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bunny87

Tsinghua University Fall/Autumn 2010

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nazreal

I received mine today. I live in Japan, so not sure how much difference, if any, this makes. So they should be on their way!

ooh! YAY!!! the post works...

So do you mind if I ask just two essential questions please:

1. When does registration start? (i.e. what date do we need to be there - I want to buy tickets as soon as!)

2. What's going on with accommodation?? Like is there a date where we should be there to actually apply? Like a week before reg? or is it via the internet etc?

Thanks so much! I think these questions might help all us lot way beyond the reaches of current airmail plan our next steps!

nazreal

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MGMT

Great news! I second nazreal's questions, if you don't mind telling us, and also:

3. is the visa information included, or will it come later in a separate package?

Crossing fingers that we'll all get them this week!

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calif90071

Whoo! This is fantastic news! Most of my questions have been asked in the 2 posts above this, but I had another:

4. How big of a mailing was it? (was it in an envelope or a box?) I just want to know what I'm looking out for :)

Sorry if this seems like a silly question, but I receive mail differently depending on the size and I want to know where to look for it

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nparbis

ooh! YAY!!! the post works...

So do you mind if I ask just two essential questions please:

1. When does registration start? (i.e. what date do we need to be there - I want to buy tickets as soon as!)

2. What's going on with accommodation?? Like is there a date where we should be there to actually apply? Like a week before reg? or is it via the internet etc?

Thanks so much! I think these questions might help all us lot way beyond the reaches of current airmail plan our next steps!

nazreal

Received mine today.

To answer a few questions:

- Registration date is from September 6-September 8. Placement test is the next day and Orientation is on September 11th. Classes start on the 14th and January 17th or 18th is the last day.

- Accomodation is through a website: www.thutraining.com. But, we can only apply between 9 am of August 3 to 10:00 pm of August 12 (All Beijing Time). That website is working, but it still doesn't let me log in even though I have my student number. Maybe they haven't added the whole roster to the website yet.

- About the letter size, it's in a slightly bigger envelope than your regular mail but not anything out of the ordinary.

That's it! Just keep checking your mailboxes as I am sure it will arrive to everyone very soon. I am in Long Beach, CA so it might take another day or so for the East Coast or Europe. I don't know.

Now, it's just applying for the Visa. Which one are you guys planning to get? F or X? I am only staying for one semester, but I want to get a multiple entry one.

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calif90071

That is great that we apply for housing online! Another worry I can dispose of

I am getting an X visa, but then again I'm staying until July...is anyone else doing the full school year or just the fall semester?

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nazreal

@nparbis: thanks so much for the info!!! Ok I can really go to town with ticket buying now etc etc.

re. visas I'm going to go for multiple entry as well which will be a bumpf price I guess but hey ho, I don't want to bother about nipping in and out of HK/ SKorea. I'm also planning on staying for a year so for those others who are also doing the same (calif90071?) will you be buying a one way ticket? As I don't think I'll be able to buy a return beyond 6 months from the UK...

naz

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calif90071

nazreal: Yes I am buying a one-way ticket, I also can't buy tickets that far in advance. Although that will be more expensive in the long run...oh well :)

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letsgo

Hey all,

I got my packet in the mail today and I'm in Seattle, WA. I'm sure everyone should get theirs soon. I had some questions about the housing and wanted to see what people we're doing. The 3 dorm options are a single room, AB room (not sure what that is) and a double room. The single and AB rooms are RMB 80 per day and the double is RMB 40. Does anyone know the difference between these rooms? Also has anyone looked into renting off campus and what the accommodations and market rates would be for something like that? I don't even know where to start if I were to go that route. Is everyone planning on dorming it?

I'm probably looking to get in at the start of September if not earlier to settle and have some free time. It's good to see things are finally moving along...

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ScarlettWan

I'm still waiting >< I think the registration dates for exchange and language students are different, cz my email says my registration is 8th-9th sept :/...

I'm getting a return ticket, they said it'd be cheaper because its that far in advanced...so just debating will i come back to the UK when 2nd semester ends or stay until august...what are other people planning to do?

I'm a bit confused about this whole visa thing..i tried reading up on it...but as long as we leave China during our period of study, does that mean we'll need the multiple entry?...and does going to HK and back count as leaving china...would be really grateful if anyone knew the answer :)

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calif90071

I know that you have to have a multiple entry visa to go from China to Hong Kong and expect to be let back into China afterwards...you don't need a HK visa to get in though which is nice. I'm still waiting too...the mail arrives here in about an hour so hopefully it'll come then...

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bunny87

I'm out here in Miami, FL and got mine yesterday. :D

The buddy system is a nice idea, but among our entire class it only worked out for about... 2 or 3 people. Everyone had a buddy for a reason or another, i think all the girls I had wanted English practice. They all left for the summer, however. The guy I had, ugh, was looking for a girlfriend. He was under the impression that foreign girls were easy. Every guy I had met was under this impression. At that point, I gave up on "buddies."

