Living and studying in China from a previous student`s perspective.

Preparing to Leave
Travel Physical
• A couple months before leaving you
should have a travel physical. At
this physical you’ll discuss with your
doctor where all you’ll be traveling
to and which vaccines you need.
Before hand you can go online to to see
what the CDC says as well. You
can have your travel physical done
at Taylor Health and Wellness and
most local clinics.
Packing restrictions:
 Most airlines require that
gels and liquids you intend
to carry on be in containers
no larger then 3.4 ounces
each. They should also be
packed in a quart sized ziplock bag.
 You can go online to check
your airline’s website for
their weight and size limits
on luggage.
Packing List
 Clothes are pretty cheap in
China if you shop on the
street markets. However,
most clothes are very small
and the style can be a little
crazy, so if you’re very picky
you’ll want to bring some of
your own wardrobe.
 Qingdao is pretty cold in the
winter and pretty hot in the
Spring and Summer. I would
pack a couple pairs of shorts
as well as some jeans
instead of trying to find some
when you get there.
Packing List cont.
 Shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and soap
are all available at reasonable prices in
Qingdao. Contact Solution was also
available but a little more expensive then
here. Watch out for whitening products in
any face wash or liquid soap.
 Bring your own sunscreen and bug spray
Packing List cont.
 DVD’s are available for about $2.00 at a
DVD store down the road from the campus.
 Bring and I-Pod or MP3 player for the long
flight and any traveling you plan on doing in
while there.
Packing List Cont
 Most electronics are more expensive in China then
they are here in the U.S. I’d pack your own camera,
laptop, or electronic dictionary. They are available at
multiple stores throughout Qingdao though if you
need them.
 Cell phones are available for as cheap at $25 at
stores such as Sunning.
Packing List Cont.
 Pack some small things to give away to
possible employers, friends, or teachers.
U.S. coins or candy are good. Just make
sure whatever it is it isn’t made in China.
Packing List Cont.
 Having pictures of family and home can be
good to show friends and students in
Qingdao. Most people are very interested in
the U.S. Especially college students
interested in studying away here.
Hotel in Beijing
The hotel in Beijing is a good transition into
Chinese culture. If you arrive in Beijing the
day before the tour, the guide should be
there to greet you and take you to the
hotel. You have that evening to wander the
streets near by and have a first taste of
 You will be in two person rooms in the
hotel. There is an Ethernet cord, it may be
a little hard to find, but it’s there. There is
24 Hr. hot water and breakfast included.
Exchanging Money
The hotel doesn’t change money so
you’ll have to ask the tour guide to take
you to a bank. Do not exchange money
at the airport. There’s an expensive
service fee and a bad exchange rate.
Wait until you can get to a bank.
Beijing Tour
The hotel provides breakfast
for free so your first few
morning’s you don’t have to
worry about that. Your guide
should give you a time to
meet in the morning. The
itinerary will be different
each year but while you’re in
Beijing you’ll probably be
seeing the Great Wall, the
Temple of Heaven, the
Bird’s Nest, the Forbidden
City, the Silk Market, a kung
fu show, and an acrobatic
Beijing Tour Cont.
The tour may feel a little rushed if you
like to take a lot of time at every place
you go. For me it was about the right
pace, but I don’t take lots and lots of
pictures. If you think you’ll need more
time you might want to plan another trip
to Beijing.
Beijing will also be the first chance to try bartering. At the tourist
locations as well as at a market you’ll visit. Most of these places
will try to rip you off. We’ve had vendors tell us some of the
prices they charge tourists. One example was T-shirts for 350
 Bartering is pretty simple, but can be very intimidating.
Especially when a vendor is really pushy, as they are in most
tourist attractions. The best way is to decide the most you’ll pay
for something. As the vendor the price and then offer something
much lower then what you want to pay. They may laugh or scoff
at your low price. Smile and ask them for a lower price. Next
they’ll come down from their price and you’ll slowly move your
price up. They might go lower the what you want to pay, if not
stop at your price and tell them that’s as high as you’ll go. If
they don’t budge, walk away. Sometimes they’ll follow you out
and give you your price. Sometimes they won’t. But don’t go
higher then your price just because they start out high.
Tips for Bartering
Look the store over before talking to the vendor about
prices. As your Chinese gets better you can chat with
them, but not about what they are selling. Otherwise
they’ll pester you about the one item you may have asked
about but don’t want for the rest of your time in their store.
Don’t get attached to anything. If they want more then
what you want to pay, walk away. Sometimes they’ll offer
you the price as you walk out. If not, you’ll probably find it
somewhere else and hopefully for a better price.
When you see something, ask what you’re willing to
pay for it before you ask how much it is. Then drop your
opening offer below that. If it’s something you can buy in
the States ask for less then what you’d pay here.
Tips Cont.
Be prepared for all vendors to try and cheat you.
Especially at tourist traps. They’re used to tour
groups who don’t know how much things should cost
or how to barter. It takes time, but until you’re used to
thinking in Yuan convert everything to Dollars.
