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Yunnan University

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This topic is for discussion and reviews of Yunnan University. Accommodation, courses, on-campus facilities and activities - anything to do with Yunnan University goes in here. If there's a lot of discussion about any one particular topic we might split it into a new thread and leave a link here.

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  • 5 years later...
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I've pretty much narrowed my search for a summer Chinese language program to two options, both are 4-weeks at Yun Da.

The first is through China Study Abroad (http://www.chinastudyabroad.org/en/schools/kunming/yunnan-university). Total cost would be about $1800, and I'd have English-speaking people to go to for help and a group of foreign students taking Chinese to hang out with. I'd also have insurance (of some sort) and a few weekend trips scheduled and payed for.

The other option is a Yunnan University program that I'd apply for through CUCAS (http://school.cucas.edu.cn/HomePage/154/2011-04-14/Program_28836.shtml). It would probably only cost $650, and I'd be staying in a dorm. This seems like a no-brainer due to the cost, but I'm worried I'd be lost without a group to turn to. The other issue is that the CSA program guarantees admission, while this direct Yun Da program might not be easy to get into, and I would find out about this program after the CSA application deadline.

So it's a bit of a conundrum. Has anyone here done a summer program through CUCAS? Is it very easy to get in? It sort of seems like they would automatically accept anybody who applies for a summer program because they only ask for a high school diploma, no transcript or college grades. If I don't get in I could always fall back on something like the Keats School, but that would require me to find an apartment and might be an isolating experience. Any advice?

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The chances of getting rejected for a summer course at pretty much any Chinese university is zero. It's not a prestigious academic flagship, it's a cash-cow language course. Conceivably a course might be full, but it's much more likely they'd just scare up some more teachers from somewhere.

Whether the extra cost of the CSA services are necessary depends on how nervous you are and how much money you have.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Hello, I'm considering studying in Yunnan University but as I'm a complete beginner applying to a scholarship, I need some help. So could someone answer these questions:

1) Is Yunnan University offering preparatory studies to pass the HSK level required to enroll in bachelor's degree program of Chinese language?

2) How good is the teaching in Yunnan Daxue?

3) Are the western students together in same classes with japanese etc. who already can write Chinese characters?

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I'm interested in Yunnan U. as well, but the grad school. I assume there's no way to get in until you have HSK 6 ('or better'- not quite sure what that means) and you pass the 'entrance exam.'

My question is what is this entrance exam all about? I looked for more info, and maybe I'm not good at looking but I couldn't find anything except a .rar archive that I could not download. I assume this exam is in Chinese?

I also noticed the bounty of programs they're offering but I cannot imagine that many foreign students filling them. So I suppose that if you're accepted you'll be attending courses offered in Mandarin with fellow Chinese students?

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After eleven weeks of classes I finally found time to provide you with some basic information about the school.

The quality of the classes seems average to me, as the price is. (I paid about 6000 RMB/term/person, the one-to-one class costs 100/45min, but I’m not sure whether they really provide this type of classes, since the Students Office was very reluctant to provide any information).

The classes are small, usually no more than 10-15 people, divided into eight levels. Concerning the teaching method, they use the 汉语教程 for the beginner and intermediate classes, and the 博雅汉语 and subsequent books for the upper intermediate and advanced classes. There are two classes per day (90min each with 10min break after 45min), the first class is 综合性 class, five times a week, second is 口语/听说 or 阅读写作/听力 class, each twice a week. The quality of the beginner and pre-intermediate 口语 classes is OK, from the intermediate level it's just waste of time, because the only person who is practicing speaking is the teacher. The major advantage is the possibility to attend any class you want for the first three weeks and then decide which level you will finally attend for each subject.

Concerning the Students Office and related departments, they are not very helpful and are trying to avoid any work. And as usually, nobody knows nothing. I luckily didn't need anything more than the student’s card. Also it is not possible to pay the tuition in cash; you have to go to the Construction bank to make the payment.

Concerning accommodation, in the September 2012 CIS finally moved to the "new" building, so now the school, including the dormitories, is located in the 云大 campus. The building served to the Chinese postgraduate students before, thus each room contains four bunk-beds with tables and chairs and that’s all. Bathrooms are public, no kitchen, no common room, and no elevator. Foreigners from Europe are limited to the 6th floor, with the majority of the Thailand students. The floor is divided into female and male wing; some of the rooms are unofficially occupied by couples. Mixed-gender rooms are actually allowed; the Students Office even confirmed it through an email, but in our case one of the teachers just decided to show his power and suddenly decided that only married couples may be allowed to stay together in one room. Finally another teacher intervened and solved the problem, but even though it was obviously just abuse of authority, if you want to avoid inconvenience, bring some kind of "marriage certificate" with you.

