The first weeks in China can be overwhelming, especially here in Shenzhen, a city of more than 10 million people where Mandarin and Cantonese can be heard on every corner. At first glance, incoming students are likely to feel it is too much to confront at once. It is unsettling when taxi drivers don’t speak English and restaurants don’t have pictures and maybe don’t even accept cash, let alone foreign bank cards.
Fortunately for incoming international students, the team of eight Campus Advisors (CAs) go above and beyond to ensure a smooth transition for all international students arriving at Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School. They were the first ones to greet me when I arrived, and I quickly realized these tireless helpers are the number one resource for problem solving and activities on campus.
At some point, we all need their help. It could be when you can’t figure out setting up WeChat Pay or when you are literally left in the dark and need maintenance to change the light your dorm. They know the hotpot restaurants, study spaces, and medical services near campus. The CAs set you up on campus and then get you out there enjoying the best of Shenzhen.
Furthermore, the CAs also organize cultural events to introduce international students to aspects of Chinese culture outside of the classroom. Whether it’s a group hotpot, singing at KTV, making dumplings, learning calligraphy or going for a hike among Shenzhen’s natural beauty, CAs ensure that students experience the fantastic things the city has to offer.
This semester the Campus Advisor Program welcomes three new additions to their team, May, Crystal, and Jian. Check out their bios below!
Zhou Jian 周健
Hometown: Guangdong Province, Nanhai City
Major: HSBC Business School; Economics & Financial Engineering
Favorite Place: Shenzhen Bay Park, good place to hike while enjoying the sea at the same time.
Food: Steamed Rice Roll, that is what fills me up
Advice: Enjoy yourself in China! Fully explore Chinese culture, lifestyle, and food. Make friends and travel if you get the chance.
Hometown: Jingxian, Anhui province (Southeast China) along the Yangtze River. My home town is known as the birthplace of Chinese traditional rice paper. It is also an ancient village dating back to the Ming dynasty. We also have a lot of traditional Anhui cuisine, which is one of the eight great traditions of Chinese cuisine.
Major/academic interest: School of Environment & Energy, 2L. Interested in environmental engineering.
Favorite place in Shenzhen: The Tencent building. I had an opportunity to have a visit there recently, everything there was new to me and I was very surprised by the work environment! They incorporate technology everywhere! Tencent is my dream workplace.
Favorite Chinese food: Though Chinese food is diverse and all delicious, my favorite food is the stir-fried noodles made by my mom, because every time I leave home to a far place, she always cooked noodles for me to take along with lots of things added, like beef or ham and eggs. I can feel that the noodles are made with a mother’s love.
Advice: Get out the old model of social circle, make yourself better to harmony with the local culture. By getting used to e-pay and new lifestyles you will find it interesting. If you want to know China better, you really need to improve your Chinese. Time is short and precious, let’s make progress together.
Wang Lu (Crystal) 王璐
Hometown: Chongqing, the city famous for hotpot and spicy food
Major: HSBC Business School; Economics
Academic interest: Economics, Finance
Favorite place in Shenzhen: MixC World. It’s close to the university town and I like the bookstore there and the cinema which often holds film events and art shows.
Favorite Chinese food: Hotpot (especially spicy hotpot)
Advice for international students: Make some Chinese friends, make wise use of Taobao, and try different Chinese food. Shenzhen is a vibrant city worth exploring and as a CA I’m happy to offer any help!
By Lewis D-G
Photos provided by CAs