Journals from China-Studies Institute, Beijing
On move-in day, the program doesn’t feed you, so grab some food or develop an ulcer. There are numerous convenience stores on campus, and there are open fruit stalls that I’m excited to try (buy fruit that you can peel to be safe). If you have an ATM card, there are numerous machines and banks on campus that you can withdraw from. If they charge withdrawal fees, I’d recommend withdrawing as much as you can so you don’t have to pay fees repeatedly for withdrawing small amounts. Also, bring a small suitcase and a lock, because there is no safe in the dorm. I use my hand carry, secured with a little blue lock, to keep my passport and other documents safe. Some people told me to carry my passport around with me, but Amber and I weren’t comfortable with that so we locked ours up. Also, you don’t need to bring it around campus and nearby; I think it’s only recommended if we go on a weekend trip or something. I’ll just try not to get arrested or do anything that would merit an official asking to see my passport.
Bring. Bug. Spray. This morning I woke up depressingly early with 8 new mosquito bites, went for a walk around campus, got lost, and now am back in my dorm wondering whether I should eat the Peking Duck we got as takeout.