The Dreaded #Physical!

Had my annual #physical for the #Chinese residence permit & #Visa! 😷

Managed it alone without a #translator – quite a feat! Look at my bold self go 😜

For #China 🇨🇳 you need: Blood Analysis, Urinary Analysis, X-Rays, Ultrasound, ECG/EKG, and Blood Pressure.

 The X-Rays 📷 are competely #Topless with other people (men included) waiting in the room 😱 for their turn – no protection. 😓 The ECG requires baring it all in front of a major, street level window with no curtain and a ferris wheel🎡 right outside❗ Goodbye dignity, hello #crosscultural oversharing! 😂
What’s Your International Hospital Story?!?
 

Adventures with the GMAT Abroad: Finding the Location

Since I know several college student from International Countries (or from the US living abroad) also take the GMAT every year, I thought I’d keep you up-to-date on the process I go through while I’m taking it in China. Partly just because it’s kind of a glimpse into how things are different just traveling and surviving abroad. 

The registration process itself was pretty  simple – I did the normal US registration website and everything. Registered an account and selected Zhengzhou, China as my location.  

However, that was the end of the easy part. First of all, finding English study books is a pain though do-able. My students order them off of Taobao (Chinese Ebay) or Amazon.cn.  I went ahead and purchased one while I was in the States on holiday and brought it with me.  As long as its a semi-developed country where many students take the test, I think you can find study books. I wouldn’t count on it in other countries necessarily. 

I don’t actually live in Zhengzhou, instead I live about an hour away. Since the GMAT is less common in China, the testing centers are less populous.  So I was kind of lucky to find one this close to me.

My test is at 8:30am local time, which was the only time slot available. The dates are not as open, and you are more limited as to what time of day is available here than in the US I think. That means I need to arrange a hotel for the night before. Since my test will not end until after noon, that means I would have to rush in order to get to the bus and home on time. So I ended up getting  a hotel for two nights instead–A lot of students from out of town do this I’ve found.  

So the total GMAT cost goes to Test + Travel (for me about $10 for bus + subway + taxi) + Hotel ($150 for two nights).  

Unfortunately, the location itself is clear out in the boonies (sp? — out in the middle of nowhere) and I could never have found it on my own.  As with all good small-town Chinese addresses, it isn’t even a real address.  The location according to the MBA site is at “NEEA-Henan Higher Education Admission Office Zhengzhou HEN, CHN.”  Legit – I put in the name of the location that the MBA site gave me and it doesn’t show up on Google. 

Luckily my ticket had a little more information — HENAN COLLEGE OF FINANCE &TAXATION,  ZHENGKAI RD&KANGZHUANG RD INTERSECTION,  RM 517, ADMINISTRATION BLDG.. Yep – that’s a helpful address – “at the intersection of Zhengkai Rd & Kangzhuang Rd.” I tried looking up the college, and found an address on the opposite end of town (apparently the old address? – I’m not really sure).  

One of the things you learn when you travel abroad is that GoogleMaps can be much less helpful depending on the country. I’ve heard that it’s pretty on spot in Europe. But in Japan, Korea, and China where I’ve traveled extensively, GoogleMaps is frequently not helpful whatsoever. The names on Google are in Chinese (which I don’t speak and certainly can’t write or read), the roads aren’t up to date, the buildings move, everything is a couple years old. In a well-developed city, a couple years might not mean much for a map. But in a still swiftly growing and expanding area like Henan, China just two months might see a complete and total difference. 

I finally just posted the address on Weixin (China Facebook/Twitter) and my students (have I mentioned how much I love them to pieces?) immediately responded with the Chinese map, the Chinese name of the School, the Chinese address, and directions to give to a taxi driver. According to the map, it’s out in the middle of nowhere – land  several kilometers outside of the actual city.  Seriously, it’s at a small community college “on the road between Zhengzhou and Kaifeng” (hence the intersection of Zhengkai road 😛 ). So we all agreed, I’d need to take the subway all the way to the end. Then one student said I should take Exit E (thank God for that piece on information — people appreciate the Exit number not enough!) then go east to the main road. No one knows where the bus stop is (our city doesn’t have a good bus map or layout — so no one really knows when or where it’ll stop). Just that I need bus 102 to the stop (of course it’s in Chinese).  At first they said try to find Chinese students to help me find the bus — then we realized its the holiday and there probably won’t be anyone. 😛

Oh the life I lead!

Of course, because it’s so far out, there were no hotels in the area to speak of.  A couple that were low end – $20 a night- places. But while a cheap motel might be okay in the US, I don’t trust them here in China. Too many horrific experiences (namely one including a plate on the floor outside the hotel restaurant with so much mold on it, it should have been a lab experiment .) 😛  So I had to go further up line 1 on the Subway to find a hotel.

 To be honest, I have no idea how much time this whole thing is going to take me. And I’m kind of dreading the whole “Check-in” and get a computer process. They say the people will speak English, but I’m not really counting on it. 🙂 I’ve been told that before. Anyway, I’ll let you know how the process itself goes. Off to work on my math. Wish me luck!

Counting on your Hands – Chinese Style!

What things like this surprised you in your foreign country?!? Tell us below in the comments!

China – Apple Problems

For Students Studying Abroad in China–Be Aware that both Apple and Google-Based products (i.e. almost all western phones other than Apple) often have significant issues working in China. It’s better to just count on not having access to those tools and renting a phone in China itself.**DB

“Apple’s iBooks, iTunes Movies mysteriously suspended in China; customers want refunds”

by Julie Makinen via “LA Times”

Apple

Chinese customers of Apple’s iTunes Movies and iBooks services are seeking refunds on their purchases amid reports that the features have been suspended at the behest of government authorities.

