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EF International Language Centers

Language Courses Abroad For adults and students aged 16 & above

Beijing Old traditional buildings and new skyscrapers – Beijing is where old meets new and the city emerges as a magnificent cultural centre. Join EF in the heart of this capital, in a country believed to be the future of international business. Contact details: 4th floor Tower C, Building Luoke Times Square Huizhongli No.103,Chaoyang District,Beijing. China Tel: +86-10-65630995-138 Emergency tel: +86-13501259951

EF Beijing

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Accreditations and Memberships The EF International Language Centers in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Oxford, Manchester, Bristol and Bournemouth are:

The EF International Language Centers in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Oxford, Manchester and Bournemouth are members of:

EF Dublin is accredited by:

The EF International Language Centers in the USA are accredited by:

The EF International Language Centers in the USA are members of:

EF Vancouver and Toronto are accredited by Languages Canada.

The EF International Language Centers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth are accredited by:

Important Note: Factual information contained in this document is subject to change.

The EF International Language Centers in Brisbane and Perth are members of:

The EF International Language Centers in Cambridge, München, Cape Town and Nice are accredited by:

EF Nice is recognized with the Label Qualité Français Langue Etrangère.

Federation of International Youth Travel Organizations.

All EF Courses are certified by Southern New Hampshire University.

EF Education is an active participant in the Comité Européen de Normalisation.

All EF Courses are recognized by Hult International Business School.

Contents - Beijing Section Topic

1 ........... Introduction to EF 2 ........... Welcome to China 3 ........... Weather watch 4 ........... Travel & transfer service 5 ........... School information 6 ........... Academics 7 ........... Accommodation & meals 8 ........... Money matters 9 ........... Phones, faxes & Internet 10 ......... Health care & insurance 11 ......... School activities & excursions 12 ......... Transportation 13 ......... Expectations

Dear Student Thank you for choosing our school to study Chinese. Welcome to Beijing, the host city of Olympic Games, 2008! EF was named Beijing 2008 Olympic Games official Language Training Service Supplier, training 5,000 Chinese citizens, including members of the Olympic Committee, judges and volunteers. As the capital of China, Beijing offers the advantages of many historical and cultural attractions and a bustling city atmosphere. The school is a bridge, helping you to explore the real Beijing and to get to know the people behind the language. As a Pekingese, I am very happy to welcome you to Beijing and to help you while you’re studying here. Whether this is you’re first trip to Beijing or your fifth, you are sure to enjoy your new life. Don’t worry if you cannot speak any Chinese - everyone is willing to help you so you will make progress day by day.

14 ......... Chinese culture & living tips

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions before departure.

15 ......... Adjusting to a new culture

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

16 ......... EF school calendar & holidays 17 ......... Checklist

Annie Zhang, School Director EF International Language Center, Beijing

2. Welcome to Beijing, China To study in China is demanding, but also very rewarding. The People’s republic of China is still a communist country, but has opened up economically in the last 30 years. Beijing city has shifted location several times in the past several thousand years, but the spatial dimensions have remained fairly constant over time. The present city centre is 39°56‘ N, 116°20‘ E, at an elevation of 44.38 metres above sea level, the northwestern corner rising a mere 10 metres above the southeast. As capital of China, Beijing is a bustling city, offering the advantage of many historical and cultural attractions, including the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall of China and the Ming Tombs.

3. Weather Watch Beijing has a continental monsoon climate commonly found in the temperate zone. In winter, cold, dry winds blow out of Siberia and Mongolia in the northwest; in summer, warm, moist air currents from the southeast take over. The coldest month in Beijing is January, with an average temperature of 4.7 °C. The hottest month is July, with an average of 26.1°C. Rapid temperature increases in the spring occur , but windless days in that season are wonderfully pleasant. Autumn, though short-lived, is a concentrated stretch of clear, crisp days and patchwork coloured trees.

4. Travel & Transfer service Arriving Beijing International Airport (PEK) is situated 17 miles (28km) north of Beijing. Local time is GMT +8. Travelling time to the city is about an hour. Prior to arrival (for all students) At least two weeks before your arrival you must inform the EF office of the exact details of your flight (airline, flight number, date and time) – this is especially important if you will be using the transfer service.