Cash also worked really well. For those that are using the Bank of America method- awesome. Remember to just get a nice wad and hide it somewhere safe from all eyes and the fuwuyuans who come to clean your dorm rooms. The ATM is a 10/15 minute bike ride (20-25 at first for those of us that never rode a bike prior to arrival) and you'll find it's on the opposite side of campus from anything you want. Travellers Checks were hell at the bank itself, nevertheless anywhere else. You can, in fact, be told "come back when you have cash." Make sure to set aside 2-3 hours at least at the bank for converting one.

Problem with sliding credit cards = could you understand which button says "credit / debit" ? or "would you like cash back?" "accept" "reject" - "international fee" etc. ? I'm sure the cashier would help you, though even in the hospital they directed me to an ATM and then requested I come back and pay in cash.

Quite possibly the most important information: when using a taxi to go to WuDaoKou from Zijing, never pay more than 15 kuai/yuan TOTAL. when returning to Zijing dorms, go to the DONG BEI MEN (when speaking, it turns into "dong bay murrr")(north east gate), your dorm buildings are right inside. Keep a card with Qinghua's address on you all the time- when some find out how cheap alcohol is before where they live, this got them home safe every time. Particularly at night, the security/police don't let taxi's through unless a student is inside- thus you need your student ID. My method? In the worst accent you can pull off, stick your head out with a big smile (american style!) and yell "NIII HAAO! WO SHI YI GE MEI GUO REN DE XUE SHENG". you won't get past ni hao before the police man doesn't want to be seen speaking with you. I doubt this method will work as well for the male students, however ;)

Dorms:

single- your own space for a desk, a bed, tv on nightstand, a little sink with cabinet under it, and a large dresser thing where you can hang your laundry in the middle (girls- it's only about 2 feet deep and only one rack, you won't get more than that on it and yes, things do fall apart so don't try), or shove it into cubbies on the side. you have your own "western" bathroom meaning you sit on your toilet. there's a button on the water part that you press to flush. your shower is right there next to you, and a tiny sink in the corner. it's no bigger than a 5x5foot room. it's all the same floor, no divider. make sure not to cover the drain with those plastic rugs or w/e or you'll flood your room and the hall. (one inch tall 'wall').

Double- same thing, except there's 2 beds, 2 desks, etc. one sink with cabinet, one bathroom. absolutely no privacy. watch your buddy sleep for all anyone cares.

A/B - two little rooms- each room has just the desk / bed / tv / dresser thing, there is a door! and your sink/bathroom is shared. thus, you must (or at least should) put clothes on to reach your bathroom, but no one other than your dorm mate would ever see you.

I'm really glad to see such a large group going! Have fun all!

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ScarlettWan

@calif90071, Thanks for letting me know..at least thats one problem out of the way...just another 99 to go ^_^"

@bunny87, oh dear >< and i was hoping the buddy would actually be able to help out...so its not same gender buddy system i take it =.= Not good..i know what you mean thinking foreign girls are "easy"...even at uni, alot of the international Chinese students think british born chinese girls are easy :/

Is there anyone else from the UK here?...I'm trying to sort out the money issue, i don't want to be carrying that much cash around with me when i arrive..any recomendations where to open bank accounts...uk/china? I've looked around, and the transfers are $$$ =.=

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nparbis

When is everyone planning to arrive? I am considering an extended stopover somewhere before I go to Beijing.

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nazreal

ooooh! I'm totally excited!!! can't wait! and you know depressingly (because I'm like that) it will all be gone in a blink of an eye *sigh*

Ok enough wallowing (I blame my weird day today...)

@ScarlettWan: I'm from the UK too - I was thinking of just getting a wod of cash changed from Travelex at Heathrow or something OR order it from the Post Office as it's commission free from there. And since I have an HSBC UK account, my cousin who works for them, suggests the easiest thing for me to do is open up an HSBC China account...Otherwise dang! I better brush up on learning how to read 'cash withrawal' and 'accept/decline' in Mando...shiz...

@bunny87: yikes! that allora information to take in - sounds wickedly awesome though! will defos try and get a single room/ AB as a plan B. To be honest I think that staying at the university will 1. make my family worry less 2. be way easier in general since it's my first time to china let alone beijing let alone the wudaokou area :) If I go for accommodation outside I'll be doing that probably around the 2nd semester of study rather than the first.

yosh! can't wait:)

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ScarlettWan

My mum booked my flights today...'m flying out 25th August, arriving 26th...its so early, im a bit worried to be honest...i wanted time to settle in and sort things out, but 2 weeks early seems a little..well early, i guess i have to thank my mother for that, but apparently flights don't start getting cheaper till after 1st september for the year returns, and all were booked up till 6th sept...which would mean earliest arrival would be 7th sept :/

Nazreal- Coolies ^^ have you sorted out your visa yet? I can get a direct train from where i live to London, but last time i went to London to get a visa, we had to get there before 9am...and even after that and to queue up for 6 hours ><

I had a look, but theres a £10 charge for transactions between UK HSBC accounts and the ones in China...which wouldn't be so bad if it was a one off charge no matter the amount you'd transfer (i'll jut transfer my year's living funds transferred in one go), but then if we were to withdraw money from ATM's in China...you know if we'd be charged?...and if theres a daily limit for withdrawl of cash?)

