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amandagmu

BLCU, Beijing Language and Culture University, Housing Info, and more

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amandagmu

For the LATEST info, please see the new BLCU information index.

Hello,

For those of you who are going soon for a fall semester, I just got back from BLCU Thursday after spending my summer there. I was just writing a response to a message from someone else and decided in the process this is the kind of info that everyone will probably want to know, so I thought I'd post it.

I lived off-campus at the International Students Center (aka the "Beijing Foreign Student Activities Center") while I was there. It is about a 20 minute walk from campus, 5-10 minutes by bus (3 bus stops) and provides more for the money than BLCU dorms offers. I should forewarn some of you that living on campus, despite what anyone in the office has told you, is absolutely NOT guaranteed. It is ALL first come, first serve. A couple of my friends found that out the hard way when they showed up on campus their first day and were told that no reserving of rooms is ever possible and all the rooms were booked, and to come back and try in another day or two. Even if you do end up on campus, you may have to find a temporary place for a week.

So here's my housing summary:

The housing office on campus is fairly worthless, so expect a little bit of a battle with them if you decide to live on campus. When I inquired about a room on campus they said they only had doubles, they had one right away for $8 a night, but only if I signed on right away. They don't show you the room or anything. I found out that there were single rooms but they prefer to do doubles because it makes them more money so they didn't tell me the truth (not a surprise). Anyways, I ended up getting a single room at the other place I lived for $12 a night, short-term (it's cheaper if you stay more than two months, see below).

Also, get there early. Several people who I know who were "promised" rooms got there and there were no rooms left. They were told too bad, and had to find places off campus the same day, most ended up where I was or a nearby hotel, either temporarily, or after getting a closer look at some of the on campus facilities, decided to stay at the hotel permanently. I saw one dorm (Building 2) while I was there. It frightened me. I can elaborate on that if you wish, although I think it may have been a Chinese student dorm (can anyone else confirm this for me?).

I was surprised myself to find out how much of the housing process is literally done the day you get there! If they don't have a room for you right away (and yes the BLCU conference center is booked solid through October, I asked in July), try the Xi Jiao or Mengxi hotels.

Xi Jiao: (it's next to the university like the conference center, 5-10 min walk to the classroom, very nice hotel, I saw an older room that didn't look old at all)

http://www.xijiao-ho...n/english/bgjj/

(don't pay over 240 kuai per night, that's about $25 -- but I knew people who got it for $10 less a night when they stayed long term)

Mengxi: all I have is the phone number - Telephone: 010-62325588

(it's down the street about 5 minutes walk from the university, very very close too - several people I know who stayed there long term paid 180 kuai or $20-22 a night, they had the hotel facilities like Xi Jiao has)

Beijing Foreign Student Activities Center: Where I stayed, about 15-20 minutes walking, 5 minutes on a very convenient bus line or taking a taxi - they provide a free shuttle bus every morning to campus so you only have to take the bus home.

Beijing Foreign Student Activities Center

No. 3-1 Zhixinxi Rd; Haidian District Beijing 100083

8610-51971888-8888 or 62399884

If you decide to go to where I lived, I know they offer great discounts to those who stay over two months and pay upfront. If you get a roommate it's even cheaper. If I had stayed over two months I would have paid about $10 per night for my single room, the girls down the hall from me paid for two months and were only paying about $5 each per night, same as on campus but you get your own bathroom. In the room you get your own private bathroom (western style) and TV, a/c unit, water cooler base (you buy the water at 15 kuai for a large bottle), refrigerator, desk with chair, some small shelves, nightstand and bed, small closet, and some rooms you can have internet access for $15-18 per month. The laundry machines are free to use.Depending on the amount per night you pay you either have free electricity or pay once every few weeks (a very nominal fee). The bus to campus is 1 kuai (15-20 cents) and the shuttle in the morning to class is free. You can also easily get a bike and park it downstairs, they have a large area for this.

----

If anyone has any more questions about where I stayed I would be happy to answer them. The first two places I mentioned are more convenient to campus but are more like hotels, so you pay twice as much for them. The place I lived is more comparable to a long term stay place in other countries, where they take your trash and provide you with repair support and all the in-room amenities you'll need, but other than that you have to clean your own bed sheets and your bathroom, etc. I actually preferred having my privacy and not having someone in my room every day (they won't enter your room unless you're there). If I go back to Beijing to study at BLCU again (and I probably will) then I'll stay here again because I got a single room with my own bathroom and a desk -- the two things that enabled me to be comfortable and have privacy when I needed it the most (e.g. to study for exams).

