Chinese College Dorms
26 Mar 2005
Here’s a photo comparison of some Chinese college dorms. (Sorry, none of these pictures were taken for the purpose of comparing the dorm rooms, so they’re not perfect.)
Some of the commonalities you will find are: no full mattresses, no hot running water in the room, one room, not super spacious. Students get hot water by bringing it in thermoses (see Hangzhou pic). There are public showering facilities.
ZUCC, my former workplace, is definitely the nicest of the three. There are only four bunks in a rather large room by Chinese dorm standards. The bunks have decently thick pads. There’s running water (cold) in the room’s own bathroom, and a squat toilet. You can’t see them, but I’m sure at least some of the students have computers on their desks.
Unidentified Location in China
I believe this photo to be more typical of many dorm rooms across China. The “bed pad” is probably a woven mat. It’s hard to tell if that top “bunk” is actually a bunk or not, but by the “toothbrush cups” on the desk we can deduce that six students live in this room. The clothes you see hanging up are drying after being hand-washed. I’ve seen other (poor) schools in Hangzhou that looked like this.
I actually stayed one night in this very room in 2001. I forget the name of the school, but the campus was located northwest of city center, within walking distance of the Summer Palace. (Don’t misunderstand; I’m not trying to imply that Tsinghua Universtity dorms or Peking University dorms look anything like this!) Note the pipes coming out of the walls. The light hung from a wire in the ceiling. The newspapers are pasted to the walls because the white paint is so cheap that it will rub off on you if you touch it directly. You can see the woven bed mat here. The white object on the upper bunk is a blanket, not a pad.
If you have pictures to add to the comparison, please e-mail them to me.