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


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Hello,

Thank you for all the good info. I actually didn't read all 17 pages of this post because its too long. I'm hoping that maybe someone can just give me some idea of what I should be anticipating.

I actually applied to BLCU really late. I would say literally 3 weeks ago. But I got all my paper work in and have the J202 and acceptance letter. But I didn't get anything about dorm rooms. Only thing I got was to move in between Feb 16-18. I'm planning to arrive on the 17 but I haven't bought the ticket yet. Will that be too late to get a dorm room? I will be funding my trip to BLCU on my own so I'm hoping for cheaper dorm accommodations. I've been to China many times in my childhood so I know how disgusting bathrooms can get- I still have nightmares. But I can somewhat live with that and figure probably best if I have a roommate where our mutual language is Chinese. So I'm cool with the roommate. I read somewhere that prices can be from like 30-50s and then from 70-90s. I want to go with the lower range, do those run out quickly? Should I be trying to do something before hand to reserve? Or will this all just sort of fall in to place when I arrive in Beijing?

I know I should be expecting some chaos when I arrive but I'm trying to keep that to a down low. Thanks for all the help!!

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greenarcher

i am planning to enroll on either a 6-month or 1-year program come september. just a few questions...

1. how early should i file my application to BLCU?

2. for those familiar with their language programs, any significant differences between the 6month and 1year programs? so far from what i gathered, the start/end of class is different, the books they use are different, the 6month program includes an out-of-town trip for free. anything else i missed?

3. is it true that the rooms for the "good dorms" run out quick? is it possible to reserve a twin room months ahead? i read somewhere in the forum where reservations were not honored once the guy reached BLCU.

4. i have a colleague coming with me, do we need to reserve individually for the rooms if reservation is indeed permitted? 1 of us might do the 6-month and 1 might do the 1-year, will this create problems when housing/dormitories are concerned if we are to stay together?

5. is it also true that in the 1-year course that you are locked-in to whatever class you get assigned to while in the 6-month program you can advance to a higher class when you've progressed?

thank you very much in advanced.

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redlikeapple

I am an Australian Born Chinese (HK) with limited Mandarin skills (well thats why I'm going there!)

I decided to attend the 1 semester program commencing 19/02/09 on 31 December 2008 so everything has been a last minute rush for me. I only finalized my visa yesterday.

As posted earlier, I too tried to arrange for accomodation by faxing T/T. They did not receive it the first time so this afternoon I urgently did it again. Afterwards I immediately asked my mum (who can speak 'enough' Mandarin) to call them. She spoke to a ZhuSu (also mentioned above.) It seems like she arranges all the accomodation for Dorm 4. I'm told that there are no single rooms left but I can reserve a spot for a double room.

I will arrive on the 9th February during the day and will haggle for a single room if possible.

I wish I had read this forum earlier... as I would take it easy, not pay for the deposit and work out my options when I get there.

Thanks for the help guys :)

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Hi everyone - this forum is quite helpful.

I am going to be in Beijing in two days to start studying for the Feb-July session. I am staying at a hotel for a few days, but then will be looking for a nice apartment with high speed internet for the semester - any suggestions of apartments or agency welcome!

Merci

Vincent

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It's a good idea to view many apartments from different real estate agencies, as each agency has its own current "stock" of apartments to show.

Having said that, I used the Chinese agency Wo Ai Wo Jia (bj.5i5j.com) from their Huaqing Jiayuan office and was very happy with their service. My Chinese is very basic so I just kept knocking on doors until I found an English-speaking agent I was comfortable with.

My agent (English name Betty, mobile 15010009945) worked really hard to find me a place I like, and at the end steered me towards a nicer, less expensive apartment -- even though it meant a lower commission for her.

As school is starting, if you do see an apartment you really like at the right price point, don't hesitate too long before deciding or it will be gone (probably to another student.)

I'm in Wudaokou now, so feel free to ping me, though I'm still trying to figure out this place myself. :D

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Thank you very much Peekay! I will contact Debby, as my mandarin is also... mmmhh... very basic :-)

One question: When you agree on the apartment, how does the following work?

1) Rent - all upfront or month by month? or a combination?

2) Deposit?

3) Utility bills? (including Internet)

4) What is the real estate commission usually?

5) Anything that I should be aware of since I will look to rent for 4-5 months only?

6) I am guessing those kind of apartments are somewhat furnished? If yes, then there should be a count of what is in the flat at the beginning and the end of the lease... anything that ones needs to be wary off?

That is a lot of questions, but thanks in advance for your help!

And yes - would love to meet people, since I wont know anyone when I get there :-)

Vincent

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1) Usually a few months at a time, e.g., the first three months upon signing the contract. (* but see item 5.)

2) Deposit is usually one month's rent. You should get a receipt from the landlord that you've given this deposit.

3) Depends. Sometimes you pay things like electricity & gas totally on your own; Sometimes you pay the landlord monthly; Sometimes you give the landlord a sum of money up front and the landlord will pay the bills for you each month then give back any remainder at the end of the lease. You & the agent & the landlord can discuss these things as part of the contract.

There is a section in the contract noting which utilities are your responsibility to pay vs. the landlord's. There are a lot of little fees (cable TV, common-area maintenance, etc) which the landlord normally pays, but of course every cost actually gets passed back to you the renter.

