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roddy

Xiamen University

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EvaJ

Hello guys!

I've applied to the Chinese government scholarship to go to Xiamen university. I had been told that's pretty amazing there but none said a word about that Xiang'an campus... I don't even feel like going there anymore. It is surrounded by fields and cows and its really far from the city. Been waiting for this scholarship since i started studying at uni but i think I've made a mistake choosing this city (not city really.. its all about that campus in the middle of nowhere)

I.hope you guys are doing well!

Greetings

Eva

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Marcin_KG

Hi Eva,

 

your disappointment is obvious in your post, and it is sad you feel that way. I see your point, though.

 

Anyway, it looks like I will get CI scholarship at the same university, and I would like to share with you my feelings about it.

 

I feel awesome :) I have applied to study at XiaDa for various reasons. My HSKK score was not as good as HSK, so I was not sure if I get the scholarship at all. But it looks like I have been accepted, and I am really looking forward to study there. I was aware of Xiang’an camus distant location when I applied for the scholarship, and it was definitely the con; but on the other hand, I had many good reasons to give it a shot.

 

I am not going to live at Xiang’an campus – for personal reasons I will live on the island, and travel to Xiang’an each day. As David Ma mentioned in one of his posts, it is a chore, but some people do so, and it works for them, so maybe such solution would work for you too, Eva? :) Anyway, I saw at least one blog about Xiang’an campus, and I must say it (and its infrastructure) looks really nice, modern and comfortable, and far better then some of the campuses I saw in the Middle and Eastern Europe (where I come from).

 

And one more remark, not directly connected with this topic. I am really happy that there is such thing like Confucius Institute Scholarship. I am not sure if there is any other such generous scholarship giving 汉语 learners an opportunity to study in China. And by ”汉语 learners” I mean not only university students, but any person (up to 35 years old) willing to learn this language. With such scholarship, I am ready (and excited) to improve my Chinese nearly anywhere – even next to “fields and cows” :)

 

Cheer up, Eva! :)

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Trevor1138

Hi,

 

I would like to add a couple of other comments about where to live, that don't necessarily apply to recent posters, but may be helpful to others.

 

I chose to live next to Wanda shopping center in Huli district (on the island).  It is right next to the tunnel that heads to Xiang'an.  The apartments right next to the shopping center are a little expensive (2200rmb/month), but I find it a good balance between distance to school and enjoying a little more activity in the city.  From Wanda to Siming campus is still a little far, but Siming is more active area.  If you do go out late a taxi home isn't too expensive (compared to going to Xiang'an) and some buses on the island run past midnight (last bus to Xiang'an is 10:20).  From Wanda it is a 10-15 minute walk to the bus stop to catch either the school's Staff Bus or a public bus to Xiang'an. (at Gao1Lin2Zhan4 高林站)  The bus ride is 20-30 minutes. (you can also take a bus from Wanda to GaoLinZhan)  The staff bus is great, more comfortable, a little faster, and drops off right next to the overseas student buildings.  I always practiced my spoken chinese while walking (not many people on that street) and either listened to Chinese or used a flash card app on the bus.  It was good to have that time to practice.

 

I came here knowing zero Chinese.  So living near Wanda that first semester was difficult.  My Chinese wasn't good enough to do some things by myself and I was still too self conscious to try.  I didn't want to stay in the dorms, but I think another good option for my first semester would have been to stay in Xiang'an outside the east gate.  It would have been more convenient to use school facilities (e.g., swimming pool, cafeteria), and I was mostly at home studying anyways.

 

There was a question earlier about choosing classes.  My first semester (一年上,beginner 1)had 4 different groups, and you could mix and match a bit.  Some students would also sit in on the next semesters classes.  But the second semester (一年下, beginner 2)only had 2 groups.  So less options.  It was ok to try out the different classes and choose the one you like in the first week or two.  I assume later semesters have less students and less options.  Unless you are a complete beginner, there are placements tests to decide what year you should be in.

 

Trevor

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David Ma

Some useful info from a PM convo. Thought I should post here as well:

 

Not sure if you saw the recent posts on the Xiamen thread, but it seems someone already answered a part of your question... :)

 

Like you mentioned, the huli district is on the east side of the island and that much closer to the Xiang'An campus. The area right beside the International Expo Center is quite nice and the teacher/staff bus also stops there as well. (The beach is 5 mins away, Wanda is about 10 mins by city bus, and the area is one of the cleanest on the island, newly built, and quickly growing.)

