If you're coming to BNU you better have at least a year of Chinese under your belt, preferably 2. Beijing is an international city and as different from China as London is different from England, New York is different from the US, or Mexico City is different from Mexico.
Depending on a test you take at the beginning of the year you are placed into a class with people around your same skill level. The test has a written portion and a spoken portion and if you want to get into a higher level they reason if you know enough to talk them into it you should be fine.
Once you are placed in a class (100, 101, 102, 201, 202, etc) you will have different teachers but the class will remain the same so be nice to your classmates.
There are several different dorms to live in all of them in livable conditions (warm showers, etc).
- No.2 Student Apartment This one's the only one I lived in. They clean the room and do your bed every day. You get a desk, a chair, and a medium/small closet for your clothing. A must-buy is a clothes hanger so you can dry your clothes.
- Xinsong Gonyu - This is the best place for meeting other students. The internet is not as good which is actually an extremely good thing because it gives you an excuse to not have to skype your parents all the time.
Off the bat be warned that western food is not really western food in China even more so than Chinese food is not Chinese food in other countries. Then again who needs western food when you have delicious Chinese food all around you.
- La Bamba - Affordable tex-mex food. Not great but tolerable by Chinese standards.
- Subway - I lived on Quiznos at home so Subway is my salvation here. Kind of the same as an American Subway.
- Sculping In Time -
- Mr.Pizza -
- Pizza Hut -
- Lush - Closest thing to a hang-out bar. A great place to start the night if you already know people. Because of the layout (no bar stools) it's difficult to meet new people here.
- Propaganda - This is basically the university meat market where people go to dance, drink, and hook up. If you are looking for good music you're in the wrong place but if you want to meet new people in a drunken haze then this is the place to be.
- Blah Blah Bar - I still haven't found it so someone else write something here.
- Nanjie Bar - A decent bar with good prices and a place to sit down which is not super common in Sanlitun.
- VICS/MIX - A ritzy version of Propaganda. Each has it's devotees who swear never to set foot in the other but having been to both I can assure you there is no difference at all in music, prices, or people between the two.
- Salsa Caribe - Latin club for salsa dancing etc. They have "free" dance lessons on Thursdays at 8(?) if you don't count the cover charge to get in.
- Saddle Cantina -
Gulou something somethingEdit
- MAO Livehouse - One of the best venues for live performances in Beijing. They mostly have rock, punk, and indie shows coming through and the bar layout is great.
- Salud - Good spanish-themed bar. If you're Colombian this is the place to find aguardiente.
At the beginning of the semester there's a ton of little booths in the main plaza in front of the administrative building. This is basically like the first week at UNCG where all the clubs advertise and such. No worries about language since they are college students and between your Chinese and their English you can communicate well enough. I didn't know so I didn't join any.