Hello, PKU!

As Beijing welcomes autumn after a long summer holiday, Yenching Academy’s 2021 Cohort moved into their dormitory on the PKU campus, livening the campus mood upon their arrival and registration at the Shaoyuan Courtyard on September 6.

On September 6, YCA hosted an Orientation Party to enable the new seventh cohort of Yenching Scholars to meet themselves and their teachers at YCA.

YCA Associate Dean Brent Haas chaired the event and delivered his opening remark. He emphasized a balance between “the big” and “the small”, encouraging students to represent their countries and themselves by integrating their cultural backgrounds with the new environment. Prof. Haas admonished students to enjoy their studies and life and explore the city and everything new to them. Also, he asked the new students to be “ambassadors” of YCA and maintain contact with their “online” peers who cannot study and live on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He Yiran from the 2020 Cohort shared his YCA stories. In his eyes, PKU is like a large ship forging ahead over the past century. YCA, on the other hand, is like a speedboat, roaring along with its missions, requiring its members’ courage, resolution, creativity, and tolerance.

Yiran talked about the online and onsite interdisciplinary exhibition led by Fung Wai Yun from the 2020 Cohort and the Yenching Global Symposium (YGS). Having described YCA as an excellent academy and a warm home, he encouraged his fellow scholars to be brave pacesetters.

Dean Yuan Ming also delivered a speech. Prof. Yuan first introduced the YCA leadership before sharing her insights with the participants. “Young generations in China never stopped thinking about their missions and challenges in the background of China and the world since the last century.” Drawing on this point, Dean Yuan encouraged students to think and learn more, becoming their best selves through intercultural exchanges and interdisciplinary courses at YCA.

Few international students can study at the PKU campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dean Yuan hoped that the onsite participants would cherish their campus life and share their experience online with those who cannot begin campus life yet. She called for compassion and efforts to make YCA a family for all, hoping that everyone at the Academy would enjoy a life of warmth and, in turn, warm others.

On September 7, Yenching Scholars of the 2021 Cohort across different time zones met online for the first time during the online Program Orientation.

YCA Associate Dean Brent Haas chaired the event, shared his China stories, and introduced YCA staff.

YCA Associate Dean Fan Shiming talked about the background, purpose, research areas, and student body of the Academy.

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YCA Director of Graduate Studies Lu Yang gave a complete introduction to the Academy’s China Studies Program, including training mode, curriculum, academic writing, and academic norm.

YCA Assistant Dean Chen Changwei clarified the Academy’s rules and regulations and talked about the students’ team and events.

On September 8, staff and student assistants from YCA Curriculum and Scholarship and YCA Degree and Student Status held an online event, answering questions on course selection and student-advisor selection.

It was a busy week. Our new Yenching Scholars started their new life in Beijing’s best season. Whether residing on the PKU campus or at home, they will enjoy two years at YCA with their teachers, fellow students, and friends. The experiences will be impressive.


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