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Brian Lau

Chinese Language Program @Tsinghua University (February 2012)

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jchris

Hey everyone, my name is Chris and I'll be attending the language program program for a semester. I wish I had known about this forum before applying and registering. It would have been so useful haha. This is probably a long shot, but I was wondering if anyone was arriving in Beijing on the 11th from Seoul, Korea?

Hi Fify! I was wondering what the buddy program is you mentioned earlier.

And as mwsteele89 said earlier, we should all organize a meet up before school starts.

Once again, thanks everyone for all the help. See you all soon!

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Fify

Hello everyone! I am in Beijing already, its cold but sunny! I am really tired and jetlaged, but looking forward to meet you all. I have applied for Monday to move into the dorms. Is anyone else here too? Because otherwise i will be leaving some stuff there and going back to some relatives. We should definitely go out for dinner before semester starts!

jchris, I've got an email from tsinghua with a lot of more information. They told me you could apply for a 'buddy' who helps you and shows you the way in Beijing.

I am not really familiar with Mandarin or Beijing whatsoever so I'm excited and afraid!

Hope to see you guys soon,

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Minami

Hello again everyone. This buddy program mentionned earlier should be quite interesting though I don't know anything about it. I am myself coming to Beijing on Feb 12th just before registration and will be living in the dorms.

I arrived in China 3 weeks ago to make preparations for my stay there. I asked around about bank accounts, telephone and things like that. Apparently, it's more practical to open an account once in Beijing and same for buying a sim card for your phone (I'm in Guangdong at the moment). If you have time after your arrival, transfer some money in a Chinese bank account opened in Beijng to pay for everything cause carrying tens of thousands of RMB is not really a good idea. I highly advise against using a credit/debit card from Europe or anywhere outside China cause there's a fee for foreign currency transactions. I don't think there is anything like an international bank account and even if there is, it should be quite expensive. Any bank in your country would probably say that you can use your card in other countries but you will have to pay extra for the conversion. That's what happened to me when I was living in the UK.

The campus is supposed to be pretty big and apparently, you will have a hard time finding a supermarket closeby. It's also very cold in Beijing during winter and I was advised to wear clothes meant for people living in Siberia. Dunno if it's true cause it will be my first time living there.

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Dewi Tjitra Salim

Hi everyone,

I'll be arriving on the 12th, anyone arriving on the same day? I'll be going directly to the dorm to check-in. Will anyone be at the dorm already??

Hope to meet u all soon :)

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jchris

Thanks for the quick response Fify. I just emailed the university about the buddy program so hopefully I hear back from them soon. I'm also planning on moving in on Monday so maybe I can see you then.

Also many thanks for the info Minami. Was opening a bank account difficult? Also do you know which cellphone provider is best?

Hey Dewi Tjitra Salim, I'm arriving in Beijing on the 11th but won't move in till Monday but I hope to meet you very soon!

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Dewi Tjitra Salim

Hi Jchris, hope to meet you too!

Btw will everyone be registering on Monday as well??

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arnoldhj

i'll be there this friday 10th, and still need to find a place t live, i'll be registering on monday so gope to meet you al in a few days

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CharlesLi
i'll be there this friday 10th, and still need to find a place t live

just curious how u r going about finding a place. is it difficult?

What wrong with the dorms?

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歐博思
I highly advise against using a credit/debit card from Europe or anywhere outside China cause there's a fee for foreign currency transactions.

in the off chance of both you being from the states and possessing a Discover credit card, this credit card no longer charges foreign transaction fees and is accepted anywhere that accepts Unionpay. It may take gentle coaxing outside of Shanghai and the Discover sticker on the door for people to try swiping your card though :P

you will have a hard time finding a supermarket closeby.

go to the NE gate and ride the bus down to wudaokou, then walk west to the next intersection and keep right. On this corner is a Lotus supermarket which carries things that the on campus C building supermarker (among others) might not carry. Also, along this strip of road on both sides between Lotus and the wudaokao intersection you will find many nice little shops including phone providers.

