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New Semester, Fresh Start: Peking University welcomes 2020 cohort of international students

SEP . 15 2020
Peking University, September 15, 2020: On September 14, Peking University welcomed a new cohort of international students gearing up to embark on their academic journeys.

There are around 200 students who have remained in China over the past few months and managed to come to Peking University. They first checked in at the New Sun Student Center, where they met with staff and volunteers from the International Students Division and had a chance to socialize with other new students.

Peking University President Hao Ping paid a visit to the New Sun Student Center, expressing his warm welcome to the newcomers. President Hao talked with some of the new international students, learning where they were from and what they are here to study. President Hao also spoke with the volunteers, asking what preparations they have made for the welcome event.

Gregor Obrez, a Ph.D. student from Slovenia, is one of the international students who came to PKU in person. He thought the registration day would be so packed with new students that the procedure would take some time, but the reality is quite the opposite. “From application to registration, everything went on smoothly,” Obrez said, adding that he was very satisfied with the arrangement made by PKU.

Alexandra Pozhidaeva, a Russian student who is set to pursue her master’s degree at Peking University, is very grateful to the teaching and administrative staff from the School of Journalism and Communication and the International Students Division. “Each phone call I got and each email exchanged between the staff members and I, I felt the real warmth from them,” Pozhidaeva said.

The Yanyuan Campus admitted a total of 1179 international students hailing from 107 countries. Students from South Korea, Japan and United States constituted the largest group among the 2020 cohort. With a variety of schools and departments at Peking University to choose from, the School of International Studies, Guanghua School of Management, Yenching Academy, the Department of Chinese Language and Literature and the Law School are the most popular.

In addition, PKU Shenzhen Graduate School accepted 142 international students and PKU Health Science Center admitted 73.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, most of the international students living overseas were unable to report to the university in person. PKU adopted a new approach, allowing all international students to complete their registration online. The online system offers a “one-stop” service for international students, which enables them to submit material for registration, make payments, buy medical insurance, apply for visas and more. Meanwhile, Peking University has arranged online and offline orientation events for newcomers, allowing them to familiarize themselves with the campus, their studies and lives at PKU.

This semester teaching will be delivered both online and offline, and all the faculty and staff will make their best efforts to ensure that students in their respective home countries can keep up with the lessons and academic rigor.

American student Kevin Cooley will be taking online courses for the pre-university program offered by the School of Chinese as a Second Language. When first got to know PKU three years ago, he was immediately drawn to the natural campus setting and exquisite architecture. “My first impression at that time was that PKU is perfect. The campus is so pretty, the students of PKU are some of China’s brightest, the teachers are all warm-hearted to me. Everything is great. It's perfect.”

During each academic journey, there will definitely be ups and downs, setbacks and success, but faculty members and staff at Peking University will always be available to offer help. Full steam ahead, for this new cohort of international students!

Written by: Ng Joong Hwee
Edited by: Huang Weijian, Jacob Tomkins