Tag Archives: International Exchange

My experience in Beijing

Applications are now open for the 2017 Peking University Programme! If you are an undergraduate student studying at UC and interested in spending five weeks in vibrant Beijing, China find application details and more information here>

Commerce and Law student Elise Wilson shares her experience in Beijing as part the Peking University Summer Programme.

No textbook or echo recording could have come close to teaching me what I learned whilst in Beijing on the Peking University Summer Programme. The Chinese culture is acutely ingrained in its deep and tumultuous, yet highly magnificent history. Every corner you turn there is a new story, every history book you open recalls a different account, and each person you talk to has an imperative insight.

170712-EliseWilson-IntlExchange2Our visit to the Forbidden City was one of the many experiences on this trip that by seeing it first hand, taught me so much. The construction of the Forbidden City began in 1406, with over 100,000 artisans and 1 million workers involved. It was home to many emperors over the years of 1420-1911, and the palace officially contains 9,999 rooms! The history and the stories that this place could tell is mind blowing, and exploring it was truly something else.

170712-EliseWilson-IntlExchange4Along with this experience, we also got to walk on the Great Wall of China, visit Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, and attend a number of culture and history lectures at Peking University. All of these experiences opened my mind, challenged my perspectives, and left me with something amazing.


As a Commerce and Law student at UC, I found our visit to the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing very insightful. We discussed politics, business, international relations, technology, and entrepreneurship with a table of diplomats for a couple of hours over cheese scones and New Zealand butter – a great time!

Entrepreneur and billionaire Sir Richard Branson once said: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” For me, I was in my first year of study at UC, I knew no Chinese and very little about China, and I also had no international travel experience before going on this trip. Logically, I could have let this stop me from taking up this amazing opportunity – but instead, my uncertainties made me like a sponge ready to absorb and learn every single new thing around me. So, take up this amazing opportunity in front of you! #noexcuses

170712-EliseWilson-IntlExchange1If you want to learn about the world, yourself, and everything else in between… All while having a great time, meeting amazing people, and doing some Karaoke on the side – I would highly recommend this trip!

I wrote a blog while I was in Beijing, read more about my adventures here!