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Hunan Normal University


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This topic is for discussion and reviews of Hunan Normal University. Accommodation, courses, on-campus facilities and activities - anything to do with Hunan Normal 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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  • 8 years later...
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Hello everyone,


I studied in Hunan Normal University for 3 semesters (from february 2013 to june 2014) after spending one semester in BLCU. Now back to my country, I feel like going back to China for another program and I found pretty hard to find information about the different universities that are not very popular. This happens because the few international students that go to those places in general do not take the initiative to share this stuff in an organized way, just answer specific questions of people that show interest for knowing about those places. For this reason, I decided to do my part and share the info I find most useful about the accommodation for those considering studying in this university.



1.1 Mulan dormitory


I lived in the the first and best dormitory in activity during my stay. It looks just like a recently built hotel, with private bathroom, new forniture, balcony, TV, internet, air-conditioner and 24 hours of hot water. All rooms were designed as double rooms but you have a small chance of living alone if you pay for both beds. The price was 20 yuan per day per bed, way much cheaper than BLCU. I've been told that after I left they rose to 30 yuan if you share the room and 50 yuan for the "single room".


Besides the accomodation fee, we had to pay for the electricity and water, wouldn't be a problem if well managed, I will talk more about that later.


The building itself is in a "U" shape, the central part being the entrance, the left side accommodates the international students and the right side the chinese post-graduating students. The passage between the two sides is closed in all floors except the entrance. There is a plan of transforming both sides in a dormitory for international students in the future.


The corridors are spacious, clean and well iluminated. There are 26 rooms for each one of the 6 floors, the closer you are to the entrance, the noisy your room will be for being closer to the street. In the back of the building there is a small street that almost never passes cars, but it becomes noisy during the lunch time, for being the main way for the students to go from the classrooms to the canteen. The even rooms face outside of the building and the odds face the interior area of the "U", which is like a square but no students have access to it.


The common  parts of the building were very clean and very spacious as well, it includes:

- An activity room with a single table-tennis table in which was ALWAYS being used.

- A study room exclusive for the international students which becomes very hard to have a seat as the exams aproach.

- Two kitchens in (in the 2nd and 4th floor) with a single sink and a microwave each.

- A washing room with lots of washing machines that costs 3 yuan per wash and break all the time and some hot water machines. This room is very dirty if compared to the rest of the foreigners side but still acceptable for being a place that you won't spend much time in.



1.2 Hong Lou dormitory


I can't talk much about it, because I didn't live in there. As the school was getting more students they could accommodate, they managed to get another building near Mulan Lou and adapt it into a dormitory. I will only compare the biggest differences with the original building.

- The location is far less convenient than Mulan, like 400 meters behind it and you basically always have to cross Mulan Lou to go anywhere.

- As it was not designed to be a dorm, many rooms are very different from each other, but always smaller than Mulan. Some have balcony, some do not.

- The forniture didn't have the same quality as the other dorm.

- They had a different way of managing electricity in which they use a prepaid card that have to be charged as often as you spend electricity.

- The price WAS the same, which was very unfair for people who lived there, but I believe they ajusted it now.

- The curfew was more rigid.



2. Service


The fuwuyuan didn't speak any english at that time. They were good people in general and OK professionals when providing the routine services necessaries like payment, changing coins for the washing machine or fixing the lights, they just couldn't give you any information about how to go somewhere or where to buy something, even if you speak with them in chinese. They are simply unable to explain anything even if it's related to their jobs.



3. Management


This is the biggest issue in the dormitory. I saw many misunderstanding between students and teachers all the time and had a big one myself. The good thing there is that the international students administration office and the dormitory management office are actually a single office inside the dorm, which makes easier to reach them and would make it faster to solve problems. I will list some of the biggest complains that me and most of the students have about the management.


- They rent empty rooms for anyone for 120 yuan per night. It wouldn't be a problem if they stablish that some rooms work as hotel rooms for visitors and we wouldn't care much if it didn't affect us, but it does. It becomes very hard to get a single room, because they will make all effort possible to keep as many empty rooms possible, so they can make more money renting rooms for outcomers. The rules says you can have a single rooms when it's available, but even if there are empty rooms, they will say there isn't.


