International Materials Institute
for New Functionality in Glass

International Symposium on Functional Glasses: January 4-15, 2010
Useful Information


Before you go to China, it is essential you have organized  the following:
1. International Travel Insurance to cover you for the duration of your trip to China
(organization and cost associated with this is the responsibility of the participant)
2. International Medical Insurance to cover you for the duration of your trip to China
(organization and cost associated with this is the responsibility of the participant)
Check with your current medical insurer/provider if your existing US medical insurance covers you for travel abroad and in China. If not, it is essential you take out appropriate international medical insurance.
3. Registered with SOS
This is a service provided through Lehigh University free of charge for the Winter School dates only (stipulated as January 2, 2010 – January 16, 2010). There is the option to extend this coverage, however the participant is responsible for organizing and any fees associated with this.
This is NOT an insurance and is NOT a substitute for any insurance. This is an international service that will help you in any emergency or if you need routine help or advice during your time in China, when attending the Winter School.
Please carry the card with you at all times.(this was sent to you by e-mail 12.21.09)
4. Emergency Information Card
Complete the card (sent to you by e-mail 12.21.09) and attach to a copy of your passport.
It is recommended that you carry this information with you at all times.

The SOS International website has a lot of very helpful and useful information. Go to SOS website and log in using the Membership Number on your ISOS Card.

What to bring

Please remember to put in the following items when you pack!

  • ISOS Card and emergency card with copy of passport attached
    (sent to you by e-mail 12.21.09)
  • Arun Varshneya's "Fundamentals of Inorganic Glasses" book
  • Medical & travel insurance information.
    Participants are responsible for the organziation and costs associated with all Medical & travel insurance. It is essential you have appropriate international travel and medical insurance for the duration of your trip to China.
  • Money sufficient for meals not covered during the duration of the Winter School and any additional money for souvenirs, travel etc
  • Laptop computer (Not required but maybe helpful) – useful link:
  • Clothing for cold weather! January is the coolest month with lows in the 30’s and highs only in 40’s (avg 32oF to 45 oF) and can be wet.
    Please bring one set of semi-formal attire for the banquet on January 14th.
  • Camera
  • Medications etc

Practical Information

Electricity / Voltage

Chinese Plug The electricity in China is generally 220V, 50HZ, AC
Most of the hotels in China have both 110V and 220V electrical outlets in the bathrooms, though in guest rooms usually only 220V sockets are available.
(left) Outlets commonly seen in China for 2-Flat Blade plug.

If your appliance plug has a different shape, you may need a plug adapter.
Please check if your electronic device can operate on a 110v or 220v, if not, a transformer may be necessary – these can be bought in TARGET (approx. $20) or when you get to China for approx. CNY100-200 ($16-30)

Time Zone

Hangzhou takes Beijing Standard Time which is 8 hours ahead of GMT.
+13 hours east coast US and +16 hours west coast.
(Daylight Saving Time is NOT practiced in China)


The nationwide TV network in China is CCTV and each province and city has its own TV stations. In Hangzhou more than 30 channels are available via cable TV, including a 24-hour English service channel---CCTV 9 and an international channel in Chinese--CCTV 4 which offers a number of programs of Chinese language study and tourism information.

Drinking water

You cannot directly drink tap water in China. Please drink boiled water or buy bottled water


The Hotel should offer a laundry service, at a charge (eg. 10yuan or $1.50 for one shirt). However there should be facilities in the hotel where you can do your own laundry which will work out much cheaper.

Money Tips

Besides the Welcome Reception (Jan 4, 2010) and Banquet (Jan 14, 2010)participants will need to organize their own lunch and dinner. This should enhance you experience of life in China by giving you the opportunity (& encouraging you) to sample the various eating places and foods. We have been advised that a you can get a good lunch for 10-15 yuan ($1.50-$2.50) and dinner 15-30 yuan (under $5). Therefore ensure you bring sufficient funds to cover these expenses.
On arrival in Hangzhou, you will be given a detailed map detailing location of shops, banks and places to eat. The Chinese participants will be there to help you.