 

The staff bus is much quicker and more comfortable. I was able to find an apartment in both Siming and Huli (near the Expo Center) for the same price (1800/mo for a single) but settled on Siming. Though it's about an extra 15-20mins by teacher bus, I like being closer to the many restaurants and shopping districts in Siming.

 

The teacher buses aren't really intended for students and teachers often get first pick with some students occasionally getting left behind. Thankfully there are only a handful of us that don't mind the daily commute and we usually find seats.

 

There is always the city bus but it stops numerous times and is quite slow and...well, a city bus. :)

 

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roddy

Thanks David - I've had a couple of new members ask for pm access so they can contact you, but I always suggest they post the questions here as possible (and also give them pm access, in case they really really don't want to). 

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Marcin_KG

Hi All,

 

I've been recently informed by XiaDa that they have in fact three semesters during an academic year:

 

- first semester: September 2015 - January 2016;

- second semester: January - June;

- short semester: 5 weeks from June till July.

 

I've asked the uni what this 3rd semester is for, and I was told that it applies depending on each student's situation. It still sounds enigmatic to me! ;)

 

Does any of you know what this could be about? Thanks a lot for any feedback!

 

Btw, I'm pasting the link to the XiaDa 2015/2016 academic calendar, maybe someone will find it useful:

 

http://jwc.xmu.edu.cn/picture/article/58/79/f7/8e8bb539449b93389d1ca6aeeed3/dd1e7b7e-86fa-4e80-a05e-5b2d1e3e8f63.jpg

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David Ma

For language students, it's pretty straightforward. You can choose from six or so classes on topics such as Beginner Speaking, Chinese Culture, Ancient Chinese Writing, Intermediate Reading and Writing, etc. The third semester isn't too important and is mostly a way to keep studying Chinese during July if you like going to class to learn. If you're self-motivated or like studying on your own, you don't have to register for summer semester. Students reported getting the scholarship deposit for July even if they didn't sign up for any classes.

 

If you are a Bachelor, Master's, or PhD student, the summer semester might mean something different for you. Unfortunately I am none of these things and can't add to the discussion here. :)

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ShiLong

Hi! I'm a new student for the International relations English-taught program. I have been granted the university scholarship, which does not include the accommodation nor the insurance fee. (I am really not sure why the school didn't accept me with the csc scholarship) well, my question here is all over the accommodation off-campus. I have been told several times by the uni's staff that I should make the accommodation arrangements before the registration but when I tried to reach some agents, they asked me to wait until I get there (I mean.....) well, I am hoping to get a nice and not expensive western-style apartment. Could you let me know your experiences? I can only afford a 2000 yuan appartment or less. I have been living in Beijing one year and I believe the rents are not as high as the capital city. I am studying at the siming campus and I'd like to live next to it. If possible 15 mins away walking. Could you give me some advise?

Thanks a lot of all of you.

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David Ma

Hey ShiLong,

 

Sorry about the delay, I saw your email yesterday on my phone but pushed off replying. My fingers probably would have bled trying to type this out on a tiny little on-screen keyboard.

 

Even though I am studying Chinese language at Xiang'an I chose to live in Siming right near Xiamen University. I'm about a 5-10 minute walk away and my room is 1900rmb at 恒大大夏 (pretty spacious studio with enclosed balcony, like http://xm.58.com/zufang/23055488061089x.shtml?psid=130737921188850619690073110&entinfo=23055488061089_0&PGTID=130737921188850619690073110&ClickID=2&iuType=p_1 ).

 

The XMU website has info about living off-campus here: http://admissions.xmu.edu.cn/en/show/115.html

 

大学城 DaXueCheng is the most popular one. It's literally right across the street from the campus but prices are bit higher (~2200) and the rooms a lot smaller and older. If you venture out 5-10-15mins you get a lot better options.

 

I think you will have to be here in person to actual secure a room with a deposit, but you can check online websites like house.xmfish.com or 58.com (China's craigslist*) to look at pictures and see what types of options you have. That coupled with baidu maps and a bit a patience should hopefully reduce your search times when you actually land in Xiamen.

 

Hope that helps some!

 

*Craigslist is an American website where you can buy second-hand stuff for cheap, find housing, personals, etc.

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Ori_A

Hello everyone,
I'm planned to arrive xiamen in about a week to begin the chinese studies, and I know we're supposed to take placement tests in order to place us in the right classes. Since I've been learning chinese for the past three years, I wondered how often does it happen that someone is placed in a class not suitable for him? I'm sure it happens, but does it happen a lot? and is it possible (and easy) to go up or down a level if something like that happens? 