- And if you get a single room, they can decide to gift you a surprise roomate. It hapenned a lot of times, including with me. People book and pay for the whole semester for a single room and one day they suddenly receive a calling from the fuwuyuan saying that they will get a roomate now. You go to the office to talk to them and they just put that as the dorm is full, they have to put the new students with the people that used to live in single rooms. It's always a headache for both school and student, because the rules aren't clear enough for any of the sides to argue.


- They enter in the rooms when you are not there. I experienced that myself one day that I was taking a nap in the afternoon, when the fuwuyuan came, knocked my door twice and then just opened it and came inside finding my in pijamas half way to the door with a sleepy face. It was very embarassing, they said they just wanted to verify something, went to the balcony, spend a minute there and left. Later I asked what they went verify in the room and the only answer they gave me was not worry. Many people that lived there have a similar story to tell and nobody ever knew why do they do that. Nobody ever had anything stolen from the room, but it's just about privacy.


- Water and electricity are wrongly calculated many times. Some people use more and pay less and there is no way to see it clearly why, Some people barely use their rooms and are charged for 150 yuan in the end of the month, while some others use a lot of air conditioner everyday and are charged for about 60 yuan. It's been very irregular since I arrived in there, but I never had a big problem. The water in theory is paid after reaching a certain quantity of use, which always gave me about 4 months of use. Once my water stopped within a week after paying the water and they said I already used that quantity.  other students always told me the water charging is very irregular and the electricity doesn't make sense. Some There is always someone complaining about that in the reception and in the office.


- The curfew exists but they don't really care... until someday they do. During my first semester the door was open 24 hours until one night they suddenly decided the close it. People came from outside and couldn't enter, came with lots of complainings but the school said "for now on that's how it's gonna be". One month of many problems with students that wanted to go out and students that wanted to come in, they gave up of this stress and just left the door open 24/7 again.

The next semester they officially stablished that the door would close in certain times, and they finally did it, but they "forgot" about a back door that gives access to the building passing through the reception. Some months later, they just started taking the names of "those who were out of their rooms during the crufew time" when they passed though the reception, but they never really did anything about it. It was just a good way of tracking the people who doesn't obey the rules and at the same time giving use some freedom.

In my last semester there, they started taking control of the visitors as well taking notes about the times and calling the rooms to make them leave before the curfew. Nowdays I heard they put a turnpike in the entrance in which you need a card to pass, giving them total control of the entrance IF THEY WANT to be obeyed.



4. Convenience


The location of Mulan building is very convenient, you have the canteen, the library, small markets, bank, post-office, bus stops and barbecue less than 200 meters away from the main entrance. The classrooms are about 250 meters, right after the canteen and about 4 km from the city center. A great hospital is about 1 km away. The metro is a bit far, but you can go to most of the places by bus or taxi (getting a cab is very cheap in Changsha).


For those who like nature, the dorm is on the base of Yuelu Mountain, takes about 10 minutes to start ascending the mountain and one hour the reach the top. Ten minutes to the opposite direction, you reach the Xiang river with a beautiful scenery with a nice walkway for kilometers. And last but not least, the Juzi Island is about 2,5 km from the dorm, you can take a taxi for the minimal price to get there and split with four people (in that time was about 6,5 yuan but it rose recently).



5. Students


There weren't many foreigners in the begining, but there were at least double the quantity of foreigners in the end of my 3rd semester, being triple at some point because of some short term groups that arrived. It was a very quiet environment where absolutely everyone knew each other. We coudn't even fill 2 buses with all the foreigners. A few left, some stayied and many came. It was nothing compared to BLCU, but it became a different environment than the one a learned to love before with that many more students.


There are almost no students from Europe or Americas, 80% of the students are from Asia or Russia, 10% from Africa and 5% from Oceania, the last 5% are from the rest. It made a good environment to study chinese at first, but as the population of people of the same nationality grew up so much, I just lost the contact I had with those people because they would all be grouping with themselves.


The biggest groups in HNU were:

1. Pakistani

2. Koreans

3. Russians

4. Indonesians


I really enjoyied my time in Changsha, it's a very nice city and had a nice environment to study chinese by the time, it's a pity that time have ended.








Feel free to ask any questions about anything that I didn't mention or couldn't make clear.

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