Why you should/shouldn’t stay in a Chinese dorm

The Chinese dorm is a challenge which is why I just thought I wanted to warn you before you choose the cheapest option of accommodation in a Chinese university. I thought why not stay in the cheapest dorm because then I could travel more, right? Yeah, but when staying in a cheap dorm, you kind of still have to sleep, eat and chill there…

Okay, I have to say, after staying there for four months, now, when being at home for a bit, I really do appreciate my parent’s warm bathroom, clean toilet and my own soft bed.

First, the Chinese dorm is shared between two people (Lucky for exchange students. The Chinese students are staying 4/6/8 students in one room for FOUR years). So my university had a lot of international students though most of them from Korea. When Chinese say international students, they obviously mean everyone outside of China, whereas I always think international is everyone outside of Asia. Anyway, so I stayed with a very happy Korean girl who was staying abroad for the first time. Her life and my life were so different and I had trouble understanding her humor and way of behaving. We didn’t have much trouble but I did miss somebody closer to my own humor.

Dorm

I’m from a country where we like privacy. We don’t share dorm rooms and we always have our own space. This wasn’t going to happen in this little and very cold room (The heater is controlled by the government so you can’t turn up even when it’s minus-degrees outside and the room is only 15 degrees). I had to get used to the fact that somebody else was in the room most of the time. Also, that she liked to go partying and come back during the night.

Second, the mattress is nothing more than a blanket on a piece of wood. Auch! It hurt the first week but because I wanted to save money, I chose not to buy an extra one. I created a habit of sleeping on my stomach so I wouldn’t have neck pain next day.

Third, there was a shared shower room. I didn’t mind this but the problem was that the building wasn’t heated up at all so going to take a shower was a challenge itself. Especially, the first time I went there when I didn’t know that we only had hot water in the morning, two hours at noon and a few hours in the evening. This was a cold surprise.

Fourth, the toilet is shared as well. In China, you shouldn’t throw paper in the toilet or else it’ll go all wrong and you can’t do anything about it. Sadly, because of the international students, many people still didn’t know this which meant that the toilet was mostly full of shit and paper. Furthermore, the smell in the bathroom was awful.

This was the cheapest way of accommodation and I Sleepyworkerdid save a lot of money for travel but I really appreciate Danish standard these days while being at home. If you don’t feel like challenging yourself this much, you can also rent a single room in a newer building with private bathroom. But I have to say, even if it sounds disgusting, I was out much of the time anyway, I learned a bit about Korean culture and the internet was fast too, so I closed my eyes when going to the bathroom and wore my jacket to the shower and everything turned out fine.

Workers napping after fixing the surface of the dorm

Another experience, cheers

xx lingling

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2 comments

  1. Hey Lena everything mentioned here is absolutely true…..but what I hate the most that you didnt mention is the need to register a friend if you want to bring him or her into your room, for whatever reason it might be….that gets my blood boiling…..I actually learnt a few tricks on getting my self into the korean building after 10 pm. Ciao

    1. Hi Medhanie,
      OMG you’re so right. I don’t know why I didn’t think about this. Even when I wanted to take my Asian BF to my bedroom to get my umbrella, he had to sign up. We sneaked in twice during three months but wow it’s difficult haha. How did you do it? I fast learned that foreign friends were easy enough to bring in because the Chinese Ayi couldn’t see the difference anyway, but Chinese friends .. trouble :p

      Cheers,
      Lena

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