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adrianlondon

Who's going to BNU for 07/2006?

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laurab

I am an American living in London and finishing my MA in Chinese Studies at SOAS (school of Oriental and African Studies). I am all sign up and ready to go to BNU in sept.

Can anyone tell me the easiest way to get money from America to London and then Beijing. My parents are paying for my tuition (first time ever!) and we are wondering if travelers checks are the best way to go as I only have a English bank account. Any other info on BNU would be helpful as well.

Thank you,

Laura

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adrianlondon

Your parents could take a risk and post (registered/recorded/signed-for) US$ travellers cheques to your address in the UK.

Take them with you to beijing and cash them as soon as you arrive, and use this to pay the tuition/accommodation.

I was suprised (as I usually use ATMs always, and europe gives crappy rates for currency exchange and travellers cheques) that in Beijing - from anecdotal evidence - you get a good rate of exchange.

The pound's doing well at the moment, which will help me.

Although all our airports are shut at the moment, so it's a good job I wasn't planning on leaving London today.

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KungFoo

I know theres an international ATM on campus which gives free withdrawals. But there must be a limit on daily withdrawals.

If you have a HSBC account (which I have) there are branches in Beijing. I am not sure what exactly I will be able to do from there though. transferring funds into a Chinese bank is fast, easy and cheap apparantly. I am not too keen on that though, I will try and use HSBC and internet or telephone banking there.

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bad_dream_house

Don't know how usefull this is for Laurab, but for anyone who is looking to access money in Beijing from Britain the Nationwide will give you an ATM card that can be used at any ATM in China that supports Visa debit and they don't charge anything for the transaction

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KingKitega

What is everyone doing for medical insurance? I hear if you go to hospital in China, they won't operate on you unless you pay a deposit upfront. If you have medical insurance, you get some sort of card that means you don't need to pay deposit out of your own pocket.

Well, I see that BNU enrollment letter says they have a PingAn policy for international students for RMB600 (a year?) - is this adequate?

As for finances, I plan on opening a bank account as soon as I get there.. maybe take cash and some travellers cheques with me as well.

finally - is getting a laptop in China cheaper than in HK? Thinking of getting a lenovo..

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crow610

I had the same question regarding the Ping An insurance. I tried calling the number on the form that was given to me but it seems that it's an invalid number. Anyone have information on this Ping An insurance??

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n-vion

Hi, I''ll be studying in BNU this September for a year.

I heard that the insurance covers pretty much everything if you have an accident, but it won't cover dental ... those sorts of things.

Btw, does anyone know anything about the Apt No. 2 (that's where I'm going to stay)?

I read quite a lot of things about the other dorms, but none about this one, so that worries me somehow ....

Thanks for any helps and I hope I can meet some of you guys there.

Btw, my friends suggest me to just open a bank account there. It's pretty convenient too, because you can open a USD account too if you want to, and the rate from the bank is much better too ... so I heard. Transferring money, though, can take some time.

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laurab

Thank you for replying to my post. For the insurance I originally was going to just go with the one BNU suggested. But upon talking to my friends who have lived in China (although not Beijing) I think its a really good investment to buy insurance in home countries which (hopefully) get you the best treatment. I had a friend who got into a motorbike accident and simply had to be airlifted to Hong Kong and he was really glad he had insurance that included air transport.

I have gone for an STA travel insurance package which also covers flight delays and losing passport, ticket etc. But you might be more organized than me! Thanks again !

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Erikssc

n-vion, I'm also staying in dorm no 2. I think the reason why you haven't heard anything about it is that it is brand new. At least on their booking page this dorm was the only one that had a flashing "New" beside it. From the pictures it looks ok. I guess the only worry we should have is that the rooms seems quite small.... The Chinese like to put as many people as possible into their new buildings to earn their bucks.... It's also the only dorm located on the other side (east side) of Xin jie kou wai street. It's close to the other foreign dorms though.

As far as money is concerned, I have stayed in China for a period earlier and I never opened an account there. I used an internet bank in my home country and withdrew money from ATM's with my visa card. Many of the internet banks have small fees for withdrawals also abroad. If you can solve the problem of paying the big sums for tuitition and accommodation in the beginning of the term, then there is no need for a Chinese account. Just check the withdrawal limit on your card before you leave.

