Have your studies taken you overseas?
I went to Beijing for six weeks this summer for an internship. We interned with Christchurch NZ, which is a company that promotes the city as a place to live and study. It was a great opportunity to experience a different culture and see new ways of studying and teaching.
What was Beijing like?
Different! About as different as you could get from living in Christchurch. The people, food and culture were especially unique. Beijing was nothing like I’ve ever experienced. It was a busy city with something always happening. A highlight for me was the art districts scattered around the place. One of the cooler places I found was an old repurposed military base which is now filled with street art, galleries and food places but it still has old military parts throughout the space which makes it unique.
How did you get around?
Me and a few of the other students found this awesome bike share initiative that cost next to nothing! We used this a lot to get around campus because Peking University campus is so huge.
What were your highlights?
Meeting some of the Peking students. They were very welcoming and showed us some of the local hot spots. They appreciated practising their English with us and were always so friendly. I also can’t go past the Great Wall of China, it was amazing. It is just so steep, each step is up to your waist. I found the experience mind-blowing. And I had the opportunity to go skiing for a day. It was purely manmade snow but it was heaps of fun to ski somewhere else in the world.
I think in general just to be there and get away from New Zealand was good. Six weeks is long enough to get a good feel for the place. It gave me a better grasp of Chinese culture, a culture that goes back thousands of years. We had the opportunity to visit historical temples which just made the experience even more exciting.
Tell us more about the internship?
We were given the task of interviewing Chinese students about their educational and career goals, and to write a report for ChristchurchNZ based on this. It was valuable to learn how to interview students and communicate with a range of people from different backgrounds.
I think the internship has definitely added value to my degree and work experience. Working with people from a different culture and being able to understand why they think the way they do is extremely valuable and I will take these skills with me into any career in the future.
What makes the programme unique?
You get to study at one of the most prestigious universities in China. Peking University is extremely hard to get into, everyone there is the smartest from their respective cities. They all really appreciate the opportunity to study at one of the best universities in China and study very hard.