Zihui - Tsinghua University

B Business Management/Economics
Semester 2, 2018
The experience you are first afraid of but later you embrace.

Academic experience

I studied finance and management related courses in Tsinghua. It was very interesting to learn and understand the Chinese side of finance and management. Nonetheless, the education system in China is very different to the Australian education system. There are many interesting elective courses in Tsinghua, such as shooting, swimming and skating etc. It was a lot of joy experiencing different activities. Moreover, I was given opportunities to work with some Tsinghua students for the group assignment, and I enjoyed working with them as they are ambitious, smart and hard-working. It widens my vision by talking to them. However, there were also some obstacles that I had to overcome at the beginning of my exchange. Similar to UQ, we had to signon to register for our classes. However,you are not signing on for class time, instead you are signing on for the class itself. In another word, you are not guarantee a position for that course, and therefore if you aren’t able to signon for that class, you will not be able to attend or participate for that class. It was Tsinghua exchange student's biggest nightmare, as we have to signon our classes for the purpose of credit. Most of the exchange students were unable to signon to the classes they wanted as we have low priority in picking class comparing to the domestic student, and frankly, the signon system in Tsinghua is slightly outdated. Many students were stuck on the login website as it kept breaking down. My biggest advice for new Tsinghua Exchange students is to make sure you use IE Explore to signon for classes.s.

Personal experience

My exchange experience is a memory I will never forget. Before going to Tsinghua, I was thrilled to see what journey is waiting for me. Fortunately, I was able to make some friends to go on that wonderful journey with me.
Those friends are from different countries and cultures. By speaking to them, I was able to learn more about the world through a new angle. Nonetheless, I was able to learn a little bit of Korean from my Korean friend, and a little bit of Cantonese from my Chinese friend. As a group, we also traveled to Shanghai and Nanjing together. It was a shame that we didn’t have enough time to travel to more places.

Accommodation

I was very fortunate to live on campus, as the cost of living off-campus is fairly expensive in Beijing. Reception ladies at the dorm were very friendly and nice. I had so much fun talking to them. The dorm is also fairly equippied, as it has washing machine, vending machine and study rooms. My advice for new Tsinghua exchange student is to try to live on campus as it is the cheapest and best option.

Costs

Single room dormitory in Tsinghua is around 10k yuan(~2.5 thousand AUD) for one semester. Eating is really cheap in Tsinghua. Tsinghua has roughly 12 canteens, and all serve variety of delicious food. A big meal would cost approximately 20yuan ( 5 AUD) in Tsinghua. transportation and entertainment are affordable depending on personal preferences. Bus and Tran are very affordable costing around 1-2AUD each trip. However, Uber ( Didi in China) is also an option. Entertainment such as karaoke and clubbing are also affordable. The cost for traveling varies, and therefore I cannot give a rough estimate. I would recommend student to budget around 10 thousand AUD for the exchange.

Challenge

The biggest challenge during my exchange was definitely having to overcome the differences in education system in China. In Tsinghua, their classes are normally go for three hours. Nonetheless, some students will have classes on Saturday and Sunday. I have a class from 8pm-11pm. I was having trouble to concentrate for three hours at 10pm. Moreover, most classes in Tsinghua only have lecture and no tutorial or consultation. We can only seek help for assignment or homework by emailing the lecture, however, it is a timely process to wait for them to reply. I overcome this challenge by making friends in class and form a little discussion group to study together.

Professional Development

I developed a lot as an individual during the exchange. I was in a new environment without knowing anyone. Nonetheless, I ran into many obstacles, such as class signon. However, by the end of exchange, I realised I could overcome anything as long as I keep trying. I believed I became more independent and responsible after the exchange.

Highlight

The highlight for my exchange was actually the time I spent with my friends in the Study Room. In the Tsinghua dorm, there are study rooms located in each buildings. My friends and I spent most of our times in the study room due to the heavy workload. In that tiny room, we, as a group, went through so much together. In that study room, we exchanged gifts for Christmas, did count down for new year, drew on the whitebaord, watched horror movies, ate Korean fried chicken, did karaoke and dress up party. We left so much memories in that study room. I'm so grateful for my friends and this beautiful experience.

Top tips

My advice for the new exchange Tsinghua student is to make as many domestic friends as possible, as they know the solutions to most of the problem you would encounter in China.