大家好! I’m Reena (睿娜), a Junior studying finance, management, and Chinese at IBEX Beijing- Peking University.
Why I chose IBEX China
Beijing may not be known as one of the most romantic of cities, but there is this hidden charm that resonates when you’re in Beijing. The reason I chose Beijing IBEX, is because I wanted a challenge. It’s the strangest culture, the hardest language, and I would be attending the number one school in the entire country. Could I handle it? The only answer to that is bring it on!
At first the school might tell you can’t take classes outside of the business school, but once you get on campus you can ask the professors individually if you can take their class. I’m taking a class in the Sociology department about Modern Chinese Society that is taught in English. The style of teaching is also very different in China- much more lecture than discussion. However, I’ve had one exception where my professor in the School of Government teaches most of the class through the Socratic method. Being the only foreigner in the class, I have to say I was put on the spotlight more than I expected!
Favorite Places in Beijing
Old Beijing Hutongs: During China’s dynastic era, cities like Beijing consisted of Hutongs, or small alleyways, where the common people lived right outside of the palaces. Many of these Hutongs have been replaced by skyscrapers, but there are parts of Beijing where you can escape the hustle of a city and transfer back hundreds of years as if you were biking through China in the 1600s. The cars begin to dwindle and the houses transform into courtyards with the Chinese-styled rooftops. People congregate on the streets, kids weaving through the crowds, not bunkered down by the presence of electronics. It’s a community- generations have been living in these exact homes, dating all the way back to the Qing Dynasty. It’s an experience you can’t always find in every city!
798 Art District: If you ever been to the Buschwick Collective in Brooklyn, the 798 Art District is similar but bigger- like a lot of things in China! Graffiti art plasters the walls and sculptures scatter the lot, but the common thread seems to be how weird can the art get!
Renming Hu Park: This park might not be on Timeout Beijing’s top 10 places you have to visit, but it is one of my favorites! In China, parks take on a whole new meaning. It’s kind of like Washington Square Park, but with a twist. My favorite thing about WSP is that it is always bustling with activity- you have the skateboarders, the piano man, the occasional street performers, and, of course, Larry the pigeon man. This park is my Washington Square Park in Beijing- it’s home. But instead of young college kids, it’s old Chinese men playing Chinese Chess. Instead of the piano man, it’s the Erhu man (it’s kind of like a violin but with only 2 strings). And instead of street performers, it’s middle-aged moms learning how to dance. As someone who loves to dance, I’ve actually recently started teaching Indian Bollywood dance to a couple of my friends that I know in the park. I included the video in the post- so enjoy!