Beijing, China

Transfer service Arriving at a busy airport in a foreign city can be confusing. EF offers a one-way transfer service from the airport to your accommodation for an additional fee. We highly recommend that you take advantage of this service. When you arrive, if you have booked the transfer service, please pass through the baggage claim and customs area and look for airport greeter who will be carrying an EF sign with your name. When you see the greeter, please introduce yourself . Please be aware that other students will be arriving on the same day and you may have to wait up to an hour for other students to arrive before you leave the airport. If you are going to arrive late, if you have a change in schedule or cannot find the EF greeter please call the EF emergency number: Mobile:+86-13501259951, Annie Zhang, School Director. If you cannot find the EF greeter, please do not take a taxi until you have waited at least 60 minutes and have called the EF emergency number.

5. School Information The Facility EF is located in the heart of downtown Beijing. Our new school offers modern facilities along with a computer room, equipped with educational and pronunciation software, textbooks and dictionaries. Students have access to email and Internet. Staff All our teachers are highly qualified and are certified with professional designations and high academic achievement. They have at least finished Bachelor’s degrees and can communicate in English.

6. Academics The academic programme offers students the ability to study the Chinese language and

culture for as long and with as much intensity as suits you. First day of school You will start at 9:30 am on your first day of school. First, you will take a language placement test and then, you will have a school orientation. During the orientation you will get information and tips about your new life in Beijing, receive a class timetable and you will go on a walking tour of Tiananmen Square and the Wangfujing shopping street. There will be free coffee and tea. Attendance You are expected to attend ALL classes and to complete ALL class assignments. To receive an EF Course Certificate you must have 80% attendance. University of International Business & Economics Beijing (UIBE) If you can pass the HSK exam, we will recommend you to the university UIBE. Special Interest Courses (SPIN) General and Intensive courses include a number of special interest class options. After the initial placement test, you will have the chance to specify your preferences for these special interest classes. Some of these classes require intermediate or advanced Chinese proficiency. Also, a minimum number of participants are required for each special interest class to take place. The Director of Studies will discuss your particular needs and wishes with you. All General and Intensive courses include special classes on phonetics and additional Intensive Language practice. Examples of SPINs: z Chinese Martial Arts z Pronunciation Skills z Calligraphy* *Please note: students selecting these classes will pay a small additional fee for materials. Course books As part of your academic program, you’ll be expected to buy the books and classroom materials that you will use in class. The exact number of books that you’ll need is determined by your academic level, progress and choice of special interest classes. If you wish to buy ad-


Beijing, China

ditional books you may need more money. The books you buy are yours to keep, write in and take home with you for future reference.

7. Accommodation & Meals Homestay Many of the customs you observe will be very different from those you are used to. The family routine and the food you eat may also be different from at home. Before you leave your home country, it is advised that you let your homestay hosts know the date and estimated time of your arrival to ensure they are home when you arrive. Your average travel time from your homestay to school is about 60 minutes.

There are a lot of ATMs scattered around the city, to withdraw RMB cash from. Some machines have lower cash limits - look on the machines for guidelines. Visa, American Express, and Master Card are recognised by most ATMs. Banks The safest place to keep your money is in a bank. You can exchange major foreign currencies at most banks and hotels. The exchange rate is usually more expensive in hotels than in banks. It is a good idea to open a bank account if you are staying for longer than three months.

9. Telephones, fax & Internet Telephone

Your homestay hosts will provide and change your towels and sheets for you. You are responsible for washing your own clothes. Meals in a homestay Your homestay hosts will provide breakfast and dinner each day and all meals on the weekends when you are at home. Please be sure to call your hosts if you are going to be late or if you are not going to be home for a meal. You can buy lunch at the school canteen and purchase snacks and drinks throughout the day.

8. Money Matters Spending money Depending on your lifestyle, we recommend that you bring between RMB300-RMB500 per week excluding excursions. The amount you bring will depend on how much travelling, shopping and eating in restaurants you plan to do during your visit to Beijing. Please remember that you will be responsible for some meals. For transportation, you can buy a Public Travel Card which you deposit money into. This can be used on buses, subways and taxis. Credit cards Credit cards can be used in big shopping centres and restaurants but not in small shops. We suggest you bring small sums of cash with you for your convenience.

All long distance calls must be collect calls, charged to the person you are calling or charged to a prepaid telephone card, which can be purchased at the EF office. Fax All EF schools use fax machines to conduct business. The school will charge a small fee to send long-distance faxes. There are also places close to the school that send faxes and charge for the time used. Ask the front desk for directions to the nearest fax machine you can use. Internet The school is equipped with more than 100 computers available for email, school work and access to the Internet.