Does anyone know if you can start applying for accomodation even if the documents haven't arrived? I have my status as accepted...

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nazreal

My mum booked my flights today...'m flying out 25th August, arriving 26th...its so early, im a bit worried to be honest...i wanted time to settle in and sort things out, but 2 weeks early seems a little..well early, i guess i have to thank my mother for that, but apparently flights don't start getting cheaper till after 1st september for the year returns, and all were booked up till 6th sept...which would mean earliest arrival would be 7th sept :/

You know what? I was thinking of flying out around then too but 1. that's my birthday hehe and 2. yeh...bit too early - but hey, that gives you time to wander around and get your bearings, register with a doctor etc, all the important stuff and really acclimatise to the city. As it is at the moment, I've been looking at one way flights and the cheapest is worryingly with 'Aeroflot' (Russian Air: gotta love it!) for about 350 squids. On the safer side I might consider Air China (safer?! what?!) or Cathay Pacific for about £400 although I cannot be bothered with stop overs...

Nazreal- Coolies ^^ have you sorted out your visa yet? I can get a direct train from where i live to London, but last time i went to London to get a visa, we had to get there before 9am...and even after that and to queue up for 6 hours ><

Haven't sorted out my visa yet - will need to go to London at some point but 6 hour queues? ok...will bring a good book with me...that's crazy. Were you at the Chinese embassy for that one or was that a visa for a different country? I remember getting a visa for Vietnam and it only took about 30 minutes...

I had a look, but theres a £10 charge for transactions between UK HSBC accounts and the ones in China...which wouldn't be so bad if it was a one off charge no matter the amount you'd transfer (i'll jut transfer my year's living funds transferred in one go), but then if we were to withdraw money from ATM's in China...you know if we'd be charged?...and if theres a daily limit for withdrawl of cash?)

Hum...I'm sure you can just open up an HSBC China account, wire the money over via magic of the internet and hey presto...I certainly wouldn't be withdrawing from my HSBC UK account as yep, that would incur fees. I think an HSBC China account is 'separate' in terms of money, card etc...? Will double check with my cousin...Otherwise, since lots of people are mentioning Bank of America I might go with that, although having said that, if HSBC China's out, I was gonna go with Bank of China or something?

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MGMT
Hum...I'm sure you can just open up an HSBC China account, wire the money over via magic of the internet and hey presto...

Just a heads up, as I opened an HSBC account last week and went over all those details with my new banker: to open up an HSBC account in China, you need a minimum deposit of 100000€ (equivalent of). If you already have an HSBC account in another country and your banker is friendly enough, s/he can try to contact the HSBC branch in China and convince them not to ask for the deposit, but I wouldn't count on it.

And I'm surprised you have to pay for transactions fees, since one of the main point of an HSBC account is that you can withdraw money from any HSBC ATM all over the world and not have to pay any fees (or at least not transactions or extra fees, just currency convertion ones which are unavoidable unless you open up an account in China). Or did you mean from ATMs other than HSBC ones?

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jc2010

Hi everyone. I'm from London too. Just got my documents in the post today (via Japan apparently).

You cannot apply for visas at the London embassy anymore - it's been outsourced to another site in Central London: http://www.visaforchina.org.uk/visaen/visaView.html?method=readSimple&channelId=13

You have to make a 30 min appointment so prob don't have to wait for hours anymore. Plenty of slots for the next day available so you don;t really need to book too early.

Banking-wise: There's not much benefit applying for a HSBC bank account unless you are a HSBC Premier customer. They have too few branches in China to make it worthwhile and charge all sorts of fees unless you have deposit a lot of money. You are better off opening an account in China with one of the 'Big 4' Chinese Banks: ICBC, Bank of China, CCB...etc. In the UK, open a Nationwide FlexAccount and you can use any VISA atm/shop worldwide, they charge 1% conversion rate and no other fees. I think Barclays and Bank of America are all part of the 'Global Alliance' so you can use the China Construction Bank (CCB) ATMs for free though they still charge over 2% for the conversion rate so you are still better off with Nationwide. Citibank in the UK has a similar arrangement if you use their own China branches but again like HSBC - there's not that many.

I'm arriving in Beijing on the Sep 7th or 8th (as I have to be in Hong Kong on the 6th)...hope it'll be okay!

Just 1 Question: I've signed up for 1 semester so far - if I apply for a 6-month MULTI-ENTRY visa, do I need blood tests/medical? Or can I avoid it by going for an F Business visa rather than X Study visa?

See you all in September - can't wait!

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calif90071

@ScarlettWan: Dang the 26th? Do you know if we can move into the dorms that early (if you're staying in a dorm) or does it say in the mailing? I haven't received mine yet

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alfie84

I just booked my flight tickets so will be arriving on the 3rd. Ideally, I wanted to go a bit earlier to get use the facilities etc but dates weren't available.

As for the bank accounts in China, I may be tempted to open a Bank of China account in London and transfer money across. Surely they will allow withdraws etc for free as there headquarters are based out there.....

Otherwise, it has to be huge amounts of RMB which is definitely not my preferred option

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