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chaselance

Programs for studying

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chaselance

I am looking at BLCU (Beijing Language and Culture University) to study starting this fall. I am curious if anyone has used a program such as EducAsian or Access Mandarin. If so would you do it the same way again? Also, has anyone not used a middleman and regretted it later? I'm trying to get a grasp on how useful a middleman will be. I have been studying Mandarin for about a year now and can probably get around, but I am concerned about logistical issues ie. Visa, applications, LODGING and support while on campus. How successful is everyone else with or without this middleman support?

Anybody have personal websites about their studies at BLCU or suggestions of useful sites. THanks in advance for opinions and suggestions.

Lance

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dreincali

Hi there!

I actually attended BLCU a few years ago and decided to go through Access Mandarin. My reason was that I felt China was a totally foreign country to me, and I thought I wouldn't be able to register for classes by myself, communicate with the locals, get around or ask for help when needed. Basically, I wanted someone to hold my hand...well, not only did I find out that Access Mandarin is RIP OFF, but that I actually ended up starting my own bank account, getting a cell phone, getting around Beijing quite quickly after I arrived. A few friends I met in Beijing did use Educasian and the price they paid was outrageous. My recommendation is DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON A MIDDLEMAN!! YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF!!

The fact that you already know the basics of Mandarin, you should have no problem getting around and stuff. After all, when I first arrived to Beijing, all I knew was "ni hao" and "Xie xie" and not much else! So the fact that I was able to coordinate the logistics, I am sure you will too!

My suggestion for lodging is the "Conference Center" located on campus....I have no idea why it is called the Conference Center, but is is basically a hotel/dorm. There are sections for hotel guests, and the rest are dorm like. It is only 3 years old and it is much nicer (granted, you still feel like you live in a shoe box as it is quite small), in comparison with the other dormitory on campus which can be pretty run down and also you have your own bathroom and shower! There is also a restaurant downstairs in the lobby. Not to mention, it is quite close to the classrooms where most of your classes will be....so you can basically roll out of bed to class! :)

Getting a visa isn't hard at all, just turn in your application to BLCU with your money, and shortly they will send you a letter indicating that you have been accepted to study there. Then look up your closest Chinese embassy in the area, and fill out a Visa form....bring that letter you received from BLCU as proof that you will be a student there.

Over all, I had a great experience at BLCU...I would do it all over again, minus the Access Mandarin part! As you may have heard there are many foreigners who attend that BLCU. However, you will also have a chance to interact with many of the local students as well as the local vendors around school. Some people may complain that the teaching style is a bit like attending elementary school...however, you also have to remember that the teaching style of China is different than in the USA or UK or anywhere else for that matter. Most importantly, I think it also depends on how much effort and dedication that you put into it.

Have a great time in Beijing!

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allenedgar

dreincali, this information is incredibly helpful, thanks for posting it.

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Lil'

Dreincali, many thanks from me too!

I was so angry not to have enough money to pay a middleman and I was so worried to face Beijing life alone...but you tell that's possible even if the chinese knowledge is really little.

I've not solved all my problems concernig my journey to Beijing, but from today onwards I'll be more confident! :wink:

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