The student exchange experience at Beking University - Part 1: Learning.

By Melody Chang, Class of 2024

Why go on an exchange? And why delay graduation for an exchange?

Because this could potentially be the last chance in my life to experience half a year of life abroad at an extremely low cost. This is such a great opportunity, why miss it? For me, the answer is simple! I submit the application for overseas exchange first and then see the result. Life is long, and you have plenty of time to dive into the workforce. On the contrary, this half-year exchange experience will become a shining moment in your life.

Why choose to go on an exchange to China? Why choose Peking University?

I've always had a dream of embarking on an adventure in China. China is vast, with many beautiful places. I want to explore, broaden my horizons, engage with different people, enrich my life experiences, and become a more storied individual. As for why I chose to go to Peking University for the exchange, I believe that if I'm going to China, I should go to one of the best universities in China to learn and interact with the top talents. I want to see firsthand the academic prowess of Chinese students and understand their way of thinking. It's simply driven by a strong curiosity to uncover the learning methods and mindset of top Chinese scholars. If possible, making connections and expanding my network would also be beneficial.

Courses at Peking University's Guanghua School of Management? Class method? Communication among classmates?

At Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, as a graduate student, you are limited to selecting courses offered by the graduate school. Those interesting general education courses offered to undergraduate students are not relevant to you. As an exchange student at the Guanghua School of Management, you can only enroll in courses related to general master's programs, such as finance, accounting, and business analytics. In fact, the courses tend to be quite rigorous.

The scheduling of courses for graduate students at Guanghua School of Management is quite interesting. Some courses are condensed and completed within the first 1 to 8 weeks, while others run from weeks 9 to 16. There's considerable flexibility in course selection.

Most professors at Guanghua still primarily employ traditional lecture-based teaching methods. The assessment methods are usually clearly outlined in the first class of the semester and typically include group presentations, assignments, and final exams. To be honest, the courses at Guanghua can be challenging. Many specialized courses have a high proportion of exams, leading to noticeable stress among classmates during midterms and finals. However, I find the relationship among students is very harmonious. Chinese students are very willing to help with any learning issues, and since everyone speaks Chinese, communication barriers are minimal. Additionally, the Taiwanese accent is actually quite popular among China students.

"因思想而光華" is a phrase I particularly like. In Peking University, a place that nurtures China's top talents, freedom of speech and critical thinking are highly valued.

What about dining at Peking University?

Before going to Peking University, I often heard friends who had been there mention: "The food at Peking University cafeterias is delicious." After going there, I discovered that the university cafeterias are truly a hidden gem. They offer a wide variety of cuisines from all regions of China, primarily Chinese dishes, with prices typically ranging from 10 to 20 RMB per meal. It's incredibly cheap and incredibly tasty.

Famous landmark of Peking University: Weiming Lake

From September to January, you can experience the three seasons in the north: summer, autumn and winter. The scenery in the school is different in every season, and each has its own beauty. I like to take a walk to Weiming Lake after eating in the cafeteria at noon.

Peking University Weiming Lake in summer: full of greenery

Peking University Weiming Lake in autumn: Ginkgo trees fall all over the ground

Peking University Weiming Lake in winter: frozen ice rink

What surprised me the most was the frozen lake in winter. After all, as a Taiwanese, I have never seen a frozen lake in my life. Every winter, Peking University's Weiming Lake begins to freeze from December to January. Around the end of December, the school will announce the opening hours for skating on the lake. At Peking University, students can rent skates for only 5 RMB an hour. I can’t help but feel so good at such a cost-effective price! Before leaving Beijing, I made five appointments with friends to go skating on Weiming Lake, which shows how much I love this large outdoor ice rink.

I spent half a year in Beijing and experienced 3 seasons, each season has its own charm.

Overall, living at Peking University for the past six months has been very exciting. Whether it is a learning experience or a fulfilling life, it is a very precious memory in my life.

If you also have the opportunity to study at GMBA, don’t miss the opportunity to be an exchange student.

For more videos about my exchange at Peking University, you can go to my YouTube channel.


北大交換生一日遊 北京大學京內實踐活動 吃喝玩樂北大付錢

北京大學 食堂早餐

北京大學 教室/教學樓

For students who are interested in exchange in China or Peking University, if you have any questions, please contact my Instagram: melody_growth