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Jamoldo

I will probably get some different insurance based on some reccomendations. It might be more expensive but health is not something i want to risk.

as for bank accounts, it would be great if someone knew something about the process and could tell us.

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bad_dream_house

I gotta agree with Laurab on the insurance thing, definately better to take a reliable package from home. I used STA before when in China and will be using them again, they cover just about everything. When I worked in China the company I worked for said "its okay we will insure you" but then I found out the insurance was only for the bare minimum - not even emergency dental care. If you take a package from home it might be slightly more expensive but you got to think in a city like Beijing with so many traffic accidents etc, the most important thing is that your insurance will cover medical evacuation to Hong Kong at least but preferably your home country if you are in a really bad way. Or you could go with the philosophy that a friend explained to me - why take insurance? If you get hit by a car in Beijing by the time you get an ambulance/taxi, tell them which hospital you want to go to (if your conscious) and actually get treated you'll probably be dead anyway.

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KungFoo

Just spoke to someone who has been in at BNU a year. He told me NOT to open a Chinese bank account. He said that the balance you bring over is still in pounds so you still get done by the low exchange rates. You may as well use your regular maestro/switch/mastercard/visa at ATMs all over the place and get the same dodgy exchange rate, theres no way around it. He said ATMs there, dont usually charge you commision.

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PandaMelange

Hey everyone,

My name's Dave; I'm 22 and I'll be at BNU in September like most of you.

Thanks to everyone who's posting valuable information about living there! It certainly makes me more confident about the whole transition.

I'd be happy to play some football, but I'm wondering, any chance of finding a tennis partner?

Lastly, is there any interest in an organized Chinese-forums get-to-gether, say, a cocktail party, towards the end of September? Let me know if you think it'd be a good idea, and if you'd care to help organize!

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Jamoldo

Dave, I could possibly entertain you and hit around, since I play tennis (I did in HS) but have not picked up a racquet in months. Though given the new security situation in the states, taking a tennis racquet over might raise some eyebrows...

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Erikssc

Dave, I'd also be happy to join you on the tennis court. I played a little last time I was in China (2004/2005) and would like to pick it up again. Have to warn you though, I am a bit older than you guys...

I am also known to meet up at any preplanned parties...

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adrianlondon

Just to update this ...

I have my visa and flight. I arrive in Beijing around 7:30am on Wednesday 6th Sept. Taking advantage of BNU's free airport pickup service, I expect to be settled in my apartment (with random flat-mate!) later that day.

I'll do the entrance exam/grading thing Thursday morning and then chill out until the course starts on Tuesday 12th. I'll hopefully use that time getting my bearings and buying a bicycle.

As Thursday 7th is (I think) the latest registration/exam day, I assume all new BNU students will have arrived by then. And all will have nothing to do until the course starts the following Tuesday! There's some sort of welcome ceremony on Monday, but I can't imagine that being unmissable.

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Yanne

Wow. I'm likely landing in Beijing 10 minutes after you at 7.40am on 6 Sept! But where is the sign-up for the pick-up service to BNU? I visited the dorm room booking page but did not spot the link :-?

Like Jamoldo, I'm booked at Lan Hui as no rooms were available at most of the other (cheaper) dorms ... Will prob'ly be apartment-hunting in the first 2 weeks too.

This might be a long shot but ... does anyone here rock climb?

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adrianlondon

http://www.bnulxsh.com/english/index.htm

Half way down on the left is the link for the free airport pickup. They're not trying to hide it :)

I'm not into rock climbing. I'm hoping to spend most of my free time cycling (not mountain biking, just cycling around). I'll also need to find a gym as I expect to spend the rest of my free time eating as much as I can. It's what I do when I'm "on holiday" :)

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Yanne

There it is! Thanks for the link! :) Guess I'll be seeing you on the bus ... :mrgreen:

Hmm, biking. That's my brother's thing - he has an MTB and he just rebuilt a 2nd-hand road bike :roll: Hmm, I wonder where I can find some climbing buddies :-?

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Lupita

Hi everyone!!!

Well, I guess I have found this Forum too late :S It's just to say that I'm going to BNU (I 'll also stay in building No.2!!!) from September to the end of January. I'm 21 and I'm from Spain... It's amazing you know a lot about China!!!

Thanks for aaaaaaaall the information about money, residences and this stuff... I will continue reading this Forum!!! ^_^

See you soon !!!

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