Hai Xia - Peking University

B. Arts
Semester 2, 2017

Academic experience

I studied in Chinese Language Program at PKU (汉语对外学院). I got to meet a lot of different people all with an interest in Chinese, I appreciated the personal feeling of the program, the classes were small and you got to know people very well, which is important in language learning. The biggest challenges I had were communicating with people of different Chinese ability, but I think this helped me improve my Chinese a lot, just by not giving up pursuing a conversation. 

Personal experience

I gained a lot of good friends from this exchange, people whom I want to visit and keep in communication with. I was lucky to have a fantastic roommate, we got along like a house on fire and went everywhere together, so I got to see a lot of Beijing.


I lived in the international student dorms on the campus of PKU, the rooms are simple and not much to complain about, although some friends of mine in different buildings were bitterly cold. The facilities are neither five stars nor anything unusually awful. The one thing is they do not expect you to want to cook so not fantastic in that area but they did just replace the laundry machines.


You can live cheap in Beijing if you try; canteen food is incredibly inexpensive and reasonably good. Restaurants here are kind of pricey though. Beijing shop keeps are not as willing to bargain as they are in say Shanghai, but you can get some good quality clothes in markets. Delivery here is a blessing.

Professional development and employability

I think I have learnt to be more resourceful and more conscious of differences.


Monks in Tiananmen
Monks in Tiananmen

Being able to meet the wonderful people I have met and go to the places I would not have had the courage to go to by myself, and then having an incredible experience.

Top tips

Go to orientation, the friend group I have now were all randomly placed on one table, and I nearly didn't turn up to it. I would have missed so much.

Go out and do things, go see the student plays, go watch Othello in Chinese and not know they were doing Othello till the very end- Beijing is big, and a lot of fun.

Hai Xia - Peking University