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Southeast University

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This topic is for discussion and reviews of Southeast University. Accommodation, courses, on-campus facilities and activities - anything to do with Southeast 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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  • 7 years later...
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its a good university. The office are friendly welcoming and helpful.

Under scholarship most of the courses are in chinese and a first year of learning language  is mandatory.

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  • 6 years later...

I was at SU for from Fall 2018 to Spring 2019, in the non-degree Chinese course. I planned on writing this while I was there, to be able to provide more accurate info, but life happened. Anyway, 现在新型冠妆病毒让我宅在家,so I'm finally getting around to this! It's a novel! I'm sorry!!!


TLDR: If you're on the fence about Nanjing, GO. It's a gorgeous, fun city, not too big but not too small, with lots of history. It's perfect for Chinese learners who want to avoid using English. Shanghai is only a 1 1/2-hour train ride away. There are 3 different historic landmarks, a massive library, 2 different museums and hundreds of restaurants within walking distance of the main campus.


As for Southeast itself, it is, as far I can tell, average when it comes to accommodating foreign students; what few gripes I have seem to be common ones for universities in China in general. If you want a place that's very supportive and hands-on, it might not be the best choice, but I had an amazing time and would go back NOW if it weren't for the 'Rona. I've also heard good things about Nanjing University.



NOTE: All lot of this applies to Sipailou (四牌楼)Campus ONLY. If you're studying medicine or engineering, the info about accommodation and the environment around campus obviously won't apply.


Application Process

How did you apply? I applied as a one-semester Confucius Scholarship student, so basically everything was done through the CIS application website. When I decided to stay for spring semester, I re-applied as a self-funded student. There's an online form for self-funded applicants (http://fs.seu.edu.cn/member/login.do); you ONLY need to apply there if you don't plan on using any scholarships. The Admissions office replied to emails only about 35% of the time, but they were very nice the few times I did get a reply. I only corresponded with them in Chinese; from my experience only one or two people in the admissions office speak English very well. I had to nag the employees from my local CI nearly to death to get any information or guidance, but again, that's on them more than SU.


I can't speak for SU's processing time, since everything rode on the scholarship for me, but they were very speedy about mailing me my visa forms and acceptance letter when the time came (I was the FIRST person in the CIS forum for 2018 to get my acceptance letter). I got an X2 visa, so I can't speak to registration permits from personal experience, but a classmate of mine had to wait A MONTH for the application to be processed so she could get her passport back. 


Course and Funding

My tuition per semester was 8400 RMB, and the Application fee was 400. I paid by I remitting it from my bank account directly into SU's. SU's Bank Info: https://cis.seu.edu.cn/2008/1014/c13933a137793/page.htm


REGARDING SCHOLARSHIP PAYMENTS: Be aware that even if you're on scholarship the payouts might not start until after classes have begun, and you need to have a Bank of China account to receive them anyway. With that in mind I'd STRONGLY recommend having ~2000 RMB in cash when you arrive, plus 500 for the physical exam if you didn't get one at home. You will also need a certificate (证明) from the school to open a bank account, I'd ask early if I were you. The school usually organizes a day when BOC representatives come get everyone set up with a bank account, but that didn't happen until about a week after I arrived. In my opinion, the earlier the better.


Regarding Bank of China: The branch on Zhujiang Road is the closest; it's about a 20 min walk. From the dorm, turn left out of the gate, go straight until you get to Zhujiang Road (珠江路); turn right and keep straight. It will be on your right after about 10 minutes.  There's also a BOC ATM on the main campus (go through the South gate, turn left immediately), and an ICBC literally next door to the dorm.


General info on setting up bank account from SU's website: https://cis.seu.edu.cn/wtep8wweginwyourwwtudy/list.htm


Arrival and registration

The International Student's classrooms and dorms are around the corner from the main campus gate, on Chengxian Street (成贤街). Go straight there, don't bother with the main campus just yet. Go through the gate and take the stairs to the left, next to the vending machine; the Int'l Student Office is on the 3rd floor. Once you arrive they'll take your photo for your Student card (it takes about 3 days to process), verify your documents and immediately send you back downstairs to get put in a room. I probably had my room assignment within 30 minutes of arriving. The office will also organize a few group trips to get physical exams. If you're on CIS scholarship go up to the 4th floor for the CI Office; they need your award letter and, eventually, your bank account info to get your money to you.


