Study in Beijing, China



Study in Beijing, China

If you want a glimpse of the world as it will look in 20 years, Beijing is a pretty good bet. This is the ultimate urban jungle, where unimaginable crowds surge amongst the graceful steel curves of space-age buildings. Neon, Concrete, and the constant hum of human beings chattering in a thousand languages at once dominate the landscape in this city to end all cities.
 
For all its futuristic glory, however, there is much of the past to be found in Beijing. Its historical roots are far too deep to trace–evidence of human habitation in the Beijing area stretches back 700,000 years, to a time when our early ancestors were only just learning how to use fire and craft complex stone tools. By 1200 BC, Beijing (then known as Ji) was already one of the most prosperous cities in the world, as the presence of ancient stone walls attest. Since that time, it has been a cultural, intellectual, political, and military nexus point almost without interruption–it has evolved in parallel with China itself, from Qin Shihuang's unification of the warring kingdoms and construction of the Great Wall up to the rise and fall of Mao Zedong and the birth of Chinese communism. Over the millennia, it has seen magnificent temples and palaces dominate its gently rolling skyline, only to be replaced massive skyscrapers.
 
Life along the streets of 21st-century Beijing is complicated, just as it always has been. While the city's layout is far more intuitive than those of other ancient capitals (think of central London), the sheer quantity of people and vehicles makes for a hectic and sometimes even dangerous environment. Locals once got around almost exclusively by bicycle, but the status appeal of private car ownership has caused a precipitous rise in the popularity of automobiles–it is estimated that as many as 1,500 new cars are added to the Beijing streets every day! As a result, the streets can become something of a nightmare for drivers and pedestrians alike. The local government has undertaken massive public transportation projects in recent years in an effort to keep pace with the expanding population, but Beijing remains infamously crowded, and there are no signs that this is going to change at any time in the foreseeable future.
 
People, both Chinese nationals and foreigners, pour into Beijing for every reason imaginable–business, tourism, jobs, politics, and of course education. As China's long-standing political capital, Beijing has seen centuries of educational development: in the Sui Dynasty (589 to 618 AD) the Imperial Chinese government established a tradition of rigorous education and examination that continues to this day. The most elite graduates from Chinese secondary schools, those who achieve stellar marks on their admissions tests, have the privilege of attending college at one of Beijing's superb National Key Universities. In addition to these top-tier institutions, Beijing has over 70 colleges and universities, mostly national and municipal (private colleges are rare in China). Between them, they offer degrees in everything from physics and engineering to dance and design.