Tag Archives: Peking University

Peking University through the seasons

I have had the privilege of spending a total of around three months this year visiting China on different occasions, and in particular staying on the Peking University (Beida) campus.  It has been amazing seeing the changing colours of the landscape through the seasons, and early on during my visits I decided to try to take regular photographs from the same spot near the centre of the campus to  capture the different colours and senses of living there.  I hope that the photographs below capture something of the differences I experienced.  I definitely think I need to return in the midst of winter to see it in the snow.  My favourite time has to be when Beijing was covered in blossom for an all too short period in early April!

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First impressions of Peking University campus

My first 48 hours at the Graduate School of Education (GSE) in Peking University (PKU) has provided a wealth of contrasting impressions.  Above all, though, I am incredibly grateful to the hospitality and friendliness of the staff and students.  Without them I would feel incredibly lost!  My language skills are improving, but need to do so very much more rapidly!

My main impressions so far:

  • The colours are every shade of grey and brown – it is early Spring.  The blossom is only just beginning to come into flower, and the deciduous trees have yet to burst into leaf
  • The campus itself is like a quiet oasis, amidst the noise and traffic of Beijing – with its West, South and East Gates, it is like a calm village within the city
  • Many of the buildings are striking and new – I am delighted to have an office in the splendid new Graduate School of Education; but there are also interesting old buildings, particularly around Courtyards Nos.1-6
  • Shops of all kinds, and seven different main restaurants are scattered throughout the southern part of the campus – and one can eat so many different styles of food (there’s even a restaurant serving pizza, although I have not sampled Chinese-Italian food yet)
  • Delighted to find a cashpoint machine that takes my bank card – on arrival had been told that it probably would not work!
  • Pedestrians and bicycles jostle for space, and silent electric scooters weave their way swiftly between them
  • Had real difficulties with my e-mails on arrival, but it turned out to be a problem back at Royal Holloway! No-one told me that work was being done on the servers, and I had to change my settings!  Mind you, Twitter and Facebook are blocked…

Tomorrow, I have my first two-hour lecture – am not sure whether the students or I am more nervous – guess I probably am!  If only humans  (and I in particular) could adapt more swiftly to crossing time zones – I so dislike being 8 hours adrift!

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Filed under China, Photographs