Module 3: Semester in China – City Specific Information

Welcome to Beijing, China!

The campus of Tsinghua University is located in northwest Beijing, in the Haidian district, which was designated for universities and other academic institutes.

Beijing is a sprawling city with a population of over 20 million people! That’s almost as many people as the country of Australia- wow! Even at that, it is not the largest city in China. Shanghai beats Beijing in its population size, with just over 24 million people.

Foodie? Here are some menu items to start with!

  • Peking Duck: China’s national dish, that was born in Beijing!
  • Jiaozi: Chinese dumplings that can be found all over Asia, and can contain all kinds of filling, sometimes even soup
  • Jing Jiang Rou Si: Shredded pork in a sweet bean sauce that is sometimes referred to as Beijing sauce
  • Dragon’s Beard Candy: A traditional Chinese candy that can most likely be purchased from a street vendor, or at one of Beijing’s snack markets, like Wangfujing nigh market on Wangfujing main street!

Check out more suggestions here!

Temperature & Climate: What to Expect

You might be wondering what to expect weather-wise when traveling to China. When you first arrive in late- February, it will be a bit brisk, with a range of around 25 degrees to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Throughout your time in China it will gradually get warmer, and in May & June, you can accept the balmy weather to begin, with temperatures ranging from about 55 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

In China, and especially Beijing, you’ll want to be mindful of smog, pollution, and air quality.

Here are some action steps you can take to keep yourself informed and healthy while living in Beijing:

  • Download Twitter, and follow the BeijingAir account, which keeps residents up-to-date. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) will allow you to access the site, even if it’s blocked for use in China.
  • Download The China Air Quality Index app for your smartphone, and check it daily. Other apps include Air Quality China, AirVisual, and more.
  • When air quality is bad: you should try to avoid active outdoor activities, such as biking or walking long distances. Instead, try visiting a museum, a shopping center, a movie, or even a day trip just outside the city-provided that their air quality isn’t as poor that day.

Top Sights to See:

Beijing is a top tourist destination, with lots to see! Boredom is certainly not a concern here. See below for a few ideas on day trips and sight seeing for your first few weeks in Beijing. After some time, you’ll become an expert on all things Beijing!

  • The Imperial Palace, also known as the Forbidden City
  • The Great Wall of China
  • Tian’anmen Square
  • Beihai Park
  • The Temple of Heaven
  • The Summer Palace
  • Beijing National Stadium

& many, many more!