Peking University Chinese Language Program Review

Review

The Peking University Chinese language program is a popular choice for foreign students and Beijing rates as a great city to live and study. There are also plenty of opportunities to network and find employment opportunities and the reputation of Peking University will certainly help your cause! The language program at Peking has a diverse range of class levels from beginner, to intermediate and advanced and also plenty of electives to choose from.

 

Schedule

Autumn Semester: August 20th —December 20th

Spring Semester: February 20th—June 20th

 

Affordability

The Peking University language program certainly comes in at the high end of the spectrum with the following rates:

Tuition Fee (per person): 18,000 RMB/semester

Teaching Materials Fee: 150-300 RMB/semester

Application Fee: 400 RMB, paid in one of the following ways:

 

Location

For a Haidian District based university, Peking University probably has one of the best locations. The student hive and night time hangout spot of Wudaokou is a 5 minute bus ride away and there is a line 4 subway stop conveniently located between the east gate and International student dorm of the university. Within 3 minutes of leaving your dorm or the campus you are riding the underground, making greater Beijing very accessible. If you don’t want to jump on a bus or a subway head for the south-west gate, or ‘little gate’, where there is a wonderful build-up of cafes, restaurants, KTVs and bars. Peking University is very close to key tourist sites such as the Summer Palace and the campus itself is one of China’s most beautiful!

 

Reputation

Obviously Peking University enjoys the reputation of China’s best (or second best, depending on who you ask) university, but how does its language program stack up? Fairly well, actually. The program itself is popular and well designed. Overseas born Chinese will especially appreciate how the Peking Chinese language program is put together. Rather than having one fixed Mandarin level, you are given separate speaking, reading and writing classes based on your proficiency in each area. So if you speak fluently, but can’t read or write the program can effectively accommodate this. While the reputation of the program is good, apparently the teachers are higher rated at BLCU. Also, by no means is Peking University leagues ahead of comparable language programs at other universities despite the prestige of being the number one university in China.

 

Opportunities

Peking University has a good range of activities and events throughout the year, however it unapologetically refuses to advertise them in English. Peking welcomes foreign students to participate but expects them to engage with the language to do so. This can be very rewarding for intermediate and advanced students, but somewhat intimidating for beginners. There are also opportunities on campus with both both the Australian Studies Center and the George Institute of Health which both regularly advertise for interns. The former also pays very well by internship in China standards. Peking University has long been a hub for Australia China Youth Association events and activities. Being based in Beijing there are also opportunities to appear on TV, find internship and job opportunities and the reputation of Peking University will carry you far! Peking University is a super prestigious university and luckily most Chinese people don’t know that the only entry requirements for the language program is paying your tuition fees! Instead, they will probably think that like the millions of Chinese students applying every year you have to be selected on merit!

 

Atmosphere

Peking University has a wonderful atmosphere for international and domestic students alike. Its reputation has attracted talent from all around the globe, resulting in a diverse international community of hardworking interesting and engaging students. Because the student population is small in comparison to local students there is a great sense of community and camaraderie. However, at the same time it can be easy too not to interact with Chinese students if you get caught up in the international crowd. Peking University is also one of the more secure universities in China with checkpoints at each gate checking visitors for student cards or appointments. This can be annoying but adds an extra level of safety.

 

Asia Options Verdict

Yes! Peking University has a great language program where students can get into a class that suits their language level due to the sheer number of students studying at the program. The class sizes are relatively small and if you’re lucky you will have great teachers who will not just teach from the book but engage and challenge you. You will get to meet an amazing group of international students and explore the many great sites, restaurants and bars Beijing has to offer. Peking University is also a great addition to your resume and if you decide to network while in Beijing you will hopefully find some great opportunities.

 

Peking
8 Total Score
5 Users Score (1 vote)
Pros

Elite reputation
Fantastic campus
Strong community
Internships on campus

Cons
Moderately expensive fees
Location
Affordability
Classes and Materials
Opportunities
Atmosphere
What Students Say... 1 Leave your rating
Not that great
PKU's Chinese language program (not the immersion) is really below par, I would not recommend it.
Classes are very large (15, not '9-15' as they advertise).
Teachers are unable to explain grammar points.
You are essentially expected to teach yourself for about 5-6 hours a day using the book and what you can find online, the classes are more just walking through the book (which they expect you to have learnt before class).
Not much priority is given for actually comprehending and being able to dynamically use your Chinese.

Overall, I would suggest another university, the immersion program, a private language school, or finding a homestay rather than going to PKU - your Chinese will improve a lot faster and better with these other methods.
January 14, 2020, 11:07 am
Location5.5
Affordability3
Classes and Materials9
Opportunities3
Atmosphere3.5
0
2
Leave your rating