If you are planning to spend a semester or a full year at the Jilin Huaqiao Foreign Languages Institute in Changchun, you might have a lot of questions in your mind. I collected some of the most popular ones here for you to have a little bit more information about the Huaqiao University before starting your adventure. If you want to learn a little bit more about the campus and the modules, head to the other articles I wrote about my experience overseas and for more pictures visit my Instagram page.
But let’s go back to business!
How many international students are in Huaqiao and what countries do they come from?
The Huaqiao University of Changchun hosts students from all around the world. When I was attending the university, there were students from Russia, Italy, Korea, Japan and Mexico. The number varies from year to year, when I was there we were more or less 50 in total.
When do semesters start?
The first semester starts on the first week of September and finishes the last week of December. The second one starts the first week of March and finishes in end of June/mid July.
How are the classes organised?
At the beginning of the course, all students are asked to complete a Chinese language test that will determine their level – Basic, Intermediate and High. Chinese classes are divided per level and per topic – writing, reading, conversation and listening. Each level will follow different modules and will have different books.
There is no need to study for the screening test, as you are given 1 week to try the level you were put in and decide if you want to move to another class. The final decision is yours.
How many students are in each class?
When I was there, each class had around 20 students per level – but this may vary each year.
Where do I buy the books?
The university provides the books for your Chinese classes – but students are asked to pay for them. If you take extra modules, you might have to find your books by yourself.
When do you have classes?
Chinese classes are in the morning from Monday to Friday. For every class that you miss, you’ll get points detracted from your overall mark.
You will also have a “Culture Club” class once a week in the afternoon – they are basically crafts classes where you will learn Chinese handwriting, paper cutting and how to make lanterns.
What about free time?
Changchun is mostly an industrial city, so don’t expect something like Shanghai or Beijing – but there are definitely things to do! I spoke about free time activities in other articles – so feel free to check it out.
Which facilities are available on campus?
On campus, you can find a library, separate showers and bathrooms used by Chinese students, 5 cantines and one little supermarket with everything you need (from food to notebooks). If you need a big supermarket, there’s a Walmart close by – 10 minutes walk or 5 yuen with the taxi.
How is internet on campus?
You have internet only in your accommodation – to be honest it’s not the best, but it’s feasible. It’s a good idea to get a Chinese SIM card with 4G: it’s super cheap and you can buy one at the supermarket on campus. I suggest you to go with a Chinese friend to avoid scams.
How is the international students accommodation?
The international students all live in the same accommodation. The building has several floors of double bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms. The dorm is mixed – which means that both man and female students share it, however, it is not possible to share a double room with a student of opposite sex.
You can ask for a single room, but that’s subjected to availability.
How much does rent costs?
A double bedroom is more or less 100€. But bear in mind that you will not get a receipt or invoice unless you ask for it.
Should I bring my own beddings?
You will get 1 set of beddings, one pillow and duvet per person. If you want more, you can buy it super cheap at the Walmart close by.
Can I cook in the dorm?
Yes, there is a kitchen with induction hobs. However, I would suggest eating at the cantine, the food is nice and very cheap.
Now you’re ready for your new adventure in Changchun!
Let me know if you have any other question that I should have added above. Good luck on your year abroad, I’m sure you will love it!