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adrianlondon

Who's going to BNU for 07/2006?

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Jamoldo

I get into Beijing at 11:10 AM on September 5th on the Air Canada flight from Toronto. I'll be signing up for the pick up service today...

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enceeno

I'm arriving Sept 5th at 3 PM from Vancouver on Air Canada as well...

Anybody else arriving at that time?

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n-vion

I'll be arriving on 4th September.

One more week ... very nervous and excited at the same time ... and preparing myself for the D-day .... :clap

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Erikssc

Hi,

Looks like I am the only one here already arrived. Came on thursday and is currently staying in dorm 3 but will move to dorm 2 across the street tomorrow. When I got here I took a taxi from the airport. It was only 128 RMB, so for those who dont want to wait up at the airport for everybody to fill up the bus its quite convenient to just jump into a taxi. But if you dont speak chinese you should bring a note with the name and address of the dorm. To find a taxi you should go out to the regular taxi stand outside the arrival building. Dont follow anyone that might ask you inside the building if you want a taxi.

If you guys have questions that I might be able to answer after being here for 3 days, just let me know...([email protected]) Its great to be here...! (although I have a bit of a hangover after my first round at some bars yesterday...)

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PandaMelange

Hey Jamoldo & Erik, any tennis would be welcome! I'm bringing my racket, or so I believe; we'll see how the TSA likes it.

Yanne, I'd be very happy to do some rock climbing. I've done a little in the past, but I have no equipment and would need to get back into it, but I actually am really hoping to do some outdoors things like that, and I should pick it up quickly! Do you know of any places to go?

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Jamoldo

Lupita, are you signing up for the bus? PM me with your flight details and we can split a cab if you want....

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stratman

Hey guys,

I'm a scholarship student from Vancouver, Canada. I know very little chinese, I'm just hoping to survive =)

I haven't yet registered for dorms yet, I didn't read carefully and missed that detail. Am I screwed or is there still a way to register/stay in the dorms? If not, I guess I have to find my own accomidation. I'll fire an email to the good people at BNU.

Thanks for the help =)

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Yanne

PandaMelange: Yay! A climbing buddy! I'm actually planning to stick to the indoor climb centres in autumn/winter as I've read that it gets too cold to climb the outdoor walls (if you're interested, though, you can try out ice climbing in winter ;) ). I found some listings of places in Beijing on the internet but will have to get there first to find out if they are any good. You may not need to buy gear if there is a place that rents it out. However, if you want to buy gear, I've been told that Beijing is a good place as it's cheap (although you may have to wait a bit for the stock to arrive).

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Jamoldo

Stratman, give them a call. They never answer e-mail.

Cheers

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Erikssc

Stratman, if you are a full scholarship student i think the cheapest double room is included in the scholarship. If not give them a call and they will tell u instantly. I think most of the dorms are full now, but u might be able to find a double. Building 3 is defintely full as I have been trying to get a permanent room there for days now. They have a procedure for changing of rooms starting 4th Sept at 8 am. This means that loads of people will queue up at the reception of this building at that time (including me...). I was told to be early....

I will definitely not stay in the semi-single room, F1 (building 2) that I am in now. Although the room is reasonably ok, they only have one aircondition-control for the two rooms sharing a bath room. My korean "flat mate" likes it cooooold, while I like to wear shorts inside. Last night I had to take out my winter sweater to keep warm.......(and it was 30 degrees C outside....)

If I cant get a room in building 3 I will definitely go apartment hunting!

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stratman

Thanks for the help Erik and Jamoldo, I called and scholarship students are automatically assigned rooms, and the lady confirmed I had a place to stay.

enceeno, I arrive at the same time as you, but with an Air China flight.

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Jamoldo

Eric, how are the courts looking? Let me know so I can bring my racquet and shoes man. I need to keep in shape. We Americans (well I'm of Indian descent) aren't in the naturally healthy shape you Scandanavians are....

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Erikssc

Jamoldo, seems like they have 5 tennis courts. They are not brand new, but good enough, so bring your racket and shoes! After a week of a mix between KFC, Mc Donalds and oily chinese food (all good though) I too definitely feel the need for some training....

...but they have a nice japanese restaurant in the foreign dorms building which is nice... sushi, miso soup...

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Jamoldo

Is the Japanese place good? how expensive is it? I can see myself eating there a lot.

