Photo: Summer Palace by Xingyuan Wang
What was the best part of your course, and how do you think you will use what you learned?
As a high school graduate, my course IR209 China's Belt Road Initiative: Development as Grand Strategy and the Emerging Global Order offered an excellent opportunity to kickstart my university journey at LSE beginning in September. I’m proud to have completed my second ever academic essay (the mid-term assessment), which no doubt will have helped prepare me for my coming study at LSE. In the meantime, I’m very grateful for the advice that my fellow students have given me, including helpful and valuable insights into future career paths and life plans. I don’t think it would possible to find another programme that gathers professional students from Scandinavian foreign affairs and the Development Bank of Latin America in the same classroom.
What was your overall highlight?
Definitely my trip to the Olympic Park (the Bird Nest and Water Cube) with my classmates from Japan and Germany the night before our final exam. I will always remember us struggling to get a taxi, finding the right spot for a group selfie, learning new languages and gaining insights about different cultures, not to mention the weather which was just perfect for a comfortable night walk. We also got to see the colourful night lives of the local people of Beijing.
What did you think about life at PKU?
You must see it for yourself...how big and beautiful the campus is! Gyms, shops, libraries, lakes, towers, museums, theatres, you name it, they have it. The on-campus canteens provide all kinds of cuisines, the food is very cheap and delicious. I will certainly miss that a lot! I also appreciated the academic environment that PKU has. Everyone using the self-study areas are so dedicated to their work that it was easy for me to stay concentrated and focused on my studies.
What did you think about your fellow students?
I may not be able to remember every piece of information from the lectures and the seminars, but I will never forget the people. At the end of the day, it’s always about the amazing people you get to meet, including the professor, teaching assistant and course assistant. My fellow students were super diverse, engaging and passionate about sharing their own opinions. We had participants that included 40 different nationalities from all walks of life. Not only I have learnt to speak simple phrases in Spanish, German, Japanese and Vietnamese but I have also updated my stereotypical perceptions of countries (such as Mexico, Venezuela) by communicating with my fellow students.
The best part is developing long-lasting international friendships. Every moment can be inspiring and eye-opening, perhaps the person sitting next to you will be the one to lead you in a brand new journey in life.
What are your top tips for potential students?
The fact that there are so many tourist attractions in Beijing makes us forget how beautiful the PKU campus is itself. I highly recommend for students to explore the PKU campus, walk around (or get a bike) and appreciate the fascinating hidden spots...they are for you to keep in your memories. Never be afraid to talk to people on your first-day orientation, it’s an excellent way to mentally prepare yourself for the upcoming two weeks. The campus is big, but chances are you will be running into familiar faces all the time.
Seize your time at LSE-PKU and make the most out of it!
Photo: With my course leader Dr. Alvaro Mendez by Xingyuan Wang
Thank you very much Sarah for joining the LSE-PKU Summer School class of 2019 (and class of 2018) and for sharing your beautiful photos and wonderful feedback with us!