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MikeyNinja91

BLCU Spring Semester 2010

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Ariane

Lynks, they have no single rooms in the dorms. At all. I've asked, repeatedly. They still have some doubles available, and the conference centre has rooms as long as you're out of there by June 16th, I believe. They have something going on at that time, so will not let you stay past that time.

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AustraliaNick

Hey Lynks - I'm in the same position as you, though I arrive a little earlier in the morning.

If there are no single rooms, guess I'll have to try and get a double! I'm not really concerned either way.

Getting quite excited now :)

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~lynks

@Ariane thanks a lot for the info, I guess I'll have to figure something out when I get there!

@AustraliaNick nice to know I'm not the only one! yeah I'm not too worried about getting a double room, again I'm sure I'll figure something out, feel free to email me at xxx just so we have some semblance of an english speaking contact if all else goes wrong!

hopefully see some of you out there!

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ireland

@Lynks and AustraliaNick (and anyone else coming for the 12 week program): I'm also arriving alone on the 24th but at 10:40pm from the States so I'm not sure if I'll be awake or dead tired. I also know nobody and have no idea what to do about housing the night I arrive. I called housing and dorm 17 but they wanted a deposit. If you want to meet somehow and figure out stuff together please email me- I don't know any other way I could get in touch with people. (erinerin85 (at) juno.com) I'm Korean-American and speak enough Chinese to get by.

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chowchow

Add me to the group of people arriving alone for the 12 week course. I arrive on the 26th from the US. I have no idea what to do for housing long term but will probably stay at the BLCU conference center the first few days until I figure things out. I am Taiwanese-American and hopefully speak enough Chinese to stay out of serious trouble, but I wouldn't bet on it! Is anyone interested in meeting up the evening of the 26th?

Also, I didn't turn in my application in time to get all the paperwork so they told me to come in on a tourist visa and then they would give me all the paperwork in person at registration. Sounds kind of shady, I hope it works out. Does anyone know when and where to go to register?

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Francis

@Lynks, AustraliaNick and Ireland

I'm taking the 12-week program too; the 30hour/week course.

I somewhat cheated the housing situation, since I have family living here in the city and am just bumming off them for now.

But if you want some company in the City doing stuff, I'm available since I don't really know anyone in the city either. And my Chinese is decent enough to get by as well.

22/M/California (graduated from Ohio State in Dec)

I actually got my phone setup: 134-398-629-35

So hit me up when you guys are in Beijing.

One word of advice though, is that if you plan on opening a bank account here etc,

Don't write yourself/bring a check; even a banker's check.. takes 40+ days to clear... I learned that the hard and frustrating way.

If you're from the States, and with B of A, you can use your debit card at any China Construction Bank ATMs without service fees, which is pretty nice, and wish I know about it sooner.

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ireland

@chowchow: The office told me the same thing about the visa. I was going to stay at the CC too but I called today just in case and they said they didn't have any rooms when I arrive on the 24th! So I don't know... now I'm thinking I'll stay at a nearby hotel- it's just that I arrive really late. If you arrive in the daytime, it might be easier to navigate.

@francis: Thanks for the tip about B of A! Did not know that. How did you find that out?

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AustraliaNick

I was given the same rigmarole about applying for a tourist visa first - I assume it's partly because the university wants to skim a little 'visa conversion fee' off the top when you get there.

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Francis

@ Ireland

I knew that B of A owns a small percentage of CCB,

So I googled it while researching banking in China.

You can read more about the specifics on their FAQs

Bank of America is member of the ATM Global Alliance. The ATM Global Alliance is a group of financial institutions that has created the world's first international ATM Alliance.

Use your Check Card or ATM Card within the Global ATM Alliance in the countries shown with no International ATM fee, however, International Transaction Fees may apply. Some members may have locations in countries other than the country listed in the coverage area. Only ATMs in the country listed are considered part of the Alliance.

Bank Name Coverage Area

Bank of America North America

Barclays United Kingdom

BNB Paribas France

China Construction Bank China

Deutsche Bank 24 Germany

Please note: International transaction fees are not waived at Deutsche Bank in Italy.

Santander Serfin Mexico

Scotiabank Canada

Westpac Bank Australia and New Zealand [/size]

Withdrawals, deposits, transfers, payments and balance inquiries made at ATMs in foreign countries outside of the ATM Global Alliance will be charged a $5.00 fee.

