12. The internet runs fast and smooth in the early morning while the students are in class. However as the day goes along, the internet becomes spotty. Evenings and weekends are a bust—very little coverage as the students are all on line
13. China remains largely a cash economy. Outside major cities and at SIAS credit cards are not al-ways accepted and the availability of cash point machines (ATMs) is limited. There are ATM’s on campus that display English and will take a debit or credit card to pull out cash. What you can pull out out will be limited by your ATM withdrawal threshold at home. Before you leave the US, let your bank know you will be in China and using your cards. Ask if there will be any addi-tional international fees or transaction charges.
14. The Chinese authorities maintain controls on internet access: websites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are blocked. Other websites or e-mail services (especially Google and Gmail) are blocked from time to time. http://youtubedownload.altervista.org/
15. Being on campus is very safe. The grounds are huge and you can walk wander safely all day. If you want to go off campus during the night, it would be best to go in a group.
16. There are many stores on campus selling interesting items that students need. There is also a small grocery store (the WAKA) where you can get lotion, shampoo, toilet paper, garbage bags, etc. There is a huge WAKA either a long walk or a short cab ride and taking a student with you makes it a really fun adventure. You can get clothes, small appliances (clock, lamp, etc), food, and linen.
17. Taking a taxi in town is fun! There are small pedi-cabs and if the weather is nice, these are easy and fun to get around in.
18. Right outside the campus gates are several florist shops—treat yourself with some great smelling flowers (and bring a plastic collapsable vase found on amazon.com Blasani Flower Decor Plastic Vases (Set of 5) are only $11.
19. Bring some pictures of your family and friends and some 3M Blue Tape. You can put them up over your desk as your own wall art!.
20. You can create a room ID so bring a couple of sheets of color paper and some pens to “an-nounce” your room to the rest of the floor.
21. It is customary to bring small gifts to give to students who do special tasks for you or help you (picking you up at the airport, translating your lessons, walking you to class, etc.). Something small from your geographic area is good, nothing expensive or extravagant. Something personal or unique to you or your hometown is appreciated.
22. Business cards are popular in China. Bring yours and offer it to your students – especially if it has your email address on it and you want to stay in touch with them.
23. There is a copy machine at the dorm but no paper. So bring a few sheets to get started before you can buy some or find the copy center.
24. There are staff women at the dorm that clean the common space. Ask one of the students to help you communicate with them. Negotiate with them a price for cleaning your room (every 4-5 days is nice) and do your laundry. Bring a laundry bag and you can get laundry soap at the WAKA. The cost is about $16.50 per time and so worth it! 🙂
25. Meals are served at Peter Hall (the faculty dorm) but you need to be clear about the service times. There are days when there is a feeding frenzy and you need to be there right on time or it will be all gone! (like Italian or sandwich lunches). If you have an food allergy you will need to take some food to get you buy. The cooks at the dorm will not make accommodations.
26. You can get other food at the student cafeterias or at some of the restaurants on campus. Take a student with you to help you make your choices. Take a picture of the item if you like it and then show the server the next time you go! 🙂
27. There is an amazing bakery right outside of the campus for bread to make sandwiches if you want. What they consider sweet, is less sweet than here but quite nice!
28. Bring activated charcoal. Its a life-saver– especially if you have any food allergies or have a sensitive tummy (or already know you won’t be able to resist the street food)– and the students couldn’t track it down for when really needed.
29. Bring walking clothes and shoes and take advantage of the beautiful Zheng-feng Park that is just across the street from campus. Its the best way to start the day.
30. Most people in China drink hot water rather than cool water, as the tap water isn’t drinkable. Bringing a reusable coffee to-go cup will make filling up in the airports/train stations/around town so much easier when you’re out and about and get thirsty.
31. There are dispensers in the hallways of the dorms on campus that dispense clean cold water and I didn’t see that anywhere else– and how disappointed I was in the Shanghai airport when I had a metal water bottle and only saw hot water dispensers!
32. The beds are really hard but the front desk will work with you in getting an extra foam pad or blankets.