4) Agent's commission is usually one month's rent. Some landlords already factor-in the commission in the monthly rent -- especially true for the more expensive apartments -- so you'll want to make sure who pays what proportion of this commission.

5) Some landlords may be reluctant to sign a contract shorter than 6 months (or even 12 months in some cases.) So you may end up paying a higher price, or bite the bullet and stay 6 months, offer to split the agent's commission, or offer to pay the entire lease up front, etc.

6) Yes an inventory is taken at the beginning of the term. You should ask the agent to note any pre-existing damage if any.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been getting the feeling from reading many posts that BLCU (dorm 17? I can't remember which one) has the nicest dorms in terms of personal bathroom, space, facilities, newness. Any one willing to refute this claim?

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I'm in Dorm 17. While it is reasonable, I wouldn't say that the bathrooms are that great. A curtain separates the shower from the toilet, and the bathrooms are very easy to flood. I have a pair of sandals that I use when I go to the bathroom. The beds are also very hard, not that I mind.

The main benefit of dorm 17 is the bedding configuration. Instead of the standard side by side beds seen in hotels, the beds in dorm 17 lie back to back and are separated by a small partition, giving abit more privacy.

I'd only say that dorm 17 is marginally better than dorm 4, and is priced accordingly at an extra Y4 more a day (Y60 compared to Y56). What sealed the deal for me was the bedding configuration

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Excellent information in the threads.

I am going to be undertaking the 12 week Mandarin course starting on March 25, 2009 and would like to share an apartment around the BLCU area, as it appears an apartment off campus would be nicer and cheaper.

If anyone is interested in sharing just shoot me an email [email protected].

A few details about me: Australian 38 years of age professional, non-smoker, clean and quiet.

Cheers,

Andrew

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greenarcher

Usually, how many days apart are the enrollment of the 1 Semester Course and the 1 Year Course?

I'm sharing a room with a person of the other program and we plan to go to Beijing together.

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It depends on the exact respective programs but generally speaking the one-year program starts a week earlier than the semester program, plus there are additional formalities for the one-year program (such as the health check, residency permit, etc.)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi there!

I was wondering whether it is possible to get my dorm room at BLCU sooner than registration day, because I may arrive 2 days earlier (due to flight schedule, I could choose a later flight, but then I would miss registration). I´m not a self-financed student and I´m planning to go a on a short-term (4w) course.

Also, does anybody know whether I can get a dorm room sooner at BNU? /the same situation, but I would be there only 1 day earlier/

Thanks!

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greenarcher

Is it easy to extend 1 more semester when I will choose to study for 1 semester first? What are the things I need to do if I decide to stay for another 6 months?

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@Jikolp: arriving a few days early is not a problem. Worst case scenario, you'd have to stay at the conference center (right on campus) for a night or two.

@greenarcher: it's easy to extend; lots of students do this. Just come for the first semester and you'll have plenty of time to work out your second semester logistics. If there's a long break between the two semesters (e.g.., summer break) , then you might have to get a different visa and/or temporarily leave the country before resuming the second semester. Good excuse to travel to nearby countries, or go for a short hop back home.

However, if there's a very good change you're going to stay for the whole year anyway, then it's better to just commit for the year and get an X visa. You'd be set for the year and can enter / leave China as you please during the year.

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Hey there,

I received a 1-semester scholarship awarded by Confucius Institute (if I'm not mistaken) for my HSK scores. One of the universities I'm currently considering is as well BLCU.

I'm likely applying for the spring term next year (2010) and would prefer to live in a single room. Is it difficult to apply for those?

Also, I've heard people say that it's not a good idea to go to Beijing during the spring time as it's often windy, with the wind mixed with sand that it picks from the desert. How bad is it in actuality?

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I don't know about scholarship students - by what I've read you guys might get a raw deal when it comes to housing - but for me, it was very easy to get a single room. I showed up three days before class started (during the registration period), asked for a single room and got one. But I also know people who did this and were told there weren't any available, so I think it's just a case of the earlier you show up the better your chances are.

As for windiness, it's technically spring now and I haven't noticed anything especially windy (or sandy). Perhaps it'll pick up as the season moves on, but so far so good.

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Hi jon09,

In answer to your questions:

1) It honestly depends on how many single rooms are available, and if you are willing to pay the price difference. There are single rooms available in the cheap scholarship dorms with communal toilets (one of my classmates has a single room), but you have to pay a little extra on top of your scholarship for it. There are also better quality single rooms in the other dorms, so they are definitely available, and it's really up to you to see how much you are willing to spend on one, and what kind of room quality you are looking for.

2) If you are a scholarship student, then I would look first at dorm 8, where you just pay extra for a single room. After that, dorms 4, 6, 12, 13 and 17 are good places to look. I know that 17 for sure has single rooms, as does the conference center. Not quite sure about the other 4, but they are worth a try.

3) As with all places, there are good days and bad days. Today was a beautiful day, but the other day it was windy and sandy as all heck.

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Dorms 12 and 13 are closed right now, perhaps permanently to foreigners. I used to be in 13, but they moved everyone out of 12 and 13 at the start of this semester. Rumour mill has it that the university is converting those two dorms to use for Chinese students.

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