Sometimes you’ll be surprised how much they try to
sell things for. For example, in Xi’an a vendor told us
she charge tourists who couldn’t speak Chinese up
to 200 yuan for a T-shirt. That’s about $30 for a Tshirt that here in the U.S. should be about $10 at the
At all times, stand your ground. Even if the
vendor tells you you’re killing them, or they laugh at
you for your price, when you reach the most you’re
willing to pay don’t raise it.
Tips for Jet Lag
Tips for jetlag
If you arrive in the morning or during the
day try to stay up during the day even if you’re
exhausted, it’ll help you sleep that night and
get you on the right time schedule.
If you’re arriving at night try staying up for
most of your flight. It’ll be boring, but it’ll leave
you tired when you arrive.
For your first few days, even if you wake up
really early, try to stay up the whole day and
go to bed at a regular time. The busy tour
schedule will help with that.
Arriving in Qingdao
You’ll be met at the Qingdao airport by a
van that will take you to the university.
 You’ll check in at the first floor office
where you’ll be assigned a room and
you’ll check in.
 Rooms hold two people, you can pay
extra to choose a room without a
There are two main dorms for
international students. The Old and New
 I lived in the Old dorms, but some
students are put in the new ones.
Old Dorms
Main floor- outside: convience store.
Inside: Guard’s office, mail, main office,
and laundry room.
 1st floor-gym, Sharring Bar, class office,
and cafateria.
 2nd floor- hot water dispenser
 6th floor-microwave and clothes lines out
on the roof.
Main Office
The main office is right by the door or
the dorms. When you come in just look
to the right. The hours are posted on
their door.
Each room is a two person room. You can sign up for a
room to yourself, but it will cost more. Each room should
have two beds with sheets, a pillow, pillow case, and
heavy blanket each. There are two desks, two night side
tables, two lamps, two Qingdao mugs with lids, a
bookshelf, a TV, a TV stand, Ethernet cord, clothes line,
and built in closets.
 Each room also has a bathroom in it. The bathroom has a
shower head, a western toilet, and a sink with a mirror. It’s
all combined, but it’s pretty easy to get used to.
 There’s only one Ethernet cord in each room. If both
occupants have computers you can pay a deposit in the
main office and get a box that provides two Ethernet
cords. The deposit is $100, you get it back when you
check out.
New dorms
Old dorms
There aren’t individual mail boxes. All
letters are put out on a shelf on the main
floor. If you get a box, your name will be
put on a list on the wall and you’ll have
to show your ID to the door guard.
Sharring Bar
On the first floor there’s the Sharring
Bar. It acts as the computer lab for the
dorm as well as a restaurant. It has a
fun atmosphere and it can be a good
place to work on homework or meet a
language partner. The prices are a
little high for in China, but are cheap or
comparable for the U.S.
Use of the computer’s does cost.
It’s free for the first 15 min. At the
counter there will be a list of prices
and you can get a time card. You can
also print, make copies, and fax in the
Sharring Bar.
The laundry room is on the main floor. It has
four washers and a dryer. The washers are
available most of the day.
They need a coin to start, those can be bought
in the guard’s office for 4 kuai. Put the coin in
and the water will start, just toss in your
clothes and soap.
The washers are a little rough on clothes so I
suggest hand washing anything delicate.
The dryer’s are more expensive and you have
to make an appointment to use it. I found it
much easier just to hang clothes up in my
There’s a small gym on the first floor of
the old dorms. There are some
treadmills, bikes, weight equipment, and
a ping pong table. As a Missouri State
Student you should get a card for free,
you’ll have to ask in the main office.
You’ll present that card to the man in the
gym every time you go.
There’s a 11:00 pm curfew every week
night and a 11:30 pm curfew on
weekends. After those times the guard
locks the door. If you do find yourself out
later then that you’ll have to ring the bell
to wake up the guard and he’ll let you in.
If you know in advance you’ll be getting
in late because of a flight or another
appointment you can tell the office in
Hot water
Hot water is on in the mornings from
6:30 am to 8:30 and in the evenings
from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm.
New Dorms
The new dorms have the same set up
as the old ones, but with an indoor porch
instead of any balconies.
 They have hot water all the time, but it
only last 20 min each time before it has
to reheat.
Class Placement
The weekend before classes start at Qingdao you’ll be
placed in your classes. They Office on the first floor should
give you the times and dates. You’ll meet with a group of
teachers to begin with. They’ll ask you about your previous
experience with Chinese and possible ask you to read
something or talk with them so they can place you in the
appropriate class. Their word is not final though. If you are
worried your class will be too difficult or too easy you can
go to the office on the second floor and ask to be moved.
After you receive a placement you can go to the library
on the second floor and buy your books. If you move
classes after getting your books you can return them and
get new ones. The woman in the library doesn’t speak
English so if you’re worried about it you might take
someone who can speak Chinese.
For the week or two after classes start you’re able to
move classes, even later in the semester if there’s a
problem you can switch classes.