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David Ma

Yep, it's super easy to change levels (almost too easy). You can move up or down depending on your situation. A few words with the teacher or the people in the OEC office will sort things out in a few minutes.

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Ori_A

Oh, good. A friend of mine struggled quite a bit in order to do that (different university), so I wandered..
Thank you David!

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Alex_Hart

Hi guys! Thanks so much for all the info (especially you, David!) - it's been a lot of help. Xiamen went from a tiny blip on my radar to one of my first choices for fall '16! 

 

I realize this has been talked about repeatedly, but I'm wondering if anybody knows about the campuses for the MA students. I'm in my third year of Chinese at an American uni, and have spent a summer in China, so I'm hoping to do the BA (1-2 years) then MA program at Xiamen. As my girlfriend (Chinese citizen) will be finding work in town, I will be living off campus and prefer being near the Siming campus, and near the beach. Are the MA classes also taught at Xiang'an, or could I switch to Siming for the MA program after I finish the language classes?

 

And, just for curiosity, wondering if anybody has taken the classes in Chinese for the graduate level after studying Chinese in an American uni. I realize language acquisition differs drastically from person to person, but I'm curious as to how long people found they needed to study through immersion prior to jumping into the classes. I've been told wildly different estimates for the level of Chinese required for these courses, from level 4 HSK (+1 year of in-China study) to HSK 6. I don't have any particular interest in studying for the English-language MA, so I'd need to change my plans if people think that 1-2 years of language study is insufficient. 

 

Finally, last question! Could anybody give me a guesstimate as to how much you're able to get for teaching ESL? I have my TEFL cert + 1 year ESL teaching experience (in an American uni), but any ball park estimates will do. Just trying to compare between cities as I'd like to save up and travel as much as possible.

 

Thanks again! Hopefully my questions were clear. 

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David Ma

From what I know, it depends on what MA program you choose. I know a few language students who are now doing Master's and one is at Siming, one is at Xiang'An, and the others I can't quite remember ;p Try to find the college (Medical, Law, Language, etc.) and the website should tell you Siming or Xiang'An.

 

I am still a language student so my opinion might not be too accurate. But, I know for sure you have to have at least HSK 5. The students I mention above did one full year of language study (starting at zero level) and then started their master's this year. Starting a Master's in Chinese with HSK 5, though, is quite difficult. Be prepared to be overwhelmed/learn a ton. As always, take all this info with a grain of salt and consult at least a few other people.

 

My sister was an ESL teacher last year at an international school (YingCai I believe) and she saved up $10k USD after one year (food and housing was covered by the school). Her opinion of the experience wasn't all too positive though :) Definitely do your research before picking a school to work for.

 

David

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Alex_Hart

Thanks for the quick (and helpful) reply, David! Xiamen sounds great.

 

Yeah, I figured the MA program would be a rather insane leap from American-taught Chinese.. I have hope, though! 

 

Totally subjective question again, but how is the water (in the ocean)? 

Still a bit early to make a decision for me so not sure, but I'll be sure to treat you to a beer if you're in Xiamen next year!

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David Ma

Haha, as in the quality of the drinking water?

Nvm, the edit didn't show up in the email :)

It's okaay. If you go to the beaches on Gulangyu you get better sand and less trash in the water. I've never gone swimming and I don't know any student that has but it's nice to wade.

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Alex_Hart

Yeah, I posted that then realized "WHOOPS, China! Not rural American university!" 

 

Your evaluation sounds rather iffy.  :( I'm big on swimming, so I was really hoping you'd come back and go "WOW! AMAZING! EVEN BETTER THAN "

 

Thanks for the reply, though! 

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David Ma

Hahahaha, well at least I'm honest. If you're expecting swim-able beaches, you might be a little disappointed. You can always consider Hainan, though!

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ShiLong

Hello! I am moving out and I want to know if someone is interested in renting the room I currently live in. The building is located 5 minutes walking from the West Gate of Xiamen University (5 minutes, no exaggerating), it is inside a complex of 4 or 5 buildings. It is a 20 m2 room with a big window and a bathroom (western toilet). It comes with a tv screen, a small fridge, desk, a washing machine (almost new, only used by me), heating water machine a 1.80 x 1.80 bed, mattress, heavy curtains, a closet and three other pieces of furniture. The room is currently clean and ready to live in. The rent is 2,000 yuan per month and the internet fee is already included. It has also its own water and electricity supply. Perfect for a exchange student for 6 months or for one year. If you are interested in living very close of Xiamen University, send me a message.

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roddy

ShiLong, how has your experience at Xiamen been?

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