The pros of the dormitories are many, the acceptable price (900 RMB/room/30days, no extra payment for water or electricity), 24/7 hot water, classes located in the same building, the school canteen next to the school building, and the housing registration with the local police is made by the Accommodation Office. But there are also lots of cons. The bathrooms are terrifying, the guy who is cleaning them never uses disinfectant (or at least detergent), just soaks a mop in a lavatory and then wipes everything (floors, toilets, showers, wash basins...). Same with the corridors. There are no public washing machines, you can buy your own and put it in the bathrooms, but there are already three of them. And also, random "room inspections" made by the above mentioned teacher are common, unannounced, performed in the morning, when everybody attends the classes.

The school canteen was OK on the beginning of the term, except for the breakfasts, and was quite suitable even for vegetarian. But it is a disaster for the last two or three weeks, personally, I had stomach ache for two or three times, than I changed for the Muslim canteen next door, which is little bit more expensive, but the food seems of better quality. The food is general problem in Kunming, and it is a major issue for me, the 地沟油 is commonly used and makes me very sick, safe food is inaccessible if you don't have a place to cook (cooking is forbidden at the dormitories). But the rest of the foreigners seem quite happy, so maybe I am just too sensitive.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yes, thanks a lot.

So do you have to stay at the dorm? Are there big resident permit complications to getting your own place? Would it be just a matter of finding a Chinese person to help me register with the police?

900 RMB per month sounds really steep to me for a four person bunk bed room with no kitchen and shared toilet. Did you mean that the whole room costs that, split between whoever is there? Or did you mean that a private room is 900 RMB?

After all, even here in Guangzhou I can get an one-room apartment with kitchen and bath for around 600 in the outskirts, 1500 in the city itself. Nothing swank of course but at least private. But maybe Guangzhou and Kunming aren't quite so different in price?

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I've been considering attending Yunnan University for the Chinese-taught Sociology bachelor's degree.

On this site, it seems to offer the course.

However, on this site which seems to be the English version of the Yunnan University's website (not sure if true):

Here, they say Sociology is a Subject and the course is a bachelor's degree in ethnology.
I am only interested in sociology (社会学)  not Ethnology (民族学)

So it seems like Sociology is not an option at the university, I'd like to confirm whether this is true or not.

This is the official Yunnan University website, but when I click the ENGLISH button on top right, nothing happens.
If anyone is proficient enough in Chinese maybe you could search the site to show me that Sociology is in fact offered.

Or better yet, someone with experience who is attending Yunnan Daxue would be very helpful.

Thanks again all.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Would you recommend Yunnan University over Yunnan Normal University?

I have been studying att Yunnan Normal and I'm not sure wether i should go back or go to Yunnan Uni.

Any ideas?



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Well, it depends on what are you looking for. The grammar classes with 朱辉 were the best I ever attended, actually now I'm sorry that I didn't ask him for private classes, since his teaching method was very suitable for foreigners from non-Asian countries, he knew exactly what grammar problems we had, was very helpful and enthusiastic. Reading class with 李江文 was good, especially when we persuaded her to concentrate more on grammar than on HSK texts, she is a very good teacher. The rest of the classes was average, if you are intermediate or higher level I recommend private classes instead of attending 口语 classes provided by school.

All in all I wasn't very happy with the school's attitude towards students, but that's probably same everywhere in the Mainland. I asked my friends who studied both at the YU and YNU and they all recommended YNU over YU, but I never attended classes there, so I cannot compare.

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Could I ask what your experience at Yunnan Normal was like - What do you want to change universities? Was it mainly a language course you were taking part in?
Are there many foreign students? What countries do they come from?

Why did your friends suggest YNU over YU? I thought YU was supposed to be one of the top universities in China. Did you have experience at YU? What did you not like about it?
I am planning to go to YU for a bachelor's degree taught in Mandarin (not to learn Mandarin). Do you know if this is common in YU, or are most people there to learn Mandarin.

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In thinking about attending Yunnan University, I was considering my options while I am studying there.

Unfortunately the Yunnan University website doesn't have an English version, so it's really hard to find out any information.

I was wondering if anyone had any idea if Yunnan University had an exchange program. If so, which universites does it do exchange with? Is there a list I can view?

Since I would be a foreign student attending Yunnan University, I wonder if the exchange program would be possible for me since I am not a Chinese citizen.

