Thurston, Anne F., Turner-Gottschang, Karen, Reed, Linda A.. "2. Preparing for the Trip." China Bound, Revised: A Guide to Academic Life and Work in the PRC. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1994.
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CHINA BOUND: A Guide to Academic Life and Work in the PRC
adhere well. It is recommended that you also bring correction fluid, carbon paper, manila file folders, tape, paper clips, a good pencil sharpener, book mailers, colored pencils, glue sticks, magic markers, and, if you will be teaching, colored chalk and blackboard erasers. Manila envelopes, file cards, and boxes are usually available at stationery stores. Desk lamps in dormitory rooms are often fluorescent; some travelers prefer to bring their own high-intensity lamps.
RADIOS AND TAPE RECORDERS
A small AM/FM worldband transistor radio is useful for language practice and for news from outside China. Beijing Radio offers a special Chinese-English program (for schedules, see China Daily); Voice of America (VOA) schedules, which change four times a year, can be obtained from the U.S. Embassy. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) airs programs at several frequencies between 5:00 and 9:00 a.m. China Daily, the English-language newspaper available in most major Chinese cities, offers useful information about television and radio broadcasts in Chinese.
If you buy a shortwave radio, be sure that the shortwave bands go at least to 23 KHz to tune in VOA and U.S. Armed Forces programs. Small transistor radios can be purchased in China and are adequate for local stations, but they are not powerful enough to bring in broadcasts from outside the country. Most foreign-made radios and tape recorders can now be repaired in Beijing and Shanghai. Imported and Chinese-made cassette recorders also can be purchased now in China, but they are expensive. Blank cassette tapes are easy to buy, but they are not of the best quality; taking a supply with you is worth the trouble if you plan to use them for music. Locally purchased cassettes should be adequate for making language tapes. In most cities you can purchase recorded music, mainly classical Chinese and Western selections, but Western and Chinese pop music is available, too. Most foreigners take their favorite music with them, wish they had brought more, and find that these tapes make fine gifts for Chinese friends and teachers when they leave.
CAMERAS AND FILM
Photography has become popular in China in recent years, particularly among the more affluent young, and many have become avid photographers. Both the purchase and development of film is easier now than several years ago. Kodak and Fuji film are easy to buy in large cities, but it is advisable to bring film if you will be in out-of-the-way places or to ensure that the film you are using is fresh. Print film is generally easier to buy than slide film. Foreign black and white film and high ASA (over 400) film are still hard to find. Disk and Polaroid film are generally available only in the more expensive joint-venture hotels and in Guangzhou's Friendship Store. Print film prices in China are about the same as they are in the United States. Chinese-