitals(including Xi'an Beijing Kaifeng & Nanjing) so it's kind of vintage and full of historical sense. The level of consumption is not very high especially comparing to France, so u needn't worry much about ur life.

Has to say that the dorm condition of chinese college is not very good, so some Chinese students move out of dorms and rent house together as well. Actually, the school gave each teacher a house but they don't usually live in there, so some teacher would rent their house to students, that's to say, u can find a house in campus. I recommend u check the info on ur school's BBS or surf the internet to find the rental resource. The problem is all these info will be published in Chinese so maybe u'll need the help of ur Chinese friend.

BTW: If u decide to rent house urself I guess it will cost u 300~500 yuan per-month.

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