For Paulina Zofia Uznańska who had previously studied Chinese language for a year at Peking University, studying in Beijing may not be a distinct affair. Yet, she could not help be enamoured by what she recounts as the ‘magical’ charm of Jingyuan. She found herself being drawn to it every day and was excited at the thought of exploring every part of this compound. She fondly recalls her conversations with scholars amidst the beautiful setting at Jingyuan which lent the natural atmosphere for insightful interactions. She describes Jingyuan akin to a “Hogwarts” in China.
Q: What was your first impression of Jingyuan?
A: This is the most beautiful part of the magnificent Beida campus. When I first saw it, I thought it had beautiful colours with the red doors, the grey building and the green grass everywhere. My first impression of Jingyuan was that it’s a magical place! Like a “Hogwarts” in China. It felt like a privilege to have classes at such a glorious location.
Q: What is your most revered memory at Jingyuan?
A: One of the most beautiful memories at Yenching is when I had International Trade classes. During the break, we would go downstairs to have coffee. We would all sit together with a cup of coffee and have conversations with other Scholars. The place served as a natural setting for interacting with other scholars.
Q: How would you describe the architecture at Jingyuan?
A: It is one of the oldest buildings on the campus. When you walk around Jingyuan, you can feel that it has a soul of itself. It has a historical spirit in it. It is placed at the center of Peking University, so it really forms the heart of the campus.
Jingyuan is a complex of buildings and each building has a small yard or garden of its own, so in that way it really is a well-thought-of place.
Q: What is your favourite corner of Jingyuan?
A: When you enter the building, there is a big common room with a round table, couches, a coffee machine. It makes a great place for interactions with other Scholars. I think that really is my favourite part.
Q: What is your favourite season/hour to be in Jingyuan?
A: I would say, September is the best month to be in Jingyuan and Beijing. Its right about the time you arrive at Yenching. The weather is just right, and it's warm but not too hot. You can witness the natural beauty at that time, the flowers blooming in the campus. It is the best time to be at Jingyuan.
The morning, because the light is gorgeous. The windows are beautifully patterned. So the light passing through it in the mornings would create a stunning sight!
Q: If you had to describe Jingyuan in 3 words, what would it be?
A: Magical, Exceptional and Beautiful.