IMI will reimburse each U.S participant for food and other incidentals through a per diem system on your return to the US.
(rate will reflect the cost of living in China).

The following information was taken from the “Life Guide” on Zhejiang University website which provides some good tips.
Our Chinese hosts advised the airport is probably the best place to change money.

ATM/Bank Cards
Automatic teller machines are available in China. In some cases, they will work with foreign-issued bank debit cards (especially those on the Cirrus or Plus networks) and usually will only be able to access a checking account for funds. Please be sure to have some sources of funds other than ATM available as well.
Remember to inform your bank if you plan to use your US bank card abroad, otherwise any transaction will be rejected.

Tip: If you are with The Bank of America check out "Global Alliance" on their website for information on withdrawing money from ATMs serviced by the China Construction Bank in China.

Credit Cards
Five international credit cards, that is, Master card, Visa card, Diners card, American express card and JCB card are accepted by major hotels and restaurants, and large department stores in China, but few other businesses. Most businesses operate on a cash-only basis.

Traveler’s Check

Bank of China can cash traveler’s checks of international commercial banks and traveler’s checks companies of USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong.
Use of traveler checks are very limited in China.

Changing Money
Banks are the best places, offering the official rate and charging a reasonable commission. There also money-changing services at major hotels and international airports. A passport is required to change money. Bring a pocket calculator to check the accuracy of your receipt when changing money. When changing money at an ATM with credit or bank cards, it is not always possible to check the rate you are being offered or to establish if there is a commission fee accessed (some may be higher or lower). Check your receipt carefully and avoid that machine in the future if rates are excessive. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the current exchange rates before you go abroad.
Be sure to save your receipts for all foreign currencies exchanged into RMB. Government regulations allow only 50% of the original amount to be changed back into foreign currencies and require proof of the initial exchange. (For example, if you change $100 to RMB you can only change back half of the RMB to dollars, $50 worth, and must provide the original exchange receipt). The RMB to dollar exchange must be made at the main branch of the Bank of China in the city. The main branch in Hangzhou is located on Feng Qi Lu.

Do not change money outside of the official exchange services. Unofficial exchanges usually result in travelers losing money. The practice is illegal and you could also face charges of breaking foreign exchange laws.

Safety with Money
Observe safety precautions with money. Do not keep large sums of cash in your dorm room. Buy a travelers’ money belt or neck wallet and beware of pickpockets in crowds and on public transportation.

  • Nearest Bank Location
    Bank of China: Qiu Shi Road, outside of "Xin Qiao Men" Gate of Yuquan Campus, on the right side of the entrance of Lu Yuan (Green Garden) Apartment
  • China Industrial and Commercial Bank: Yugu Road, outside of "Xin Qiao Men" Gate of Yuquan Campus, on the Ground Floor of Lu Yuan (Green Garden) Apartment
  • China Agricultural Bank: Zheda Road-Dong Shan Nong Intersection

    Bank Opening Hours: normally 9am-3pm
    Note: The service charge is 3% of the transaction amount, al little bit higher than that of the ATM transactions

Current exchange rate: $1 = 68 yuans (RMB’s)

Getting around Hangzhou (from Zhejiang University)

Hangzhou has an extensive network of bus service in the downtown area. Most buses use one ticket and the price is generally: RMB 1 or 1.5 yuan for non-air-conditioned buses RMB 2 yuan for air-conditioned buses (with a K before the route number) RMB 3 to 5yuan for tour buses.
Most buses are non-conductor ones and do not provide change, so passengers have to prepare some change before getting on the bus, or you can use the IC card for public transportation.

Hangzhou boasts its taxi service because the models and conditions of the cars are the best in the country. The fare is based on the mileage according to the meter. The starting price is 10 RMB yuan for the first 3 KM and 2 yuan per Km after that.

NOTE: WHENEVER YOU TAKE A TAXI, PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO GET A RECEIPT FROM THE CAB DRIVER. There are car numbers on the receipt. Once your belongings are left on the cab, this receipt would help you to get them back.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DMR-0844014.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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