Beware Scams

So in the process of applying for study abroad and finding a subleaser for my apartment, I decided that making a Craigslist positing would be a great idea to get the ad out. I got a few replies about it so far, but last night’s texting conversation was possibly my favorite. It started off pretty well, the person, who said their name was Jesse, and they told me they had seen my ad for sublease. We talked about payments and whatnot and they told me that they could sign the lease tomorrow (today).

And then things got sketch.

It was seemingly harmless, “Jesse” asked me for my name and email that my apartment complex had on file, so I sent it.And then they asked if I registered for an account to do online rent payments. I told them I had an account, but I normally pay by check to avoid online fees. “Jesse” then asks me “Do you know your login information?”

I paused for a second. Any time someone asks you for your login information for anything, it should definitely raise an eyebrow. It was made worse because I had no idea who this “Jesse” was and had never met her (I assumed cause I posted for females only, but since it was a scam, it was probably some creepy, old dude) and “Jesse” had never even seen the apartment, but was so gungho about leasing from me asap.

I avoided giving out my information directly, saying that I couldn’t remember off the top of my head and I could talk to the office about it tomorrow, even though I did know my information already. I tried to say “I can help out when we meet to sign the lease tomorrow” and Jesse just said that her mom was handling everything by fax and email. #Sketch.

Then “Jesse” proceeded to do a “forgot your password” attempt and asked me to check my email. I did so anyways, but avoided telling Jesse what I changed the password to. She asked if I got the reset, and I proceeded to ask for her mom’s phone number, as a test of whether or not this was true. She gave me a phone number, which is 813-320-1298 in case anyone wants to uphold justice for me and spam this person (Jesse’s number is 727-777-4178 – which just sounds so fake now that I think about it).

Afterwards, they asked about my password reset again, and I basically told them that I would want to have the paperwork signed first and they can get their own account to deal with payments once everything had gone through. I figured that if this was a legitimate deal, they would reply to it and set something up. Surprise surprise, they stopped texting me once I had sent that message.

I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume that whoever this Jesse was, they were just trying to scam me out of money. So as often as you hear these sketchy stories of people scamming innocents for money, etc. Keep it in mind that if it could happen to me, it could definitely happen to anyone.

The search for a subleaser continues, hopefully I won’t have to waste a few thousand dollars to go, but chances are, that’s how it’s gonna work out. #yayme


Catherine 凯瑟琳

Back at it Again

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about studying abroad. Last year, I decided not to go to China just because it didn’t seem as if it fit into my life at the time. I had made some really good friends and things were going well with school and my social life and I couldn’t bear to leave for so long.

Now, I’m officially back at it and I am currently committed to going to Beijing Normal University next semester!

I’m halfway through applying, I just need to figure out how to deal with class credits transferring, turning in paperwork, and finishing my application to BNU.

While I’m super excited to go over there, I’m still really worried about the fact that I don’t have an official sublease for my apartment right now. I’ve been looking and people keep backing out on me. Honestly, I’m not fully sure I can go over there if I still have this apartment to pay for. I’d essentially waste $4200 if I go and don’t find a sublease, but if I decide not to go, I still have to pay a pretty hefty fee because someone is already planning on taking my place at my school.

Honestly, I think I’m still going to go regardless of whether I find someone, but I’d honestly rather not lose out on $4000 for an apartment I don’t live in. It wouldn’t even be a big deal if it was just a few months, but my program goes until the end of July when my lease ends, so It’ll for sure be from January to July that I’m paying for an apartment I don’t live in. Life is a struggle.


Catherine 凯瑟琳

Language Progress


So if you follow this blog, you’ll come to learn I watch a LOT of television. From American shows to Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese dramas, I don’t even know how many different shows I’ve seen in my life. I go through phases of watching tons of American TV to Asian TV, often going back and rewatching old favorites of both.

The purpose of this post is pretty much for the purpose that while watching Just You, I started noticing that I could understand full sentences here and there and other times at least recognizing certain words.

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Why Chinese?

Welcome back! Basically, this is a bit of background about me – talking about how and why I wanted to learn more about the Chinese culture.

A lot of people have asked me over the years, “You’re Vietnamese, right? Why are you learning Chinese?” And my answer actually begins with my Vietnamese heritage.

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Beijing Skyline

The Beginning

大家好!Hi, everyone!

My name is Catherine, and this is a chronicle of my time applying to and hopefully attending Beijing Normal University, also known colloquially as 北师大, Beishida, in Beijing, China.

Today was the first day that I acted on wanting to study abroad. I’ve been looking at information about going to China for over a year now – I looked at study abroad programs before even deciding where I wanted to go to college; but, today was the first real step towards actually making my dream come true.

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