The University of Iowa

Authored by Emily S. Van Kirk

A taste of China's park culture (notice the elderly, children, and badminton players in the background).

To each their own

Peking University is ranked, along with Tsinghua University, among China’s premier institutions for higher education. The rigorous college entrance exam is the determining factor for students aspiring to enter the school’s rigorous academic environment. With that said, the Chinese education system is vastly different from American and Western education apparatuses. I am not fully matriculated at Peking University. Instead, I am enrolled in the School of Foreign Languages, which educates numerous international students that arrive in Beijing with varying language proficiencies.
Students from 35 different institutions who are studying abroad in Beijing at the reception. Photo credit: Project Pengyou

Descending from ‘the Veranda’

This month, I had the honor to attend a reception at the ambassador's residence, organized by the US-China Strong Foundation and Project Pengyou. The event was an opportunity to mingle with fellow students and educators who are living and studying abroad in China. Regarding Sino-Chinese relations, Ambassador Branstad has reiterated his commitment to his friendship with Chinese president Xi Jinping and the well-established connection between Iowa and Hebei.
clear day

Beijing: The City of Lights?

In my high school French class, I recall learning about Paris’ arrondissements, or administrative districts, that circumvent the city. Following my freshman year at the University of Iowa, I spent a small portion of my summer break traveling in China. Of the mere two weeks I spent in China, one week was spent in Beijing. I remember noting the circular metro lines, regarding them as an inconvenience when trying to travel from a stop on one end of the rounded track to another.

One abroad

I read Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “One Art” in my freshman gen-ed literature class at the University of Iowa. The refrain in this poem has since resurfaced in my life, culminating in my plans to study in China for the 2017-2018 academic year.