Make a habit of going to the Int'l Students Office regularly in the first week or so, since they tend to communicate with students via bulletin boards and not much else.


If you're in the Chinese language program there really isn't any registration; they'll announce the date of the Placement Test (it's just the HSK 4) within a week or two. Because of the placement test, classes don't start until a week after the semester begins for everyone else, so don't be alarmed if you've got nothing to do on the first day of class. If you don't see anything about the test date, go ask in the Language Office (2nd floor, first door on the left). Don't trust any book lists posted at first; the teachers seem to ultimately decide what to use.


Note: Your Student Card is VERY IMPORTANT, so hold onto it. It is an "all in one" card; that is, you can load money on it to pay for meals on campus, pay for wifi access, etc. Once you have your bank card, you can ask them how to set up the e-wallet in the Admission's office; it's been over a year now, and unfortunately I've forgotten the whole process. 



I stayed at Sipailou Campus; if you're going to study Chinese, this is most likely where you'll be. The fee was 3600 RMB per semester.

There are two dorms for int'l students right across from each other; generally Building 1 (where the Dorm Office is) is in slightly better shape. The hallways will scare the sh*t out of you (dark, drab, peeling paint, etc) but both of the rooms I had were decently clean. Every room is a double; you get a chair, a desk, a bed, a set of sheets, and a wardrobe. The bathroom is en-suite, with a western-style toilet.


王老师 is the dorm manager; try to get his WeChat, if you have an issue that needs to be resolved fast (lost your key, etc) it will come in handy. His English is excellent, which is a rarity overall at SU. As far as curfew, we're "urged" not to go out after 11pm but as far as I know this was NEVER enforced. I left one morning at 3:30 to go to the airport with no problems. The area is very safe.


They actively try to avoid putting people in rooms by themselves; if you hear about people living alone, it's most likely because their roommate recently left. If you aren't getting along with your roommate, finding someone else to room with is your responsibility. You can ask the dorm manager for a list of people who need roommates.


Here is my messy, somewhat empty room(I was in the process of moving out), shortly after my roommate went back home.




Please note my vocabulary post-its in the far left. Validate my efforts.

I bought the fridge from a departing classmate.


Every other floor has a kitchen/laundry room (1st, 3rd, 6th, etc); "kitchen" here means there's counter space, outlets, and vents, so you'll need to buy a butane burner or 电锅 if you actually want to cook. The washing machine is supposed to be paid, but the payment device on my floor was TRAGICALLY broken, and no one seemed interested in fixing it. The trashcans in common areas and the hallways are emptied every night, so if you have trash just take it there or leave it in the hall.


There is Wi-fi in the dorm; it costs a small flat rate (50-100rmb) to set up, and then about 10rmb per month. I won't lie: the process of setting up wifi was utterly baffling. The best approach is to ask an older student to walk you through it. If you insist, here's SU's technically correct but very confusing guide: https://cis.seu.edu.cn/14082/list.htm


Classes, Classrooms and Teachers

The non-degree Chinese course includes 5 classes--Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Culture. There were never more a dozen of us in any class.


I was in the intermediate level, but since the number of Chinese language students at SU is comparatively low, there aren't any set thresholds for intermediate, advanced, etc. It just depends on your level compared to everyone else. The teachers are very flexible about students switching classes; if you feel like one or all of them is too slow/too fast, just speak to the teacher about it.


We were from all over: Ethiopia, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Indonesia, Russia, Uzbekistan, Japan, South Korea, and Mongolia. Every class met twice per week, except Writing, which was only on Fridays, for an eyeball-murdering 3 hours. 


The teachers varied quite a bit in teaching methods, but I really only had one I actively disliked. 万娜 (writing, reading) is AMAZING, although she will terrify you at first. Her writing class is probably the class where we were pushed the most. The Listening teacher I had (I forgot her name ...) was great about providing supplementary materials and test prep. Reading was so-so, her teaching method was very by-the-book. Speaking was a mixed bag, in that are teacher was very knowledgeable professional but also a very quiet, sedate person, so not a lot of talking got done. Our general approach was to read a dialogue from the textbook, receive a lecture on vocab/grammar specifics, and then come up with sentences using those new materials. Culture was the only class I truly disliked, mostly because of the teacher. She spoke at a level slightly too advanced for us to understand, and when she realized we couldn't understand would switch to extremely labored English, despite being reminded numerous times that there were students in the class who couldn't understand it. The class tended to swing wildly between dull and easy, and dull and difficult. Each level has a fixed classroom; they were well equipped and comfortable overall, but the desks were weirdly tiny, so that our textbooks could barely fit on them; people were constantly dropping their pencil cases. Get there early to try and grab a bigger one with storage.


