See also: 5 Reasons To Study Abroad In Beijing
The time has finally come and I arrived in Beijing! Thankfully, I did not suffer any jetlag, which is amazing.
First impressions? I love it. Of course, as with anything else in the world, it does come with its flaws, but nothing I could not overcome, so stay tuned.
For starters, Beijing Capital Airport is one massive airport, however very efficient and even immigration didn’t take long. And although I arrived at 10pm it did feel rather deserted. Once out of the airport, it was a little more chaotic, however still felt somehow familiar. I have spent my first night in an Ibis hotel near the airport, to avoid me having to travel in the middle of the night. That was good for 20 quid and it had continental breakfast (which continent they were referring to is another question, lots of asian food ). It was right by the airport so was great for plain spotting and lovely Emirates staff provided me with sleeping shades and ear plugs, so I had no trouble sleeping. However, I was woken up by loud noise that reminded me of machine gun shooting or a multiple bomb explosion and that freaked me out, given the international tensions at the moment. Turns out it was fireworks, as it was some kind of holiday here in China. They weren’t some fancy fireworks, simple explosives that just make a big bang and lots of smoke, never mind we’re right next to the airport!! Common sense anyone…?
Arriving at University
Getting a taxi was an experience. I had to hail a taxi in what looked like a busy motorway and then wheel into the motorway with my bags to get into the cab. The driver – no english. Of course! I only managed as I had an address in Chinese. So Tip #1 if going anywhere in Beijing in a taxi, have an address ready in Chinese. Costing me 100RMB (which is approx £10) I arrived safely in about 30mins at the CUC campus. It’s a massive gated campus and of course security guard on the gates didn’t speak english either. It’s funny how when you ask them if they speak English they say yes, but then dismiss the fact once you ask another question in English. Oh well.. thank god i’m good with my orientation, so with a map sent to me by the university I found my way around easily.
Checking in at Student Halls
No english. No way!! Yep, that’s the way of life here. Somehow we managed to check me in with a very strict Chinese lady and a lad that work at the reception. Obviously, that’s after they’ve spent 5minutes organising and tidying their desk and completely ignoring my presence. I ‘kept my face’ – a custom in China I hear, never ‘loose your face’ . In the end we managed to get by and I have got a room. Lady stopped one guy in the hallway that spoke Chinese and english to emphasise that I cannot eat on the bed in my room, because otherwise I will get fined if I stain the sheets. Ok, if that’s the biggest crime in these halls, I think i’ll be allright. I’ll do another post about accommodation in more detail .
That’s it for now. There’s so much to tell!! I will break it down into separate posts, hopefully it will make it a more interesting read.