Includes the 2008-10 International NSF-REU
Site for Chemistry in China
What kind of orientation will we be getting?
Like PKU and Tsinghua, UM also hosts a many thousands of foreign students
on its campus every year, so there will be other students like you
who are on campus for the first time, as well as others who are more
experienced. In the department of Chemistry, there are usually 30-45
graduate students and post-doctoral associates from China, including
many from PKU and Tsinghua. One of our faculty members, Professor Zhan
Chen, received his undergraduate degree from PKU.
While in China, you can contact Professor Li Zi-Chen (PKU) or Professor
Liu Dong (Tsinghua U) with any questions you might have about the program.
There is also a group of experts about the program - the PKU and Tsinghua
students from the past years. Please see the other pages of this site
for who they are!
to the UM/PKU Program staff, there are other two valuable resources
for PKU students who are living in the US:
(A) The Chinese Student and Scholar Program: (CSSA: http://www.umcssa.org/)
See also: http://uuis.umich.edu/maizepgs/view.cfm?orgID=10004294
(B) PKU Alumni group: we can provide contacts once you are on campus
|July 5 (Mon)
Depart from China;
arrive to US
Pick-up at airport by Professor Coppola, UM student assistant,
and PKU alum.
Check in at Oxford Housing
Group dinner with student assistant
|July 6 (Tues)
9 AM - pick-up at Oxford by student assistant
Introduction to campus; get ID cards at Student Activities Building
Finish filling out financial
noon - lunch: meet with Professors and graduate students
afternoon - set up bank accounts, check out bus routes and shopping
|July 7 (Wed)
||US Orientation (there will be
a series of weekly presentations)
|July 8 (Thu)
||AM: US Orientation
PM: PKU students join research groups
||Joint poster session with US
students in China
|Aug 28 (Sat)
||PKU and Tsinghua students return
Here is a series I questions I posed to the 2007 PKU students.
They welcome any questions from Chinese students who are coming for
the summer program.
How will I get around?
A bicycle is not necessary (and they are very expensive
in the US compared with PKU). The UMich campus is extremely user friendly,
and the campus bus system is convenient. The campus bus system is free,
and the bus for travelling around town is $1 per ride. The city of
Ann Arbor is quite small compared with Beijing... only 140,000 people...
and there are many fewer people than this during the summer because
most of the students have gone home.
What is the weather like in Ann Arbor?
The temperature in Ann Arbor is nearly the same as Beijing, all
year round, so the summer can be hot. The air quality is excellent,
and there is not as much rainfall as in Beijing. Summer weather in
Michigan can range from 10-35 degrees C; from rainy and
very humid to very sunny and dry. We recommend that you bring clothing
that can be layered.
What is the typical work week for research students at
Research, of course, knows few time limits! However, the typical work
week is a full day on M-F and usually at least a partial day on Saturday.
What about eating in the US?
We recommend that you cook by yourself or eat in restaurants. The
kitchen in the Oxford Housing is very fancy, so don't forget to bring
some recipes for Chinese food so you can enjoy delicious food cooked
by yourself. We bet you will miss authentic Chinese food after some
days, and this is the best way to get the food you want. Most of the
Chinese restaurants in the US are not really the same as in China.
Cooking by yourself is also the cheapest thing, however, eating in
American restaurants can be much more convenient, so you will do that,
also. A University meal plan is NOT recommended.
What about housing, and what I need to bring?
For 2010, you will be sharing rooms in a two-bedroom suite located
in the University Towers, which is located on campus, just a few minutes
from the science buildings. Each suite also includes a kitchen.
We recommend the following web sites for buying things:
You can buy almost anything on these two sites, such as a cheap cell
phone for $10.
Things that you should consider bringing:
(1) pillow, sheets, and blankets are NOT necessary to bring
(2) toothpaste and brush are recommended to bring; the US ones seem
harder than Chinese ones
(3) alarm clock
(4) any special equipment for preparing and eating your own food (the
kitchen supplies are limited)
(5) whatever else you think you want for your room
(6) your laptop computer (rooms are wired and there are many free wireless
locations around the city); the campus also has many, many open access
(7) Don't forget to bring adaptors, routers and wires for the internet
- these are expensive in the US. You can easily find these at Carrefour
Supermarket before you leave China
Here are some more questions, and their answers:
1. How much money did you bring with you? Did you bring it
$200 should be enough before you can get your check deposited. You
can change money at the Agricultural Bank on the PKU campus. By the
way, keep some RMB with you, too, because you will need it when you
depart or return from the airport in Beijing.
2.We must have given you a check for your stipend when you
arrived. Did you set up a bank account or just end it back to China
to access? What makes the most sense? I could arrange to get the
money to China before you leave?
The current way (getting a check when we arrive) is great. We deposited
the check at the UM Credit Union and set up an account so we could
get a VISA card. It is extremely convenient to use credit cards in
the US to pay for meals, for shopping, and so on; we highly recommend
it. You can either close the account before you come back or keep
the card back in China, because the VISA card can be used anywhere.
3. Did you have an ATM card that you used?
4.Do you send stuff ahead or just buy when you got here?
We packed all of our belongings for travel, and nothing was sent ahead.
Just plan for the trip. You can buy everything after you settle down.
However, you need to think about being prepared for the first few
5. What are the important things to take
care of you when you first arrive?
The map and the bus system, then you can go everywhere by yourself.
Because the US is almost completely a "car country," everything seems
pretty far away. UM will help you open the bank account and get settled,
and try to find some good restaurants. You can also ask the graduate
students from China for assistance.
6.Did you bring a credit card too?
Yes, but it was not necessary.
7.What did you need money for right away? I know for the insurance
(did you pay cash for that?)
Bring some cash with you so that you can buy food during the long trip,
for example, and the airport in Japan, and also after your first arrival
in Ann Arbor. The insurance did not need to be paid immediately, so
cash or card could be used.
8. Where can I buy the things I need in Ann Arbor?
Our favorite store was Meijer, a large supermarket with food and everything
else. The Briarwood Mall, on the bus line, is a good place to find
gifts. Another place we recommend is a shop on Main Street that sells
minerals and fossils... you can ask Brian for the exact address. You
can buy presents that are really chemistry, such as small bismuth crystals!
(1) PASSPORT: Make sure your passport is up to date and you have not
been told you are in need of extra pages for obtaining visas.
(2) VISA: Please work with the PKU Office of International
Relations to obtain the necessary forms. We will work with them to
provide official letters of invitation as well as the DS-2019 that
you need for your interview for the J-1 visiting scholar visa.
(3) MEDICAL: You will be required to obtain medical insurance
in the US when you arrive onto campus.
(4) EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION: You will provide us with
contact information. You will also have a list of contact names, places,
and addresses that you can give to your families. In addition, we will
have some sturdy, laminated cards made up for you to carry while you
are in the US that will let anyone know who you are, where you live,
and whom to contact. If you have any allergies or other health-related
restrictions, we will also include these on those cards.
ORIENTATION: We will arrange a some meals with the past PKU students
and the 2008 US students before you leave for the US.
(6) MOBILE PHONE: If you have a mobile phone and a provider
that allows you to use your service in US, you are obviously free
to do what is necessary to adapt your service.
(7) MONEY: You will receive a check for your full stipend when you
arrive. You should have enough cash and back-up funding with you to
be comfortable. A credit card is a good idea for emergencies. If you
have a bank card that works in the usual ATM Networks, Ann Arbor has
ATM machines in multiple, convenient locations.