Also, I may be on a scholarship at Yunnan, so I wonder if this would disqualify me from attending any exchange programs. Does anyone have any experience in this area?
It would most likely be the Chinese Government Bilateral-Programme Scholarship

Thanks anyone who can help

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Sorry to spam this topic, but I'm still having trouble getting in contact with the University. I assumed they were busy during Spring Festival, but they ought to have returned to the uni by now.
Still no replies.

I've been sending to:
[email protected]

Does anyone know any other email or contact method I could use.

I'm getting a little anxious because I have to apply for scholarship before the end of March.

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Spam round 3
Turns out my emails were being blocked through Hotmail/Outlook, so I've switched to Gmail and the email I was sending to was correct.

I'm ready to go to Yunda, but I have to do an Entrance exam when I arrive. It involves Maths and Chinese and I'm wondering how important this exam is.
I'm really worried about it since I have to fly to china to do the exam before finding out if I'm accepted. This is a real issue for accommodation and job back home. I essentially have to move out of my apartment and gamble on the fact that I am going to get accepted into Yunda. (I could always continue paying my rent while I'm not in the city, but I don't really want to throw that much money away if it's not neccessary)

Do any students of Yunda have experience with the entrance exam (for bachelors degree students). Is it like automatic, guaranteed pass. Or is there a real chance of failing. I've tried to ask the uni directly but they consistently give vague answers saying the exam is really easy and reassuring me I can pass. I don't really know how to interpret this. My maths isn't very good so I have to do a lot of preparation for it, I'm just worried I'm doing the preparation in vain, while I could be using my time and money for other things.

Hope to hear back from any students of Yunda

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I have a frustrating case. I received a CSC full scholarship to Yunnan University this summer. I didn't get my admissions note and JW201 form until a week ago, though, and the university expects me on September 6. Basically, I had less than a month to renew my passport/buy ticket/apply for visa. It's annoying, but that's what expediting processing is for, right? So I figured! I thought I'd be okay.


When Yunnan University mailed me my JW201 form, my address and passport number were left blank. I filled these sections in with a pen.


Well, the consulate in San Francisco rejected my application because there is not supposed to be any pen on the form at all. The entire thing is supposed to be typed by the university. They said that even if I hadn't written my passport number, they'd still reject it because Yunnan University didn't fill in my passport number. They said that whenever universities issue JW201 or JW202 forms, the universities fill the passport number in themselves. This is because it's a binding legal document.


So they rejected my passport for this incredibly banal reason. I feel incredibly frustrated. I've spent most of my savings getting ready for this trip, and was greatly looking forward to studying Ancient Chinese Literature for four years for my master's degree. I keep trying to get ahold of my school and ask for help, but Yunnan University is ridiculously hard to contact...they usually take at between 4 - 5 days to a few weeks to reply to my emails, and they never answer their phones.

I could really use some advice. I found some information from Google about a woman from the UK whose Chinese university misprinted her name, and her embassy denied her student visa because of that. Her university recommended her to apply for a tourist visa, and when she entered the country, they would provide her a fixed form. Then, she could go to Hong Kong to apply and exchange her tourist visa for a student visa. This is what me and my travel agent talked about doing today. Isn't this kind of shady, though? I don't know what else to do.


I feel incredibly helpless before the whims of faceless bureaucrats. Applying for the scholarship was an enormous process in and of itself, and I'm very proud to have received it. Figuring everything out travel-wise at the last minute has been extremely challenging too, but again, I've felt good about how I've been handling it.


Now, to have the next four years of my life taken away, and a dream of studying in China I've harbored since my undergraduate taken away too all because of my university misprinted my visa application for study in China, well...I've dealt with depression since adolescence, and this is a marked low point in my life. I haven't felt this powerless and full of despair in a while. I actually started crying when I heard this news.


If anyone has any advice at all, I would really really appreciate it. Otherwise, cross fingers for the tourist strategy, and I'll keep trying the uni's phone.

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Wow sorry to hear about what you are going through, sounds like an actual nightmare.

[email protected]
This is the email I've been in correspondence with for contacting Yunnan. There may still be time to request another JW201 form from them, explaining what they need to fix. Providing they send it immediately, you can always request Express Visa service and get your visa processed within a day (at least you can do this in Australia for an extra fee).

Maybe try another email address - I have a feeling there may be some China Firewall in effect blocking or delaying email - maybe I'm just paranoid.

Since you are on scholarship I'm not sure if the process for applying for Visa is different. I recall there being some extra boxes to tick to say you are a scholarship student. Not sure whether this causes issues with the tourist visa method.