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KingKitega

Hi all,

Just to give everyone an update on our first few days here in Beijing. We've been very fortunate to have a local friend to guide us, otherwise we would really have found the first few days a rather big culture shock!

We have been staying at the 365inn that Roddy recommended in another thread and it's pretty comfortable if basic. Most rooms are around 20 sq.metres. with en-suite bathroom/shower and the furnishings are pretty modern. There's free internet at the reception so no problems keeping in touch with your family and friends. As for proximity to BNU, it's around 15 min walk to the Main Building which is not too bad.

The weather at the moment is pretty warm but pleasant. We're coming from Hong Kong and the lack of humidity really makes a difference. For those still thinking what to pack, t-shirts and shorts are useful right now. Though I hear it starts getting cool in November.

I've been checking out the local food as well. We had baozi (steamed buns with meat inside) and gaozi (like baozi but with a thin skin) for RMB3 each plate (10 on each). It's very tasty and enough for a largish snack. I've also been to McDonalds (point and use finger to denote quantity) and Tube Station (english fine) to get more western cuisine.

We're obviously not going to stay in 365inn for the whole study period so we've been looking to rent an apartment the last few days. We tried 5i5j and some other local agents near BNU east gate and nr 365inn and specified to see only new apartments (1-2years old), modern furnishings and very hygienic! To be honest, we found most of the properties quite unacceptable for our tastes. I think the main reason is due to the lack of new residential developments. In the end, we did a search for 'normal' in the That's Beijing classifieds apartment ads (www.thatsbj.com) and found one brand new development around 20mins walk from the south west corner of BNU. I think this development meets all our requirements and next to big supermarket so were happy to spend slighty more than our budget (RMB3k). If any other students want to check out this place, I can give you the contact.

In terms of local property prices, expect to pay around RMB2.5k p.m. for a oldish 2-bed apartment to RMB5k for a swanky modern place. We were going to consider properties near BLCU (3 bus stops North) since there are more new developments outside the 3rd ring road, but decided against it in the end.

For finances, we opened a Bank of China current account with few problems. We used the branch near 365inn but they did have one lady at the reception who spoke english so quite straight forward. The whole process took less than 1hr and requires your passport, living address (I put in hotel address) and minimum of just RMB1 to open. You get a printed passbook and ATM card right away too.

As for mobile services, I needed a friend who took me to the nearest China Mobile service centre (RMB20 taxi ride from BNU) to set up a mobile contract. You first buy a number which started at RMB50 for the cheapest ones - which mainly has 4's in them - then sign up to a package or prepay service. I signed up for a basic RMB80 package which gives me 200 minutes a month. I also got GPRS access for an extra RMB20 for 50Mb (very cheap I think). I think the tariffs are pretty high compared to the west due to an ogilopoly here (just two operators at present) - call charges are around 0.20-0.40 RMB/min. We also got a pay-as-you-go sim, but had a problem, my wife's Vodafone mobile does not seem to like her pre-paid simcard. I had it unlocked in the UK so it can take all sims, but somehow cuts off incoming calls after 30 seconds! It cannot make outgoing calls either!! I think we need a new phone now. Maybe if someone has spare phone back home to bring it and sell to us - cos most mobiles here have chinese language menus! Please PM me if you do, we're thinking of buying one soon.

Finally I got myself a bike today. BNU has a whole network of cycle lanes so pretty safe to ride around - just be more careful at the crossroads - there, safety in numbers is the way to go. We looked around for a second-hand bike shop cos our local friend tells me getting a new bike means it will likely be stolen in a week! Most local branded bikes from new cost upwards of RMB200 so you save a little going for 2nd hand too. In the end we had to go to a place near the Forbidden City and rode back (takes a leisurely 40min) to campus. However, my wife did not go with me and the bike we got for her is too high. We'll try to adjust it but the seat doesn't go down any further so maybe one of you guys would be interested in buying the bike from us. Send me PM if you are.

That pretty much sums up our first few days here. It is a culture shock at first but now that we've got a permanent place and got most of our logistical issues sorted, we really looking forward to meeting our fellow students and having a great time at BNU and China!!

Will

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adrianlondon

I'm looking forward to arriving! I want baozi, gaozi (jiaozi?) and a bike. You're a useful person to know :)

I arrive Wednesday morning at 7:20am, and will wait for the 8am BNU pickup (as it'll probably take me that long to get my luggage and clear passport control). Then, hopefully, it's straight into my Liyun Apartment place. I'm not planning on opening a bank account (can't see the need - what does it give you?).