In addition, an International Transaction Fee will be charged for ATM Card and Check Card transactions made for foreign purchases or ATM cash withdrawals in currency other than U.S. Dollars, regardless of whether or not the transaction occurred at an ATM in a country covered in the ATM Global Alliance. The International Transaction Fee will be 3% of the U.S. Dollar amount for each converted purchase or 1% of the U.S. Dollar amount for each converted ATM cash withdrawal. This International Transaction Fee will appear as a separate item on your banking statement for each international transaction.[/size]

The 1% transaction isn't that bad. The money is dispensed at the day's market exchange rate. So its better than doing it at ThomasCook/Airport since their exchange rates aren't as good.

So $1 for every $100 you withdraw is a very reasonable fee.

Wire transfers (from B of A) cost $45, and the locals banks charge something too (about 300 kuai). So it adds up over multiple transactions.

Withdrawal limits very by person/account, I don't have that much $, so my daily limit was originally $500, but if you speak to a Customer Rep. they can up it for you permanently; $700 for me.

You (for me at least) could also raise the limit to $1700 for 14 days, then it returns to your normal limit. Quite useful for paying large bills here such as tuition.

^All $ = USD, just to clarify.

Hope it helps!

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chowchow

hope this doesn't show up multiple times, was having problems with the computer...

@ AustraliaNick, Ireland: it's good to know I'm not the only one! I'm guessing I'll just show up to the admissions office on the 27th with a copy of the email and my application again just in case.

@ ireland, when I called CC they were just like, show up, it won't be a problem (I'm thinking this will be a theme in China), they didn't take down my information for a reservation or anything. I think it might just depend on the whims of the person you get on the phone. If you don't want to go searching around at night though I think this hotel is close to campus and has online reservations, I read about it somewhere on these forums http://www.xijiao-hotel.com.cn/index.php?styleid=2

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ireland

@francis- thanks for doing the research!

@chowchow- i would be interested in meeting up on the evening of the 26th. I thought registration was on the 26th too. Hmm... Also, did the CC say that they had rooms available for super short term? Because when I asked they just said, "no, no rooms on the 24th" and I thought that was odd... but I thought they didn't want to give it to me because I'd only stay for a night but hey, a room is a room. Huh... now I hope I can just show up that night. Will be boarding in less than 12 hours...

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ireland

ok- forget what i said about the CC not having rooms. apparently if you call and ask for a room they'll say NO. my chinese friend called and asked for me. but if you tell them you're a student at BLCU, then they insist that you must have a BLCU student ID with you and say that there are rooms. my friend said that she had to argue with them. ah. i'm already learning this the hard way.

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ichewu

Hey everybody,

I am enrolled in the 12 week program starting March 29. like most of you guys, im pretty nervous/anxious because everything kind of seem chaotic... but im sure everything will work out in the end. i arrive in beijing on the 26th, if anyone wants to meet up or do something send me and email or send me a message on facebook, my name is Ivan Chew ([email protected])

im 22 from the US and just graduated college. my mandarin sucks btw

holla!

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Maureen87

Getting to Facebook is not an easy task here. Youtube too. I know that u can use hotspot shield but it is not working on my PC. Anyone knows any other way. I know you can use proxies but the connections are so slow and sometimes you just can't comment. Frustrating..:tong

As for the new comers... welcome welcome... dnt worry everything will be fine, its just the chinese way of doing things.. be patient... and u will find all these funny afterwards... Good Luck...

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~lynks

@maureen87

yeah ive managed to get connected, and its fast enough that I don't even notice, hence leaving it on all the time, whether im visiting restricted sites or not.

im at a slight advantage though, with a bunch of servers at my disposal back in the uk!

depending on how tech-minded you are you can use my methods - just throw me an email at xxx and ill explain what i do.

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greenarcher

I use a paid VPN service. 7USD/month isn't so bad.

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AustraliaNick

OK, luckily still alive. Finding the university was hard enough (jumped on the wrong underground line and then thought I could walk the rest of the way...in the end just gave up and jumped in a taxi). Enrolment is now confirmed!

The staff at the dormitory told me that there would only be rooms available from 31 March, so in the end I got stuck in a double in the International Students Hostel.

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GustavM

Hello everyone, My name is Gústav, 19 years old, and come from Iceland. I will be attending the fall semester 2010 and would love to hear from anyone who is too. I'm reserving a dorm but am still open to the option of renting and apartment around the BLCU area, or is this maybe unnecessary? I heard about the curfews in the dorms, and i dont like the idea of having to count on a guard being in a good mood to let me in when i come back after 12.

thanks alot

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~lynks

@australianick good to hear you got here ok, im also in dorm 17, there are quite a few english speakers ive managed to hook up with to ease in the first week or so.

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ichewu

hey guys, so im finally somewhat situated. i am rooming at the conference center... feel free to drop by and say hi anytime. btw, what are good places to eat on campus??

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