It has been a while!! I haven’t even updated about my time in Taiwan (a year ago), which I will certainly do (soon). However, I’m currently in China.
As I am sitting here in my apartment, I thought I would start my first blogpost on my journey through the Chinese Flagship Program. As part of my project for the Gilman Scholarship and for my personal interest, I will be writing about my experiences to give future students an idea of what to expect during their time in Nanjing and the possible experiences they may have through this program.
In short, it is a program that is funded by the Department of Defense, and through our four years of undergraduate study and a summer study abroad, students go through intensive mandarin training to complete a Capstone Year in China. One of the two destinations is Nanjing. The program here includes a semester at Nanjing University and an internship anywhere in China.
I landed on August 16th at 10:30am. Luckily, I had all my three flights coincidently with one of my classmates, and we worked together getting through our first day in China. That day was basically taxi, hotel, check-in at school, and the ol’big task of APARTMENT FINDING.
That was probably the most stressful task of all. Luckily, the program had realtors that assisted us. They took us on the back of their scooters and brought us to look at different apartments. After two and a half days of searching, I decided on the first property I saw (and yes, it was still available!!). Best of all, I didn’t have to pay realtor fees because the school had connections with the owner.
I’m paying about 3700rmb per month (about $570 USD), which is the average price for nice apartments, but “nice” is relative. Apartments can even go up to 4100 RMB for the super fancy ones. However, there are also very cheap ones at 3000rmb. It all depends on the type of conditions you are looking for. Students need to realize though, that one has to change the ideal standards and quality that they have in the U.S. because conditions are different across countries.
I met my roommate a few days ago and told him that the place was “better than the places of the other students” just to make him not worry. However, comparing this apartment with Chinese dormitories, he’ll for sure enjoy living here than his typical college room. There was one Chinese student who “broke up” with one of my classmates because the Chinese student thought his room was too small. All I have to say is #ungrateful.
UPDATE: I don’t really know if my roommate really likes the place.
I am done with everything (almost): Sim Card, Bank Card, Health Check-Up. I recently sent in my passport to get my resident permit, which takes about 20 days. Hopefully I won’t need it until the 26th!
It’s the second week of classes! I will update soon on life in Nanjing with pictures of course.