To find some nice Korean resturants take the aforementioned bus to wudaokao and walk east. Continue across the railroad track until you come to a department store on the right and a parking lot on the left marked off with lift arm gates. Take a left and keep left while walking through this parking lot and follow the small road until you reach some some steps up to a door on the right. Inside there should be some kind of animal figurine and a few eateries. I think I ate all at least once but my favorites were the Korean BBQ at the store at the top of first flight of stairs (counting starting from inside the building), and a JaJang Myeon shop at the top of the staircase which had good jajang myeon and some pretty good pot stickers as well. Just don't try the spiciest jajang myeon they have. I really enjoy spicy food but it was just too pure -- even for me! :lol:

There are some fantastic Korean taverns a reasonable walk away from campus (20 mins) and i will try to find a link to a map soon since they are great for drinking nights with friends. I am tired to look now! P.S. if you love Korean foodstuffs then at the Wudaokao intersection just walk north along the west side of the road. No more than 300-400 feet you will run into a Korean supermarket. Just look for the alien writing

P.S.S

from the wudaokou intersection, walk south along the west side. After walking not far you will find (IMO) the best pizza place in the area, Pyro Pizza. It has a fantastic all you can eat pizza buffet from 12-2 ish (check it first as its been a year now for me). They have pretty decent sandwhiches and when it gets evening time some crazy stuff can happen there aka they have bongs for those so inclined. I noticed, not participated - i don't fancy that. Besides that there are many other theme events held at Pyro's, and that's not to mention they have high speed internet. Speaking of sandwhichs, if you bypass pyros and just keep walking down this street, one will eventually come to a Subway's if that is what tickles your fancy.

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arnoldhj

hi Charles Li, about the living i've been visiting the beijinger website, there's a forum with rooms for rent, most of them in wudaokou and i think its not going to be difficul to finde a nice place, about the dorms i dont think that there's somethig wrong with them, I used to lived in my university dorms back in Mexico, but from experience i can tell that usually with the money tht you pay for a pretty small room at dorms u can find a better and huge one off campus, there's a lot of nice apartments 10 min walk or bike from the University and ost of the with students, also maybe my brother comes to visit me lter and i dont think that they can stay in dorms i dont want him to stay in a hotel, with a flat off campus there's no problema... :)

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jonny_rules

hey guys, do u guys happen to know if we are provided with stuff likes duvet, pillow n stuff by the dorm??? Thanksss guys and cant wait to meet u all!!!

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4leaf

Hi guys, i enrolled in the language programme for two semesters in tsinghua a while back, i loved it, you'll learn a lot and have a great time. i'm studying a degree programme here now. actually i'm wondering if any of ye are native french speakers. i'm learning french now and looking for someone to meet with over lunch once a week for an hour and chat. maybe i could help you if you have any english problems or even with your chinese if it is beginner or intermediate.

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Gwynie

Heya guys,

Arrived two days ago. I received my admission letter the day I was leaving for Beijing so there were/are several bumps along the road. FYI, for those applying for an X-Visa, you need approximately 12 photographs for the approval of your physical examination and registration, photographs must be against a white background, 48mmx33mm. I stopped by the dorms and there are only single rooms left. After a very disappointing apartment-hunt today I'm tempted to apply for the dorms. Rooms are very expensive and are very run down, agents are very pushy too. Hopefully tomorrow fairs better.

Also, for those of you coming from warmer weather, brace yourselves, I was aware that it was -11 in Beijing but was completely unprepared for how cold -11 was really going to be due to the wind-factor. The weather channels reported that it'll be warming up next week not sure if that will make a difference. Registration starts Monday morn, if anyone arrives before then and would like to grab coffee, let me know.

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icebear

Keep in mind February is as cold as it gets there. I personally found the winters pretty bearable - awful for December-February, which isn't bad in my experience.

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Minami

It's good that someone posted information about supermarkets and restaurants. I guess I was lied to. I really thought that it would be difficult to find something to eat or somewhere to buy stuff.

To jchris, if I remember correctly, you only need your ID and money to open a bank account. I haven't done it yet so I can't say anything about it. For telephone provider, there are just a few of them. There seems to be a pretty good "pay monthly" one with ChinaMobile for 50RMB per month+calls fee. You should look it up on the internet. I got the description translated and it's a simcard that works overseas and calls are less than 10RMB for 10 minutes. It's also the most expensive option. I hope somebody could give a good explanation on how phone calls are charged cause from what I've heard, international calls are the most expensive and calls outside Beijing but still in China are more expensive than calls only in Beijing.