Any questions are welcome, just post below and if I know the answer I'll respond so everyone sees it.

~Amanda

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roddy

Excellent stuff, thanks very much.

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Lu

Building 2 is one of the two high buildings in the south-east corner of the campus, right? That's a foreign students dorm.

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puja

Hi,

thanks for the info. But I have to correct you, that blcu-dormitories aren't that bad, as I'm currently staying at Building No. 4. It's quite a big room with two beds, desks, a/c, telephone, fridge, tv and own bathroom, although everythings a bit "low-class" and the place looks a bit shabby. There's possibility to get Internet on your room for either 140/month for flatrate or you can get 40 or 100 hours of access for less. The connection is very convenient and compared to other connections in china (for example at Xi Jiao Hotel) very stable and quite fast. Also you can use a Modem if you don't need the high speed and only check your mails every once in a while. But I also have to say that storing room for your belongings in the dorms is very limited and they are expensive for sure.

I thought of staying at BJFSAC too but now I think it's pretty far especially if you have to go into city you have about 30 mins to Wu Dao Kou Station. Sure you can take the bus or taxi or your bike but here I can walk there.

Another way to stay here in Beijing and especially for long-term-students I think very convenient would be to get an own appartment. Most of them you have to share with one to three people, but if you know someone already you can get a nice place near campus for two at about 3000kuai/month for the whole apt. You usually have everything in these apts like own kitchen, washingmachine, DSL and everything other places have, too. Besides that you have seperate bedrooms and usually a living room. I will probably move into such an apt after my first term staying here.

Warm regards,

Puja

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babygodzilla

thx for the info. there are many posts about housing options in this forum and they confuse me. i cant decide if the Conference Center is better, or if the apartments are better. people have different opinions and obviously i cant pick for myself since im not there. i wish there were detailed pictures of both the Conference and an example of a decent apartment. i think that would help very much. thanks again.

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amandagmu

The conference center is a very nice place. I have never seen the rooms, but for $20 a day they must be nice...and they're always booked by foreigners, mostly Koreans and those from Western Europe. I ate at the excellent restaurants there (some reasonably priced Japanese and Chinese food) a few times, and had to wait for people in the lobby on occasion so it was nice in those respects.

I will agree with the previous poster regarding the cheap apartment opportunities except for one thing: I have heard mixed reviews of apartment living. Basically, you don't exactly know what you're getting into when you rent a place in a foreign country, particularly in a place like China. Be aware that problems may arise with the landlord or with neighbors and you have very little rights in a place like that. On the other hand, at a place like the Conference Center or where I stayed, you wouldn't have to worry so much about a lot because someone else is taking care of it for you. For instance, you have to register yourself with the local police station, which the hotel places or campus will do for you but I doubt a random apartment place will do that. Then there's the matter of phone, internet, electricity, and water bills, again which can be handled easily by where you're staying, or you can try and battle it out with a landlord or on your own with a Chinese company. (If you're new to Chinese this is not a good option because these people will most likely not speak a lick of English.)

Now, if you've been living in the BLCU area for a few months (or in China generally) and want to do what the previous poster suggested that's great -- but as someone coming from the US who had never lived in Beijing or anywhere in China before there is no way in hell I would have gotten an apartment 2 days after stepping off the airplane in a country like China. I wanted to be comfortable enough to start my classes on time without chaos ensuing... which, by the way, in case you've never been, chaos is part of the daily life in Beijing. That may sound paranoid to some people on this message board, but seriously think of your first days there, or your first days in a city like Beijing. Sure, for some people maybe they grew up in a place like Beijing and that's great for you, but most of the foreign students attending BLCU did not, and it takes some adjustment to get used to the crazy daily life in Beijing, and having to worry about where you're living is not something you want to have to deal with on top of everything else, esp if you're trying to learn Chinese at the same time!

~Amanda

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amandagmu

Also, the building I referred to was building 2 as someone else indicated. The first 6 (or 7?) floors were female and the top ones all male. Only one of the two elevators worked. There was no A/C. All the toilets were squatting style and pretty dirty and smelly when I was there. There was a big sink for brushing teeth/washing dishes that looked like a trough. The whole floor was a mess. Building 2 must be the cheap rooms and 4 must be the more expensive ones. People going there now: make them give you a building 4 room!

(Here's the disturbing story about the room I visited in Building 2: the girl in there was from my university at home. She told me that the only time the room was really bad was when it was really hot because theres no a/c and when the windows are open the mosquitoes eat her alive as she sweats in her sleep. While I was visiting her that day a cat was meowing and I said wheres that noise coming from? She says her neighbor has a cat... oh, and her neighbor is a grad student who lives in the room with her ten year old kid and cat but her neighbor had gone home for the month... and the kid and cat were living there by themselves... and the cat probably hadn't been fed in a while 'cause the kid never remembers to do it, so that's why it's meowing...like I said, beware...)

