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  • Peking University Students Leave Their Mark at Canterbury University

    15/02/2017 – In January 2017 a group of eleven undergraduate and graduate students of Peking University participated in an intensive study abroad programme hosted by the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

    In January 2017 a group of eleven undergraduate and graduate students of Peking University participated in an intensive study abroad programme hosted by the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. The group were joined by 15 students from Beihang University to undertake the course, titled "Re-imagining the city: lessons from Christchurch".

    In 2010 and 2011, a series of earthquakes radically transformed Christchurch as New Zealand’s second largest city. They have presented many challenges, but also provide the opportunity to re-imagine what a city should and could be. The programme invited the students to also engage in this task, drawing on lessons gained from Christchurch’s rebuild to date. They did this through a series of lectures and discussions with leaders such as the Deputy Mayor, Andrew Turner, and UC Vice-Chancellor, Dr Rod Carr. These were complemented by a number of fieldtrips in and around the city. The students were also able to visit a local farm and various sites of natural beauty, such as Sumner beach.

    Two groups of students from Peking University and Beihang University.

    Lin Zijun, an undergraduate student from Peking University’s Yuanpei College said that the experience had been transformative. “I knew it would be a very different cultural environment to Beijing, but I didn't know it would be so fantastic! This course has changed my view of this city and this nation. Every day I’ve learned something new.”

    Students attending a presentation as part of their course.

    She especially valued the opportunity to present at Coffee and Jam, a well-known public forum for exchanging ideas in Christchurch. “At first I felt very shy, especially because I’m an outsider to the city. But we were encouraged to share our own ideas and our professor helped us structure our talk. We got a lot of encouraging feedback from the audience afterwards and I felt like my views had been helpful.”

    Students on the Port Hills overlooking Christchurch City.

    UC International Partnerships Coordinator, Will Shannon said that it is always pleasure to host students from Peking University.“This is the third year that students from Beida have come to UC and we have been consistently impressed by them. This year was no different. Their willingness and ability to engage with the content of the course is testament to the quality of education offered at Peking University. The students were a pleasure to host and we look forward to welcoming more in the future.”

    Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner meets with the student delegation.

    As part of its mission, New Zealand Centre has been striving to create reciprocal opportunities of exchanges and cooperation for both faculty and students between Peking University and all the eight New Zealand universities as members of the NZC Advisory Board.

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