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Huazhong Normal University (China Central Normal University)

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hadron

Hi!

i am a PhD student on CSC scholarship

can any one guide me, whom should i contact on arrival to CCNU in off hours

can i get transport from train station to university in late hours?

which dormitory is for PhD students? any number or name?

thanks

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方便面

hadron,

you can get a taxi easy enough anytime day or night. But if you get here after hours the will be no one to help you. I suggest you arrange to stay in a hotel for your first 1 or 2 nights so as you have time to organise things. Once you actually get here, you'll have to go to the International Cultural Exchange office where they will set up a dorm for you in either building 5 or 6. Apparently they are the same but 6 is slightly newer. Then once you have a room, you'll have to make several trips to a large supermarket such as Walmart or Carrefour so you can by things to live, such as cleaning products and pillows and basically everything you think you'll need other than a desk, chair and bed.

I dont know any numbers or names but you can find the International Cultural Exchange office by walking around the campus or asking someone.

Definitely book yourself in somewhere for the night you arrive.

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agnesczh

hello!

I'll be arriving Wuhan this thursday to study in CCNU as well. Would like to know how did you all travel to school from the airport? I'll be arriving wuhan rather late, like 12 midnight, therefore would it still be possible to have a room at the hostel at that time?

Best Regards,

Agnes

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Don_Horhe

The airport is about an hour's trip away by car, and there won't be any public transport available at that time either. Your best bet would be to take a taxi (it was about 100 RMB when I was there) and ask to be dropped off at the east gate of CCNU on Luoyu road (珞瑜路). There is a hotel on said road, not too bad, where you can spend the night for 150-200 RMB. I've forgotten it's name - it most certainly did have a 樱 in it, not sure about the rest. There are also a few hostels around the campus, but I wouldn't really recommend them.

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agnesczh

thanks man! I should be going straight to the hostel tomorrow after i've arrived. Crossing my finger and hope that the shi fu would give me a room:) how's school so far for you?

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bunny87
Not to be disheartening, it's a bit of a dump.

oh noo...

All in all, in my oppinion so far, the city itself and campus is one of the worse places I've seen yet, but that's not to say I or anyone else won't enjoy living here. There is more to a city that how hot, dirty, old and far away it is. If you are coming here for the environment and surroundings... You're going to be disappointed. But if you're coming for the cultural and language experience, Wuhan is as "Chinese" a city as they get.

i like that silver lining on the rain cloud of death there. i'll keep that in mind as much as i can. thank you!!

and realmayo:

Don't worry about the heat, it'll be miserably cold in a few months!

everyone has positive things to say about wuhan, huh? i guess i'll try it for a semester. if i can't adjust, i'll leave.

but thank you both for the input!!

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realmayo

bunny87, I really like Wuhan and I hope will do too. True, it's a big busy dirty energetic self-confident noisy Chinese city but if you're living on campus then you only have to deal with Wuhan itself when you want to, on your own terms. Days when you're not up for it, you can stay on campus -- the CCNU campus is, like lots of universities, something of an oasis. And in it you'll also find plenty of Chinese students who are new to the city and scared of it! Meanwhile days when you want to plunge into Wuhan it's always there waiting for you to explore, or just soak up the atmosphere (which, okay, is not the cleanest...).

The worst thing you can do is assume you'll hate the place!

(Also there's no need to take a bus to any Walmart to buy stuff for your room -- there's places to buy things on campus, or in a big expensive department store by the nearby West Gate, or in the bigger, better, cheaper store about five minutes walk away from the main (North) Gate.

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方便面

yeah bunny87, realmayo is right. Although I wouldn't exactly call the campus an "oasis", it is definitely cleaner, cooler and more relaxed than out in the city.

And I have recently discovered the big super market by the main gate, however if it werent for being bored and litterally walking into every, single building I could get into, there is no way I would ever know it was there. Pretty frustrating seeing when you check online, look at maps, ask other students AND ask campus staff, they all say "没有".

A notice was put up the other day On the board outside the dorm building entrance listing all the important dates like rego, group visits for medical checks, campus tours and welcome ceremonies so anyone still on their way make sure u check that out.

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bunny87

I'll be on Wuhan U campus, not CCNU. Hopefully, still oasis like :) After reading these posts, I've been comparing the weather of Wuhan to Florida, and it's practically the same (maybe something to do with being almost on the same latitude?). Maybe just 20% humid in Wuhan.