I've also been very worried about the tourist visa method. I'm also applying for Yunnan but as a non-scholarship undergraduate student. They actually told me they won't give me the JW202 form until I arrive in China, and then pass the exam (days before semester starts). So they told me to get a tourist visa (L-Visa), then when I get to China I can swap it to a student visa (X1-Visa). I was hesitant to do this afraid I'd be sent back home to apply for a student visa or have to leave to HongKong etc. But I've heard from a few people in China that they have managed to switch from L to X, IN china. A lady at the visa consulate in my city also said that it has been done before. I've heard enough stories to convince me that it's possible. I think the Hong Kong method may be for those whose work/travel visas have expired and they want to extend them.


This is a pretty good website for China visa knowledge, and this page suggests "It is not possible to renew, extend a visa or change into another type. However, if you want to spend more time here, want a multiple entry, or need to have a different type, you can - in many circumstances – apply within China."
It seems to contradict itself but I'm assuming it was just badly written.

This is a post I made a week ago which has varying responses but includes someone from Yunnan who has successfully switched from L to X.
I've heard it from enough people to calm myself.

So at worst, I think you might have to go over on an L-visa, then switch at the local police beureau to an X-visa. Which sounds very possible, and means you don't really have to worry about the JW201 form at the moment.

(I'm not 100% sure on any of this, the purpose was to show you things I've heard from others which if true, should mean you will be able to get through everything but just in a bit of an awkward method)

If you do get through to Yunnan, I guess just confirm everything with them. Would be great if you didn't need to go to Hong Kong.

Anyway, good luck with everything, I'm sure you'll be breathing a sigh of relief in no less than a month, ready to start your degree.

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  • 2 years later...
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Hey, here are some quick and basic infos about Yunnan university.


Arriving in Kunming:

The scholarship money didnt arrive for over a month, and before that we had quite a few things to pay for, like medical examination (450), residence permit registration (about 400), bed sheets, 被子,and other stuff.


2 campuses:

北部:The old, small, original campus in the wuhua discrict (downtown, next to the CuiHu lake) thats where you will be if you just study chinese or MBA.

呈贡: pretty far from the city (one hour by bus?) much bigger, most of the specialty classes are taught there. (You will probably be there if you study a chinese curricullum in chinese)


I take chinese classes in the first campus.


International Dormitory:

The classes happen on the first floor of the dormitory building, which is pretty cool because we can just wake up 10 minutes before it starts.

Self paying students share a room with 4 persons, (floor 2 to 4~) scholarship students are 2 per room (floor 5~ to 7)

The dorm was renovated this year and everything is new.

There is no elevator.

Each floor has 2 wings, the right one is for males and the left one is for females (except the 7 floor which is all males)

Each wing has one kitchen, one shower room, one restroom. (with about 8 lavatories inside) ( I assume the women's wing have their own kitchen)

Those places along with the corridor and the stairs are cleaned every day, but not very thoroughly. The toilets and shower especially are sometime pretty bad and I have to go to another floor.

There are a lot of rules: No smoking, no cooking in the room, no heaters, no moving furnitures, but most of them are ignored by students and not enforced. The no drinking rule has actually been enforced once this semester, and after Vietnamian dude got caught drunk yelling in the middle of the night, he was punished by being transferred from his 2 people room to a 4 people room lmao

Most of the students are either from SE asia,  Bengladesh or Pakistan. I would say there are about 25  people from NA + Europe + Russia total this semester.

I moved out and got my own place because I didnt want to have a roommate, the rent is 800RMB a month. I didnt tell the administration  because I dont want them to annoy me with police registration stuff, but I think I could get some extra accomodation money from them if I did it properly.



5 or 6 different levels depending on the semester.

About 18 hours of class per week. (10 hours of general class,  4 hours of writing class, and 4 hours of speaking class)

The classes are of decent quality, but it depends a lot on the teacher. One of my teacher is great so I wake up early to go to her class, another one is soporific so I just skip most of it.


Everyday life:

Lots of free time, Food is cheap if you eat out, and very cheap if you eat in the canting (1 mn walk from the dorms),  people are nice, the weather is great, the air is clean,  traveling is cheap, crossing the road is dangerous.


tldr: It's nice





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  • 2 months later...
Frank Jansen

I heard someone said the language students will also be placed in the Chenggong campus in the future, can someone confirm (or refute) this?


edit: if someone knows where the language students of Yunnan Normal University are placed I would also be glad to be informed :)

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