As an EVMT student, I am proud to have gotten the opportunity to go abroad to Peking University and become one of the exchange students there. The trip has given me a thorough review and reappraisal of the development of mainland China, and I was also deeply inspired by the diligence and conscientiousness of my friends in the mainland.
Many of us may have never thought of travelling to Beijing by rail, other than taking the plane. Indeed, travelling by rail is a very unique experience; you can chitchat with the roommates in your rooms to learn the latest news and you-must-knows about the destinations you are approaching and make friends with them. What’s more, you can bring a much heavier luggage than you can on the plane – it is perfectly fine as long as your luggage is lighter than 80 kg; as compared to the plane, of which the limit is only 25kg, with a fine of $80 per each kg over limit!
Unfortunately, all my UST fellows that were going to Beijing had bought their tickets in July, so I stepped on the trip individually and arrived at Beijing after 23 hours of swaying on the train.
In Beijing, the first impression of everything could be concluded by 2 words: the first one is big – everything, from the buildings to the roads, are enormous compared to HK; and the other is numerous – everywhere is tightly squeezed with people and cars and it seems just as if you were back in Hong Kong.
Luckily, a friend I had met on the train has a son living in Beijing, who saved me from getting lost in the city. With their help, I successfully reached Peking University and contacted my buddy there, a senior student assigned to help the newbies.
From then on, my life in Beijing has officially started!
The campus in Peking University is magnificent in views and in historical value. Originating from the Summer Palace, the design remains the verve of the imperial garden. However, the environment of the student living area is an exclusion, where the nasty smell of the male toilets is one of the greatest imperfections in my journey.
Peking University is one of the greatest universities in China, with outstanding achievements in academics. Here I met Professor Zhang Shiqiu, Director of the Institute of Environment and Economy of PKU. She is the senior expert member of UNEP Technology and Economic Assessment Panel for implementing the Montreal Protocol, as well as the Co-Chair of the Task Force for Replenishment of the Multilateral Fund of Montreal Protocol. Undoubtedly, she is one of the leaders in the field of environmental economics, politics and management. I was able to successfully take her course on environmental economics and learnt a lot about the quantitative analysis of economic problems in the environmental field. She has influenced a major change in my perspective of viewing environmental problems.
The most IMPORTANT thing, though, is that I also attained a very good grade in this course. Although the course GPA could not be transferred, it was still an achievement for me.
Peking University has all the strangest communities that have never existed and cannot even be imagined in Hong Kong, like the society of Confucianism, society of skating, etc. During my exchange, I joined a voluntary group and helped to organize activities like visiting orphans and holding charity sales. In the society, I met different friends interested in voluntary work, as well as visiting different places in Beijing. I gained so much from them and learnt a lot about the development of society and community service in China.
Peking University has a giant arts hall, broadcasting movies and dramas from all over the world, from the
In Beijing, how can you miss the golden chance of travelling around? I have been to almost every scenic spots in Beijing and Mongolia, Shanxi, Qingdao and Shandong during the holidays we get for the national celebration and Lunar New Year. In Beijing, there are so many places waiting for you to visit that you can never feel bored.
Going on exchange in Beijing was truly an unforgettable experience for me and I have learned so much from the learning attitudes of the mainland students and the culture in China. Of course, my mandarin has also improved a lot and now, I can communicate fluently in Chinese. I will always remember the journey and that I have once been a student in Peking University.