Apple has not issued any statement to customers in China about the status of the services, but many users report that they have been unable to connect to the movie service and iBooks since April 15.

A Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman said: “We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible,” but she would not elaborate on why the services were unavailable.

The Chinese government has not issued any statement on the matter. However, the New York Times, citing two anonymous sources, said the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television had ordered the services offline, though it was unclear why.

Apple’s App Store revenue has surged in China in the last year, overtaking Japan as the world’s No. 2 market for the service, according to App Annie.

Apple technical assistance and account service representatives, reached by phone in China, said they had received no official notice from the company that the services had been blocked or shut down. They offered to arrange refunds on purchased content. . . .

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American students lose interest in studying in China

I suspect we’ll see the same issues popping up in language and study abroad programs all over the world soon.  In my experiences, students are studying abroad more for the “tourism” benefit than an actual career or learning interest these days. So naturally, places like France and England would be becoming more attractive.  Sadly, I think China is an amazing place to visit regardless of whether it gets you the job in the future. I wish more people would come here; they would find that a lot of what they think they know is actually wrong and it is significant in expanding your horizons. Sometimes it is good to get a point of view of the world from a non-western place.  You would be surprised at how your approach to life and world politics/business/life changes.  Oh well, more job opportunities for me 🙂 **DB

“American students lose interest in studying in China”

via “South China Morning Post

American students' interest in language studies in China is waning. Photo: Imaginechina

Americans are getting cold feet about studying Chinese in China, with many study abroad programmes experiencing a substantial drop in enrolment.

At the University of California Education Abroad Programme (UCEAP), student enrolment in programmes in China is expected to be less than half the level it was four years ago. Washington-based CET, another study abroad group, says interest in China has been falling since 2013.

The apparent waning of interest worries some China watchers. Given the importance of the US-China relationship, having a group of Americans across various industries who speak Chinese and understand the culture is “a matter of national interest”, says Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Centre in Washington.

“We can’t respond coherently, effectively and fully to China unless we understand China on its own terms,” he said.

The Institute of International Education says the number of US students studying in China fell 3.2 per cent in 2012-13 to 14,413, even as overall study abroad numbers rose modestly.

American students’ apparent loss of interest contrasts with Chinese students’ clamour for a US education. The number of Chinese studying in the US jumped 16.5 per cent in 2013-14 to more than 274,000.

For US students, China’s notorious pollution is a concern. Job opportunities are another. As multinationals in China hire mostly locals, a growing percentage of whom have studied abroad, they have less need for foreigners who speak Chinese.

“I came to China thinking I could learn Chinese and get a high-paying job. I learned very quickly that was not the case,” said Ian Weissgerber, a 25-year-old American graduate student in China. . . .

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“Study Abroad” Confronts Stereotypes of Foreign Students in US

“Study Abroad” Confronts Stereotypes of Foreign Students in US”

by Andrew Palczewski via “Voice of America”

As we’ve talked about before, studying in the United States can lead to misconceptions – about school, about peers, and about American culture. But the misunderstanding can come from both sides: while foreign students might have unfounded beliefs about the United States, some in the United States have their own misconceptions about foreign students.

A new film, called – appropriately enough – “Study Abroad,” looks to address some of the stereotypes of Chinese students attending school in the US. Producer Cathy Jiang used her own money to finance the film, which confronts the assumption that Chinese students studying in the US are rich, and have a easy life.

“In the end, I want the audience to see that international students are normal people, and that we are not just partying and having fun in life,” Jiang told NBC News.

CLICK this Link to READ MORE and Watch the Video

UHV Students Learn about Chinese Business Customs on Study Abroad Trip

“UHV Students Learn about Chinese Business Customs on Study Abroad Trip”

via “Victoria Advocate

z

A group of 29 University of Houston-Victoria School of Business Administration students recently exchanged ideas with Chinese students and business executives during a two-week study abroad program in China.

During the trip, 22 UHV graduate students, seven UHV undergraduate students and six doctoral and master’s students from the Central University of Finance and Economics in China studied Chinese leadership management and toured commerce and cultural sites.

Jifu Wang, a UHV associate professor of management who organized the study abroad program, said the most memorable part of the trip was the interaction between UHV students and the people they met in China.

“It was amazing to see the exchanges our students had with the different people they met in the classroom and at various sites around China,” Wang said. “They got a firsthand look at some of the differences in economy, management and culture. Our students learned a great deal during their visit.”

This is the second time UHV has offered a study abroad program in China. The program increased in popularity after five students made the trip in 2013. UHV was able to cover more travel expenses this time because of a $600,000 donation to the UHV School of Business Administration by Chinese businessman Bingxin Wu and his wife, Shuqin Feng. Their gift a year ago was the largest the school has ever received. In addition to providing scholarships for students to attend the study abroad program in China, this donation was used for the establishment of the Wu-Feng Center for International Business.

“Thanks to Chairman Wu’s generosity, many more students were able to make this memorable trip,” said Farhang Niroomand, dean of the UHV School of Business Administration. “Business today is more global than ever, and getting a chance to learn firsthand the leadership practice of another culture is a valuable experience.”

Niroomand was one of several lecturers to share insights with Chinese and UHV students who earned credit for the course. . . .

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