Visit to Beijing 53 international students from 18 countries across 5 continents. An unforgettable experience.
As part of the “Financial Leaders of Tomorrow 2018” programme, we – ten students from Hachenburg – visited Beijing for two weeks at the start of July. Feeling very excited, but also a little nervous, we set off: from the middle of the Westerwald to one of the largest metropolises in the world.
Tsinghua University in Beijing, which ranks among the best universities in China and enjoys a good reputation internationally, is home to around 47,000 students. One of the university’s best-known alumni is China’s current President Xi Jinping. The main campus, with its supermarkets, sports facilities, restaurants, museums and banks, has a small town feel.
During our stay, we visited the PBC School of Finance, a faculty of Tsinghua University that was founded as a joint project between the People's Bank of China (PBC) and the university in 2012. Located a few minutes’ walk from the faculty was the guest house, where we were housed together with the other international students.
The programme provided us with a solid overview of the history of China’s economy and culture, as well as the Chinese banking and insurance industry. Learning about China’s openness towards new technologies and digital currencies went beyond the four walls of the theatre where we attended a lecture on FinTech and out onto the streets, where mobile contactless payments are an everyday occurrence for Beijing natives.
In addition to economics courses, we also had the opportunity to participate in classes on Chinese calligraphy and kirigami, a variation of the better-known origami. We were also able to gain an insight into the world of martial arts – more specifically, kung fu.
The programme concluded with the graduation ceremony, where the group presentations that we prepared during the programme were presented and we received our certificates of participation from the vice dean.
We used our free time after lectures and at the weekend to explore Beijing on our own. As well as taking trips to Buddhist temples, royal palaces and amazing parks, we also embarked on a culinary journey. For those who found Peking duck and hot pot too traditional and boring, a street market with all manner of exotic dishes, including scorpion skewers, did not leave them wanting.
The highlight for all of us was our trip to the Great Wall of China. With the sun beating down and the temperature hitting over 35°C, we decided against walking up on foot and took the cable car. Once we were at the top, we enjoyed the spectacular view and spent some time taking photos and walking along the section of wall. We then tobogganed back down at lightning speed.
And what now, after two weeks of the “Financial Leaders of Tomorrow” programme? Besides what we have learned about China’s financial sector and culture and the countless impressions that we have taken away with us, it is the students from all over the world that we will remember the most.