Lyndon Low Peking University
CSU Long Beach - Majoring in Human Development and International Studies
My native tongues are English and Cantonese. Studying Chinese in America didn't cut it for me—I needed a program that could immerse me into the culture and population. I hope to obtain near-native fluency, learn about Chinese culture and people, and be able to transcribe a meaningful Chinese name for my future children.
In the future I hope to work in the foreign service, national security and/or civil rights field.
I'm at the Summer Palace; the young lad in the back. These natives are playing some card game I've never seen before.
The campus's library is the largest campus university library in all of Asia. You don't get immediate access to it though—you have to register. Reading books inside is free but if you wish to borrow them then it will require a deposit of 500 Yuan.
Peking University is known as the Harvard of Asia. The campus is pretty big so I recommend buying a bike (though I still don't have one); secondhand is fine.
There are basically four places you can study on campus: The library, Paradiso Café, the CSUIP office, or in empty classrooms.
The café and library are the most popular, but I must warn you that the café permits smoking and its restroom isn't the best. On the contrary, a lot of international students are always there and you can perhaps find a language partner there.
This café is near the movie theater. Yes, the school has a movie theater, but the movies are mainly in Chinese.
The campus has a lot of places to eat. I hope you have lots of patience, can eat fast (with chopsticks), and are used to standing. Your lunch time is usually from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Bring water; food tends to be salty and oily.
These students aren't waiting in line for their food. They're eating while standing up. There's limited seating. Get used to sharing tables with strangers or boxing your food to go.
In addition, if you have a special diet; please note that China isn't very accommodating to special diets. I know from personal experience.
Peking University has a bunch of clubs. You name it and they probably have it. They begin recruiting a few weeks into school.
I joined a club and I think it's a good way to improve your Chinese. Keep in mind that you still need to study and that most club members are usually freshman or sophomore.
Though the school does have a few martial arts clubs, this is not a photo of a martial arts studio. This is actually a fast food chain.
You have a few days from your arrival to look for housing. It's really not enough. You probably will end up with roommates, or you can opt for the school dorms, which are about 12 feet by 6 feet. Get to know your fellow CSU students—you might end up living with them, as I did. And bring at least 5000 USD for back up. Housing prices have raised and sometimes you must pay a few months' rent up front.
My roommates Annie, Cam, Jazmine, Cynthia, and I are pictured here.
Yes, those are pink sheets. All four of my female roommates say they look good in my room. I must also add that there are washing machines in China, but they don't really have dryers.
On the day I arrived here, a professor told me that China is a test of patience. Chinese people have gone through many wars and their distinct positive quality is the ability to withstand. In China you will learn to be patient or you will succumb to the immaturity of thinking you always come first. In China you will gain new experiences and meet new people.
China is a long path. One year isn't short, but just like the Great Wall it eventually ends. Great accomplishments come with great struggle. So, apply!
Learn more about the study abroad program in China