Hello, 2021 Cohort. Let’s Go Hand in Hand!

The new academic year started at Peking University as the autumn breeze blew across campus. The Yenching Academy warmly received 25 Yenching Scholars of its 2021 Cohort on campus and extended warm greetings virtually to the other Scholars who could not enter campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new Scholars participated in YCA’s Orientation Week events, becoming knowledgeable about the PKU campus and their future study and life at YCA.

The registration for the 2021 Cohort of YCA Scholars started at the Shaoyuan Courtyard on September 6. The Degree and Student Status staff registered the 25 on-campus students by checking their information, uploading their details on the Academy’s online platform, and issuing their student guides. The other 74 international YCA Scholars who could not be at the campus due to COVID-19 completed their registration online between September 7 and September 14.

On September 8, YCA’s three Class Advisors organized online meetings to help our new YCA Scholars start their new life at the Academy despite physical distance. The Class Advisors first clarified what the “class” and “class advisor” meant and encouraged students to elect their class presidents, collaborating to create an atmosphere of warmth and idea exchange. Next, the class advisors talked about the major functions of YCA offices and the rules and regulations of the PKU and YCA.

Our six Residential Advisors organized online ice-breaking events, in which new YCA Scholars shared their experience and knew more about each other and their future life and study at the Academy.

Our YCA staff of Academic Affairs prepared videos on the Academy’s training mode, curriculum, academic credits, attendance requirement, course selection, fellowships, student status system, faculty advisor selection system, and oral defense. The current Teaching Assistants also shared their ideas of course selection during the Peer Advising session.

Advisors play a critical role in a graduate program. The Academy invited YCA Scholars of the 2020 Cohort to share their ideas of finding “Your Right Faculty Advisor” during the online session. The invited 2020 Cohort scholars first answered general questions on student-advisor selection and how to get the advisor’s contact information. Next, they went into area-specific details on choosing and maintaining effective communication with the advisor across economics, international relations, literature, history, and philosophy. We hoped that our new YCA Scholars were inspired by what they learned from the current students.

On September 9, the YCA’s Youth League Branch and Student Affairs Office organized a Meet-the-old-and-new Session for the 2021 Cohort. Xu Zhanyi, Zhang Hongda, and Liu Yanjun from the 2020 Cohort were invited to talk about their study and curricular events at the Academy. YCA teachers introduced career development at the Academy, giving a fuller illustration of the Academy’s multicultural life. YCA Associate Dean Fan Shiming attended the session and gave a wrap-up.

On September 10, the 2021 Cohort of YCA Scholars attended the Peking University’s 2021 Opening Ceremony at the May Fourth Stadium. Clad in their class uniforms and the PKU flags in their hands, the students warmly embraced the debut of their life on the PKU campus.

As most of our international students of the 2021 Cohort could not travel to campus due to the pandemic, the YCA Library created and uploaded videos on accessing and using the PKU and YCA libraries, improving the new students e-resources and services provided by our libraries.

Similarly, the Academy invited Jin Xin from the PKU Library to introduce the library, including its history, resources, services, data and digital resources, and inter-library booking loaning process. After that, she took the students on a tour of the east and west sites of the PKU Library.

On September 11, YCA Residential Advisors and volunteer students organized a PKU Discovery to help the 2021 Cohort scholars know the campus more. Although a long-running cross-campus orientation activity, this year’s PKU Discovery had a new touch, drawing on “Traces in Exhibition” inspired by the YCA exhibition “Through Our Door” to explore the University’s history at the Jingyuan Fourth Courtyard. The 2021 cohort walked around the Weiming Lake to different landmark buildings, including the Flower Temple, the Stone Boat, and Jian Zhai. This fun-filled team-building event helped the students become more knowledgeable about the campus and one another.

Start your new life at the Yenching Academy, whether at the campus or home! Endeavor to build an endearing community of scholars online and onsite and enjoy every day at the YCA family!

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