10. Health Care & Insurance Foreign visitors can access medical and hospital care in China. The cost is usually quite low. In order to assure quality medical care, please select hospitals in major Chinese cities that have VIP wards (gaogan bingfang) or highlevel hospitals that have a special department to receive foreigners. The charges are higher in these facilities but they feature up-to-date medical technology and physicians who are both knowledgeable and skilled. Most of these VIP wards also have English-speaking doctors and nurses and may even accept credit cards for payment.

In Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong there are private medical facilities set up to treat people from other countries. Western trained doctors staff some of these facilities, and some have a doctor on staff 24 hours a day. Generally these facilities handle minor emergencies, routine medical care and some relatively simple surgery. Language is likely to be a problem at the ordinary Chinese hospitals so it would be advisable to be accompanied by a person who speaks Chinese. Payment for care is usually expected when services are provided. If you are hospitalised, please contact your insurance company or EF within the first 48 hours. It is always advisable to bring enough medication to last through your trip. Be sure to carry it with you rather than trusting it to checked luggage (many frequent travellers bring a double supply of medication and pack each in different bags). It is also advisable to carry extra prescription sheets written by your doctor (with the generic names) in case you need refills during your trip and to show at customs as proof of the medication’s identity and necessity. Always remember to check the expiration dates on all medications, whether they are from home or abroad. Beijing Municipal Emergency Medical Line: 120 Erika Travel Insurance Because security is EF’s number one priority, we have negotiated a comprehensive tailor-made travel insurance package for EF students with Erika Travel Insurance, an international insurance expert. The policy protects you against expenses incurred through accident or illness, and provides coverage for loss or theft of baggage and personal effects. It also provides coverage against interruption of your EF program due to illness as well as liability and legal expenses. The EF staff is trained to assist with your Erika Travel Insurance questions and claims. When you are sick or injured the last thing you want to do is deal with such issues. Let us help you!

11. Activities & Excursions Extracurricular activities contribute greatly to your social and academic success. They not only help you to relax after a day studying, they also provide you with an opportunity to meet


Beijing, China

and make friends from other classes, other countries and other cultures. Your school’s activities and trips give you the opportunity to apply your life skills, practice Chinese in real situations and familiarize yourself with the Chinese culture. Weekly activities For more information on what activities are organised during your stay, please pay attention to your school’s noticeboard. The activity staff at your school are here to help you make the most of Beijing in China. The Activities Coordinator can help you plan your free time by organising a variety of EF events and excursions, including some of the examples below. ❚❚Panjiayuan Curio & Antique Market: This is a good place to find folk art and handcrafted items. The market has around 3,000 booths covering 50 hectares - a scene made more hectic by the presence of almost 10,000 market workers and up to 50,000 bargain hunters. Visitors can also find a good selection of antiques, many of which are not as old as one is led to believe. Panjiayuan is a fun day out - an experience - whether you buy anything or not. ❚❚Wangfujing Shopping Street: Wangfujing, a seven hundred-year-old commercial street, is located to the east of Tiananmen Square and stretches from the Chinese Art Gallery to Dongchan’an Avenue. It houses a wide variety of shops and boutiques where you can find all kinds of commodities, some of which are of world-famous brands. The recently fin-

ished Oriental Plaza (Dongfang Guangchang) adds even more charm to Wangfujing. Besides modern department stores, the Foreign Language Bookstore is also in this area. The Old-Beijing-Street now seated underground, was built and decorated in Ming and Qing style. Its famous trademark is the central well-known stores, selling shoes, caps, silk cloth, scissors, Chinese brushes and inksticks, jade articles, tea, desserts, pickled vegetables, roast ducks and countless more Chinese novelties. The most popular sites for souvenir photos are the sculptures on both street sides, reflecting life of the old Beijing. ❚❚Hong Qiao Market: In the northeast of Tiantan East Road, you are in the thick of Beijing’s commercial atmosphere. Hongqiao Pearl Market is the leading enterprise of the Hongqiao Commercial Circles, alongside other large markets - a shopper’s paradise. Weekend Excursions All EF weekend excursions include transportation, accommodation and admission fees. Although some trips may include some meals, you should expect to pay for your own meals. In addition to our organised excursions, we are more than happy to help individual students or small groups plan their time and activities to make the most of China or neighbouring countries.