In Qingdao you’ll have two classes;
Chinese language and Chinese culture.
 Your language course will be every
week day morning from 8:20 to 12:25.
Between each hour your teachers will
give you a break about 10 minuets long.
 The culture class will be arranged after
your arrival in Qingdao.
While in Qingdao you’ll find jobs tend to
appear very easily. If you want to work
you can ask in the office or ask your
teachers if they know anyone who
needs teachers.
Qingdao attractions
 Little Qingdao
 Theater
 Municipal Museum
 Ba Da guan
 Lao Shan
 Zhongshan Park
The main beaches in Qingdao are named by
numbers 1 through 6. 1 is the most popular
but 2 is the cleanest and less popular.
 Shi Lao Ren is another very popular beach
not far from campus.
No. 1 bathing beach
Little Qingdao
Little Qingdao is
located in
Qingdao Bay.
The lighthouse
was built while
Qingdao was
occupied the
A few minuets away from campus is a
new theater. Ask in the office about
purchasing tickets or free tickets for
performances. You can see musicals,
ballet, concerts, plays, ect…
Ba Da Guan
A scenic street located in
the east of qingdao.
Mainly German and
Dutch architecture. At
the end of its streets
there is one of the six
main beaches.
Mt. Laoshan
One of the most
famous mountains in
China. It can be
regarded as the
birthplace of Taoism.
The office may
arrange a tour to
Laoshan for all the
exchange students.
Zhongshan Park
A park close to Ba Da
Guan. In the spring it is
very popular for its
many cherry blossoms.
It’s best to go during
the week to avoid the
weekend crowds.
Public Transportation
 The bus system in Qingdao is very extensive
and pretty reliable. Sometimes it can be a long
wait for your bus and they can get pretty
crowded, but usually it’s an easy trip.
 There are two types of taxis in Qingdao. One
starts at 9 Yuan the other at 12 Yuan. There isn’t
much of a difference between the two so I
suggest you take the 9 Yuan as often as
Bus system
In the main office you can pick up a list
of busses.
 Jusco
 Night Market
 Taidong
 Jimo Lu
 Old Cultural Market
 Book City
 Book Nook
The cheapest place to buy groceries
 It’s five stops from campus in busses 13
or 136
Four stops from campus on busses 13
or 316.
 More expensive then Carrefore but has
a Dairy Queen, a McDonalds and a
 At night there is a street market just
outside of Jusco. There are lots of
clothes, shoes, and souvenirs for sale
Tai Dong
Tai Dong is a network of
streets. During the day it’s a
shopping center with many
shops, multiple McDonalds,
and a Wal-Mart. At night a
street market is set up near
the Wal-Mart. It’s a barter
market, but the vendors can
be tough and a little rude.
Jimo Lu
Jimo is a pretty big tourist trap in
Qingdao. It’s located inside multiple
buildings. The vendors there are nicer
then at Tai Dong but the prices can start
out very high.
Old Cultural Market
A small street market
where you can barter for
old looking souvenirs.
Book City
Two stops on bus 13 or 136 from
campus. It’s a large book store, but
many other things can be found there
too. Electronics, calligraphy tools, crafts,
Book Nook
A small book store a ways from
campus. The easiest way to
reach it is by taxi. You can also
take a bus to Carrefor’s and walk
up Nanjing LU away from the
beach further into the city. There
are many English books there
that you can pay to borrow. It’s
100 kuai deposit and then a
small amount for each book you
Nearby cities
 Yen Tai
 Qufu
The kite capital of the world. It can be reached
by train. There is both a fast and slow train
available. It’s a great place to go for a quick
weekend trip. In April there is a kite festival that
has been described as the kite Olympics.
Kite Museum
Outside the train station
Kite shop
Yen Tai
Very close to Qingdao by train. It’s a
good place to go for a quick day trip. It’s
another seaside city with beautiful parks.
The home of Confucius.
You can visit his home, his
temple, and his tomb.
Traveling by plane
There is an airport in Qingdao, so if the
price is right sometimes flying is a good
option. For example, when I traveled to
Shanghai is was more expensive to fly
but it saved hours of travel time.
 You can find flights at
Traveling by train
There is a train station in Qingdao. It can
be reached by bus or taxi. Tickets can
be purchased in the lobby of the hotel
on Qingdao’s campus.
Types of train tickets
There are five types of train tickets you
can purchase. Soft sleeper, hard
sleeper, soft seat, hard seat, and
 Soft sleepers are compartments with four
bunks. It’s the most expensive ticket.
 Hard sleepers are open to the rest of the
car. There are six bunks in each section.
The top has the least amount of room and is
the cheapest, the bottom has the most and
is the most expensive.
Train tickets cont.
 Soft seats and hard seats are the same except for a
little more padding. They aren’t bad for short trips and
are much cheaper the sleepers.
 Standing tickets are the same price as hard seats and
are issued when there is no more room on the train. It
can get very crowded, but if there are seats open you
can sit in them.
Hard sleepers
Hard seats

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