I'm excited about the totally different lifestyle. My biggest fear- more than the dirtiness and such- is the varieties of bugs that i might encounter. i have a ridiculous unstoppable fear of them. i've missed too many classes, or at least been late to class, because of dragon flies hovering in my path, june bug swarms just hanging in the air, or those gnat thingies that pop out by the hundreds when you place one foot on the grass, etc. I'm hoping that because it snows, it kills everything. (doesn't snow in florida, but the colder weather does help).

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ayanamidreamsequence

Yeah, you will see lots of vinegaroons in wuda, usually squashed ones on the roads. There are quite a lot of bugs here in summer, they mostly disappear for the winter. Cockroaches are a common problem indoors, some pretty big ones as well. Just make sure you keep things tidy, especially the kitchen.

The weather is really hot and humid in the summer and freezing in the winter. The winter is harsh as pretty much all buldings are without insulation and central heating (should have an aircon, but most places don't use them in the winter, just the summer). So be prepared to eat out in your coat and hat. The pollution and dust from constant construction, coupled with the long (November to April) winter means that most new arrivals get ill often (or for the whole) winter, so would bring along some dependable medicine if you have a favourite brand you are loyal to (though cold medicine is easy to get here, you might not get the brand you want).

The Wuhan University campus is really quite nice, a great place for walks, and it is pretty big. The city is really large, crowded, noisy and busy. If you are living on campus, then they tend to be a bit of an oasis from the chaos outside. If you like big, loud, chaotic cities, you will like Wuhan. If your ideal life is a quiet one in the countryside, then I think you might struggle a bit. I have seen Wuhan break many with high hopes on arrival, but those who like it often love it.

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bunny87

...THAT IS THE SCARIEST THING EVER. how long til winter starts?!!?

not into the tiny city atmosphere. i like to watch things actually happen, and have variety. i haven't found a place i actually don't like, big or small. my biggest fear is people like don horhe over there. i'll just have students walk me to and fro wherever i go. >_> extra credit if they shield me from the hell. annnnd, i'm good with cleaning. if my dorm isn't ok, i'll be posting on here for a good clean/not-infested apartment place.

i really don't know if i like don-horhe for informing me, or hate him for actually posting a link with a picture :(

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bunny87

Perhaps I haven't been here in Wuhan long enough, but it's a nice city. Wuda, in fact, is not covered in vinegaroons. I checked. I haven't even seen one. It looks like a nice campus. However, the dorms are disgusting. And the African students seem to all just drink outside in the hallways making it more unpleasant for me. They also didn't seem to understand leaving a girl alone. On the flip side. Never saw the Korean, Pakistani, nor islander students who lived on the same floor. Whats worsewas the spiders and roaches- uncontrollble. Even if you clean your dorm, the guys dont. Futile mission there. Either way, I moved out immediately And live in a beautiful apartment.

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Shasel

This all sounds so bad!! Planning on going to Wuhan in two weeks and reading through all this, I'm starting to feel like I should have some very low expectations. Its a good thing I got a bit of a heads-up now, though, I suppose.

Anyhow, I'm wondering if those of you at CCNU can help me out with some specifics. I assume an airport pick up service by CCNU is out of the question...? The thing is I'll be arriving on Feb 11, which is a Saturday, so I guess I will have to wait till Monday to go over and register/get a dorm. I've never been to China and have absolutely no idea what to expect. Any suggestions on a budget hotel for the first two nights? (preferably one closer to the campus)

Second thing, if there's no pick up service, I should be ok with getting a cab to the campus and paying for it in dollars, right?

Third thing, whats the current weather like? Wondering what to pack for.

@bunny87, now that you've been there a few months, whats your take on Wuhan and CCNU? Are you still enjoying it out there?

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imron

I can't answer your other questions, but the answer to this one:

I should be ok with getting a cab to the campus and paying for it in dollars, right?

Is almost certain to be no. You will be able to change dollars into RMB at the airport however, and it's probably a good idea to change a small amount to give you a few hundred RMB (other places will have a better exchange rate), or to use an ATM to withdraw RMB directly from an overseas bank account.

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lukoktonos
I assume an airport pick up service by CCNU is out of the question...?

Right, you'll almost certainly have to make your way to the campus by yourself (I've never been a student, just a foreign teacher, so i'm just basing this off of what I've heard from some friends).

The thing is I'll be arriving on Feb 11, which is a Saturday, so I guess I will have to wait till Monday to go over and register/get a dorm.

I think they might be operational on the weekends? There is always a person sitting at the desk in the main hall of the dormitory, and I think they have the authority to check people into rooms.