12. Transportation Bus Bus transportation in Beijing is cheap and convenient, however, route information at bus stops is not posted in English. Passengers can

pay by cash or pre-paid smartcards, which give discounts. Return tickets or day passes are not available. Train The Beijing subway is easy to use and each station has English language maps and signs. Tickets must be purchased from a window and verified by a ticket man before you proceed to your platform. Taxi Beijing’s taxi transport is fairly inexpensive, with taxis charging a basic starting fee, followed by an additional fee per kilometre travelled.Various vehicles are used and there are a variety of different coloured vehicles operating as taxis all over Beijing.

13. Expectations Expectations are a normal part of a new experience. Remember that many of your expectations may have been formed by the unreal world of TV and movies. Arrive at your course centre with an open mind! What you can expect from EF: zS  upportive staff available for guidance and encouragement. zA  language programme which combines language, special interest, and culture-oriented classes. zA  full programme of local activities and excursions at special EF rates. z Accommodation in a homestay. zA  ll designated meals. zE  F Academic Year Abroad Diploma for Academic Year Abroad students with 80% attendance per term and good academic standing and academic records zE  F Course Certificate for International Language Students with 80% attendance and good academic standing. zP  reparation classes and/or materials for appropriate standardised language exams What EF expects of you: ❚❚To develop a greater understanding of the world around you. ❚❚To attend at least 80% of all classes and to do your best in class at all times. ❚❚To be respectful of your homestay hosts, your classmates, your teachers, and your community.


Beijing, China

❚❚To keep your room and shared areas clean. ❚❚To speak Chinese at all times. ❚❚To abide by all laws, rules, and regulations of your host country and school. ❚❚As a representative of your country, community and school, the highest standards of responsibility and behaviour are expected What you can expect from your homestay hosts: ❚❚A comfortable, clean place to live. ❚❚Prepared meals or accessibility to food to prepare yourself according to the meal plan. ❚❚Access to the school in approximately one hour by public transportation. All transportation costs are your responsibility.

14. Chinese culture & living tips Useful tips z Do not carry large sums of cash. Try to plan your cash needs so that you use the bank machine during daylight hours. z When you are in restaurants or outside the school, keep your purse or backpack beside you. z Use caution when you travel on public transport at night. z When you go out at night, go with another person and stay on streets that are well lit. z If you are going out alone, tell someone where you will be and what time you will be home. Call if you are going to be late. z Do not give your address or phone number to strangers. Useful phrases Hello! (Ni Hao!) Good Morning! (Zao Shang Hao!) Good Evening! (Wan Shang Hao!) Thank you! (Xie Xie!) Sorry! (Dui Bu Qi!) That’s all right/you are welcome! (Mei Guan Xi!) Goodbye! (Zai Jian!) How much? (Duo Shao Qian?) Please take me to the EF School! (Qing Dai Wo Qu EF Xue Xiao!) Table Manners in the restaurant Perhaps one of the things that surprise a Western visitor most is that some of the Chinese hosts like to put food into the plates of their guests. In formal dinners, there are always “public” chopsticks and spoons for this purpose, but

some hosts may use their own chopsticks. This is a sign of genuine friendship and politeness. It is always polite to eat the food. If you do not eat it, just leave the food in the plate.

15. Adjusting to a New Culture The EF community is more than a group of students who have come together to learn Chinese. It is also a multi-cultural group of young adults who are eager to share their own culture and learn the culture of their host country and fellow classmates. One’s culture is made up of values, beliefs, arts, traditions and practices of a specific community or population. Our culture affects how we view ourselves, how we relate to others and what we value as important in life. We are often unaware of how much our culture affects our lives. You may have already had some exposure to the new culture you are about to experience. You may have seen television shows, read books, or studied in school about China. While some parts of this culture may already seem familiar to you, experiencing a new culture first-hand will prove exciting. You will be meeting students from all over the world who, like you, are looking forward to spending a year learning and living a language, both inside and outside the classroom. As a visitor to a new culture, you may experience periods of fatigue and discomfort when you are uncomfortable. Culture shock is what sometimes happens when we try to meet challenges of our new culture by using the values, beliefs, and attitudes of our own culture. As visitors to a new culture, we must learn that cultural differences are merely different - not right or wrong. It is a good idea to bring traditional objects from your culture to share with other students and your host to teach them about your country. Tips on coping with change Remember that change does not come without some effort! We humans need a certain amount of stress to motivate us to learn new ways of being. Learning always involves some form of change. You should try the following: zW  hile you might be tempted to surround yourself with things that are familiar to you, try not to isolate yourself by being only with others from your home country. Keep reaching out to your host, roommates and other students.