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puja

Gotta get some sleep, but wanted to add: Amanda's right :mrgreen:

Puja

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babygodzilla

when i get there i will most certainly take pictures of my accomodations and show it here. i cant believe theres not a single picture of the dorms or apartments available... someone MUST have taken a picture or two in the past!

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Shadowdh

Good post... thanks for the info... I cant wait till I have to sort out all the details for my trip next year... I will keep a journal from go to woah I think...

Cheers

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free1609

I just want to add some additional information re blcu accommodation. I have just completed a 12 weeks course at blcu in December 2005. I was staying in dorm 4 which was of reasonable standard ( was told it was the best uni dorm not including the conference centre) until it was closed for renovation ( same as dorm 9) in Nov 2005. A new dorm has been completed and is located near the west gate. It is run like the conference centre except the single room is much bigger than the conference centre. It is very nice just like a hotel and the room is cleaned every day. Currently, the daily rate is RMB 110 for a single room or RMB 55 for double for those studying 6 weeks and over.

It appears that the the uni is the process of renovating the older dorms which is long overdue. Amanda's comments re the uselessness of the accommodation office is pretty spot on.

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earendil31

Hi I'm going to BLCU in February, but only for 4 weeks. What can I expect to pay for housing, I know the rates go up dramatically for short term stays.

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free1609

As i understand it, the CURRENT rate for short term stay ( ie 6 weeks and under) at the new blcu dorm is 120 RMB for a single room or 60RMB per person twin share. The winter rates for other older dorm may be less, but i do not have the details of the actual rate. The rate for each dorm is slightly different .

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mocha

Hi, anybody looking for an apartment near Beida, BLCU, or Qinghua? I am currently at BLCU. I will be here for next 6 months till July for intensive course and now looking for one person to share an apartment in Wudaokou. The place is very modern and clean ,however its not pricey compare to living in the dorm. If interested to stay off-campus , check this out in the classified. http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/7086-wants-a-flatmate-to-share-apt-in-wudaokou-near-blcu-starting-jan18th

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TETSU

Hi, I'm going to be attending the BLCU 12 week program from Feb 27 to Jul 7.

I've heard that the accommodation for the dorms in BLCU are basically

first come-first serve.

And I've also heard that the office isn't the greatest help when it comes to the accommodations. (Like you appear at the office and find out that all rooms are booked).

I'd feel a lot more comfortable if I knew that I was going to have a room,

but is it possible to reserve a room at ISC? (Aka Beijing Foreign Students Activity Cener)

Or did I have to enroll into a Chinese language program through ISC to stay there?

(I applied straight from the BLCU homepage).

Thanks.

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free1609

Tetsu, yes it is too late and almost impossible to book Dorm 17 now. Because it is new its very popular and i understand it is fully booked now. Many returning students have prebooked the dorm before they went home for holidays.

Anyway, there are plenty of rooms available at dorm 5, 7 and 12 Just go straight to the dorm that you intend to stay and book the room direct.

Best wishes.

.

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TETSU

Thanks a lot, free1609.

I was wondering, of the dorms 5, 7, 12,

which one would you reccomend as being nice to live in?

I'd like to get a single.

Sorry for all the questioning.

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free1609

Tetsu,

I have not seen any of the dorms myself so i can't really make any comments. I think the best way is for you to check the dorms out when you arrive at BlCU. You can ask to see the room first before you confirm the booking. My daughter has just booked into dorm12 and she thinks it is ok. Dorm 12 has both single and shared room.

Correction. It is building 13 , not 12. There is construction activities infront of building12, so it is not advisable.

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chiahuei

dear all,

I'm heading to blcu in march for a 12 week course and am wondering about the cost of dorm rooms over there? so far i've only heard about dorm 17 (120RMB/day)..... how about the rest? what is the cheapest rate???

i'm contemplating staying outside at huaqing jiayun as someone has a spare room... would be great if someone could tell me how far that is from blcu classrooms!! i'm worried it might be too far! also do you know if huaqing jiayun is a decent apartment in general? what about the safety of the area?

very appreciative of any advice... hope to hear from someone soon! thanks!

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free1609

huaqing jiayuan is only about 10 mins walking distance away from BLCU. It is a nice area and safe. There are many other dorms at BLCU and the rates are only slightly different between various dorms. Dorm 17 is new and nicer but heavily booked.

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