I've never been to China and have absolutely no idea what to expect. Any suggestions on a budget hotel for the first two nights? (preferably one closer to the campus)

Hopefully won't be needed, but if you get to the dorms and for some reason can't get a room, you can ask the staff or the passing students where the hotel is, there's a really budget one just on the hill next to the dormitory, or a more western one all the way down the hill. Not too far that you couldn't walk there easily with luggage.

The airport is pretty far away from campus, so expect a 1.5-2 hour cab ride, it might be a little less or more than that depending on the traffic...traffic in Wuhan is kind of unpredictable sometimes. i'd go the ATM route for the best deal (make sure you tell your bank that you're going to china or your card might not work). I'd get 400 or 500 yuan for the cab ride, a meal, and perhaps the first night of your dorm before you get setup in your official room? I'm not exactly sure how they charge you for the dorm rooms.

Third thing, whats the current weather like? Wondering what to pack for.
It's cold and most of the buildings don't have heat (don't worry, your dorm room will, but the chinese students aren't so lucky). I usually wear long underwear under my jeans every day in the winter :)

I'll PM you some contact info in case you have a hard time getting settled

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realmayo

Shasel, if it's two weeks until you go then I think you'll be able to get in touch with someone in the CCNU office beforehand: there's a good chance at least someone will have come back from holiday by then. Do you have a contact email? Be persistent -- I found most of those guys weren't very competent or willing to help, but one or two were excellent.

I studied at CCNU a couple of years ago. If you take a taxi from the airport you'll need RMB (around 100, maybe a bit more, make sure they use the meter). Assuming you're arriving in the domestic terminal (ie your plane to Wuhan took off from a mainland airport) then ignore the people standing around offering taxis and just look for and follow the signs to the taxis where there's an efficient and well-managed line of taxis. Depending on how good your Chinese is you may need to have the name of the university and address written in Chinese. The main gate of the university is the North Gate, which is where your driver might automatically head, but taxis can't normally enter through there and if you've got lots of bags it's a long walk to the foreign students' dorm buildings. The best gate is the West Gate, but it's hard for some drivers to find. Taxis can always go in and out of the East Gate, although it's a longer drive to get there. Guards on the gates won't speak English but if you tell them/show them a note saying you need to go the foreign student's dorm, they should be able to tell the taxi driver how to get there.

Assuming you're entitled to a room and there are spare rooms available or reserved for you (do you know this?) you'll probably be able to get in straight away. May need a few hundred RMB for deposit, electricity etc. As Imron says, it's a good idea to get some RMB at the airport.

If you can't get into the dorm innediately, there are hotels near the campus but I've no idea of price. There is a hostel which I've stayed in and is fine -- and they speak English, are friendly, will be able to be much more helpful if you have any problems than most regular hotels. It's about a 10-minute taxi from CCNU. Vaguely remember it doesn't have heating though. The web address is http://www.wuhanhostel.com/en/ .

Hopefully you'll get some more info from CCNU themselves before you head off. As for Wuhan itself, it's a big Chinese city that isn't Beijing or Shanghai. What's not to like! :lol: February is a good time to start: it will be cold and unpleasant weather when you arrive, but it will only get better and better as the year goes on.

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方便面

Hi Shasel, Ive been at CCNU on the Chinese scholarship program from a semester so far and only recently had to go through all the hassle of getting here and sorting everything out.

To add to what others said:

Firstly, before you come, get a heap of passport size photos taken. Everything you want to do with the university requires several photos. Bring about 20 of the 2 inch and 20 of the 1 inch, make sure they actually look like you (otherwise u will confuse people with your passport style, no smiling mugshot). You can get them easily enough here, but you have to know exactly where to go and what to say so just do it before you come = less hassle. White background as well.

You should arrive in China with some RMB, it just makes it easier for the first few days. Just buy about 500 RMB before you get here and you'll be set for a few days. The 5-10 bucks it will cost you in fees at home is worth it so u don't have to worry about it for a while. Don't bother bringing USD or any other currency with the intention of changing it, because its easier to just go to an ATM and withdraw it straight in RMB with you foreign card. And yes, make sure you check with ur bank that it will work and that they know you will be overseas. DOUBLE CHECK this. Also only Visa and Mastercard (Cirus) based bank cards. You will need to take out quite a bot of cash over the first week or two to not only organise ur room, but to buy stuff for it.

