During my short study in Beijing, I encountered many interesting facts that I would like to share with you, especially those who wants to study in UIBE (University of International Business and Economics). This time, however, I would only talks about the really basic stuff, i.e. accommodation and eatings. Next time, I will write about other items.
Accommodation inside campus
I chose to live inside the campus on one of their main dormitory, called “Building no. 6”. It doesn’t really sound that impressive, but it was quite famous among international students around here, since it was considered as the main “international” building, since it housed a number of important offices and facilities, such as International Student office, Multi-function hall, and gymnasium. A number of important events, such as new semester enrolments are also done here.
FYI, there are also a number of other newly built acommodations such as Building no. 5, and Building no. 1. Building No. 5 is the most expensive (around RMB 130/night for long-term stay) since it was most recently refurbished. It was its own kitchen and polished wood floorings. Building no.1 has similar facility, but it was a bit old.
Staying inside the campus requires you to stay at a minimum period of 3 months to be eligible for long-term rate. If you stay less than 3 months, they will likely charge you double rate. For instance, for staying at Building 6, it will cost RMB 55/person (share), but if you stay only for 2 weeks, they will charge you RMB 110/person during those two weeks stay. I knew few people treat the dorms only for temporary stay until they find nearby apartments.
In case you interested with outside accommodations, the above arrangement still works out economically. Outside apartments has much better quality, but single room cost similar to share accommodation inside the Uni. For example RMB 1500/month could get you a nice single room rent in a 3-bedroom apartment. On the contrary, inside campus accomodation will only give you shared-room accoomodation.
Similar to other common dormitory, each room will have its own meter. The cost is not that expensive compare to other countries rate (e.g. Australia). However, you just need to be aware that air conditioning could chew up a lot of electricity. On average, you will be paying around RMB 70/month for electricity. And if live in a shared room, it will be split between two of you.
If you are lucky enough though, your meter could be broken. In which case, it will take them a really long time to fix, which means that you could pretty much use unlimited electricity. This happened to me during my second month of stays there. So I have free electricity pretty much for the whole semester.
Each floor also has a public-use kitchen. It has hot-water tank, and electrical stove. These electrical stoves are also quite extra-ordinary. It has a high wattage, so you could use it for pretty much everything, including frying those mouth-watering fries.
I attached few photos of the dorm for you to have a look at. They look pretty old and you might feel a bit disappointed at first. But trust me, after living there for a few weeks, you will get used to it because it is not that bad. After all, your main objective are study and it only last for few semesters only.
Eating places inside the campus
I wouldn’t write much on outside campus eating places. There are varieties of restaurants outside the campus, and they are pretty common to those you would find back to your home country. The prices are quite various based on quality and size. Pretty much as long as you have the money, you could have any kind of cookings.
There are two canteens on the campus. The main one is inside three storeys building and located on three levels; underground, level 1, and level 2. The top level is another Chinese restaurant. They served variety of foods with the main one being “rice with 3 kind of dishes”. Additionally, there are various noodles, Korean hot-pot, hot plate noodles and many others.
The portion is also typical of Uni-students portion. They also quite large, especially the rice bit. I first thought that the plate was rather similar to those served in jail. But later, I found that they are actually pretty good quality and rather easy to carry.
Second canteen is located at the same block with another Chinese resturant called “Hui Yan”. They are located closer to the building 6 (main dormitory). I didn’t go often to this canteen, since they are quite small therefore they have less range of meals. On the contrary, Hui Yan restaurant is really nice. Their cookings are delicious, but priced really cheap compare to outside restaurants. The only negative side is the service. They are pretty hard on the temper and not as polite as you would have expected.
At the beginning of the semester, you will find one or two desk selling tickets that can be used to buy the meals. It is quite awkward though, since you have to actually order your meal first, get to know the price, then go to buy the ticket, and then return to actually give the ticket back. Back at building 6, you can buy a canteen card, which cost around RMB 80, with RMB 60 credit on. You can get that RMB 20 deposit when you return back the card. Also remember, make sure that you keep the receipt, since they won’t give you back the deposit if you lost the receipt.
So, that’s all there is for now. If you have further comments or request, feel free to send it to me. Please note also this information is based on what I have experienced during my stay there on 2008, Semester 1. So, at the time of you reading this material, a lot of things may have changed.