I apologise for not writing these days but I had a lot of things going on…
Back in Bulgaria, I knew that I was going to need some money in the beginning of the semester (for accommodation, registration, transport from the airport, some necessities etc.) before I get my scholarship. Well, for unknown reasons, ’till this day, I still do not have my scholarship money, so all the expenses (which are definitely not little), I had to take from my money. Before I came here, I wasn’t really worried because I thought that a few days after registration and after opening a bank account I would receive my scholarship money. But it seems that they have a slight problem going on… because it’s not only me who hasn’t received any money yet, my friends from Hangzhou haven’t as well. I guess for every university is different when they are going to give out the scholarships. For Tsinghua, they told me to check my bank account at the end of the month.
I’m going to do a little summary here, which I think might be helpful for future exchange/language students.
So, upon arrival I spent RMB 150 for a taxi from the airport to the university and RMB 200 deposit for my dormitory. In order to open a bank account, you have to have a valid Chinese number and pretty much the cheapest SIM card you could possibly get is RMB 200. If you don’t have a dining card or you Student’s Card yet, buying food is much more expensive, so I pay around RMB 10-14 for a meal (a bowl of rice, a meal and a Cola). 1 week after arrival, I was already short on money, even though I was spending money only for the most basic necessities. Good thing I had some Euros in me, which I exchanged, because I needed them for my Health Certificate which was RMB 60, RMB 30 to deliver my package to my dorm so I don’t have to go there again and RMB 100 for a taxi for a round trip from Tsinghua to Beijing Travel and Healthcare Service, Haidian district.
My classes officially started last week, so I needed to buy books and notebooks, which cost me around RMB 210. And the money I had exchanged were slowly starting to vanish. So my parents and I had to think of some kind of a way to send me money from Bulgaria. I had some difficulties finding a suitable bank with a Western Union branch so I was really stressed for a couple of days but after I did find one I was very relieved… >.> Two lessons I learned from searching for a bank – 1. never fully trust a map (I was using Baidu maps) because you might end up between a middle school stadium and a hospital for elderly people, and 2. always have at least 2 back-up plans. Always.
Thanks to my parents, I could finally pay RMB 500 for my Residence Permit and RMB 600 for an elective course (Chinese calligraphy). Now all is well.
As a Chinese language student who is coming for the first time in China (especially if you are coming alone) you will need;
Let me calculate:
- around RMB 150-200 at the most for a taxi from the airport
- RMB 200 deposit for dormitory
- RMB 200 for a SIM card
- RMB 60 for a Health Certificate (if they like your documents, if they don’t you have to be examined there which costs around RMB 400 for a student) and RMB 30 for postal service; RMB 100 if you go by taxi
- RMB 190-230 for books/notebooks
- RMB 500 for Residence Permit for one year
- and optional: if you want an elective course they vary from RMB 300 -1200
- depends on you how much you spend on food, I spend around RMB 15-10 a day, which is considered not much
- and some necessities for your daily life in case you haven’t brought with you
You will need around RMB 2000 university stuff in the first two weeks and that does not include money for food/other necessities!
So, prepare well!