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Student life at PKU

Much more than just an academic programme!

Life in Beijing is amazing and full of contrast. It goes from modern places like the 2008 Beijing Olympic area, to ancient historical places with the Forbidden City for instance.

Thomas Fedusac, Engineer, Safran, France

Welcome to Peking University - 欢迎来到北京大学

We know that many participants want to experience something of Beijing beyond the classroom therefore we arrange social and sightseeing events before and during the LSE-PKU Summer School.

Rickshaw 2018Photo: LSE-PKU Summer School participants travel in style!

Formal opening ceremony and welcome

The LSE-PKU Summer School will officially begin with a formal welcome from the LSE-PKU Summer School Academic Director on Sunday 2 August 2020, followed by a campus tour. In addition we offer the following optional events:

Extracurricular and social events

Movie Night - We will be showing a film on the PKU campus. This event is free to all LSE-PKU Summer School participants and normally includes a screening of a classic or contemporary Chinese film (with English subtitles if relevant), along with some popcorn to make the evening even more enjoyable.

LSE-PKU Summer School photo competition - We hold a photo competition each year which gives participants the opportunity to share their experience and adventures. We usually have five categories and announce the winners at the Gala Dinner on the last days after the final exam. Yes, there are prizes! Take a look at our Instagram page to see photos from our amazing alumni and their LSE-PKU Summer School adventures.

Happy Hour - Join your fellow students at the end of the first week for some drinks and snacks, to unwind together and reflect on your first week with refreshments and good company.

Gala Dinner - We invite all participants to attend a gala dinner on the final evening of the LSE-PKU Summer School, along with faculty and administrative staff from the programme. The event takes place at a local hotel and is a wonderful occasion to celebrate the unique experience the LSE-PKU Summer School offers. The dinner is also a final opportunity to network with the fascinating faculty, staff and students who participated in this programme before saying goodbye to the great friends you have made - or preferably - "see you again next year!"

Roundtable events

During the LSE-PKU Summer School we organise two evening roundtable events to which all summer school participants are invited. The events begin with a panel session where some of our faculty debate an interdisciplinary topic, and we then invite questions from the audience to generate additional thought-provoking discussions. This is normally one of the educational highlights of the programme as it brings together attendees and experts from across multiple courses. Topic to be confirmed shortly. 

Optional cultural excursions

Great Wall of China* - There will be a one-day visit to the Great Wall of China* (the section at Mutianyu) one of China's most iconic landmarks and a hugely important historical and cultural attraction. 

The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square* - There will be a half day visit to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Two more important and beautiful must see locations! 

Please note: Return transport is arranged from the PKU campus via air-conditioned coaches, and visitors have the opportunity to walk along the Great Wall, take photographs, have something to eat and look inside some of the watchtowers. As one might imagine, our trips are very popular with our participants, and the vast majority of LSE-PKU Summer School students attend, including those who are from Beijing and/or China. Trips to other places of interest may also be available, and this will be confirmed closer to the beginning of the programme. All LSE-PKU Summer School social events are optional and can be booked during registration in Beijing (additional charges are payable).

*Weather permitting. However if any of the excursions are not possible we will offer alternative options.

Top Tip: Beijing is also full of other attractions, including the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, the Lama Temple, the Hall of Great Harmony, the Gate of Heavenly Peace, the 'Birds Nest' stadium (Niaochao) and many others. If you don't have time to see them all during the LSE-PKU Summer School, you may wish to consider extending your trip and staying slightly longer after the LSE-PKU Summer School to make the most of your time in China.

"Try to stay a bit longer than the programme takes so that you can utilise this time to explore more of Beijing and China, possibly with the new friends that you have met. There is simply so much to do and see, and since the study load is relatively heavy, you really want some extra time to explore the city." Maxim Roben, Vrije University, Netherlands

Peking University Campus

PKU or ‘Beida’ as it is known locally is a large campus, convenient for living and studying. The campus provides facilities and services to meet your daily needs, including numerous on-campus cafeterias, stores and supermarkets. Some sports facilities are also available to the programme participants. In addition to the comprehensive on-campus services, Peking University is located in a busy and flourishing area, where there is off-campus dining, shopping and entertainment.

boya tower by huazhen xuPhoto: Boya Tower and Weiming Lake by Huazhen Xu

The PKU campus is one of the most beautiful in China. The campus, known as “Yan Yuan” – the gardens of Yan – is situated at the northeast of the Haidian District in the western suburbs of Beijing. The campus includes many traditional style Chinese buildings, Weiming Lake, Boya Tower (picture above) and several former residences and buildings used in old Imperial China. It stands near the Yuan Ming Gardens and the Summer Palace and is itself something of a tourist attraction. Recently ranked 1st in the Times Higher Education 10 most beautiful universities in East Asia, Peking University’s impressive 274 hectares of “picture-perfect tranquillity and natural beauty” is perfect for students to simply stroll, jog, or cycle around. Open spaces are aplenty.

Read more about Peking University

“There is only one Beida” is a phrase often heard in China, referring to the term Chinese use for Peking University. The University is China's oldest and most prestigious, and is internationally recognized as the leading institution of higher education in the country. Established in 1898, Peking University has a total enrolment of over 46,000 students, with just under 2,000 international students.

Its outstanding international reputation is based on a wide range of achievements, many in the natural and social sciences. In 1965 it synthesized bovine insulin artificially for the first time in the world. In the early 1970s it developed the first MFLOPSIC computer in China, and in the 1990s the atomic weight of indium, measured by a Peking University academic, was adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency as the international standard.

Peking University is proud of its outstanding faculty, including 53 members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), 7 members of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), and 14 members of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).

The university has effectively combined research on important scientific subjects with the training of personnel with a high level of specialized knowledge and professional skill, as demanded by the country's socialist modernization. It strives not only for improvements in teaching and research work, but also for the promotion of interaction and mutual promotion among various disciplines.

Study facilities

Self-study areas - Most self-study areas in the teaching buildings are available during the summer vacation.

Library - The main service areas in the library are open on weekdays. Please note that LSE-PKU students are able to read, but not borrow, books from the library. However, full course reading packs are provided during registration to cover all essential reading materials.

Computer and laptop use - Students will be able to access computers and
e-resources from the library. However, we strongly recommend that you
bring your own laptop or tablet for your convenience, and an adapter if relevant. Participants attending MY201 (Big Data) and FN209 (Corporate Finance) are also required to bring calculators with them.

Printing - There are two main printing stores on campus.

Internet - There is a good Wi-Fi coverage on campus. Students will receive login details and instructions before they arrive and we will assist with any troubleshooting issues during orientation.

Sport and leisure facilities

Sports facilities - Students will have access to PKU's tennis court, Khoo Teck Puat gymnasium (北京大学邱德拔体育馆), Kang Mei Lang Fitness Centre (康美乐) and Wu-si field (五四体育场).

Entertainment facilities - The Peking University Centennial Lecture Hall, which is called “Bai Zhou Nian Ji Nian Jiang Tang” (百周年纪念讲堂) in Chinese, regularly holds exhibitions and performances for students. The Peking University Centennial Lecture Hall was built for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Peking University. Now it has become a famous landmark on campus and an important venue for academic, cultural and artistic activities.

Food and shopping

Food - There are many cafeterias on campus offering low cost options, further details will be provided in the pre-arrival guide.

Shopping - There is a a variety of general stores on campus including a Family Mart, a Guoan Community store, and a fruit store in which you can get food and other essentials.

Video by Sarah Wang Video by Sarah Wang
Student life at the LSE-PKU Summer School! Xingyuan (Sarah) Wang