Officially a Student

I think I’m officially a student of ECNU/华师大 now. On Wednesday I did two important things: I paid one year’s tuition out of my hard-earned Shanghai savings (21,777 rmbouch!) and I put through my student visa paperwork.

Unfortunately, they say they still can’t tell me how many classes/credits I’ll have my first semester, or which ones. I have to wait until registration on September 5th to learn that. I can’t even talk to my new adviser about it because he’s still on vacation. Classes start Sepember 12th.

My passport with new student visa will be delivered to my doorstep on August 17th. That’s gonna cost me 850 rmb, I believe (400 rmb for each semester, plus a ripoff 50 rmb for delivery). I’ll need that two days later to fly to Changchun, where I’ll be attending John B‘s wedding on the 20th. (Congrats to him!) I’ll be doing the overnight train thing back, leaving on the 21st and arriving in Shanghai on the 22nd.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Congratulations on your new status. You always do well in that status. I’m sure that it will be no different this time. Go, John!

  2. Well, tuition for a local student is 30000 RMB/3 years, but a lot of students are still enjoy totally free Master Degree courses.

  3. Is that big John B getting married? Rock on – he’s the first that I personally know of that has married a native Chinese woman. Oh wait, didn’t that loony dude on the 7th floor marry a girl too? He had like a counter-full of prescription drugs and even shattered his shower stall glass.

  4. greg pasden Says: August 12, 2005 at 9:22 pm

    I hope all goes well. Is it true that there was a Chinese version of Valentines Day yesterday?

  5. John,

    Good luck with you new gig as a student. That seems a bit pricier than I would have imagined. Also, give my love to John B. and throw him a sweet bacherlor party. I wish I could be there to see one of the ZUCC brotherhood get hitched, but alas it’s not meant to be. Who will be the next of us to get married?

  6. Tim P: Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    Kastner: Charging foreigners more for tuition is standard practice in many countries, it seems. I’ll be working on acquiring a scholarship for the second year somehow.

    Wilson: Hehe, I believe you’re talking about Matt.

    Greg: Yes! But don’t worry — it’s not the real Valentine’s Day!

    Doom: Thanks, man. Time will tell…

  7. How is matt these days? I think I had the record for longest conversation held with him. He’s not big on the eye contact. And soon I felt like I was talking to myself…

  8. But don’t worry — it’s not the real Valentine’s Day!

    Haha, what does that mean? You forgot! Don’t worry, I had to be reminded.

  9. Da Xiangchang Says: August 13, 2005 at 8:32 am

    I am positively AMAZED that there are Westerners who would stay in China “indefinitely,” whether in work or study. First, John, and now this John B. guy, whom I’ve never met. I mean, I’m Chinese, and I could NEVER go native like they could. I’m just too chicken%&*%. Still, they’re probably making a smart decision. They’re seeing the rise of the (possibly) next superpower, maybe like the cowboys who went west back in 19th-century America. As the cliche goes, the future belongs to East Asia. Speaking of which, there’s an excellent interview with Lee Kuan Yew in the German mag Der Spiegel about China’s future. Check it out:,1518,369128,00.html

  10. 21,777RMB per year is a HELL lot cheaper than any master’s program in the States. I’ve always assumed that if I’m going to somehow re-enter mainstream American society again that it would require going to grad school for more than 21k US dollars per year.

  11. Harry Chuo Says: August 14, 2005 at 1:33 am

    Congratulations! you’ll be a student in China.

  12. Da Xiangchang Says: August 14, 2005 at 4:19 am


    No, it shouldn’t cost 21K a year. I spent around $8K for two years for my MA from a respectable school in California (UC Irvine). Go back to your home state and enroll in a public, not private, school, and you’ll be alright.

    Another piece of advice: if you aren’t going to stay in China forever, come back as you can. Cuz with each passing year, it’s going to be HARDER for you to readjust back to American life.

  13. Wayne,
    True. It is said that the tuition for high education in China, if not the most expensive in the world, can’t be offered by most Chinese! DAMN~

  14. Day day up in your new studies, I’m sure you will.

    Cheering news that John B finally made it. Congrats~~

    p.s. I like this “曰” idea.

  15. hello, my name is elly… I’m also a student in ECNU, and learning Chinese here…don’t know this language at all yet though. well, I just wanted to drop by to say hi to my new ‘neighbor’. take care and study hard!! :p

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