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Erikssc

Jamoldo, the japanese restaurant seems quite good. Only been there once though, and had a lunch set which included rice, miso soup, another soup, and a plate with chicken, meatballs, vegetables and some other stuff. Plenty of food, tasty and healthy (I think...). I was full after a little more than half... and it was 25 kuai all together. I see myself eating there a lot...

Will, I think the reason why sim cards with a lot of 4's in them are cheap is because 4 in chinese (si) sounds about the same as death.... and Chinese people with their superstition dont want them....:)

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PandaMelange

Hi everyone,

Just some thoughts on the registration process at BNU that I went through today. It's probably quite tedious and not quite timely, but I hope it can help anyone who's feeling a bit anxious.

First priority, I'd say, is to get cash for the dorms and for registration. I changed some currency and withdrew some money from a credit card-linked checking account at the Bank of China next door to the No. 1 International Student Dorm (and McDonald's). I took a number that was about 100 away from being helped, so I grabbed some food on campus and came back with time to spare. (The amount needed follows.)

I then walked across campus to the Lanhui building, where I was registered to live, since I registered so late. Those of you who were more expedient or fortunate may stay in the area and check in to Intl. Dorms 1 and 3, or Xinsong. You will need your admission number for this step. Even if one is planning to move out and find another place, one will need to pay a month's rent up-front, plus a 100-200 RMB deposit. For me, this came to a total of 1180 RMB. (To move out, notify the dorm before September 21st and to receive a refund on the deposit and pro-rated rent.) Be sure to collect recepts from these as well as the registration form of temporary residence. Even though I'm planning to move out, possibly as soon as tomorrow, it was worth checking into the dorm, if only to get this form and not have to deal with a landlord before Thursday.

From here, I went to the Yingdong Building (note; the International Student Office is temporarily located here, instead of in Jinshi). Enter on the left for processing:

The registration process occurs in stages; 1-6.

1.) At the first table, you may purchase insurance from Ping'An for 600 RMB for the year (400 for one semester). I believe I presented my passport and letter of admission here. If you have insurance, you may circumvent.

2.) At the second table, your insurance will be verified.

3.) Photo op! Present your letter of admission to have a digital photo taken against a white or blue background.

4.) Now, proceed upstairs and to the right for registration. This was the longest and slowest line I encountered today, with the possible exception of the bank. Here you will need your passport, letter of admission, JW01/02, and a large wad of cash. Here, a worker pointed out to me that I was only admitted for one semester, though I had applied for the year; I think this was just an error. She spoke to someone and let me register for the year (22400 RMB), and told me to let the know at the next station that I needed to be cleared for the whole year. Don't forget your receipt...

Here, I should note that, as the holder of an F-Visa, I skipped the Physical Examination step and have no idea of what it may entail. OK, actually, it probably consists of presenting this form and having your other info verified.

5.) Walk around the stairway to the final registration room and take a number. You will need everything here; passport, letter of admission, JW01/02, insurance verification, registration receipt, registration form of temporary residence, and three passport photos with your name/admission number written on them! You will then receive a dark orange paper with information on yoru placement exam and opening ceremony.

6.) Finally, go down the stairs and visit the desk at the bottom. Here you will present the orange paper and receive a goody bag, a "school passport", and a temporary student ID card which expires in about a month.

That's it, you're done! The whole procedure probably took just under two hours, not counting the trip to the bank. I've probably left some details out, but I hope this will be of some use.

Please PM me if you have questions, or if you expect to have a good deal of trouble PM me and I can forward my cell number. I'll update on apartments if and when I move into off-campus housing; be careful about being taken advantage of by middlemen who promise things the landlords are not there to authorise. As far as living in the dorm, I have no idea; I've still got this hotel room for another night. Best of luck!

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Erikssc

Thanks Dave. Useful to know when I do the registration tomorrow.

Today I have started too look for reasonably new flats in the neighbourhood. I have found one ok flat with 3 bedrooms which is in one of the closest new buildings to BNU. Its a short bike ride from the south-west corner and its 5.500 a month. But I need flatmates!!! If you are interested in finding a flat together please give me a call. I will continue to look for others tomorrow. My mobile no is 13522665570.

Erik

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