zP  ut off making major decisions such as an accommodation change, until you feel more “at home” with the culture in general. zT  alk to us about your worries or problems. EF Staff are here to help and would prefer to know about any problem you may have so that we can help you. zS  et goals, no matter how big or small, and accomplish them! You will feel good about yourself in doing so, and you will reduce the negative feelings associated with culture shock. For example, set a goal that you will speak Chinese at all times. zR  emind yourself that you came to this country to experience a new culture, to meet others and to explore your new surroundings. Relax, take a deep breath and reflect back on


Beijing, China

the days before leaving your home country when you were excited about your new ad-

z Individual learning and growth

venture. Try to refocus this former excitement towards your experience.

Keeping a journal will help to remind you that culture shock is truly a temporary phase of adjustment.

Keeping a journal One way to keep track of emotions and changes that take place over the year is to keep a journal. By recording your experiences and feelings on a regular basis, you will be able to reduce the impact of culture shock. You will have a record of your academic and personal progress to look back on in days and years to come. Be sure to note changes in: zL  anguage skills zS  chool performance and involvement zC  ampus/host adjustment

Bring pictures and items from home If you have room in your suitcases for some music, a costume, pictures, or some typical crafts, it would be good to show other students. We have seen costumes and drums from Korea, dancing and music from Austria and a piñata and tortillas from Mexico. Please bring pictures of your friends, family and surrounding area.

16. EF school calendar & holidays

17. Checklist ■■ Valid passport (with visa where necessary) It’s a good idea to make copies of these and pack them in your suitcase just in case. You don’t need to carry your passport with you while you are in China but you must keep it and your other documents in a safe place while you are in the country.

School holidays The EF International Language Center in Beijing recognizes the following public holidays when there will be no classes. If your arrival falls on one of these dates, please check with the school staff upon your arrival for an exact orientation schedule. 2012 2 Jan - New Year 23 - 29 January - Chinese Spring Festival 4 April - Tomb-sweeping Day 1-3 May - Labor day 25 May - Dragon Boat Festival 28 Sep - Mid-Autumn Day 1-7 Oct - Chinese National Day Holiday

■■ Passport Photos (4) for EF student identification cards, travel cards and other possible documents ■■ Flight ticket ■■ Luggage correctly labeled ■■ E  F Confirmation letter & other EF documents

2013 1 Jan - New Year 9-15 February - Chinese Spring Festival 4 April - Tomb-sweeping Day 1 May - Labor day 13 June - Dragon Boat Festival 19-21 Sep - Mid-Autumn Day 1-7 Oct - Chinese National Day Holiday

■■ M  ake sure all EF forms are complete, especially the Health Certificate


■■ Medical and travel insurance documents ■■ Basic medical supplies, any medication you take regularly and a spare pair of contact lenses or glasses if you wear them. ■■ An International Driving License if you are planning on renting a car. ■■ Local currency for first week and for any learning materials that are not included in the cost of the course. ■■ Money in the form of an ATM card (Automatic Transaction Card), credit cards and/or traveler’s checks (Do NOT bring large amounts of cash in any currency!).

Important telephone numbers Homestay host’s or student residence name:

Additional notes or numbers:



Homestay host’s or student residence address:

Homestay host’s or student residence address



Homestay host’s or student residence telephone number(s):

Homestay host’s or student residence telephone number(s)

■■ Electric adaptor for any electrical appliances you plan to bring with you. ■■ Pencil and/or pen and notebook. ■■ Items from your hometown or country so you can share your culture with friends, homestay hosts and teachers. ■■ Personal sports equipment.



EF Sales Office telephone number:

EF Sales Office telephone number



EF School telephone number:

EF School telephone number

+86-10-65630995-138 _________________________________________


EF School emergency telephone number:

EF School emergency telephone number

+86 13501259951 _________________________________________


■■ Favorite books, photos and a camera. ■■ Homestay or student residence details and emergency numbers.

Predeparture Beijing LS 2012  

Predeparture Beijing LS 2012

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