By the way, there is a website called Beijing Stuff for social networking. I used the equivalent one for Shenzhen and got to meet people for a drink, play badminton, hiking, KTV and so on. I think we (if anybody is interested...) could create a group there specially for Tsinghua 2012 CLP students if it doesn't exist yet. I'm waiting for people interested in such an idea. I also don't know how to create a group. I think it would be easier to set up meetings and get to know each other.

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vuxe
actually i'm wondering if any of ye are native french speakers. i'm learning french now and looking for someone to meet with over lunch once a week for an hour and chat. maybe i could help you if you have any english problems or even with your chinese if it is beginner or intermediate.

im a native speaker, i will arrive next sunday, i will be glad to give an hand if i can.

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arnoldhj

gwynie im already in beijing, i just arrived today and i also need to look for a room off capus, maybe we can look together or go to drink a coffee ore something, im at xijiao hotel in haidian, im pretty nervous cuz i dont know anaything about china but im excited :)

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aim

Hi Guys,

I've arrived at Tsinghua and been staying in the dorm for a few days already.

hey guys, do u guys happen to know if we are provided with stuff likes duvet, pillow n stuff by the dorm??? Thanksss guys and cant wait to meet u all!!!

Yes, they've provided pillow, duvet, and covers. Other than they come to clean your room once every two days, I think they wash and change duvet covers every week for you as well.

FYI to those who arrive before the registration date, if you want to use internet on campus, you will have to pay 10 yuan a day.There are several cafeterias in Tsinghua, though you will need a student cafeteria card to buy foods there (you can get the card after you've registered). In the mean time if you want to eat in the cafeterias, you will have to buy a cafeteria card which costs 20 yuan, but the card has value of 14 yuan.

For anyone who want to buy a bike, there are a few shops near the west gate (exit the west gate, cross the Zhongguancun N St, and then head north). I was told that new (basic) bikes are generally cost 200 - 300 yuan. You should try to bargain the price if they are quoted higher.

As some of you mentioned about the buddy program, I'd like to share my own experience. Although it really depends on whom you meet but I think most of volunteers are generally have a great heart and willing to help. My buddy is very nice to me and have been helping me a lot. As I hardly know any Mandarin, he helped me opening a bank account, bargained a second hand bike, buy a transportation smart card, etc. He also gave me a wonderful tour of Tsinghua campus and bought me a lunch as well. We also have become a good friend. So far I think the buddy program is great and I would certainly recommend it!

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4leaf

Quote

actually i'm wondering if any of ye are native french speakers. i'm learning french now and looking for someone to meet with over lunch once a week for an hour and chat. maybe i could help you if you have any english problems or even with your chinese if it is beginner or intermediate.

im a native speaker, i will arrive next sunday, i will be glad to give an hand if i can.

Hi Vuxe , great , you can contact me at 13717511727 . please text or i won't answer as i get a lot of spam calls in beijing, or email me at [email protected]

if you need a hand with anything let me know. i know tsinghua , wudaokou and beijing pretty well.

safe trip :)

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Gwynie

Heya Arnold, I'm going apartment hunting tomorrow at 11am. I'm meeting with an agent cause I'm that desperate now :) So, PM me if you wanna apartment hunt together.

Aim, if you're game, lets all meet up for coffee....there's a coffee shop called S.I.T (Sculpting in Time) right by the Beijing Subway we could do do coffee at 3pm. Hopefully, I'll be done viewing apartments by done. Everyone else who's going to be in the area, feel free to drop by. I'll by the girl carrying the huge blue bag.

JChris, it was pretty painless opening a bank account. Needed RMB200 and my passport to open an account, there is a Bank of China in Building C inside Tsinghua, maybe 250m from Zijing dorms, banks in China are open 7 days a week...I love this country. Btw, if anyone is exchanging foreign currency to RMB, there is a cap off of approx USD5000 per day. You can exchange the remainder again the next day...quite troublesome, but since its open 7 days a week, I don't mind the bother.

I'm not sure which Sim card is best but a friend got me a Sim with China Mobile, there is China Mobile branch office inside Tsinghua as well, I can't recall exactly where though, it was near the main entrance.

I got my physical done today, it took less than an hour and they only used 1 photograph with the blue background, so that was a relief.

See the rest of you guys Monday.

Jess

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