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got_no_jaffas

i just finished a semester course at blcu started in feb & ends tomorrow but most of my class have already left. there were only 2 in the class today!!

i came to china with no chinese, studied hard for a semester, got good grades, and i am completely knackered! does anyone else feel the same after studying a semester? did anyone else find the beginners course like bloody hard!!

is there such thing as chinese saturation because lately i'm so tired from personally immersing myself in chinese that my mind is blanking out a lot. my conversation skills are ok but lately i'm just can't be bothered, i'm sick of jaozis & want some fish & chips & steak & kidney pies & i can't find anything funny on TV apart from the breast enlargement ads!

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Marquis

haha, i relate to so many of your comments is almost not funny!

I have only been here for 1 month yet after doing my very best to avoid western activity in an attempt to submerge myself into the chinese culture im now often finding myself missing some of the great western treats~~!

I put it down to the change it weagther so hopefully within a few days the feeling will pass :)

How much do you feel you have learnt from your classes, can you let me know which class band (A,B,C,D) you stated and finished on?

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got_no_jaffas

i started in A0 class (ie) right from pronunciation drills & chapter 1 learning the basics. the courses are run chinese education style, some westerners may find it hard, the japanese & koreans don't because their education system is similiar. but after a semester, i learned a lot. but you got to stick with it. if you do, improvement can be surprisingly vast!

in my initial class of 15, 5 dropped out, 3 who stayed struggled quite a bit, the other 7 did pretty well but we worked damn hard! pulling out of the western influence is a good thing but it's also hard, i did the same thing. the biggest problem i had was finding chinese friends who didn't bore me to death! it's possible, just that the chinese i met were rather on the square side.

things will improve when you start class because then you'll meet people in the same situation as you, facing the same problems, not knowing how to order food etc.

the first 2 months were a hell of a shock. i was asked to take part in an essay competition for beginners, at the time i thought my chinese was rubbish. it was only after i had managed to construct a short essay in chinese that i realised that i had learnt a lot!

i have now restarted one of my favourite pastimes, reading, back in london i was always reading books, but here i stopped in order to read my textbook dialogues to cut down on the english language.

but laughing is a problem, because none of the chinese people understand my jokes in chinese & most of the girls think i have a slight perverted side. which is true! but hey, i spent 15 years in investment banking, don't expect me to be normal after that do you? hahaha!

in summation, my semester in china learning chinese was hard work! but you got to stick with it. if i take another course in sep, it's likely i will move to b+ band.

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shiyway

Hi all, I'm starting at BLCU in August and staying for a month.

Name: Ollie

Age: 24

From: London, UK (but grew up in Gloucestershire)

Program: 3 - 30 August

Why Chinese: Am keen on languages and interested in the culture.

Can anyone of experience lend me a hand?

I have heard mixed reviews about the BLCU dorms. No doubt they are convenient for short-term students like myself. However, crucially, according to a friend of mine who has lived in Beijing, they impose an 11pm curfew. Can anyone tell me whether this is true? And are there any alternative options for short-term students regarding accommodation? I know that if you stay long-term you can find an appartment but I have heard this is too much of a hassle for anything under 3 months.

Thanks for reading and I would very much appreciate any suggestions. I organised my visa in London today and am very much looking forward to arrival.

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Ascese

Hey, how is the placement test done? I mean, is it written, does it have pinyin, what do they ask of you after all...?

Ollie, there is a great thread by Amanda about Housing...You should check it out. After getting stressed for a couple of weeks with mixed info by BJFSAC, I decided to go there and try to fix it myself...But I heard that the dorms are not so good if you don't get one of the new ones.

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Marquis

Iv been at the BLCU now for 5 weeks, many of my friends live on campus and im afraid they do indeed impose a 12 aclock cewfew! Many of them however do find that if they come back after 12 they are still able to get back into their dorms however you might have to wake some rather unfriendly people up :x

The test is over within 5 minutes, its a very basic one- one with a teacher who will ask you a number of questions in chinese, the more you understand the more she asks therefore if you dont understand anything you are instantly put into the basic class.

The test starts of with a question, if you answer it ok you move onto pinyin and then chinese characters.

Good luck guys.

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shiyway

....so the plot thickens! Ascese and Marquis, thanks very much for your responses: they were most helpful.

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girlwonder

Hey guys!

I've just signed up for a 4-week course at BLCU from 3 - 30 August. I already speak a bit of Mandarin since I did an 8-month intensive course at SOAS in London during my gap year, but that was about two and a half years ago.. so.. I can still speak it a bit but it's not as good as it used to be.

I still have no idea what I'm doing about housing (or what is even offered, actually) since my parents were like.. "yeah, btw you need to do something productive with your summer so you're going to Beijing" so.. any info would be appreciated :)

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tarur

Marquis, you told about the test. Was it a before-short-course test? Does the pinyin and character part include reading / recognizing / writing?

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Ascese

Thanks for your answer! I was afraid the etst would be like a HSK sample or something as difficult as...

Marquis, btw, what about that coffee everyine was talking about?!

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shiyway

Girlwonder,

Exactly what I am trying to organise. I was asking the same question just before you and was advised to look at Amanda's thread entitled 'BLCU Housing Info - What I know'. It was pretty helpful.

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girlwonder

Yeah, I read Amanda's thing too - very helpful but all the building numbers are confusing to me (since it's not clear just HOW many buildings there are) and.. I don't know, I'm easily confused.

But since I'm doing a 4-week course, I'm thinking I can pre-book / pay for my accommodation before I arrive? Because doing it once I get there will undoubtedly be leaving it too late and a complete and utter panic.. which is exactly what I DON'T want to happen in my first couple days in China because it'll make me just freak out and want to go home.

And right now, I'm still not completely sure if I'm going yet because I sent in my application earlier this week and I have yet to apply for a visa.. so.. we'll see what they say about accommodation when they get back to me!

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Shadowdh

I am on my way... just waiting for my plane in Sydney airport.... woo hoo... still I am very nervous as my study has been very slack... I need to get my rear moving in that department... see you there...

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cantogurl

just curious

will anyone be enrolling in the 27 july 2006 - 23 august 2006 beginner's course? :) it'd be great to meet some people, especially for travelling and touring and stuff. My friend and I will be arriving on 23 July in Beijing.

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Ascese

Shadowdh, I hope everything went ok with your arrival...

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amandathepanda

Sorry I kind of disappeared...it's been kind of hectic (I haven't even started class yet!) because I've been traveling and ever since I came to BLCU my relatives have been taking me out every day. Just name a time and place for coffee/drinks and I'll be there!

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shiyway

Girlwonder, I'm as inexperienced as you are and I can't advise you about the BLCU dorms as I have chosen not to stay there. Sorry that's no help but I wish you luck in your search.

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Marquis

Ascese, Im not sure when everyone arrives so its alittle difficult to arrange a suitable time to have coffee's (i think most people arrive next month for the Aug 27th Start date) however if and when people do arrive if you wanna meet up just contact me by phone, email or msn and we can arrive something.

We should definately have a big get together around Aug as by then most people would have arrived, what does everyone think?

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babytine

- first name : christine

- age : 23

- where are you from : paris (france)

- are you in the 12 week program or one year program : one year

- why are you studying chinese : Speak Chinese it's very important

Reply me in my msn [email protected] if you can. I have a lot of questions because i'm not already register in BLCU for September 2006.

Thank you

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xus-swede

Sure Marquis. If I surivive which I at the moment seriously doubt :D Anyways, I'm pretty damn nervous and I just hope things will go as planned. I seriously hope they don't. That wouldn't be good for my wound up soul.

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