Most of our textbooks were from the Developing Chinese series, but again, it may have changed. Wait until the teachers tell you what to buy. If you feel like going for a walk, the Foreign Language Bookstore across from Daxinggong Station 大行宫 (中山东路218号)carries a lot of Chinese textbooks. We had homework basically every day; reading, writing, and culture usually had the most. The only true exams were 期中 and 期末,and we usually got plenty of warning/preparation in advance.


Campus and Environment

Sipailou Campus is in a truly great spot: south of Xuanwu Lake and the City Wall, and within walking distance of the Nanjing Public Library, The Presidential Palace, several supermarkets, and malls. It's a particularly flat part of town too, so getting around by bike is extremely convenient.


Xuanwu Lake on 春节


The nearest metro stop is Fuqiao(浮桥). Several major bus lines also go past campus. To get the digital metro card, search 南京金陵通 in Alipay or Wechat. There's one for buses too, but I don't remember it off the top of my head.



The student canteen is directly across from the south gate. The food won't kill you; the best options are on the second floor ( esp far left--hearty stews and far right--Shaanxi style noodle dishes. Everything in the middle is some variation of "stuff on rice"), but there's loads of better options nearby. There's a halal restaurant directly across from the int'l student dorms, next to the 一点点 bubble tea spot; if you like skewers, there's a great place in Wei Alley(卫巷). Standing Coffee in Zhen Alley (蓁巷) has very reasonably priced lattes, espresso, etc, and the laoban is very nice. Don't bother with the cafe next to the gift shop.


Honestly, I'm struggling to think of what all to write here because I found SO MUCH simply by wandering around. The alleyways behind the canteen are full to the brim with restaurants, bakeries, cafes, fruit stands etc, so PLEASE explore. There are at least 4 convenience stores within 5 minutes walk of the dorm, one on Chengxian Street and another 3 on Sipailou. If you need specific recommendations just ask me, I could talk about Nanjing all day.



My knowledge on this is more limited since I never mailed anything myself, BUT if you do any shopping online (Taobao, etc), it all goes to the front of the student canteen to get sorted according to carrier; each stall has a carrier name posted somewhere. Find the carrier that handled your package, and tell the person working the booth the last 4 digits of your phone number, and your Chinese name. If you have a different delivery address, check there anyway; I only got something delivered to the dorm directly one time, and it genuinely shocked me. If it's not in front of the canteen, it will almost certainly be at the general 快递 dropoff point up the street--walk west on Sipailou past the main gate, take the 2nd left and walk about 100 meters. If you're expecting a letter, or something from outside the country, the EMS office is directly inside the South Gate, near the ATMs and the gift shop.



Unfortunately there's no internet cafes nearby (except ones specifically for video games); your going to be relying on your laptop and the wifi. If you need it, there's a print shop on Chengxian Street; go out the gate and turn west, then go past the hospital and it's on your left. There's a giant sign that says 打印. The proprietor is used to dealing with foreigners, and speaks a bit of English. B/W copies are 0.10 RMB per page.


Chinese Students

One of the drawbacks to the convenience of literally living next door to your classroom is that Chinese students aren't very easy to come into contact with. There are ball courts on the main campus, if you want to bond over sports:


And, of course, the student canteen is always an option. There's also a student group called the English Salon, which is for Chinese students looking to improve their English by meeting up with foreigners. They put up flyers for their meetings around the Int'l student dorm regularly. This was how I met the most Chinese students, and I do recommend going at least once to make some friends. 


Cost of Living and Budgeting

The stipend I got (~2500 RMB per month) would've been more than enough for daily expenses if I didn't love Uniqlo so much. In general, I probably spent about 80 RMB per day on meals, coffee, snacks, stationary, transit costs etc. I easily could've spent much less, but as they say, I was there for a good time, not a long time. That being said, if you plan to do any traveling that figure probably won't be enough, so budget that separately. Speaking of travel, if you plan to have family coming to visit, there's a decent hotel near the west gate on Jinxianghe Road called Liuyuan Hotel(榴园宾馆). It's nothing fancy, but it's definitely the most convenient.



I think that's it???? I might add more later if it occurs to me while I languish in quarantine

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