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roddy

Beijing Sports University

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roddy

This topic is for discussion and reviews of Beijing Sports University. Accommodation, courses, on-campus facilities and activities - anything to do with Beijing Sports 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.

Formerly Beijing University of Physical Education.

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amandagmu

I was a "Senior Visiting Student" affiliated with this university from 2010-2011. I did not spend much time on campus during that time and for research purposes chose to live closer to the center of the city such that my connections to archives would be more practical. I don't have much to offer on "campus life" but I can say a few things about what I do know regarding the foreign students' office, accommodation, tuition issues, health exam, canteen/food options, location, other students on campus, and interaction with professors.

First of all, the foreign office 外办 is not good at corresponding via e-mail, so you will need to call them on the phone. Ask for a mobile phone number of someone in there so that you have more than one method of getting ahold of them when you need something done (such as when you have a visa issue or someone questioning your residence or purpose of stay, etc). There is usually one person who can speak with you in English, but don't count on a high level of English. Personally, although I know some people have done it, I would not recommend going to this university with no Chinese language skills at all and no intermediary helping you because it will be a bureaucratic nightmare. Have at least one Chinese friend help you *in advance, over the phone with this office* if this is going to be an issue. You need to make clear up front what your status will be as a student in order to not get overcharged for tuition and in order for them to set up classes or professors for you (depending on your level). I had an invitation from a professor, who forwarded it to the foreign office. However, the foreign office never contacted me when they received the letter, nor did they process things right away. I personally called them up several times to check on the status and make sure things got forwarded and processed in a timely manner so I could get my visa ahead of time. (Note: I did not have to "apply" as I had a professor "sponsor" me - he was friends with another professor I knew in the U.S.)

Once you're in Beijing you'll need to get the tuition paid and visa and health exam squared away, which will require multiple visits to the foreign students' office and some pleading to hurry up with the visa (at least in my case). The health exam is at some random field in Haidian district. You'll get directions all in Chinese once you arrive. I had all my papers ahead of time from the U.S. and only need an exam for one item I seemed to be missing. Despite the fact that one of my documents was in German and not English, all my papers got the red rubber stamps and that was that. Four days later they mailed the results to the foreign students' office, who then processed my visa over a two-week period. Sometime during all this you will need to pay your tuition, which can be wired from a home institution but you'll need to keep track of this wire number, and probably tell the foreign office several times that they need to patiently wait a few business days before their accounts will reflect the payment. A year of tuition at BSU is not cheap--probably $3000-4000 USD depending on you status as a student.

The campus is located in Shangdi 上地, which is more-or-less next to the 5th ring road in Northwest Haidian 海淀区 and not convenient to any other part of the city. (The subway is about 1.5KM walking from the foreign students' office, so add 15 minutes or so onto your commute time if you live at another stop.) It is, however, near the new software companies, although it would be hard to notice that when on the campus itself. I would not recommend living on campus if you expect to spend a lot of time off-campus, especially because foreign students are confined to the international dorms and the charge is nearly 3000 RMB per month for a single (very tiny IMO) room. (The building itself is OK, but full of Korean students when I was there and virtually no restrictions on smoking inside. I think university policy states it's a smoke-free campus...) You can probably find similar accommodation in Shangdi for much, much cheaper, but the university will not help you at all, as I was told flat out on my first day. I started where most people do -- thebeijinger (for roommate ads and price ranges) and several websites like baixin.com. Word-of-mouth is also helpful, if you speak Chinese or just look through forums (like these) in Chinese or English.

The main canteen on campus is quite good compared to other universities in Beijing; lots of diversity in the food selections (Northern cuisine, southern cuisine, snacks and drinks galore) and lots of friendly students who want to become your friends. Compared to Peking University, Tsinghua, and even BLCU, I found the students at BSU to have a generally lower level of English -- which is to say, since my Chinese was better than their English in every case, we spoke almost exclusively in Chinese. There's a cafe on campus under the library that is also a nice place to find people eager to practice or help you. I am not sure how someone with a lower level of Chinese would function... but if you're at least at the low intermediate level and looking to improve your speaking skills and care less about reading/writing, this would probably be an ideal environment to do so.

I don't know what their Chinese language classes are like since I never took them. At the graduate level, I found the structure of courses to be unwieldy, confusing, and very different from the U.S. There were many courses... with seemingly no relation to one another. I could not figure out what a curriculum actually entailed or what the requirements were, although to be honest I never really cared to ask. There was a schedule for sure, but the relationship between the classes was not intuitive. In class, students did not challenge professors, but they did criticize their peers when the professor asked them to do so. However, I often spoke at ease with my sponsoring professor (he got his PhD in Canada, but we used Chinese), who was very helpful and friendly whenever I needed something. I was also treated professionally by his colleagues and all the students, and I liked that aspect of it. The graduate students I met were almost all very friendly, but because of the structural differences in the systems we didn't have that much to talk about when it came down to theories and research methods. I found it more helpful to go to guest talks and seminars or conferences at other universities and research centers than going to graduate seminars at BSU. Nevertheless, I did make some good friends with graduate students who were helpful when I had (and still have) logistical questions (e.g., where can I order books, can I use the swimming pool on campus, etc)

As an athlete not studying martial arts, I didn't really use the campus facilities because they were either off-limits (in the case of the indoor track or national team training center, for example) or too far from where I lived. There are two very nice and easily accessible tracks, lots of football/soccer fields, basketball courts, etc. Most of the exchange students seemed to be Korean, but many of the long-term foreign students come from African or Middle Eastern (?) countries. I met several African footballers who told me in French they received 4-year full scholarships to study football and football coaching even though they thought "the Chinese stink at playing" (direct quote).

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roddy

Excellent stuff, thanks!

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ckelley

I am considering enrolling for the 2013-2014 school year starting in September. I am confused about the process of how to enroll in the chinese language course and also in the sport course - in the case for me, wushu. From my stand point of looking at BSU courses through CUCAS (a website that provides you many Chinese universities to apply to) is that you are enrolled in both courses at once. If you are enrolled in both courses at once, do you pay full tuition for both or does one sort of take the postion of an elective and recieve a reduction in costs? However I heard - correct me if I am wrong - you have to miss the afternoon Chinese language courses in order to attend the wushu classes and then you keep up with the classwork on your own time. Is this really the case? The website also lists the wushu classes as one on one. I thought that there were mostly group classes there. I could be completely misinterpretating what this website says.

Has anyone done something similar to this at BSU or have any information that would clear my confusion? :help:conf:P

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