Book a hostel for a night or two before you get here, there are little hotels everywhere but the advantage of going to a hostel is that they speak english, want to help you, and you can find others to help you too. There is only one youth hostel in Wuchang (the area that the universities are in) it is called Pathfinder, its fine for sleeping and leaving ur luggage, find it on hostel world. The reason I say this is that despite being no reason why you couldn't move straight into you dorm... it doesn't mean u will be able to. China/Chinese way is different, illogical, inefficient and frustratingly backward, which you will learn very fast.

The airport is ages away from everything so at least an hours drive. Unless you can speak Chinese, i'd recommend getting the address that you want to go to and the phone number of the place printed out. This is a massive city and unless you explain very clearly EXACTLY where you want to go, the driver won't find it. The best option is to show him the address and then ask him to call the hostel on the way for clearer instructions.

Once you have somewhere to rest, then worry about everything else.

The next most important thing, if you think you can do it on your own, is organising a mobile phone. Either bring your UNLOCKED phone from home or buy a cheap one here. Then you'll need to get a sim card from a China mobile (or other carrier) which are usually easy to find on the street. Then u can call people at the uni, ur hostel, or others if you get stuck.

Moving into the dorms is not a: bring your stuff and move in afternoon experience. My room took me 3 days to clean/prepare to a standard that i could bear. Also, you will need money, passport, photos etc to move in, you'll have to wait for the appropriate staff member, pay for you electricity etc etc. It can be easy, but may not be.

If you are a scholarship student u get a double room for free or can pay 300RMB a month for a single. You can not chose who you room with if you get a double, unless you pre-organise it. There are people from every country you can imagine here, so if you have a problem living with other people, certain nationalities, races, religious groups or whatever, u might not be happy sharing.

There are two student buildings; building 5 and building 6. 6 is newer but the single rooms are smaller that building 5. building 5 has a single large laundry, each load payed for at the front desk in cash on an honesty basis. building 6 has a couple of card operated machines on each floor. building 5 single beds are bigger. building 6 has hot water at the basin, whereas building 5 just has cold for hand washing and hot in the shower.

Also, the rooms are basically empty so everything from toilet paper, to a shower curtain, cleaning products, a non mouldy pillow, absolutely everything, you will have to buy.

Clothes: right now its pretty cold but don't weigh ur luggage down with clothes. Clothes are cheap-ish and easy to find here. Just bring basics for cold, i.e. couple pairs of jeans and a warm jumper and jacket. if you have some thermal bottoms, bring them, or have someone help u buy them here. It won't be cold for long, then it will be the hottest most disgustingly uncomfortable place u can think of. Pack things u can't buy here, like ur favourite chocolate, make up, face wash, perfume, pens, (weird but chinese pens always run out and seem to smudge everywhere) medicine, or what ever. If u have medium to big feet, don't expect to find shoes that fit in any shop. Female products and that sort of stuff is ok, its just specific brands of things that u might have trouble finding. Make sure you bring plenty of anti-diahoria medicine as well as something for fever, hangovers, and other pains.

realmayo gave some good advice on actually getting to the dorms. but keep in mind, when the office is actually open, they stop for lunch from around 11am to around 3pm so u may not be able to do anything at those times.

I just got back from travelling so ill be here til the semester starts if you have questions or need help. My number is 18672957705 or Skype chris.garrick if u get stuck.

Good luck.

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Shasel

Thanks for all the info, guys. VERY helpful! I've now added several thing to the list of things I need to bring and sort from this end.

I'll be flying out in about a week rather than two, arriving on Feb 11. realmayo, you said they're probably still on vacation. I'm hoping offices will be open by then.....?

I did manage to get in touch with CCNU (after SEVERAL emails). They told me I can go to the dorm directly upon arrival on Saturday evening. I also did reserve a dorm online at the website mentioned earlier in this forum because I was concerned about availability, but I'm not sure if this will make a difference. Just to be on the safe side, its probably a good idea to get book a hostel for the first night at least as you all said.

I don't speak any Chinese yet so I don't know how I'll be able to explain that I need to go through the west or east gate. But I suppose if those at the hostel can write out the directions for me in Chinese, I can give this a try.

Also, is there a bank on campus? I think I read that somewhere, but they're so many websites, I'm not sure where.

About getting a phone, I'll just bring along an unlocked phone, but can I buy a sim card at the airport?

Well, fingers crossed there won't be too much hassle.

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方便面

There is a bank just a few min walk from the dorms.

I don't know about the sim card at the airport.

Keep them crossed.

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